Wednesday, November 19, 2014

CLEANING UP THE RESIDUAL


EXECUTIVE DECISION


I am going to be a friend to Nebraska.  Because this is an executive decision, I am making this choice with the full and complete understanding of the possible positive circumstances, in spite of evidence to the contrary.  I just do believe that we can be good friends. But, because of our recent past, it may be that she feels it is too late for us. I can understand why she may feel that way and that is something I can live with.

One of the things that I had always hoped that we’d get to do was go to Chicago around this time of year.  This was the season when we first actually met and though we had unique takeaways from that meet, it was one that left a piece of glam from a possible future between us.  This is a future that still potentially awaits us, and was one of the factors that was taken into account.  Again, if she does not respond, I can dig it.  Having dealt with something that was nagging at me, I return my attentions to the tasks currently at hand.

FICTIONAL FITNESS

That is the working name of a prospective You Tube show that my co-worker and I are mulling.  He watches a few shows regularly and feels that we (‘he can’ to perfectly honest about the venture… I never had given the notion such a show a passing thought) can make a short show about mostly extemporaneous stuff, with a little fitness advice thrown in.  It would be sort of kind of cool if we were to make some sort of connection and find our niche, but if we don’t, then being able to say we put in the attempt will be good enough.

On Monday night, a former world champion powerlifter who works out in our gym occasionally was attempting a deadlift of impressive weight.  At least it was impressive to us at the non-competitive level.  When my prospective co-host saw the weight that our guest had place on the bar, he came and got me from where I was working in the spin class room to watch the weight lifted.  What he did not, nor the guest either, anticipate, was my walking up to the weight and warming up to lift it.

The rational, logical part of my mind knew that the weight was about to go NO-where.  There were so many plates on the bar that I did not try to calculate what our guest was going to lift.  I just warmed up and grabbed the bar… and … I … barely… moved… it!  Come to find out, the big guy was working with 590 lbs., and my max deadlift to that point had been 425 lbs., so I was in VERY deep water.  Later, after he got his work in, we talked of my “mission to fail” and what it REALLY was about.  That is what I am going to share with you here.



First, I don’t believe any of what I am about to write about should be of any surprise to regular readers.  I know that it did not surprise my co-workers or the cat who lifted the weight.  I mean, competitive is who I am, and seeing the challenge of leaping from “cat who works cleaning gym equipment” to “cat who works cleaning gym equipment AND does world-class deadlift” was too fat of a carrot to dangle before me.  When we spoke of my attempt, I told him about the experience, how I FELT the bar move and that there was a “movement” when I tugged at the weight.  He shared of how he would show up, similar to what I did, coming in cold and jumping into lifting without a proper warm-up or working to the weight level.  Sure, it was wrong, but sometimes if you want something you just have to jump in with both feet.

Second, there are times where the attempt is of greater consequence of result.  For instance, I felt that I have grown stronger from the fail that I would have been had I not walked up and given it a go.  The thing about challenges, about the “things that don’t kill you”, is that they DO make you stronger.  I can scarcely think of a system in nature that does not grow from its struggle, from a cellular level, to that of a complex organism.  Anywho, not wanting to leave on a missed shot, I did grip up a double at my old max, 405 lbs.  I had thought that I would get a triple, but not having been really ready for a lift, and the lack of using weight gloves, I did not get that third rep.  Eh, I will take what I got and finish my shift!



Overall, I am a nice guy.  Yet I have always wanted to maintain and further cultivate a part of me that I call “the inner a--hole”.  It isn’t like a person you call and think of as an a--hole, a jerk.  That person has a character defect that makes you question their worth as a human being.  No, the inner a--hole is what makes a super nice cat like Ned Flanders leave his hapless neighbor Homer Simpson to find his own way, not because Flanders isn’t a nice guy, but because there comes a point where the character of his own self-interest has to act on his behalf, and the role of agency  falls squarely on Homer. Whether Flanders cares or not doesn’t matter… he makes the decision that best supports himself.

Sometimes, I wonder about people who make poor decision based on bad information.  Sticking with Ned and Homer, usually because it is a situation involving Homer, Ned can make causal assumptions on whether or not he should play a role in whatever maneuver or circumstance his neighbor finds himself enmeshed in.  And here is where my personal coda and axioms begin grinding against one another.  

