Tuesday, April 15, 2014

THE AUDACITY OF HUGE


TACTICAL



For my Speech class, I talked about an exercise called the Burpee, or for the old schoolers who are reading, the squat thrust.   I was a little nervous and missed some of the lesser points I wanted to make during my speech.  Even with my missteps, I still received an A on my presentation.  In short, mission accomplished!


Next week, I plan on getting a head start on my college algebra class.  While I am equally wary of the science courses that await me, I know for certain that the algebra class is going to be a challenge.  I will likely reconnoiter biology classrooms getting advance intel on what is expected of the students by the school’s biology instructors, but my main focus during the summer will be on preparation for Algebra.


Changing the tires on London… so I will be a little more nimble and quicker on the road.  Speaking of roads… the city have added bike lanes to the street that the apartment building I live on is located, which is super cool.  I only hope that some strain of malfeasance strikes the socio-political climate here in Omaha and the state.  Omaha really is a nice place and the leaders and the people have created an environment here that is conducive to businesses and families alike.

HABITS


I was cleaning the indoor track located above the Cardio Area where I work and listening to my Spotify through my phone when this song played through my headphones:



The lyrics came to me as the “Blastmaster” spoke and reflexively I began to recite them, with a little bit of the bounce and effected an exaggerated pose of a past generation’s urban hoodlum.  In losing a bit of myself in the music, the lyrics that I were speaking, I glanced down to see if anyone was paying attention to me when I noticed an older, balding white cat looking at me!  I had to wonder what he was thinking and it occurred to me if this moment occurred 30 years earlier and outside on a downtown street, how things would have went between us… cat in his mid-to late 30’s and one of those “black guys” with $100 sneakers and rapping about racial injustice!  Music has always allowed me to project thoughts and feelings
without actually having to experience any specific event.  I don’t actually have to “live through this” to know the anguish that Courtney Love was singing about in the song, “Doll Parts”.  Instead of feeling like her or anyone else that I projected myself onto, I let the music experience whatever it was I was feeling and I continued on with my life.  An example of what I am talking about would be what occurred when I heard the Tove Lo song “Habits”.

So instead missing Princess in an active way with thoughts that lead me towards futile efforts at reconciliation, I just let Tove Lo’s emotional crisis do it for me.  This way I don’t find myself committing those regrettable errors that are the stuff of songs like “Habits”!  

 

Filling those quiet moments where reflection drifts into contemplation has never been that big of an issue for me.  I mean, the evidence of the most intense episode of missing someone has been covered at length, and that is what I feel for Tee Jay.  On Facebook after I gave the presentation I spoke of earlier, I had a keen sense of appreciation for as far as I have came and for those who helped in their support of my efforts.  Without Tee Jay, it is quite possible that I would NOT be in school, that I would not be further as far as I am in my process, and I had to let her know… and let everyone in my circle know who was responsible for my current state.

VALIDATION

Looking back, my display of gratefulness for Tee Jay also identified why she holds the place she does in my life.  It is not a matter of my internal flaws and personality triggers that led to me to holding her so close to my heart, but a real and genuine love that remains to this very day for each other, a love that is defined by ACTIONS.

I think that many who find themselves on the wanting side of the love equation, are there because they are simply WANTING.  They have no intention of doing anything that is obvious, a declaration of their feelings.  I could go on, talking about how many other priorities they have in their life, or how important “this or that” (and you KNOW how I feel about “this and that..!) is, and taking a cautious approach of their “inner Schopenhauer” is trying to gain a more favorable position in the relationship for them, simply for their own sense of well-being and gratification.  These are simply a few of the major reasons I think that people are less than satisfied with their relationships, and the latter one, is no small explanation for why Nebraska and I aren’t even e-friends, let alone companions.  This distinction is why I have stopped holding her in the esteem that I once had for her, and since the degradation of our relationship has continued to erode, that I find myself expressing the thoughts that accompany my reflection upon what we had between us.

