Thursday, February 19, 2015

WHO DO YOU TRUST WITH YOUR EMOTIONS..?

TACTICAL

I am starting to feel better than I have been in weeks.  On Tuesday, I had a "Mary Richards" moment as I waited with the regulars for the #13 bus to school.  It had begun to flurry, the snowflakes were crisp as they floated in the cool but not uncomfortable breeze. I looked around and I felt in that moment (which was not unlike many that I have had before since I have been here), that finally, I was exactly where I was supposed to be.  The feeling brought to mind Nebraska, and how unsuccessful I was at convincing her that I did really want to be here, that my affections for the Big Red, Marlon Perkins, and Sam Lacey and Nate Archibald were, along with unfrosted strawberry pop-tarts, enough of a connection for me to want to move to Omaha.  And that would be a disappointment that had been relived, in a fashion, Monday at lunch, when my erstwhile date to the Holiday Party thrown by the company that the fitness center is a part of, invited me to a deli near the Arksarben Village, just south and west of the UN-O campus.  While the lunch date itself was fine, the problem that I had with it was that it was the first time I had seen her SINCE said holiday party, six weeks ago.

What had brought about the sequence of text messages (???) that arranged our lunch together was a question by a female co-worker, wondering if we were an item. Said co-worker also attended the party, which spurred her question, and I indicated to her that we weren't, and that I had not heard from her since the night of said party.  I would go home that night thinking that maybe she was a story waiting for Chris Hanson or whoever to exploit for ratings, and that I may have been among the last people to have seen her.  So I sent her a message and she replied, straight away.  She then tried to explain what had happened, which I told her was unnecessary, and my reply was that I only wanted to make sure that nothing untoward had occurred in her life.  After that brief exchange, she asked for the lunch date, and that was that.

So on Monday, she stopped by and picked me up and we had a pretty decent lunch.  Conversation was not stilted, but neither was it exceptional, or so it seemed to me.  After we finished, she dropped me off at work and I've not heard from her since.  And unlike the last such period of radio silence, I will not be interrupting this lack of communication with any worries about anyone's well-being.  I mean, if she can go nearly two full months without sending me a lowly text message, then I don't need to do anything further in confirming her interest (or lack thereof) in me.


WHO DO YOU TRUST WITH YOUR EMOTIONS?

When I was languishing back somewhere in Mid-Michigan, most of my critique of women in relationships had this question (and the title of this section) at its core.  Who DO you trust with your emotions?  I mean, I don't think that anything that you can know about a person necessarily has to have a point of reference from where you can draw a definitive conclusion from, and I really think knowing someone as much as you can is all you can really ask for.  That said, how you INTERPRET the information is definitively all on you.  Now I am not going to go into the variables that make up another person's life experience for them.  But I take the available data points and combine them to gain a perspective with which I can make an informed decision on whether or not I am going to be able to "be" in someone else's life.  It doesn't matter what role I am seeking, as much as it depends on the availability of the roles in the person of interest life.  That is when I begin to figure out how well we match, in character, goals, and various expectations in a relationship, as well as the ways and means of reaching stated goals, especially if there is a high level of intimacy between me and said person.

For women, the question of trust in relationships has long been particularly vexing.  Trust is something that for many women is at once a strength and a weakness, validating hopes and certifying fears.  The nature of human societies has been set in favor of men since the dawn of time, and the movements that has spawned the increase in equity in all areas of society for women is still in its nascent stage of development.  There are times where I am unsure if the collective of women even understand this change, whether it is in picking up the check for dinner or whether or not a family moves for her prospects and his just comes along for the ride.  Because equality is just that... things are EQUAL.  There is no more of the elevation of a woman's responsibilities than that of a man's in relationships and vice a versa.  If anything, I think that the ability to work and function in a unified way is likely to be the highest expression of love, because it shows the true value of one person to another.  At any rate, my personality and approach is well suited for the evolving rigors of relationship seeking, primarily because of how much I value the ideals that make for the criteria I use to judge who it is I trust with my emotions.

To begin, my current state is ALWAYS a more preferred option than the choice to be in a floundering relationship, held together with delusion and willful ignorance.  It has never occurred to me to want for a relationship as a way of seeking some kind of balance or filling a need in my life.  As I have grown older, I am at the point where I KNOW THAT I would rather be alone than to either hold on to, or to chase, a relationship for the sake of being in something.  Second, getting to a point where I trust a person to allow them to be a part of my life, the basic pre-qualifying requirements are non-negotiable.  That is another thing that has gone from "theory to practice" because of my real-life experience, as reflected by my "Rules To Live By" and the thought to codify my life.  It is when I look back and knowingly acted contrary to what I knew was better for the hopes of something that may as well been steeped in mysticism and unfounded prophecy.