In real life, many of us lack the clarity of purpose, the sanctimony of spirit, of a Ned Flanders.  We are flawed in spirit, jaded and unconsciously bitter in varying degrees, by our encounters to where we are in the now.  This is something that I think should be considered in as one battles to rise above their present state.  Finding clarity of purpose can only truly be done, I believe, with clarity of consciousness.

...AND NOW BACK TO ME

When I left “the provincial town I once jogged ‘round”, having the ability to blow the smoke and fog that clouded my mind and vision, I begin to make progress.  Reaching wherever it is that I think I am at now, has been a long series of making the best decisions, choices that enabled me to still take sight of my goals and DREAM, as well as continue on the path that leads to my goals and dreams.

As with my relationship with Princess and the ill-fated deadlift attempt, the relationship with Nebraska will be one where “we know the environment’.  No illusions or expectations beyond the next day, the next visit, the next meet.  So this will not be a relationship made of pure invention… it will be calculated and I intend to be conscious throughout the entire process.  I won’t wish for more than what I am offered and I won’t be concerned about my level of participation.  I know me… and I know my intention.  If that isn’t enough, then, “Oh well…”

Sunday, November 16, 2014

...YET ANOTHER TACTICAL KIND OF ENTRY


THE THINGS THAT I THINK THAT I AM THINKING ABOUT

Sometimes when I would riff on a topic that shakes the conversation from its doldrums and forces people to say, “What the F*CK is he talking about?”, I would tell the that whatever had fallen from my lips was birthed from the “things that I think that I am thinking about.”  I don’t think that I should have to share the kinds of obtuse, disintegrated, musings I would share.  I mean, they weren’t any further out of left field than the things I come up with now.  But since my diagnosis, the phrase has taken on a more literal meaning.

See, once I confirmed what I thought was possibly happening to me, one of the first things that I did was gather the wisdom of the thinkers who appealed to me and set to work on a guiding belief system and put them together in one place.  Part of my goal is to really put together a philosophical treatise, whether it is for publishing or simply for my own purposes, and that has currently evolved to where I can claim to be living a “codified life”.  And THAT is one of the major stumbling blocks between Nebraska and myself.  I am agitated to the point where I don’t know if I should blog about it, talk with her about my feelings, or simply handle my emotions internally.  Let’s see what we have come up with, shall we?
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After our troubling first year, I will have to admit that I have NOW categorized Nebraska and our relationship.  Now, none of the other personal and self-created memes and types that I would blog about when I was stuck dealing with the tropes I made light of, I find that I have very little use for them.  For instance, though I have dealt with single Mother’s, and have come across women who would have reason to be embittered towards men, they fit the stereotype the way that most stereotypes fit… loosely and sloppily, inexact, like anything that is “one sized fits all”.  Which is why when I am approached defensively by someone, I would say to them, “If the shoe fits, put it on.”  I know that is how I feel whenever I find myself being caught in a net broadly cast. If I feel caught by the net and struggle, then it is likely to be due to my being like dolphin caught in a tuna net… if I gotta go, I gotta go.  The only real issue that I have with being lumped into any caricature is that usually the person making the comparison themselves are unaware of the stereotype hypothesis, so why worry about their opinion?

My concerns about our “me and you” is exclusive to how we get along with one another.  If I were to  make a broad claim, the reason would be similar to the  reasons “meant to be” is REALLY my ex-wife in that have a problem with HER, singular.  It is super extremely difficult for me to ask of myself to muster up the effort to win over someone when the initial effort failed.  I found that as much as I may have wanted a second chance with Tee Jay, I could only express myself so much.  Even though I take the blame for that fail, still, I don’t know what I have to offer someone in the NOW when my best effort did not win the day the first and best opportunity.  And with my ex-wife, if she could not deal with me when I am at my best, what is there to think that now I have gotten better, she would be any more able to deal with me?

So there is that.  I don’t believe that what is of vital importance to me fits well within her goals and aims.  That brings us to the awkwardness of being “friends”.

One of the clear demonstrations of my character since I have been here alone here alone in Omaha is that I have a low need for typical social interaction.  I go where I go, and I do what I want to do… and the things that I feel in my soul can be considered "free of intellectual impurities”.  And here is where the pressures from pressing two different systems come into play and friction increases as they rub against one another.