Speaking simply for myself, I have to wonder what would have taken for me to have garnered better consideration from her.  Same goes for Princess, but I understood what possibly could have caused her to go in another direction.  But, really, I don’t care… for what could have been either of their rationale but I hope that the distinction between the two of them is clear.  In one coupling, the rule of “knowing the environment” was in effect, as there were no misunderstandings as to under what governed my feelings.  It the other, lack of communication and bold but incorrect presumptions were made.  Maybe one day I will get into more detail, and in the near future, because I need to clear space on my “hard drive” as I have other more promising programs to install.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

2000 WORDS



TACTICAL

Have I mentioned that Omaha still has that “new car smell”?  By that I mean the memories that I have of traveling about town can still feel foreign and familiar in the very same moment.  Each time that I have one of those flashes (which are similar, I think, to NPR “driveway moments”) I am flooded by waves of emotions, and as each wave crashes into me, it leaves nothing but positive feelings in its wake.

The people, the social environment, where I live, it all feels like I am putting on new clothes for my first day of elementary school!  I don’t have any “typing” for any of the people I contact with in town, nor am I bogged down with any observations about the spinnings of others around me.  As I touched on in my previous entry, I have no real compulsion to think about my more recent past, relationship-wise, and I would like to think that for most readers, this information should not be surprising .


I like to believe that I don’t flail about vainly in my life. There is no despairing, no sense of hopelessness, no fear of the “things we know that we don’t know” (Errol Morris, an excellent documentary filmmaker, has made a documentary on Don Rumsfeld… GO SEE IT..!) .  I live with intention and I strive to fulfill whatever my life’s potential contains.

I ran into an Aisha Tyler quote about failure and what exactly failure is.  “Success,” she begins, “is not the absence of failure.  Success is persistence through failure.”  This concept will be revisited again in this entry and prolly throughout this journal, as it is sound advice that I will seek to apply as I work towards my hopes.

ON WRITING


Recently I read an article about writing that discussed some of the tips that Stephen King gives in his book, “On Writing”, that I am going to incorporate into my rasion d’etre.  I still recall my boyhood when I would create “novellas” out of the green lined paper that teachers gave to me and my fellow elementary school students to complete our grammar and arithmetic lessons on.  This decision comes as I have questioned how much more time I am going to be able to devote to journaling.

My ethic doesn’t allow for much crap complaining and whining. For some, journaling is about just that, moaning and groaning about their unfortunate state of being.  I decided to stop my own personal free-fall, and journal of their lives and that is why I began giving out “Tactical”, because the essential matters in my life do not send me into a pity spiral should something in my day-to-day go awry.  I don’t see why it should, after all, my life is one that has been touched by something special, something that I have always appreciated about my being.  This is a quality that I look for in others, particularly those who bid to be close to me, either in a friendship or a loveship, and that brings me again to mentioning both Nebraska and Princess.

I don’t speak AT ALL to either of them but if I am going to write, then I think I am covered by poetic license in what I scribble about in relating my “non-fictional accounts of a fictional story”.  After all, I do know that those who aspire to write are often encourage to “write what they know”, and judging from some of the poorly written books that go on to best seller status ( am I looking at the Twilight/Shades of Grey authors!), that seems to be good advice.  So my life events are definitely going to be the source of my inspiration and if Nebraska sees something that she feels challenged by and it is not alluded to in my Tactical section, then it should be taken with a full measure of salt.

Being told that I could be a writer isn’t anything that I had not heard before.  But it is with irony that one of the most prominent supporters of my writing potential, other than “ma mere”, was prolly my ex-wife*.  She was always egging me to write but she could not see that the riotous household that we held court in throughout our relationship was in no way conducive to any artistic expression, much less a literary one.  And now we begin to dig around the clues that lead to our marital fail.

Because of my nature, it will likely be “your” fault that things work out.  This is not because of any delusions on my end - there are reasons that I don’t have much to say about either Nixxie or Pecan Sandie (though for the latter, she does provide material to build a respectable case against!), but again, because of my approach to coupling, the options are either for the object of my affection to either respond affirmatively or decline.  There is no in-between and with both of my Omaha interests, that was pretty much the case.  The hesitancy that both Nebraska and Princess showed during our involvement put me at avoidable risk.  

HARD CONVERSATIONS


Ash Beckham’s TED Talk touches the heart of what may have seemed to be my anger (or to some, an innate dislike) with women.  It isn’t that I am a closet misogynist but that I believe people who are living in their closets are not willing to be real with not only others but to themselves.  With women, I think that many of their relationships fail because of circular thinking and grandiose expectations… champagne dreams and champale money.  It is stunning that even as some would nod their head in agreement, that for many women, being able to change the level of their thinking and rise above the same tired patterns in their relationships is simply beyond their ability.  