Finally, I loathe contradictions in my personal life to the point where I simply hate unexplained contradictions of any kind.  After reading this far, the preceding sentence should come as no surprise.  Nearly all of my justification and comfort at being solitary revolves around the clarity that I have in my life.  Now, when I talk about MY daughters, it feels unobstructed and whole.  The short-sighted and dim view of our situation would grimace and be ready to voice trite and pathetic opinions that are made popular by the different social groups and associations that I have been knowing to make light of.  Untroubled by such commentary, I get to voice my concerns, my hopes for, and my plans surrounding my relationship with them, because they are a top priority and motivator in my life.

Many of the traits that I value in a person's character just also happen to coincide with some of the things that make for good character traits in a relationship.  And were you to invert the list above, then you would be able to figure out why you may not have the consideration in my thoughts that you may have previously presumed.  Together, they form the core rationale of why I don't miss the people who once was a part of my life (well, except for maybe Tee Jay..!)

COUNSELS AND MAXIMS

 "Most men are so thoroughly subjective that nothing really interests them but themselves." -Arthur Schopenhauer

One of the classic reasons for the reasoning behind single and childless cats not wanting a woman with a child or several, is, for me at least, caught up in the words of Schopenhauer.  Often, both sides are only thinking about themselves, first, foremost, and finally.  Internal conflict within, among the fears of some men  that unrelated children will be competition for a limited pool of affection and disobedient; that the other parent or family members would needlessly complicate the main relationship.  Then the fears of many women, that they are somehow being selfish/neglectful by pursuing love, or that they can't stand the critics in their lives, be it family, their friends or co-parent.  And whether I hit or miss with some of my estimations, the biggest of the concerns are those that are hits... because those are where the complications will arise.  Of course, there is a great deal of irony in critiquing men for being unfair or judging women because of a couple of bad encounters or typing.  Because, you see, women are just as, if not more so, subjective in judging men.  At any rate, I am not trying to be objective here, nor am I making a comment about ANYONE IN PARTICULAR.  I am simply using my journal to JOURNAL.

The quote about "the trifles of life..." and it is, for my money anyway, the truest indicator of a person's character.  Usually, the people that I "care less than" for, like my feelings towards my ex-wife or the feelings that I held a pre- or post- "ex-list" Mookie Dee, have violated this critical element in how I regard people.


"...And while I am on the subject, there is another fact that deserves mention.  It is this: A man shows his character just in the way in which he deals with trifles -- for then he is off his guard.  This will often afford a good opportunity of observing the boundless egoism of a man's nature, and his total lack of consideration for others; and if these defects show themselves in small things or merely in his general demeanor, you will find that they also underlie his action in matters of importance, although he may disguise the fact.  This is an opportunity which should not be missed.  If in the affairs of the every day-- the trifles of life... --a man is inconsiderate and seeks only what is advantageous or convenient to himself, to the prejudice of others' rights: if he appropriates to himself that which belongs to all alike, you may be sure there is no justice in his heart, and that he would be a scoundrel on a wholesale scale, only that law and compulsion bind his hands."  - Arthur Schopenhauer

After learning this lesson the hard way several times in my life (after having KNOWLEDGE of these words..!  Incroyable.!!), when I decided to actually enact and live by my "Rules To Live By", this became the blade with which I cut people out of my life.  The only exceptions that I have allowed for, Tee Jay and the SFC, were not made solely by my desire to be in a relationship, nor was it completely base on my emotions for them.  What had made them exceptions was that they KNEW how I measured against my own beliefs, and that is what allowed for their exception.

It was, and always has been, at least for me, anyway, the small things about a relationship that spoke the most to me.  I never should have married my ex-wife, not just because I was too immature, or that she was too selfish, but because of a small thing-- her insult of Thomas "The Hit Man" Hearns, in front of my family and in my HOME no less, which defined her as a person.  The additional issues that followed in our marriage were totally unnecessary-- her actions were presaged by her comment-- and that has been the signal that a person has to be eliminated from my life.  See, I am unable to trust in a person who can say, unapologetically no less, that they have me place on a tier below "their loved ones", when we are supposedly developing a loveship.  Or, that they have tiers of friends and I am on a lower tier than those that they would make plans with and yet, I am the one who gets called when they go awry.