I have made my slow and steady progress to my “whatever”, progress achieved on so many levels that my feelings are extremely complicated regarding her.  As for agreeing as far as I have to this restart of our friendship, I am still constantly twisting with conflict the purpose of my getting my life together and her role in that process.  After all, I have “Rules”, and I don’t merely want to enact in my life with the hopes of things, but rules that have been confirmed.  To have Anton Chigurh emerging from the corners of your mind, constantly asking of you, with his flat, tone-free, emotionless monotone, “If the rule you used brought you to this, of what use was the rule?”, I wonder if she can really understand the stakes that are invovled for me?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

YOU AND ME


MEET TACTICAL - WELL THAT WAS SURPRISINGLY PAINLESS

Since the meet was the source of such increased agitation that I felt that in the spirit of FAIR PLAY that I should mention that we had a nice time together.  We met at the Old Chicago Tavern in the Old Market after she got off work.  It was the kind of meet and conversation that you would expect from two good friends.  We did not discuss that “me and you”, and that may have been the key to us getting on as well as we did.


In our heated email conversations, I felt that we were only confirming the negative aspects about our personalities.  Finally sitting down face-to-face, we gave ourselves something that our electronic conversations never had… a context for our relationship  We did not really talk about “us” and so no real understanding of the different expectations that we were looking forward to once I arrived in Omaha, or any comprehension of what being close to one another was discussed.

“We cool”.  I had begun to include those words in my response to HER response to MY response via email.  That was where I was at Tuesday evening.  While I will temper my enthusiasm to what this signals for what is ahead for us, it definitely seems to be a nice place to begin from.

YOU AND ME


I like music.  There have been innumerable articles written about its amazing powers in aiding Alzheimer patients among other groups of people dealing with issues surrounding their emotional and intellectual capacities.  Though my early love for musical sounds did not extend to my being able to create any music, I have always been aware of how keenly music attaches itself to memories and moments in my life, which is why, especially early in my blog, so many of my entries had music as a key element of my writing.  I want to believe that there has been a decrease in my entries with a soundtrack attached, and that has been a good thing for me.


By not having to use music to my writing, least not the way that I did earlier in my blogging, is a good sign for me and something that I have been working toward.  Music, particularly for those  who fall under the class of those who have cognitive impairments, simply are brought back to life, brought to classic “moments of clarity”, where what they are dealing with in the moment falls away and they are transported back to when they were so much more than what they are in the here and now.  But what music has meant to me kind of what it has meant to a Stephen King than it does to an older senior… but I digress, and that is what music does most of all for me.  It brings me back to where I am going and that is what it is doing here.

Not being sure of the grammar rules that surrounds the differences between Marcellus Wallace’s use of “me and you” and that of The Walkmen’s “You and Me”.  For me, the difference in connotation is very strong and is indicative of the detente between Nebraska and myself.  We don’t have the “me and you” that involves a loss of privileged status that Butch has lost, but maybe we are moving towards the kind of “you and me” that I believe is evoked in Bill Watterson’s final “Calvin and Hobbes” where Calvin, almost as if to dare his old buddy, takes to his sled and is joined by his friend as he tells him, “...let’s go exploring.”  Maybe Nebraska and I will make like the comic’s main character and we’ll “go exploring” together.

Maybe.
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It was called “The Record Collector” (the used music shop in Ferndale) when I was finally able to find the CD “Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Are Gone”.  I had read several super glowing reviews of 2002’s “IT” band.  Taking it back to my place in Green Acres, I was still surprised to find that I still had the“new CD” giddiness with me, which could have been owed to the small box of goodies I had on me from Astoria in Royal Oak!  But it also could have been to the good fortune of having gotten paid, picked up my weekend junk food package, AND found this CD with its super-evocative title.

The CD itself was a little underwhelming.  I mean, it is a good album and all, but I was hoping for a “London Calling” or “Psalm 69” kind of feel as I listening to it, but the Walkmen simply aren’t that kind of band.  Smart without being pretentious, self-aware without being self-absorbed, they make the kind of good music that is likely to be on the soundtrack of many an indie-hipster internal rom-com.  So I had to bear down and give it a go.           