One of the reason’s that I have told myself that I was not going to be a writer has nothing to do to a lack of ability.  One of the earliest reasons that I have for not dedicating myself to writing before was the effect that it had on me.  Again, because I could only “write what I knew”, what I thought that I knew at that time was a type of oppression from the mainstream.  I never remember being a part of what everyone else was, even among my fellow comic book mavens and dungeon adventurers.  I was athletic, very interested in sports, and socially adept enough to diffuse most of the harrowing situations that occurred when the spotlight of the “It crowd” fell upon the nerdling clatch I huddled with.  This would lead to another one of my great moments of revelation, being introduced to Richard Wright and reading, “The Outsider”.  If Dante’s “The Divine Comedy” was the overarching premonition of my life, then Wright’s “The Outsider” represents the character of my life, personified by anguished Cross Damon.

THE ASTERISK *

A woman with whom I am an acquaintance with recently was aghast at my referencing my ex-wife as my “starter wife”.  She refused to let me go on with my rambling until I chose a different title for my marital partner, pooh-pooing my sense of humour.  She said that it was a little disrespectful of the vows I took, and I felt that deep in my soul.  I thought that I was really moving beyond my uproarious marriage by making light of it, and it was not until I got called out on it that I looked at my actions from a different perspective.



Introversion, like much of “nerd culture”, seems to suffer from a loss of poignancy from overuse.  From being a description for people who were more circumspect in their self-analysis, introversion has come to be appropriated by the among the “pity chic”, people who are selfish by nature, seeking to gain some sort of credibility or sympatico a certain crowd.  The current application of the word “introvert” in everyday language kind of defines the “You keep using that word…” scene from the movie, “The Princess Bride”.  Either that, or they simply don’t remember
the degree of suckitude that came with wearing that particular badge.


Looking inside of myself as I reconsidered the merits of the continued use of the term “starter wife”, I had to admit that there was something beyond my snarky attachment to those words that had a hold onto me.  It was as though a small piece of my spirit was still chained to a past that neither had current relevance or predicated any of my future actions, save the use of drawing similes to my ex-wife was grounds for termination of any relationship with a woman.  And sure enough, when I assented to the request made by my conversation partner,  I felt increased from within, that I had extra space on my “hard drive” and my spirit felt lighter.

LETTING GO OF THE PAST

I was listening to “The Moth” radio program this weekend and one of the segments featured Walter Mosley, the  best selling author of books such as “The Devil in a Blue Dress” and others in his “Easy Rawlins” series.  He told a story about letting go of the past, using the example of how language has changed and that the meanings of words evolve to fit the time and if you are unable to leave the past in the past, you will find yourself not understanding the world and times that you are in.  This story really affected me and caused me to reflect upon both of the major relationships I have had here in Omaha.

I won’t be able to do the effortless storytelling skills of Mr. Mosley justice, so I think you would be better taking the 5 or 6 minutes to catch the enlightenment that he shares.  But it dealt with all the baggage that many of us carry around and how that baggage ultimately determines who we are, much like the way the character of a valley is determined by the river that flows through it.  With both Nebraska and Princess, clinging to old interpretations and experiences contributed to the fail that we shared.  If there is any lingering regret, it is that I feel I was not given a fair and equal opportunity, at least not in the way they were given the opportunity to be a part of my life.

Finally, the summer is still looking like it will be a go.  If there is a chance for summer classes I will take a swing at them but I most definitely will be getting my personal trainer’s certification.  That way when I visit Ken & Beth, I can offer them “expert” tips at home fitness!  Got a couple of speeches to get prepared so I don’t expect to be doing too much blogging… hope that everyone is doing well and I will see you later (that is, unless I see you first..!)!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

MORE THINGS THAT I THINK THAT I AM THINKING ABOUT


TACTICAL

Because one of the assertions that I made is that I would able to not only manage my life alone but flourish, it is difficult to “journal” in the traditional sense.  I am not afraid of the obstacles between the “here” and “there” in my life, the issues that I face, and though there has been some looking back, I have endeavored to keep my “third eye psyche” looking forward.  This, I believe, means that a lot of the personal asides that make up personal journals that I won’t be griping a lot about “this and that” because they are not related to anything that influences my trending.