No.  That is not me.  And in getting back to the male reluctance to date women with children on the behalf of young men who may think that way... it isn't their selfishness alone that may cause them to think this way.  What I have not heard in this discussion is the aspect that a man must commit to said woman in a way that does not guarantee that she is going to, or even considers herself capable of, making the same respective level of commitment to him.  If he is truly committed, he must, similar to what I had exhibited to both Mookie Dee and Princess, that the priorities in there lives, their children, were priorities in my life.  And this was done by me in ways both large and small.

I can't help but think of my Mother advising me that, "When someone acts like they don't like you, believe them the first time."  With the verification of this theorem as part of my life and exampled by my failed marriage, it is something that the more I have chosen to act upon, the happier I have become and the better off my own welfare has been.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

General update

This sensation... I don't want to call it a feeling because what is happening to me is not something that is in my soul as much as it is a thing that is draped around me.  All of the things that bring light to my heart is muted, the echoes of happiness tinny in my mind.  I went to my physician and she is going to change either the dosage or the medication that I take for my anxieties.  And not to try to deny or put in a different light my current emotional and mental state, but anxieties is simply the most accurate description of what I am going through.  Depression... what do I have to be depressed about?

Lexxie and I text frequently enough... and we are both looking forward to seeing each other this summer.  Were I fallen into a depression, then I would be thinking other thoughts than the ones I have surrounding seeing my youngest daughter this summer.  In fact, if the cards I play in the future fall my way, I can look forward to me and the Carolina Girls rolling out somewhere together in the future... would THAT not be something!

I had thought that I would do something like go see "50 Shades of Grey" for a laugh... but remembering the drivel that was the book and the reviews of the movie, on second thought..!  The movie that I do wish I had seen, "Interstellar", might still be playing somewhere and that is something I can think about for Sunday.  Failing that, finding "Interstellar at a theater, one of my co-workers has it bootleg and I may borrow his copy and watch the film.

After getting poked at by Princess on Facebook not to long ago, I wonder what her and any of the women I have encountered in Omaha have planned for Valentine's Day?  Yes, two of the three women that I have had dealings with (I mean, to say they we had "relations" would be a stretch, IMO) in addition to Princess have sent messages.  And I still am not counting text messages without any intention behind it as "speaking".  That is simply taking the coward's way out of, sending something as impersonal as a text message, with no real substance behind it.  And the reason that I even mention my failed romantic liaisons is to simply test whether or not I am feeling depressed about some stray emotional tumbleweed rolling through my being.

Next week I will schedule an appointment with my advisor to see which classes I will be taking next term.  With at least one class in the summer a real possibility, I think that if I manage to just get two classes in this spring, that I will be doing good enough.  Right now, though, making sure that I get up on time and get out into the world is taking up a lot of my energy and that is what I am doing... getting up and getting after it!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

DISAFFECTED EMOTIONS



AND IT'S MINTY FRESH!(LINUX MINT, THAT IS..!)

Working on my donated computer is a real pleasure.  It is an older, heavier model and I am sure that it lacks some of the bells and  whistles of newer models.  BUT, I am not about what it doesn't have as I am about what it does have.  First, it has plenty of faith... faith that it would fill a need (it has) and faith that I would do the things necessary to maintain the computer (I have).  As far as the things that my laptop can't do... well, I am not sure that I am missing any of those things anyway.  Second, it has deep and fulfilling emotional meaning.  I mean, someone cared enough about me to send me their old computer!  How cool is that?  I am sure that I get a burst of oxycontin (on top of my prescribed dosage) when I think about it, and I hope that the person who sent me their spare computer reads this, that way they can get a hit of natural oxycontin as well!!

My struggles are real... sometimes they are in a warped, Matrix-like reality way, they are, nonetheless real for me.  It seems at times as if I am an observer to my own universe and that the things happening are not occurring to "me" per se, but that I feel these things by proxy, as though I am looking at myself as I make my way through this unnatural phenomenon that resembles a natural occurrence, or that these are the things that are SUPPOSED to be happening with me.

Because I am self-critical and aware of many of my flaws and idiosyncrasies, I am not surprised by many of the artifices of character that I find in myself.  But the lack of self-awareness and hubris of others always leaves me astonished whenever I encounter someone who thinks clearly that the snapshot of the universe that they have is similar, if not the same, as that of others who may share major commonalities and traits.  So along with my depression, ranting and raving about the unconnected to me trifles of life, just seems to be a colossal waste of time.