It wasn’t until I gave the CD a go a few times that I before I appreciated it in its entirety.  But the third song, the one from which the album derived its title, just blew me away.  It sounded like nothing else on the album and it sounded just like I NEEDED IT TO SOUND LIKE.  Up until that point of my life, that is how I felt about the people who were around me and took up room in my life.   By then, you see, the pattern was well entrenched that I was not going to have the kind of people around me that is going to to keep up with me, at least none with the intention to maintain a deep and meaningful relationship.  And I that did not, does not, and it will not bother me.  That said, my mentioning things like “literally putting my life on the line”, or my having stopped boxing when I was young enough to have maybe be something in the sport… those aren’t things said to set the expectations of what I want from a person.  I have mentioned things like that to inform people of what they will get from ME, not what I expect to get from them.  After all, it would not be unconditional good will if I was looking for something back now?

So the song comes on… softly and quietly on synth melodies, the drums in the back being slowly brought up to set the tempo and then Hamilton’s voice floats over it all.  “I made the best of it… I made the best of it… I made the best of it…”.  That, that was ME.  Because no matter what my final outcome is, no one will ever be able to convince me that I didn’t make the best of what I had.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A LONG DISCUSSION ON "THIS AND THAT" DESPITE THE BROAD GENETIC DISPARITIES THAT DOES NOT SUGGEST FAMILIAL LINKS


TACTICAL
  
My personal focus for the close of the year will be one where I improve my overall and specific focus and to zero in on what I want and what I expect not only of the next year, but of the next 5 years as well.  “Tired” is a word that for me is indicative of a level of frustration that has exhausted all reasonable expectations of patience.  It is a word that I don’t use OR interpret lightly.  It is word that is a precursor to direct actions that are aimed at making a change that impacts on  either a way of thinking or vision.  Having the definition and understanding of “tired” that I do, when I hear it in everyday conversation, I always wonder if a person is “tired” of something or  someone, why do they allow the situation or person hang about their lives like barnacles?  I mean, it isn’t magic that I have not been involved with people who calls to mind those whose  purpose were to serve as a warning to me, making me aware of the characters and traits of  those that I don’t care want in my life.

I have thought about more extensively of the traps that await me as I strive to make the life that I imagine for myself.  Right now, today, the very moments that I use to create this entry, are representative of my having reached a base level of comfort, free from comprehensive want.  I am financially independent, with enough saved up to where I can lose both my job and disability  payment and pay for the next three months of my expenses.  I am now looking forward to  reaching where I have six months of emergency savings, which is my next primary financial goal.
This winter term will indeed take a great deal of effort. I will be in school long enough to be considered a full-time student, and I am looking forward to the challenge of being a disabled cat who works part-time and is a college student full-time.  While I am most concerned with the  being on the path intended for me, I do want to test myself from time to time, to see how capable I really am of being a fully-formed independent adult.  Not being overly concerned with the speed  of my matriculation does not mean that I willing to settle for poking around when I can do more.
The notion of what are the most important components of good relationships have came up in  my daily musings recently. While I could not have articulated it as well as I can now, even as a younger man I thought that time was the only real thing that we have to give to one another, the  only real thing in this possible hologram of an existence that can be counted as exchange  currency between humans beings.


Tuesday evening, Nebraska and I will have the umpteenth talk about “us”.  Sometimes I think that it should be obvious that the “you and me” discussion between us resembles the you and me discussion that Butch had with Marcellus Wallace in “Pulp Fiction” (because there was the present, “me and you” between them and they also had “THAT me and you” between them).  There isn’t a whole lot between  us, which is a disappointment.  But because of my nature, I have to give an opportunity when it is asked of me… since I want for opportunity to come my way in life.  By my hopes and philosophy, it would be selfish and slightly hypocritical of me to do otherwise.  And that includes using the only real thing that we as humans have, time, to meet her request.

Our differences is at its most fundamental level.  How much deeper can we go, I have no idea.  I believe because SHE believes that we can reach an understanding.  We will see.  Lately, I feel as though I have been overusing the whole “introvert” thing.  Some of that is due to the whole social status thing… it is cool for one to say that they are an introvert, just as it has become cool to self-identify as a “nerd”.  Since I am both, I know that being an introvert or treated as a nerd it is NOT cool, particularly the latter, and neither are anything that one would be proud to identify with when I was growing up.  But whether it is someone who hears me make the claim in my journal, or my co-workers whom I told almost on day one that I will not be exchange phone numbers or accept friend request on Facebook, if the past four years have been a personality revelation to Nebraska, then she really has not been paying any attention to me AT ALL.  I have always told her that despite my enthusiasm for our possible loveship, that I would be just fine as her friend, and likely that I would be better off on my own.  While there is some hint of the resentment from fails when I have given as much as I could (looking at YOU Mookie Dee and Princess..!) at the time of the relationship, the majority of the confidence I have in myself is that by myself, I do well.  My “ETP score” (endurance, tenacity, and perseverance) has always been very high, and note, those traits do not need a group to be displayed to be meaningful.  My “I can do it”, confidence stems from the observed belief that those three things are among the “must have” traits for achievement of any kind.