Speech class is going well… I am a good public speaker and I am able to keep up with the rest of the students for the most part.  I say “the most part” because I will likely always be insecure about preparation for class… that is a leftover effect from my NT days… I stress being prepared in all things, as it is among the uncertainties in life that I as an individual, can myself control.  We recently had an impromptu speech assigned, and I did very well.  I did not use notes, speaking totally extemporaneously about a topic I selected from cards that the instructor had randomly addressed.

I am going to take Scarlett Rose (the bike that I was given before X-Mas or 2011 after “Doug” was stolen from work) to a nearby bike shop to be reconditioned before I donate her to the Open Door Mission.  I figure since I did not have to pay for her and received her brand new, the least that I could do is put the money saved on her non-purchase back into her and let someone else get her in refurbished condition.

WHY DO I “THINK THAT I THINK THAT I AM THINKING ABOUT THINGS THAT I AM THINKING ABOUT”?

Like the oceans from which life evolved, there is not much really known about the brain.  There are assumptions and guesses, but there is at least as much unknown, if not more, about how it functions.  For instance, I believe that I have mentioned that, considering I can avoid being regularly thrashed about the skull, that whatever I have lost due to my injury has pretty much been tabulated.  This means that what I have now is what I have to work with, and that I was right in assuming that I had enough “smarts” that even with my deficit, that I am still more intelligent than you!  But this is more about how we don’t know or even understand why we think the things we do, what inspires us.  Recently, I experienced moments that while foreign, were also understood for what they were.  That is what I mean when I have “things that I think that I am thinking about” on my mind.

I read a Cracked article that confirmed what I have known all along, that our brains conspire to make us miserable.  The one conclusion in the article that I do disagree with, and did when I was first exposed to it, Freud’s observations on happiness is, incorrect.  I believe that once you become aware, then happiness becomes a CHOICE, just as being unhappy is a choice.  I don’t think that we are drawn to fear or to believe that the worst possible outcome awaits us in every shadow.  And even with Nietzsche and Schopenhauer talking about how miserable life can be, despite the influence of their writings on me, I still saw and continue to see, pleasure in simply existing.  Louis CK does a good job in his stand up of expressing how inconsiderate many of us are with this amazing period where technology and society has met, leaving us where we are at this very moment.


So when I find myself being bogged down with thoughts that seem to have spontaneously generated, I categorize them as “things that I think that I am thinking about”.  Let’s get things right… I am disabled, saddled with chronic traumatic brain injury, living on my Social Security and just a skosh above minimum wage job, and I am flat out chilling, do you hear me, CHILLING!

I am typing this up on my own laptop, with two busted lappy’s stuck in a cubby of my entertainment center, which also houses my 38” flatscreen television.  I have food in my fridge, three bicycles, and a closetful of clothes.  What, me worry?

But I was at work, in an environment that I wanted to be in, with opportunity to move up awaiting me, when I found my mind besieged by thoughts of, wait for it, Nebraska and Princess!  This is where the Cracked article really came into being, because I have no idea how they both came into my mind, as I have not consciously thought of either of them in many a day.  It felt odd, because what would be the purpose of having them on my mind?  As I am constantly fatigued and my mind spinning, that perhaps my brain was triggered by something in my environment and there they were, the both of them, wanting for attention.  That was as far as it went, because of the rules and axioms that I swear by.

Do they ever think of me?  Do I ever cross their minds??  More importantly, do I even care???  That is why this sudden possession of my thoughts felt alien to me, because I don’t give much of my cognitive energies worrying about either of them.  This is not to say that either of them are not regarded fondly or anything like that, but neither have they deigned to reach out to me, so that makes kind makes it a self-fulfilling question.  Now if this is the kind of processing that I have gone through just to justify some random thought about two women that I deeply cared for, can you imagine how difficult it was for even an NT Mark to finished the process that would bring about the actions I would need to take in order to talk to someone who have already given me my papers?  Yes, it feels odd to think that with all the investment into both relationships that we are not even able to communicate with one another, but c’est la vie!  I am not going to make something out of nothing, conjure up a construct so that I can occupy some stray thoughts that came from out of the ether...

Sunday, March 30, 2014

HOW DO YOU REACH THAT POINT..?



TACTICAL

I am cool.  Everything is copacetic.  Which is not to say that things are easy.  When you have an attitude that is reflected in the phrase, “problems with solutions aren’t problems”, it is hard to do the pissing and moaning that comes with striving towards a goal.  For instance, making graduation and a vacay come off is going to be difficult, as is getting my certification for personal training and possibly taking a summer course.  But most achievements that are worthwhile often are difficult.  The testing, the tasking of our mettle, is the price we must pay when working toward a goal.