It has always been hard for me to discern when I began to break away from the group-think that still has a hold on many people.  But I do know I paid for my ticket on this exploration of life that I have been on during the "era of discontent" that made up my adolescence.  Since then, I stopped worrying where I fit in populist social culture and simply began to make my way through life.

...AND THAT IS HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND BEGAN TO LOVE THE BOMB (and began to make value-based judgments!!)

I have held the words of F. Scott Fitzgerald in my mind and heart for decades.  "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function."  From the deep spiritual questions religious belief to the seemingly innocuous act of which mall to go and be a consumer, the amount of different decisions and the anticipated repercussions that I have made in my life have all been cut across that particular phrase.  It also serves as a measure of my estimation of a person's intellectual capacity, whether or not they can either agree or disagree with me without resorting to hollow arguments based on unsubstantiated inanities.  After growing up part of a community that still shunned intellectual pursuits and clung tightly to its own sense of "guns and religion", this was an integral part of my objective opinion about those who were to be included in my life.

There are things that when said, mean far more than the words that are being said.  "Deathless words and phrases" is one of the functions that help me to cull people in my life.  See, I have always held that the things we feel can be measured and quantified... and because numbers are representative of an ideal, a substantive concept that given a form, can reveal something to be acted upon.  Numbers cuts through indecision and it illuminates the darkness of uncertainty.  And as numbers measure and give form to social construct, taking and applying this thinking to words and phrases, were, to me, the next logical step.

Listening to people talking about how their significant other did something "again", how they have "one more time..." to do whatever before a person did something about their perceived offense, I promised myself that I would not let someone have me repeating statements of emotional surrender such as those.  The difference between speculation and certainty is confirmation, and at the confirmation of unwanted behaviors, the question then, is what are you going to do about it?

I have always known what I was going to "do about it".

The only reason that my ex-wife and later Mookie Dee were able to get away with what they did is that I was bound and compelled by something inside of myself to remain in those relationships.  But then highly unspoken of "walk of shame" that is done when you are the butt of jokes and pranks, when you leave the group of kids picking sides to play games, were always, ALWAYS highly preferable to me than the potential harm and risk of remaining among those who did not want me around.  Say what you will about me now, but I will not expect any thoughtfulness or kindness from those who have demonstrated that they have none of those traits to share with me.

...EVEN IF YOU THINK THAT IT'S IMAGINED, IT IS UNFORTUNATELY REAL FOR ME

...and why I am the way that I am.

Near the time I began to journal seriously and with intent, one of the maxims I would repeat is that "what I think is what I know, and what I know is what I think."  This evolved from my then-broad base of knowledge and being able to come up with obscure facts or opinions because of my exposure to more than the latest pop song or television show.  I would take those "deathless words', like when my ex-wife told some crap Tommy Hearns story during our all-too brief courtship, and form an "emotional memory", something that I know happened not because of the detailed memory, but because of how those words made me feel.  And if you made me feel poorly from what you said... I would not forget it.

One of the reasons that Princess is in a type of "categorical limbo" in my mind is that she never crossed any of those "lines" with her words or actions in our relationship.  That said, the default state of something that I am uncertain about in my personal life is inaction, the status quo.  By that, I mean, if we haven't talked for years and you suddenly come calling, yeah, I am going to wonder what is going on, but not to the point where I will feel driven to do anything about it.  If I did, then all of my actions in the relationship proper would be devalued, don't you think?

People like my ex-wife, like Mookie Dee, I just don't care about them.  And when I say that, I mean in the same frame of negation that takes place every day in the world that most of us give not a passing thought about. When was the last time you thought about some poor Chechen or Syrian??  I am jus' sayin', because I am the same... but I also apply this to people I know.  The reason "why" is obvious to me, but not so to people who want to get back "in" to whatever.  That they don't is not surprising... just because that you have "flashed" to the shooter doesn't mean that he is going to change his shot.  It is going to take another step... and this is where the rubber meet the road.

If they were willing to take another step, to show by their actions what you meant to them, then why would they not do this when the relationship was still a living, breathing thing,  viable and able to grow?  They are not going to because they have already shown their character and rather than go through the "this and that" of trying to get back with people, I would rather move on and see if I am worth what I believe I am to someone else...

Monday, January 26, 2015

BE EXTRAODINARY

TACTICAL

I don’t know if I have been through a tougher patch since the confirmation of my disabling condition. I use the official finding of the Social Security Administration as a marker because I likely would have felt differently about the onset of, and the subsequent episodes that led to my suspicions of what was happening to me.