"IF YOU WANT TO BE THE HERO, YOU HAVE GOT TO TAKE THE HERO SHOTS.”   -Reggie Miller, former NBA and college basketball star

If there are ever any questions about your or another person’s character, any wonderings about the relationships in your life, the very first place the search for answers should begin is with oneself.  I am a firm believer in the change that one wants in life begins within, not from outside. And it is nearly unavoidable that the people you allow in your life, and those you attract are as  well, are but a reflection of traits that are within your own person, in part or in its entirety.   

So I have established that I don’t like people.  Now that is a bit harsh, but when you are really an introverted person, being to myself while working out, shopping for cookie butter, or posing for stock photos of urban bike riders, I NEVER think about asking someone to join me in those or ANY activity.  There was an HuffPo article about introverts that does a good job of providing a general overview with dealing with a person like myself.  I haven’t done anything like that since I was an adolescent and fortunate enough to have a Mom who would take me out to the comic book convention in Novi… wanna come with?  I mean, what don’t you understand about being my being a PERSON WHO PREFERS HIS OWN COMPANY..?

In her TED Talk, Susan Cain describes a scene from her childhood experience at a girls summer camp where she was singled out and compelled to "fit in".  Just like Susan Cain’s younger self, I have many instances where I was chided for not “joining in”.  But there has never been a point in my conscious existence where I felt I was anything other than free.                                          


There are so many tropes that I think dominate and really skew objectivity that are a factor in my purposed withdrawal from social engagements.  From something as benign as watching a television show (I give side-eye to people who talk about how unusual the characters are on “Modern Family” and don’t get me started about “Blackish”), movie or any other media, to addressing “why I don’t like chicken?” questions, many of us are locked into a thinking that limits the possibilities of the people we encounter. And from here I am going to segue from my introversion and why there is a different understanding how it determines my role and needs in interpersonal relationships, to why I feel that Nebraska and I have struggled to be a part of one another’s lives.

RULE 15

I haven’t looked it up but I do remember journaling about what I call “The Dominant Consideration” with regards to whom I choose to be intimate with.  While not as poetic or having the potential to be as warm as fuzzy as my demeanor may otherwise indicate, when I have a problem with a person close to me, this inevitably what is on my mind.  Being confident as I am in reaching the broader objectives of my life, when I begin to narrow my focus and make decisions on more subjective areas of my life, such as interpersonal relationships, the places that I would like to see and go, et. cetera., I use this rule to measure the reason that I am utilizing my energy and resources to have this person as a part of my life.

The “must haves” as they apply to my confidence, are in question when the buffer zone between “me and you” seems wide and reinforced.  I don’t have confidence in our connection and I simply cannot rely upon you as a friend.  Most of the time I have felt this way about a person, it has been for concrete reasons, and one haunting transgression of this “rule” is the legendary “Tommy Hearns diss” made by my ex-wife.  If any of the other signs that she was not the one for me were indeterminate, this incident was one of which that there could have been no misinterpretation of the worthiness of our prospective relationship.  And for some insane reason I blew past that sign, and I have rued my ineffective reasoning ever since.

It was also the last time that that I feel I made THAT mistake again.  Did not prevent me from then-future screw ups, but repairs were well underway in my philosophy.  And the important aspect of drawing the line at the people who I invite into my life, at least to me, is that lesson well-learned.  

By having codified my thinking to the extent that I have, I cannot understate the importance of having my “Rules To Live By” are to me.  Before my injury, I thought I was a good guy with a  giant red “BUT” hovering over him.  Clearing how I think has helped me cut through the fog that I believe was keeping me from reaching the next philosophical step in my development. Now, if someone has a “but” with regards to me, it is more about THEM and their life experience than it is an indictment about me.