NOTHING WITHOUT DARING

I was asked a question regarding making decisions and getting past the nagging spectre of our fears, which I believe manifest themselves in uncertainty and doubt.  Though I often pull out one of several CVC (Carl Von Clausewitz for the uninitiated) quotes, the thing about my use of quotes by anyone is that the speaker gives words to the feelings that I already had inside of me.

Now whether it is my delusion of grandeur that powers my ego, I cannot stress enough how important it is to ascertain a value for yourself that is commensurate to the person that reflects the person that you are.  No matter what my circumstance, I have always believed that I hold myself to my established standards of my own self-worth.  It makes me bulletproof to those who question my actions, especially those who keep to the well-trod path of the masses.

Our existence is truly an extraordinary set of circumstance, and whether you adhere to a theological explanation for your existence or not, I feel that finding your personal destiny is your primary duty.  No matter what, each and every being that walks, creeps, swim or flies between the waters and the skies, has that in common with one another.  This is what drives me, believing that I have a place specific to me and that I am filling that role along with my personal desires being attuned to my purpose in this reality.

I have taken pains to acknowledge those things that fortune saw to put into my life.  From being thankful for the era of my birth, to the happenstance that has brought people that I consider dear friends into my life, I take NOTHING for granted.  That is an “all the time” thing and it is not uncommon for someone to ask me, “What’s on your mind, Mark?” and my reply will be “...how LUCKY I believe I am!”  This is something that I have done throughout my journal, even while I struggled with taking hold of my life while living in “the provincial town I once jogged ‘round”.  Taking stock of the things that I have positive in my favor and making good use of those things, be they inherent qualities of character, materiel, or any combination of those things that would propel me toward my goal.  One of the very first things that I tend to do to reflect on my situation with gratitude and to acknowledge any past opportunities to have made better decisions as learning experiences that I prioritize taking positives away from.  This not throwing out “the baby and just the bathwater” approach has made those necessary moments of introspection a lot easier to bear when the acknowledging of my own culpability in the incident of fail.

WE ARE WHAT WE REPEATEDLY DO

In panning for the good in the streams of our souls, it is always good to remember that in prospecting for any resources of rare value, that most times you will fail.  But if we have employed all of our skill and talent to the discovery of what is obvious only to us, then it is my belief that we will discover what we seek.

The inference of the header is that no matter what you say about yourself is that your actions ultimately tell the tale of who you are.  Since I have committed so much of my journaling to my perspective on relationships, I feel that my being content with being alone should come as a surprise to no one, particularly if they have been reading for any great length of time.  So it goes with my being happy here in Omaha, as I have felt obligated to remind readers that while the possibility of a relationship with Nebraska was part of my decision to move to Omaha, it was not the main factor that influenced my decision.

When I go about the day, greeting people and making conversation, it is always with the ethic that I should “...be kind, for everyone we meet is fighting a hard battle”.  So it is there, with being kind to people, that I would make my first choice in the practice of eliminating as much uncertainty in my life and decisions.  See, I believe that happiness is not something that just happens, nor is it something that floats unseen and invisible to us.  Happiness is a choice, and if you have chosen to be happy, then I believe that it follows that you would do things that brings you happiness.

...AND THIS IS AS GOOD A PLACE AS ANY…

Finally, trusting in yourself and your own nature will go a long way to lighting your path.  I think that if you believe in your own sense of self, your own sense of what is right and fair, that your choices will reflect your nature and it would be evident.  You have to be willing to forgive yourself for your past and for your future mistakes, and make your goal to be the person you want to be in the moment.  For me, the present state is recognized as “the man we all know and love”.  