My current depression has been one of hopeful peaks and near-untenable valleys.  I can have lows that make me a totally different person, as Nebraska unfortunately discovered.  She is going through a MAJOR change in her life, so please, I am asking that thoughts and prayers (yes, I SAID prayers..!) be sent her way.  She happened to catch me at the low of a swell, and I was very unfriendly when she (and myself as well) prolly needed a friend.  My highs, the best of my moments since Thanksgiving often reach the mean of whatever “my happiness” is, and no more.  Consequently, I am constantly anxious, further fueling the emotions that add weight to the oppressive cloud of darkening emotions around me.

School is school… I am going to have to retake my Spanish class, which I am not that pressed about. For Sociology, we watched a documentary, “Streetwise”, which while well-done, was quite sad.  It was about teenagers who were living on the street, using drugs, hooking, and their broken families.  Ugh.  I had to reflect on my daughter’s and how fortunate I am to have them and for the fortitude of their Mother’s.  They have done a wonderful job, no matter what anyone says, and in spite of the jam that I left them in.  Speaking of my girls...

I made a phone call to Lexxie’s Grandmother recently one afternoon and of course, I got the voice mail.  But as I dutifully left my message, reminding the machine that I was Lexxie’s father, the phone was picked up by Lexxie herself!!  So I do feel somewhat validated in thinking that her Grandmother has deliberately worked to harm our relationship.  Que sera… now, I have to work to get her a round-trip ticket this for a visit this August!!   

STARS… IN MY POCKET LIKE GRAINS OF SAND

When I saw the story by Samuel Delany in the anthology “Breaking Ice”, I fell in love with the story, which was about a misfit in a stratified society (which is a brief and unjust synopsis), and thought of it as a metaphor for my own experience.  I took the title and with a slight adjustment, adopted the title as device for my own personal look on life (and for the name of this journal).  Just like unpacking from a day at the beach, the possibilities in my life are much like grains of sand, found everywhere and in the most unexpected places.  I was in a small town in North Carolina at the time I discovered the story, and by any measure was on the path that I had, at the time, most desired.  Now to be sure there was “this and that” to contend with, and in dealing with such, the result was that my road has continued to wind its way along and why I am here, in Omaha.

Before I began to fade out of 2014 into the fugue state that brought me into 2015, I had thought of what my year was going to be like.  Coming off such a good stretch that included meeting new friends, cementing relationships and feeling as though I also was very dutiful in the process, I have (not the tense) high hopes for this year.  When I started to drag at the end of November, I first attributed it to minor fatigue, because I had pretty much lived last year as if I had no encumberances of any kind at all.  In the middle of December the feeling began to gather form and shape, then the week of Christmas, it fully metastasized into a full-blown depression.  I had started to hurt, to feel a constant dull ache throughout my body.

When you feel depressed, your immune system often becomes compromised.  Even with the medications and supplements that I take regularly, I felt like I was feeling sick in spite of my efforts at running and working out.  And again referencing Anthony Griffith’s Moth performance, trying to be African-American and have psychological issues only conflates the problems.  There is so little understanding between African-Americans and the seriousness of treatment and letting it go without action, mainly because it isn’t anything that can be seen or fully comprehended.  Telling a AA that you are depressed is tantamount to offering yourself up for derision and ridicule.  And with my having an “invisible disability”, I feel it only becomes more complicated, because noticing subtleties are one of the AA’s communities great weaknesses, IMO.

SOMETIMES, CHOOSING TO GO ON IS THE MOST EXTRAORDINARY THING THAT ONE CAN DO

I am STILL going to have a big year.  I have no doubt that I will reach my level and go from there.

One of the thoughts that has been with me is one about my relationships here in Omaha is that I have enough information to make a more informed statement about what I have observed.  First, the brothers here are just pathetic.  And trust me, I am not talking only of the “inmates in the asylum”.  Over the spectrum of socio-economic spectrum, the cats here are just  … sorry. I think that this contributes to what I have experienced with women here locally.  Out of responding to their environment, I think that the women here suffer from a form of relationship PTSD.  I think that the women here are delusional.  They see things that don’t exist, and make the innocuous seem formidable.  

In trying to be understanding, I still don’t really feel moved to be empathetic towards women here.  There is no reasoning with anyone who can only see through the clouded lenses that the local women seem to be looking through here in Omaha.  My reasoning is that I am certainly a different kind of cat… and as such, should be something favored, right?  Mind you, I understand that I have my share of shortcomings and personality quirks.  But I feel that if you are a woman and find yourself constantly enmeshed in relationships that feel like that they mirror each other, then there you go!  But as I mentioned, I think that there is a delusion borne of an environmental-induced hysteria.  But I digress… and I have ran on long enough.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

PANIC ON THE STREETS OF YOUR TOWN

I have not felt well since just before the end of November… that was when I first felt the lows of my current state.  Granted, there have been some positive, good moments… the company holiday party was one, where I got the chance to escort a date to socialize among me and my co-workers.  Of course the HUGE bowl win by Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl was but another moment that has helped to keep me buoyed amongst the waves.  