So go on… think “all black men are--” fill in the blank.  I am simply being… did not do anything to you and I have no influence on any of your previous experience prior to our lives crossing.  And maybe this is something that maybe Nebraska, Princess, sister-girl dropping of her kids over her Mom’s house before she pulls a double at McDonald’s, or Sally on the late shift at the Super Wal-Mart, waiting and hoping that her boyfriend shows up on time to pick her up (for a change), can’t grasp.  *shrugs shoulders* That is their set of singular experiences and my theory puts it back on them to find a way around to clarity… or be willing to follow one who is on the path...

Thursday, November 6, 2014

TOTAL TACTICAL


TACTICAL

Relatively unchanged.  Have to REALLY commit to running.  I have been waking up and taking my meds @ 0530hrs to acclimate myself to being up early in the morning for running before school.  Another reason that I want to run in the dark morning hours is the discipline and sense of accomplishment that it has always seemed to provide me with.

The last few comments that Thomas have left on my blog really raised my self-esteem.  I mentioned back in the day that as a boxer, one of the best compliments that I received as a sparring partner was that I was the “tryingnest n*gga” that the Champ had ever seen.  I like to think that I am all about filling the unforgiving minute with whatever energies I have.  The trait of perseverance is one that I hope has passed on through me to my daughters as well.

In the past I have characterized my “stick-to-it-tiveness as due to my simply being too stupid to know when I should stop trying!  It was easier to make light of my nature than to talk of the high concepts that I find in not giving into difficulties.  Right now I have the phrase, “getting used to being uncomfortable” on repeat as I get ready to mount this next assault on my academic future.  Hopefully I won’t stop until I get my Master’s in Nutrition!!

There has been an odd sort of development between me and this cat who I work with… I have sort of become a mentor to him.  This week I have been stressing to him that he still has time orient and live a more fulfilling life.  I don’t know how I stumbled into this role but I am guessing that it is more about what he needs in his life and I have the information that he requires to make to take his next steps in reaching his “whatever”.


Reflecting on how this relationship has begun to develop, it really shows why I place an emphasis on the fit of different experiences and goals before I get closer to people.  After all, it was only after my summer visit to Detroit where I really felt the love that my Father has for me… I mean, I could actually “see and feel” the love he has for me in his eyes and in his embrace.  Coming so near to my having seen KT graduate, I could make the parental understanding connection in a tangible way.  The feeling I got from him was the same feeling that I had when my daughter walked across the stage and grew from child to a young woman.  And for that, as well as my knowledge of "...how way leads on to way”, is what makes the gift of what Ken and Beth gave to me mean so, so much to me.


Getting back to me and my co-worker, I can sense the questioning, the uncertainty, the feelings that I, too, once had when I was around his age.  Would I have liked to have had the kind of conversations that we occasionally have with someone, a man who could identify with my situations and struggles, and for this person to be able to share his experience with me??  I know what hindsight says, and because I do it creates in me an obligation to confer my experiences and opinions as objective as I can.  But I never presume that our conversations will be about his inner thoughts because that would, at least to me, be an assumption of things that implies other purposes.  And for me to do that would rob me of my objectivity and my usefulness.

I am sharing this tidbit with you also to show how most of my kvetching about relationships are born.  For me, there are no real overlying concerns about the spinnings between me and the fairer sex.  It is almost exclusively when my space has been compromised and I have to cope with people who, for lack of my originality, are lost in the fog of living so to speak, and their proximity creates an even thicker fog for me to move through.  These people, unseeing as they are because of the fog, and struggling to rise above their baser instincts and reactions, but are either unable or unwilling to think beyond their own immediate sense of need.  I mean, it has been years since I have had to talk about relationships and how they reflect issues that I am currently dealing with.  That is what being in control of my environment has done for me.  It has given me the ability to set my own ethos and let that determine the priorities in my life.  It has given me clarity and allowed me to develop a sense of purpose that I did not have when I was stuck “in the provincial town that I once jogged ‘round”.  And that was, too, of course, YEARS ago.

One of the proofs that I think that I have confirmed is that I do have a “why” to my life.  I have also been able to reaffirm that my personal philosophy is sound and productive.  If there was one question to my life, I believe it would be that of whether it is the goal or the road to the goal that matters most.  Myself, I have always been a “the road IS the goal” kind of guy.   So it stands to follow, that no matter how long I travel, no matter what obstacles must be overcome, and despite the testing that must take place along my journey,  as long as I am utterly convinced that I am on my road, that I am also on the way to reaching my goal.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

LONG IS THE ROAD...


