The Life Enthusiast Chronicles with Chris

Life has this incredible intensity about it sometimes…hell, who am I kidding? All the time. Joy and playfulness are often overshadowed by stress and work, and it can become alarmingly easy to lose sight of what we love about life. In the rush hour of today, it is more important than ever to slow down and come back to ourselves, to appreciate those amazing things that make us stupidly happy.

Last month fellow blogger Sheila Hurst gave us a magnificent boost of positivity with her life enthusiasm insight. At the end of the day, everything is something to be enthusiastic about. In my series, The Life Enthusiast Chronicles, lovely humans from all over the world reveal their most cherished things about life.

Today I’m stoked to bring you my indie author pal, Chris Stocking from Mental Sweatshop. I can’t even remember how Chris and I first connected, but we seem to be each other’s cheerleaders in this thing called writing. He’s a fantastic young writer on the road to awesome. I love the way he unabashedly gushes over his wife, which you all know here, I’m a big sap for things of that nature. His noir book, The Rotten Apple, releases on March 22nd and I will definitely be checking it out!

Connect with Chris on Twitter and Facebook.

Get ’em, Chris…

chris stocking

It’s interesting to think about what makes you excited about life. It’s not a question people often ask.

They don’t ask you on job applications, or even in interviews. No one seems interested in what makes you enjoy life. They’re only interested in what you can do for them, or how you can make them money.

What services can we trade? How can you help me? It doesn’t matter if it’s what you really like to do, as long as I get what I want and you’re able to do it in a way that suits me.

Now, that’s a bit of a cynical point of view I suppose, but true to some extent.

However, we ourselves don’t often think about it. Between keeping up on Facebook and Twitter and social media, working our day jobs, our night jobs, taking care of our families, making sure we’re healthy, school, and hobbies, we don’t often sit down and think: What makes me happy? What gets me enthused, pumped, and excited about life?

In the rush of life, it gets swept under the rug. We have more “important” things to worry about than making sure we’re happy. There are things to get done!

That’s why I’m so glad Britt asked me. Now I have a chance to really figure out what makes me happy. And, you know what, I don’t know if I can nail down one thing specifically, but I’m going to try.

I’m lucky enough to have a pretty good life. I have food to eat, a roof over my head, a loving wife, I finished high school, and I’m able to get a college education. Sure, I’ll be somewhat buried under a small mountain of loans, but the fact that I have the opportunity to further my education makes me better off than a lot of other people in the world.

But, when it comes down to what makes me really, truly happy, it has to be writing.

Yes, I love my wife, and I wouldn’t be where I am without her. Her love for reading has instilled a love of reading in me, and it pushed me to become a writer. To become a published, professional writer.

But, something about writing just makes me happy. The story, the characters, and everything about it. I have so much at my disposal. I have everything at my disposal. I can create worlds and lives. I have the power to change those lives and worlds, either for the better or worse. I am, quite literally, a god. Not that I need to be a god to be happy, but the fact that I can be is almost overwhelming.

I have, at my fingertips, in the depths of my mind, the power to tell a story. The power to move mountains, and the power to alter minds. To affect emotions. To make people fall in love. I have the potential to make people hate, and make people angry or happy or excited or nervous, both characters and readers alike.

If I’ve done my job well, I can instill so much in a person. And that is terrifying. It’s horrifyingly exciting that I have the potential for that. And that gets me excited about life. It gets me excited to get the words on the page and see what I can do. It’s fun, and gratifying, and exciting, and I don’t know what I would do without it.

I don’t know what I’d do without the power of words. Without the power of language.

And that, my friends, is what gets me excited about life.

22 thoughts on “The Life Enthusiast Chronicles with Chris

  1. Carrie Rubin says:

    Wonderful post. It’s nice to find something that makes us happy, something we’ll pursue even though the odds might be stacked against us, something we’re willing to risk failure over. Finding that spark helps put us at peace when everything else in our lives rivals for our attention.

    • Chris says:

      Thanks! I try to stay positive, especially when it comes to writing. But I’ve been known to write some darker stuff, which is interesting when I’m usually so positive about it. It’s odd how the opposite comes out of my perspective.

  2. Beauty Along the Road says:

    Well said, Chris. Words really do have immense power, whether spoken or written. And it is a pleasure to use words for the way they nurture us and others. Just this morning, I responded to another blog that asked the question why I write and this is what I had to say: Why do I write – because I HAVE to write. I have been journaling for 30+ years. Journaling is my self-therapy tool, I process what’s going on in my life. When I write, my emotional and physical bodies are relieved from whatever stress, anxiety, or sadness has invaded them. But I also write for the pleasure of it – savoring words and expressions, finding just the right way to clothe an experience into words.
    I use words as a gift – a letter to someone I want to re-connect with after some time has gone by, a letter to my husband for his birthday… we rarely take time anymore to gift each other with letters.
    And I love to connect words with photographs that I take, to deepen my own response to the image and share it with others (there’s a word for combining words and images: ekphrastic). Photo essays are my favorite way of communicating on my blog.
    When I don’t write for a few days or a week because too much is going on in my life, I come back to writing as my way of anchoring myself, touching base with myself, almost like taking a deep breath.
    I came over from Britt’s blog who mentioned you 🙂

    • Chris says:

      Somehow I missed this one! Sorry about that! Yes, writing is a fantastic a way to anchor yourself, sort of like a second home. It’s one thing to lounge around your house for a while, but it’s completely different–completely exhilarating–to romp around another world for a few hours.

  3. Sheila says:

    Writing is a top one for me too and I’m still not sure why. All I know is when I’m not really writing, I’m not happy. There’s nothing like that feeling when the words are flowing and we start loving what we’re writing and it doesn’t matter if no one ever reads it. Thanks for inspiring me to do some more of that!

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