Additionally, I have not shirked from socializing.  I already know how helpful that can be in times such as this, and I have more than obliged myself to being social.  I went with a co-worker, her boyfriend and his brother, three other women who were their friends and guests’ at the Fitness Center, to watch State play Iowa not too long ago.  My co-worker has a first cousin who is a key player and starter for the Hawkeyes, and that was a fun evening.  The point is, that along with my fitness posts on Facebook, I am not simply sitting around and allowing myself to be overcome with depression.  One of the reasons that I have thought to objectify the darkness that clouds me as “the little black dog”, is that 1) That always sounded cool, and it was borrowed from Winston Churchill, one of my idols, and 2)  The purpose of objectifying my feelings allowed me to feel more in control of things… I recognized very early in my teen years what depression was and was not, and despite the sad truth of what Anthony Griffith mentioned in his spoken word performance about the African-American community and psychology, that I had never really felt the weight of depression.  That is, until my diagnosis, and it was then that the romance of being in a depression fell apart for me and the psychology, the clinical expression of it became a part of my life.

Still, I treat it as an intruder, not out of denial, but out of a evidentiary study of my life and my character.  I am doing well in nearly every area of my life and being.  Admittedly, not as well as perhaps I should be doing, but then, who really IS doing as well as they should be doing.  For me, it is a “drag coefficient” that is a part of the engineering and design of my life… and it is something that I will work through.

I feel that how I handle my episodes relates to my general handling of my condition… I know what is “me” and because I do, I remain confident that I am still “mine”.  This is an aspect of me that is often overlooked because of how I present myself to people and my lack of overt cynicism.  I have always believed that happiness is a conscious choice to be made, and not a random point to be achieved.  And this is a decision that I made a long time ago, with nothing but the intuition of a child.  It is a decision that has kept me from despair my entire life, including now.

Also, I have been “doing me”, not only have I been working out with a competitive preparedness, but doing the kinds of things that I had always had done alone, but had high hopes of sharing with someone that was special to me and that I, likewise, was special to them.  Recently, I have seen two movies, one at the Film Streams Theatre near downtown and one on Netflix that I had missed during its first run.  Both were commentaries about youth culture (among other things), the first, “A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night”, which was a twist on the “Twilight” film series, with a little Iranian twist to it.  The latter film, “We Are The Best”, was another teen movie with two girls, punk outcasts, finding their place with music.

So you see I have decided to do more of the “me” things that I had intended on doing once I got to Omaha. While you had to read subtitles (the former in Farsi and the latter in Swedish), I thought vaguely about with whom I know in Omaha that would have enjoyed either a night out or in watching either film with me. It was among the briefest flicker of thoughts, and I resumed digesting the wonderful times that I had spending making myself happy.

WE GOTTA FIGURE OUT WHAT OUR FORMULA IS

Along with the Anthony Griffith video of his Moth Stage talk, I have watching one of my playlists on You Tube titled “My Psychological Motivations” pretty regularly these past few weeks as well.  So that meant a lot of “Blake”, “Coach Gaines” and of course, “Mike Singletary” for me to ruminate upon.

In choosing to reboot my life alone and on my own, there were things that I had to discover about not only my abilities, but the things that are challenging for me.  Belied by the kind of symmetry in my life that makes even the most jaded wonder if things aren’t “planned” on another level, I have a doctrine that not only fits my personal character, but is founded on the wisdom of the ages and is universal.  And it is precisely because of this emotional/cognitive foundation that I have that has me confident that I will manage this, and any future, difficult times in my life.

What I would like to speak to is my belief that there not only “is” no one for me to call upon for help of any kind, but the reality of it.  While I would not doubt my ability to get someone to give me a ride to the grocer’s in the Motor, South Bend, Chicago, or daresay, New Jersey, I have concrete reasons to dismiss the probability of doing the same here in Omaha.  Understand:  I do realize that the reasons I have to support my belief is subjective, but it is NOT speculative.  My “Eclectic Method”, my personal theories to my life, are not drawn upon guesswork.  The scientific method is the backbone of my philosophical design, and that is why at this point in my life I may seem to be so resolute and obstinate to letting people into my life without cause.