TACTICAL

In case anyone has been wondering…

I will be a full-time student working part-time!  I am only taking two classes but the time I will be putting into the courses allows me to be considered a full-time student… and who would have thought I would ever be a full-time student of ANYTHING back in 2007?

“Probie” had her “scholarship offer” revoked near the end of September.  I hadn’t mentioned it before because it wasn’t worth mentioning.  After a year of little growth, our relationship became incompatible with our individual goals.  Rather than have our inevitable break down draw out, I told her that I could not continue to see her.  The relationship had become stagnant, and I felt that I needed the space to pursue my personal goals.

One of the things that my meeting with the academic advisor did was enlighten me on how I have fallen off the pace that I had hope to set.  Between struggles with math classes and time out for unforeseen circumstance, I am not where I had hoped to be at this time.  But you know what..?  I am cool with it.  None of the delays were either avoidable on my part, nor have they been from a lack of effort either and, perhaps, this is simply the pace that I am able to matriculate through college.  Anywho, though I will be making every attempt to get to where I am going, I am happy with how far I have gotten through school, through life, thus far.

WHAT IS MORE IMPORTANT ..?

I have been telling myself that I have to be harder on myself (...because your enemy will be) and not let myself slip into self-satisfaction.  The temptation to relax and accept the current appearance of stability is there… but there is so much more to accomplish and greater glories to be attained.  The road always looks long when you are standing in the same place, so it is best to keep it moving.


A piece of internet wisdom that I found relevant to my general life strategy, “Breaking through levels of disbelief-  Learning something could be done, not how to do it.  How to make tangible what no one else is doing” (or even it they are, still doing your thing anyway!!).  When I saw that sentence, especially the “breaking through levels of disbelief”, it really struck a familiar chord in me, one that I would apply to past relationships, and, or so I believe, is relevant to present and future relationships as well.

The mind will achieve what it can perceive… and I know that  my ex-wife, Mookie Dee, and Princess, simply couldn’t see it with me.  That is why I was not affected as much by the latter two fails as much as one would have supposed.  But it also plays a role in my primary personality traits with the same, if not greater, effect.

I have been diagnosed as disabled for nearly ten years now and I still have the first memories of what I thought after I was told.  At various times throughout my life previous to the finding of my injury, I had begun to track the patterns of my life and how I could alter them.  This included an inventory of who I was and my own awareness of self and the world around me in a macro and micro sense of perception.  So I took the scribblings that I had been making (including my “Rules To Live By”) and I begin to collate them into “listicles” and kept them together for reference purposes.

Having begun this “preparation” of sorts  long before my diagnosis, I actually felt that I was prepared to live through this trauma (what, you DON’T think being told that your brain is permanently damaged isn’t traumatic..?).  I felt fortunate that I had stumbled across the information that I did, as well as when, that motivated me to think about the consequences of my boxing career.  Enough talk of the relative long ago… because I am currently --

IN THE HERE AND NOW

Anything is possible if you believe it is-- and you are willing to sacrifice and work as hard as you have to for it.  When I decided to add the “Tactical” section to my journal entries, it was thinking ahead to the time where I would find myself less concerned with life’s complexities and the common mendacities of being when I thoroughly believe that the answers to my life, individual, lie on a higher plane of thought and perception.

When I was a child and would read about how the ancient scholars spent their lives in a seeming endless search of knowledge and spiritual growth, there was the flash that this could be the path for me.  Then came Howie from the television show, “The Fall Guy” and his piecemeal college career.  When you take in how early these impressions were made and if you KNOW me, then you look differently at my wanderings, the ups and the downs of my life.  I know that I feel like I have lived the life that I have earned, period.  It is this conceit that drives my being and makes me believe in myself the way that I do.  When I say my regrets are few, I mean EXACTLY that.  I don’t hang words on my life carelessly, so I don’t have many things to look back on and say, “Mark, I don’t think you should have done that there… don’t you wonder what things would have been like had you not..?”  If this is the story that I have told myself over and over, that I am not a victim of circumstance but one of my own lapses in judgement, why would you think that after reaching this point again in my life, I would be willing to question the process that has led me to where I am now?  The rules that have brought me here have affirmed their use.