Esteem is something that other people give to you… and true self-esteem is what you give to yourself.  But the problem with self-esteem is not that it is needed, because plenty of people have an outsized sense of who they are.  I believe that the problem with self-esteem is that it is erroneously taken for self-confidence.  Whatever are the results of your actions, at work, in relationships, or in your own well-being, should define your confidence, and that is where you should be the well from which you draw your self-esteem.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

THE CODIFIED LIFE VII





WE CANNOT TAKE THIS UNCERTAINTY TOO SERIOUSLY, AND IT IS IMPORTANT TO BE PREPARED FOR IT FROM THE BEGINNING” - CVC


Last Thursday night I had an anxiety attack… another symptom of my injury that is hard to explain, insomuch there usually isn’t a precipitating incident or factor that I can tie to its causation.  I had a mind to give Nebraska a call, but instead of following through that notion, it would serve to fire up my competitive nature.  You see, while I don’t believe that I am motivated to do so, I feel like that I have to “prove” that I can do this without her.  It isn’t that I have anything at all against her, but much like the motivations that drive people to go on, to create a condition where I had to overcome an obstacle, it was an “any port in a storm” kind of deal for me.  If that was what was pulling me through, fighting against an imaginary construct, so be it.  After all, how many times have we heard similar “rages against the dying light” motivate others to greatness, some to being on time at their McJob, or simply to make it through their day?


Anywho, so I allowed my mind to imagine a host of beings created with the irradiated clay that my “need” to prove her wrong (whatever THAT means..!), arranged in a haggard platoon marching towards me.  I don’t know what is between me and my foemen, but what I do know is that I MUST get past them and continue on my path.


I have been careful about my “Ny-Quil nights” and talking about them… I don’t have them with any regularity, at least, they occur FAR FEWER than they did when I was with Mookie Dee (almost SEVEN years ago..!).  Cataloging them, which is part of what a journaling is used for, always seemed egotistical.  Well, maybe not egotistical but certainly selfish and attention-seeking.  I think that people enjoy sharing their miseries, with journaling allowing them to possibly infect others, and definitely for some, a play for pity.  Or not.  I don’t know… I have always tried to avoid those people for whom life is nothing but one hopeless travail after another.



I was re-watching this TED Talk by Ash Beckham about closets.  She makes the statement that “hard is just hard”.  It made me think about the chip I have towards the women of my young adulthood, insisting that their saga is somehow more difficult than that of men, or any other marginalized group.  Rather than list points as to why I came to that conclusion, I will instead mention that whenever someone has to tell you that something so obvious is their priority, their raison d’etre, then underneath the surface is a great welling of insecurity.


Insecure people are all too often, fearful people.  Their insecurity cause them to play things safe, acting only to when it is either advantageous for them to do so, and primarily only investing of themselves what they must and yet still, stand in the expectation of a maximum, if not great, return on their investment. This adds up to hesitation when they find themselves called upon and all too-often gives the necessary space for doubt to enter the calculations.
Oh, not to mention that I think they are selfish.  They would not let you bring less than everything to their cause, lest you incur their wrath for time immemorial.




One of the traits that I hope to embody is that of “being comfortable with being uncomfortable”.  It is something that anyone who is striving for a goal must do, adjust to the different environment that comes with being willing to work to get to where they want to be.  This has always been a hallmark of my character, the willingness to put the effort and “sweat equity” toward something.  It seems ludicrous, at least to me, that someone would not understand whether it was to be more engaged in their work, their relationship with their significant other, or with their family, that at first things would be uncomfortable.


My choice of the word “uncomfortable” is a conscious one.  Many times, I believe, people use the word “difficult” when they actually mean uncomfortable.  I find myself in uncomfortable positions quite often, but they are not very difficult to extricate myself from.  After all, “problems that have solutions aren’t problems”, and I do mean that.  All growth, both personal and professional, comes with a measure of discomfort, at least in its beginning stages.  That is true for the human body, as it matures through different growing pains.  So why shouldn’t that be true for any other relationship that a person would have in this dimension of existence?


...AND IN CONCLUSION

That is how I feel about dealing with my condition.  It is something that causes discomfort, not by its nature, but in my struggle against it.  There has never been a moment since my diagnosis was confirmed that I did not understand what I was dealing with and the myriad complications that awaited me.  This is why I felt that alone, I would be to deal with the uncertainties that lay ahead of me when I made my way here, from the possibility of a “darkhorse”, to finding myself marooned here alone and friendless, or any host of unfortunate circumstance, was taken into account, including the strained relationship that I now have with Nebraska.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

