He’s a pretty fun guy, charming even; out there among the laughter and the good times, careless and fearless for reprisals. He’s a hero to those who walk this Earth in anxious chains; a true badass in the face of the cares and care-nots; a renegade, charging headfast into your social gatherings and saying something that’ll make you smile.
He’s everything that I want to be when I’m around everyone else.
We live in a world full of misdirections and brick walls, a place where we struggle to find who we are without smacking blindly into reasons to change. But do we even want to change? Or should we? Shit, the change inside of me is heavy.
We are the he woeful, so full of worry and panic; overthinking the socks on our feet, the names of familiar faces that we cannot remember, the exit plan for when we run out of words to say. We are the burden of solving problems before they are even problems; the exhaustion of analyzing our surroundings and finding the comfort corners that overlook the room, observing, waiting, hoping that we don’t have to talk to people.
This has become my reality. The fear of the social. The haunting task of being like you when I am ME and so much different.
And you know, I’ve seen it inside of you, as well… the desire to be the things that you are not.
What is this social sting that pricks at you and me? Why do we feel so pushed to fit in? To blend? To mix with the ones who have no fear of judgment?
Hell, I can’t stand the thought of you misinterpreting my intentions.
And here I go, back into the dark waters of overthinking every move that I make, living in the heaviness of being wrong. And living with the pain of never knowing because I didn’t try.
So, I like drunk Jake… weekend after weekend, free spirited and fun. Out there talking and nodding about the things that I know nothing about. Shaking hands and smiling, calling him and her by a name that may or may not be right, but not caring because at least I’ve tried. Going here, going there, making rash decisions and loving it. So free, so alive, so me.
And those of us who walk this path, the ones who bear the weight of caring, we go on living these doubled lives; the one that is carefree and loud, coozy in our hand, singing the wrong words to our new favorite song while holding onto the cutie that we just introduced our self to, laughing and wild, accepting whatever the night might bring….
And then, the one of a pregame pep talk in the mirror, deadlocked on sorry eyes, angry because you cannot leave the house without reminding yourself that you can overcome this anxiety.
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Jacob Paul Patchen
Jacob Paul Patchen is a strong advocate for love, family, and laughter. He is his mother’s favorite child, his grandfather’s ornery double, and the one who offers the blessing before holiday dinner. With his background in poetry and his open heart, he sees the world in a transcendent light. With a deeper understanding of the importance of life’s “little things,” enriched by his time spent at war in Iraq, Jacob offers a philosophical, light-hearted, and insightfully energetic tone to his writing style.
Jacob is an award-winning writer and poet from Cambridge, Ohio. He was the recipient of the Beulah Brooks Brown Award in Poetry and was selected as the feature writer for Muskingum University’s creative writing magazine, First Circle. Jacob graduated from Muskingum University with a bachelor’s degree in English while focusing on creative writing, journalism, and speech communication. Since graduating, Jacob has written a script for a feature film, started a blog, thebackroadrevival.blogspot.com, (which has made him semi-famous in a small town), and is currently finishing up his debut book called, "Life Lessons from Grandpa and His Chicken Coop: A Playful Journey Through Some Serious Sh*t"
Growing up a few miles outside of a small village in the rolling hills of South East Ohio, Jacob spent most of his youth playing sports, spending time outdoors (i.e. climbing trees and hiding from babysitters), and finding his unique voice in writing. Feeling patriotic, he enlisted into the Marine Corps. Reserves during his senior year of high school. During his six year enlistment in the Infantry, he was deployed to the Al Anbar Province, Iraq in 2005. After his return from Iraq, with a better understanding of life and a renewed appreciation for opportunity, Jacob enrolled into Muskingum University to pursue a formal education in writing.
He is now living outside of Cambridge, Ohio where he balances part time work with full time play.