The formula that I have been working for nearly a decade now, has brought me to the point where I can say that I have made appreciable gains in nearly every level of my life, at pretty much every measurable metric, in every area of life that counts.  My bouts with depression and the pressing desire for the comfort of being in the company of my siblings in our childhood (I have identified the sought for desire to alleviate my anxieties, but not its source) beds and skip-rope competitions, and the like, cannot and will never be entrusted in the hands of those who have demonstrated that they cannot be anyone that has demonstrated their unreliability.  After all, why would I have left “the provincial town that I once jogged ‘round” if I was going to make such a choice?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

"Adventure is worthwhile in itself." -Amelia Earhart


When I first began blogging, I was in complete disarray.  I was in a loveless relationship with a woman who was about to become downsized without many options, who also was sleeping around, and subsequent to her sleeping around she offered little in the way of hope of repairing our relationship.  Adding to these troubles was the onset of my disability, which did not, I am sure, make my then-partner feel any kind of endearing emotions toward me.  One of the first things that I did after I made the decision to retake the life that I could still live, was reach out to Nebraska.

My thinking went as follows:  What I am dealing with was not unexpected.  I spent the majority of my life boxing, and at the wind-down of my career, I was taking more than I was giving.  Still, I figured that I had quit while I was ahead and that I would still be relatively fine.  I had saved some of my pennies, and others were put in very modest investments.  Then, my Mother passed, a financial crisis evaporated my safety net, and then my darling brother passed.  My dear brother’s death shook me from the torpor I was in, invigorating me to take control of the insignificance that is my life.

The architect of my life has never been conventional.  I say this not because I am a person who takes pride in being different, but because of the comments of others when I talk about the things that spin constantly in my thoughts, and those thoughts are (or should I say “were”... it has been a long time since I have suffered a conversation with a Philistine) often run in contrast to those who are content with living their lives inside of borders.  So after a hiatus, I emailed my first real “e-friend” and told her that I was going to start a new chapter in my life, and that I was going to move to Omaha.  I also told her that I had begun blogging as a way of dealing with the increased stress and pressures of my life, and it was her who encouraged me to keep on blogging when AOL discontinued its blogging site.  So along with several of my then-new found blogging friends, I migrated to this spot and have been chronicling the “days of my nights, which are the nights of my days” here.

For those who are not aware of what it is I am “dealing with” (in case there are those who are reading this and are wondering), because I spent at least 25 of my first 47 years competing as an amateur and professional boxer, as a result of that participation I have been diagnosed with Chronic Traumatic Brain Injury (CTBE, or TBI).  The description that follows is as comprehensive as it is going to get - Clinical symptoms of CTE are only beginning to be understood. They are thought to include changes in mood (i.e. depression, suicidality, apathy, anxiety), cognition (i.e. memory loss, executive dysfunction), behavior (short fuse, aggression), and in some cases motor disturbance (i.e. difficulty with balance and gait). While the pathology of CTE has been broken up into stages, the clinical symptoms and clinical progression of CTE are not yet fully understood.  I don’t make a big fuss of what I put up with or “give” my condition any more credit than it already has already.  But because the big ones, the mood issues and memory loss, along with executive function disruption, show themselves in areas that universal to nearly everyone, what good would PMS’ing about it do?  So I don’t complain too much about the hand that I hold… I still have some pretty good cards and the game isn’t over.

Being born in this particular space/time stream has meant (at least to me)  that I do not have reason to really complain about any break that I did not get, or any form of lack in my life.  If anything, I feel that if I owe the world anything, I owe it my best face forward and all the happiness that it has filled me with.  This sentiment is similar in ethos to one of Vince Lombardi’s “... all the time things…” quote of character that I hold myself to.  It has been something that I believed all my life, certainly since my Mother tried to get me to eat liver by telling me about all the starvation and general deprivation as a child.  I mention that to say that taking ownership of all the contents of my life and the agency that entails has been with me for so much of my life, that I feel that I have always been appreciative of being able to live this life.  That is why my depression HAS to be symptomatic of my diagnosis.  Of all the moments for such darkness to creep into my soul, that it comes to me now, without cause, and it seems trite… depression at Christmas.  I mean, how unorignial can THAT be?.
I don’t know when this current cloud began to descend upon me.  It would be easy to say that it began early this month, but that is taking the easy way out.  I had a good Thanksgiving, eating ice cream and cookies, with getting the opportunity to watch the Lions win their annual Thanksgiving Day football game in peace, beating the Chicago Bears.  I spent a day with my co-worker setting up holiday decorations (getting a little extra money and companionship… a “double, double”!), hung about with Nebraska, and I had a real date. But all the while, I could feel a darkness steadily creeping with me as I made my way around.
Though things have improved between us, Nebraska and I are not there yet.  So I have not thought to call her for anything. Part of my reasoning for this harks back to the early days of my journal and my ramblings about what I expect of myself, and from, relationships.  I am simply not sure that I can put myself in a position where the uncertainty can possibly increase to heretofore unseen levels, when presently, I am confident that I will manage to hold my own.

