(Happy?) Birthdays

Every year, you’re forced to celebrate the day you arrived on this planet… wait, no were not aliens…

Every year you’re forced to celebrate the day you came into this shiny, strange world. It’s a day to commemorate you turning another year older and another year wiser. Though the latter is not always the case, as I know from experience, it means another year flushed down the drain and your life closer to its finale.

It seems like such a dark and calloused look on the ordeal, but, alas, that’s the way I’ve viewed them the last few years. To my defense, it’s tough having a birthday in the winter months, when everything’s cold and dreary (at least where I live), and that seasonal depression stuff is in the air like pollen at all other times of the year. The hopefulness of spring, the fun-spirited joys of summer, and the beauty of fall, have all come to an end and grumpy, gray winter has settled in.

Now, I don’t wish to make excuses and I definitely don’t want to play the blame game here, it’s just kind of how it is. For me, I don’t like growing older, I don’t like feeling that another year has passed without living life to its fullest. It sucks, I despise it, and birthdays always remind me of those things. They force me to relive the past year and see just how wasteful I have been with my time, or how short I have come to meeting my own expectations for the year, or how I’m stuck in certain places I wish to be unstuck from but can’t see any way out of. Still have any desire to wish people “happy birthday”?

Thankfully there is always a “but” to be had when writing about these kinds of things. I believe in hope. I believe, even in the darkest, scariest, and most painful places, there is light to be seen; a light that shatters the darkness. This birthday, for me, has been different. I’m lighting hope’s candles and not extinguishing them this time. I’m not focusing on all those “could’ve”, “should’ve”, “would’ve” possibilities. Believe me, there are many of them just waiting for me to fall into their traps, waiting to suck me in and spit me out the other side beaten and bruised. But I’m looking at the present, where I’m at now, and how I’ve gotten here. Life is precious and life is all too short. There are blessings around every corner, if we but open our eyes to them.

So, happy birthday to you; to all of you, each and every year. Let us not focus on the downfalls of each passing year, but the good. And let us glean from the past but never get stuck there, for progress is made step by step.

Don’t forget to have a piece of hope; I here it’s delicious!

Love unlimited,

C.J. Huffman

The Story Behind a Story: Rooms

It’s been my deepest desire to write about the making of my short story Rooms, which is extremely personal to me.  I finally felt that the time was right to actually sit down and share about a darkness that, for the longest time, haunted me and cost me so much lost time.  What better way to do this than to put it on a public blog for all the world to see!  Joking aside, I feel that it’s good for everyone to see that we are all just human.  We all make mistakes and we all fall flat on our faces.  And that’s okay.  The sole point in sharing our failures with others is to, one, learn from them, and two, release any guilt or shame we may unintentionally be carrying with us in the process.

So, let’s dive into the muck, for out of the dirt came this story that I am so passionate about.

The entire concept behind this story began on one Sunday morning quite a few years ago (specifics unknown). My pastor was teaching on how to let go of certain things in our lives by giving those spaces within our minds over for God’s use.  He explained that our brains are like storage facilities or large buildings with many little rooms with them; each serving a function or thought process in our lives, whether it be a certain activity we enjoy, a habit, a philosophy, or specific cluster of ideas.

He used his personal example of his habit of smoking cigarettes.  That entire room within his mind was filled with all the ideas, processes, decisions, etc, involving smoking.  It was an unhealthy habit he could not shake.  It seemed the entire ability to be able to finally quit had gone up in smoke (I couldn’t help it). At last, he decided to give it over to God to take care of; he gave that room to be occupied by Him.  In that moment, he was no longer a “smoker.” God had gone through, cleaned up the place, maybe even redecorated a bit, and became the lone tenant.  It changed my pastor’s life in that aspect, and all because of faith.

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Inspiration’s Well

For the longest time I’ve desired to share what inspires me as a writer.  But up until now, I’ve never had a proper place to do just that.  As I begin diving into the vast, entangled webs of the internet in a possibly vain attempt to reach forth and spread my wings as an author, I want to begin sharing my journey with you.

I may not have a whole volume of material to write about in regards to my life and subsequent experiences as a human being, but I’ve realized that is okay.  Everyone has their own story to share even if it’s not an outlier found amid a billion human observations.  Many of us walk the same trodden paths our ancestors once did in their own lives.  The human life is still solely based on the same principles of previous generations.  Sure, technology changes, society changes, government changes, but the very inner, intimate human principles do not.  What truly makes a person an individual, a lone unit on the graph, is how they handle the things that inspire them in their everyday life.

For me, my inspiration has come from a rather common yet misunderstood and highly complex mental illness affecting millions of people: depression.

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