Monday, October 20, 2014

...IS AN ANCIENT OCEAN WIDE


Intimacy is not who you let touch you. Intimacy is who you text at 3am about your dreams and fears. Intimacy is giving someone your attention, when ten other people are asking for it. Intimacy is the person always in the back of your mind, no matter how distracted you are.


TACTICAL

Tuesday I will (finally!) be meeting with a counselor about my classes and what it will take to get out of 2-year college.  I have also switched up my training so that days that I work I will be doing cardio and my off days will be my resistance training days.  My goal is to be around 215-220 lbs. by Christmas.

One the workouts that I plan on doing is a kettlebell workout that combines both strength and cardio.  In fact, several of the kettlebell workouts involve multiple movements in one exercise, so I guess that also work as cardio training as well.  For instance, the squat-snatch-press movement is a single exercise that gives you everything you are looking for in one routine.  Bundling the exercise up with several other movements and you can slash the time working out and still tone and shape your whole body.  

Finally, I purchased a new-to-me phone… it looks really neat and I think that somehow it is representative of my progress in Omaha.  As it relates to me, it is a sign that not only am I doing well, but I am also gaining with regard to my personal achievements.  Speaking of which… I need to stop dragging with my personal trainer’s certification..!

INTIMACY

For quite awhile I have used the image of the person who you call at 3 a.m. with a dead body in your trunk  with the expectation for help as the measure of how deep a friendship runs.  I mean, the “shovel conundrum” is a rather extreme example but the test of friendship, of love, has always been one of extreme.  But I think that this statement does a better job of it than wanting help in one of the most desperate of times.  These moments are elements of universal feelings that connect people to each other.

I once held that it takes the “thousandth, thousandth” of myself to participate in a fling, a pseudo-relationship that is born of physical attraction, self-esteem and Daddy issues.  But to truly participate and be present in a relationship takes much more energy and is far more demanding.  The person that you trust with your deepest fears and grandest hopes, the person that you let hold you when you are hurt, who you choose to celebrate your victories, big and small, that person is part of your intimate, spiritual selves.  And having lived outside of and without this person for most of my life, it has become something that I have taken note of and regarded with an analytical eye.  I have wondered what makes a person happy in a relationship and what are the components of this mythical good relationship.  Now I don’t have a firm and concrete definition of what makes a good relationship, nor do I have any examples to share.  It is something that “you know it when you see it” kind of thing as it simultaneously contains traits that are easily identifiable and are at once familiar to us all.  But, at least it seems to me, the problem with this knowledge being available and easily accessible to us.  What makes this a problem is that we have become conditioned to take so much for granted, and especially the easy things.

A kind word.  Thoughtful gestures and considerate acts.  Genuine interest in another person.  These and a host of other positive energy-generating emotions and acts, we take them for granted because they don’t cost anything.  The qualities that make up our character seem to be the things that people pay the least attention to when it comes to relationships, with others and with ourselves.
When you are “bad” with these emotions, I believe you tend to have problems with intimacy, especially the kind of intimacy that I reference when I use the word in my blog, the kind of intimacy that is responsible for the emotions that are evoked by the quote that inspired this post.

The security that it takes to feel comfortable with a person is made up of all of the previously mentioned acts.  Again, not to engender any pity for myself (because this is an objective observation and not a subjective whine), the reason that I note this is to say why “I don’t like people”.

My introversion allows me to act according to my own set of mores and not those shaped by social groups or subgroups.  By not being constrained to the prejudices of external influences, the abstractions that I make are mine alone.  If someone happens to agree with me, it is by chance as much as common interests, because of “the how” that we have arrived at our conclusions.

The difference in the things that we give and the things we receive..” can be measured by our expectations.  And if you expect to receive financial rewards, public praise, great love, then you must be prepared to give a great effort.  If not, well, according to Blake, “You’re gonna be shinin’ my shoes!”, which in this case is a metaphor for wanting something great for minimal investment.

Looking back over the past decade-and-a-half (?!?!) of my intimate personal relationships, the thread that runs through all of the fail is the investiture of the emotions that make a relationship work.  Love depends not on what you are willing to get, but instead is determined on what you are willing to give, which is everything.  And I have no problem with saying that the women I have been involved with all had this one trait in common: they were not willing to give of themselves what was required to be IN love.