Prior to this episode, I had personified my depression as “the little black dog”, a scrawny, terrier-mix, a stray, one that had none of the breed’s typical feistiness and verve.  The little dog used to make its way over to wherever I was and sit silently about two steps away, looking up at me as it laid its head over its front paws, snout jutting over long and dark claws.  Right now, I feel as though I was walking down the street and the late fall overcast metamorphosed into a bruise-tinged pallor of smoke and purple.  Then, as I continued on my way, the cloud descended, and begin to blot and shadow things around me.  That is where I am now.  

Of course, I have told myself that I “gotta get back into this thing”.  Having already bombed one test and missed two day, I have certainly left myself little margin for error.  I don’t want to have to drop any class and do the same thing again.  My ambition is to do more than drag my way through junior college.  So, in the New Year, I will be battling my way back through school, being determined and disciplined, and willing to let the chips fall where they may.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

ANOTHER TACTICAL POST

TACTICAL

First day back in school… and it felt long!  But I am going to make it.  I think that both instructors will be interesting enough and I do plan on making a big investment in getting top scores from both courses.  Spanish should be fun, what with the large Latino population in Omaha.  And Sociology is a “Mark Course”, particularly with an instructor who seems to have more to offer in the way of his personal experiences.

Haven’t found a way to post my videos of me lifting weights yet… I can’t seem get them from my Google Drive to share them anywhere else.  The idea isn’t to show the videos to impress anyone, as it is to show who I am.  The only discrepancy that someone would have in getting to know me is that they have an expectation of who they THINK I am and not who I have SAID I am.  Whenever I think about the difference, the Oingo Boingo song “Who Do You Want To Be?” comes to mind, particularly the lyrics, “I’ve been reborn so many times, that I can’t remember them all”.  Still, I feel that I am true to the person that I think that I am… and if you thought differently, I can’t help you.

I am glad that I moved here.  This has been a great experience and I get to anticipate so many different things that once seemed to be fading in the distance.  I enjoy the feelings of pleasure I get from sending spending money to KT, and soon enough, to Lexxie.  I would add Skye to the list, if only she’d send me her address… BUT just because I mentioned it, do NOT think that I am mourning the lack of contact with her.  If her and her Mother can live with it, you MUST know that I can as well.  

There have been adjustments that I have made since my diagnosis of Traumatic Brain Injury.  I take my time and I go at my own pace.  Those who have invested in me and are genuine in their interests, I tend to give a wider berth to when making critical comments aimed at achieving my best interests. And when I have had questions or need advice, I also make every reasonable effort at incorporating the requested information into my thinking appropriately.  But to be sure, I am making the life that I still believed was possible for me when I left Mookie Dee happen and more than that, I am very happy.

There have not been too many down moments and as for those that do occur, they hardly are compromising to my overarching ideals.  I am closing in on a good year, one that I hope to improve upon.  After all, I don’t have too much of anything on my mind other than the thoughts that pull me forward. Whenever I do lift my glance and look to the future, I keep finding my gaze cast across the horizon, all points available to me and within my range.  And that is a feeling that I truly like.

My internal compass and the qualities that I possess have been proven true.  The grander questions that anyone would have had for me have been rendered irrelevant by my continued progress.  Right now, I cannot see myself failing in my pursuit of all that lay before me, awaiting my arrival and discovery of the one true way.

As to my broader thoughts on life in general… I don’t know if I have any of them worth sharing.  Not that I don’t have the thoughts… for instance, what will happen if the G.O.P takes the White House in 2016?  What will happen if there is another sudden economic meltdown, or a weather-related incident (to say nothing of finding myself embroiled in an incident on the street).

I have to amend my philosophical direction… it is overdue and I have not settled down to think about it exclusively.  Perhaps I have been too busy living it, and the time hasn’t been there to sit down and dwell upon it.  Still, I will make the time.  It is ALWAYS the time to do what you need to do for yourself.