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I glance outside, the sounds of people draw my errant gaze to my window. There, just across the street, a small group is gathered around what looks like a man lying prone on the ground. Their body language speaks of barely controlled panic and restless anxiousness.

Huh, probably another OD, I think to myself, popping two tablets of Aleve and two melatonin chews so I can sleep uninhibited later tonight.

I keep staring at the scene, transfixed by it. It isn’t anything new, par for the course, honestly. It’s just another Thursday.

I’d found myself in a similar situation not…

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an immigrant who’s witnessed first hand the brutality of civil war, who’s witnessed the terrible fear of armed men coming into my home. The terrible invasion of privacy, the very real endangerment of my life, I am horrified by the current state of this country. But I am not surprised by it. No, I am not surprised by the complacent entitlement of those whose complacency deteriorates America’s democracy.

Noticing The Change

Be honest with yourself, or you won’t be honest with others.

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Write what you know”, they always say.

The only problem is the market for what anyone “knows” has become pretty saturated. Anything really can be googled in a matter of seconds.

And while the finance, tech, and scholastic crowds do usually make for insightful(and enjoyable) reads, those folks have an easier transition to sites like Medium. Their audiences are kept engaged by their already established expertise on the afore-mentioned subjects.

But what if you don’t know much(or anything really)? What if you’re just figuring out this writing thing? …

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True freedom.

Anyone who’s who’s ever wanted to become a freelancer, a small business owner, an entrepreneur, has felt its call.

I’ve always has this need to answer to no one, to be my own boss. Press the launch button on my dreams and etcetera.

But in order to achieve those things, both a mental and physical exodus was needed to extract myself from the things that shackled me. Liberation from the rigid structures of a pre-ordained lifestyle.

But what if that same freedom I was after was the very thing that kept me stuck in place?

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“Everyday. A few minutes till 7am. I asked myself the same question.


Why do I wake up at the same time every day, a few minutes till 7, to do something I don’t enjoy?

Is it the promise of another meaningful and fulfilling day?


More often than not, it was the threat of unpaid rent. Loans defaulting. The job calling, asking where I was. The not so subtle threat of being sent back down the deep depressing hole of unemployment- if I didn’t do my part for the machine, that is.

And that feeling, the dragging of the…

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Stephen King was once asked in an interview what he thought about writers keeping journals. I remember his self-knowing smirk, his contemplative silence, and the answer he gave the interviewer.

“A very efficient way to immortalize bad ideas,” he called it.

Back then, this came as kind of a shock to me and it caused me to re-evaluate myself a little (I still keep heaps upon heaps of notebooks under my bed.)

And all those pages full of ideas, stories, character bios, and half-hearted musings, just… gathering dust. Sure enough, I found myself nodding along with Mr. King. Not wholeheartedly…

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I recently re-watched The Pursuit of Happyness with Will Smith and, let me just say, it still strikes the feels all these years later. The character of Chris Gardner serves as a sobering reminder that things could always be worse- but with some perseverance and a little bit of luck, they can turn around.

This was always the allure of the movie. The underdog, going up against the odds of horrible circumstances and succeeding. If only all of life’s trial could be summed up in an hour and fifty-seven minutes…

Unfortunately, after my last viewing; I feel the film, while…

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One of the first mistakes I made as a writer was being selfish with my content. I would only write about what interested me, everyone else be damned. And then I’d turn around and expect everyone to read what I was writing. As a result, my articles became few and far between as I struggled with my own sense of perfectionism and inadequacy. While it’s true that an author is the first reader and critic of his/her own work, this can become a barrier to writing. I’ve written and scrapped dozens upon dozens of pieces that I wasn’t happy with…

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I’ve always valued pain and suffering. As a child, I spent most of my early years in and out of hospitals. Hell, one visit was damn near fatal. I’ve also had my fair share of cuck-ups in life. So, I know a little about pain, about suffering. They’re great teachers, great reminders of the consequences of mistakes. It strange to me then, to see those lessons so undervalued, so underrepresented as the causes for success. It pains me to see the self-help mantras pervasively infiltrating every facet of modern life in an attempt to aid convenience. …

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I feel that anyone with a large platform that garners a substantial amount of engagement should have a professional hater. Hear me out. We often have feelings, right? Sometimes these feelings really rile us up. Burn our goats, those darn feelings do. And sometimes we just want let someone, anyone, know how we feel. If you’re the average person, this someone could be a friend, a parent, a mentor, or your meager social media following. …

Gaël Samuel

I am a freelance writer living in San Fransico. I love to read and share my thoughts with the world even though deep down it terrifies me.

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