The Bigger Picture

The Crash of 2013

It’s predictable, almost inevitable. After living in New York for almost three months, performing in over one-hundred shows, and moving at the speed of a downhill slalom racer, there’s always a crash. Sometimes it manifests itself as abject exhaustion or a post-Christmas coma when I return to the real world of Orlando. Other times the crash shows up in the form of a mild depression, a fixation on “what’s next in my life,” musings over my purpose in life, or more often than not a fluid combination of the four.

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In 2012, the crash consisted of what I thought was merely exhaustion, but upon close examination my battle fatigue turned out to be a case of walking pneumonia. I put the prescribed bedrest and pharmaceuticals to good use and plotted my next move, the publishing of my manuscript Walking Tall—which proved to be my best move.

For those of you who don’t know, in the course of four months I learned how to code (program/build out) ebooks (which is no small feat as each ereader requires a completely different type of document). I revised the manuscript, went through several rounds of editing, art directed and designed the book cover to cover, and launched the electronic versions (for iPadNook, and Kindle), along with a first edition print version for family close friends, back in May. (NOTE: Walking Tall still isn’t on the New York Times bestseller list, so if you don’t have a copy, consider this a subtle invitation to get one.)

Four months later in September 2012, I published a print edition, and have had a number of readings/speaking engagements locally and in New York.

And how did the the Crash of 2013 reveal itself?

Just a little insomnia coupled with what’s my next move musings.

I don’t know if you’re like me, but sometimes I get a little irritated with social media when I’m in that post-Christmas, what the hell’s next in my life mode, and I just want to throw my laptop and the whole of social media right out the window. Comparing everyone else’s exciting  highlight reel with my lackluster outtake reel can be . . . soul-crushing.

You exactly what I’m talking about.

Maybe you don’t have an extended period of the doldrums, but if you’re human you at have at the very least times when you don’t know your ass from a hole in the ground (as my father used to say; that was one of my favorite Rosey-isms). Of course, this doesn’t apply to anyone under thirty years of age because that’s what that period of your life is for: jumping from one transcendent experience to the next. And you’re learning how the world works and how you fit into it. Everyday’s a new adventure. Every interaction is a potential social landmine. But landmines aren’t on your radar because if you detonate an explosive situation, ten minutes later it won’t matter. You’re young. Please note, there is a huge different between explosive situation and catastrophic situation.

I know there’s probably a few of you out there thinking “now you know what it’s like for me while you’re off glamorizing in New York for weeks on end and I’m plodding off to a job I hate (or performing some thankless domestic chore for the hundredth time).”

And you’re right.

But now it’s my turn to gripe a little. [chuckle]

I think I’ve come up with a temporary fix to the crash of 2013: I’m going off the grid. No, I’m going to live in the woods without electricity. Are you insane? I’d never do that, not even for a minute. I’m an indoor kid, remember? What I’m proposing is avoiding social media for a few days.


No Facebook. No Twitter. No blogging. No Pinterest. No LinkedIn. No Words With Friends. No You Don’t Know Jack. No status updates, birthday wishes, no pictures—zilch. Nada. Nix. Nein. None of it. But I will still be reading The New York Times, probably all of it during the ban.

I need to immerse myself in living life instead of observing life for a hot minute. I’m hoping to get some focus as to not what’s next, but what’s important now. I’m going to start small. My social media cleanse starts tonight at midnight. With any luck, it’ll last longer than it took to write this blog post. I’m shooting for twenty-four hours. If I can make it through the first twenty-four hours, I should be able to make it through to midnight Sunday night. Hopefully, this social media detox will last longer than a hot minute. Wish me luck.

I plan to get some reading done, maybe some writing, too. I could take in a movie or meet some friends, Who knows? I might even crack my Bible open a time or two. (Yes, that was a very telling; but true statement.)

If anyone needs to get in touch with me, you’re going to have to resort to old school means: call, email, or text me. (And don’t you dare give me grief about accepting text messages. You know who you are. I’ve read some of your attempts at texting your thoughts and they’re so “old school” they qualify as Neanderthal, so back off.)

Let me leave you with one question: how do you get through those barren periods in your life when you feel untethered and adrift at sea?


One thought on “The Crash of 2013”

  1. Dianna says:

    I hope you make it Clay! I need to do this so bad and can’t make that initial cut off let alone a day or a week!! 🙂

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