VALUE-DRIVEN RELATIONSHIPS

TACTICAL
I don’t know if I had any room to spare but I passed my Algebra class with a “C”.  Of course, I am of two minds of the result, the first mind being one of some disappointment with myself.  The measure is STILL pre-injury Mark, and that Mark would not have even been troubled with this stuff.  But the greater mind is one of pride and achievement, validation of a thinking and belief that has been with me since I first began to assert my own character as a small child.
There was some complications near the middle of February, with the weather and other personal issues that were directly related to my day-to-day processing, I was able to get through “the cruelest month” quite well.  I got my own taxes done and I filled out my FAFSA 2014-2015 without incident.  I am still going to take just one class next term, my speech class to finish out that requirement, setting myself up for a “scientific” finish, as I have to get a few of biological-type classes left to take.  From there, I will be looking forward to another graduation in 2015, as it will be Lexxie’s turn to take her walk across the stage!
SIMILES, METAPHORS, FIGURES OF SPEECH
...I am out of them when it comes to describing how has come to be that Nebraska and I are just barely acquaintances, people who occasionally finds reason to send the other a text message, or  construct an email with relevant information about the other’s day-to-day.  I don’t recall how many times that we saw each other last year, but other than by pure chance, I think we were in each others company once.  This strikes me as odd, as I am sure it would strike anyone who has been looking forward to finally getting the opportunity to meet their long-time, barely seen, enigma crush.  
Since I have arrived in town we have never had clear lines of communications open between us.  This has been due to a lack of fundamental understanding about the role that were were going to play in one another’s life. Or not.  I don’t know because I only seem to inflame the situation between us.  For instance, February she tried to initiate a dialogue, but I was not of the mind to agree to any terms of discussion.  Struggling with my class and trying to get the different documents filled out and prepared took up much more of my focus, and I could only readily handle the things that were most important to me.  I could only reiterate my schedule to her and left myself available on the days that were free for me and possibly convenient for her.  Still, it was not enough and would blow up into another firefight between the both of us.  Her opinion of “what I should have done” in regards to a meet, one where I was “a man” and “told her when and where” we were going to have our talk, was quite ironic.  It harkened back to a time in relationships that I thought was left behind.  
One of my favorite hip-hop axioms, “As for me, to say just how… if you didn’t know me then, then you could never know me now”, has always seemed straightforward and self-explanatory.  When I think about the line, it defines the “why” you are not a part of my life as it continues to evolve, and it also gives the “why” as to once an intimate relationship is done, it is done.
For example, while there is but the thinnest of possibilities that either Princess or Nebraska will ever be major players in one another’s life, I am at a lost at where to begin with either of them.  I don’t think that this question would ever come up with regards to the former, I will stick with the question as applied to the latter, as the greater investment was made in that coupling.  The reason that I am at a loss is not because I have suddenly forgotten how to speak to women, but that the Nebraska that I “never knew, did know, and hope to know” not only didn’t exist, but will never exist.  Of course, the very same can be said of me and be just as true.
Another reason that I content myself with the results of any relationship is that past performance predicts the future.  I have never thought that in relationships that enough attention was paid to the indicators of what contributed to the fail of character, which is critical to the fail, and put enough effort into challenging the circumstance once it recurs in the relationship.  In short, the things that I already know that is going to happen, I already can predict the answer once they occur in the future.
Habits, traits, are all hard to break once they have been validated. Once a person has revealed themselves and I weigh their actions against Schopenhauer's definition of where a person best displays their character.  Once I have done so, I then make the appropriate choices, content that while there may be hurt and recrimination at the outset, in the long game, things will likely prove to be done for the best of all actors involved.  After all, when one has done the best that they can, can anymore be asked of them?

Friday, February 28, 2014

THERE IS A POINT FROM WHICH THERE IS NO RETURN

TACTICAL


I have given a bit of thought to what is on my mind and since this is my airing of dirty laundry in public, I have had some recriminations about talking about my thoughts.  Other than the things that “I think that I am thinking about”, I am doing well.  As my year started out similarly to the roll out of the ACA, I have kept plugging away at my goals and like the ACA, things have slowly developed into being better than anticipated.  For example:


I am confident going into my last quiz in Intermediate Algebra on Wednesday that I will have earned a “B” for the term.  The feeling that I have reminds me of what Taylor Mali said in his epic reply about what a teacher makes.  And the heart of my entry, of my journaling, of my purest essence, is that working diligently towards a noble goal is often its own reward.


With my ONE class taking up so much of my time, there is not a lot of “disk space” for interpreting the meaning of subjective communication.  Before my injury, when there was something that I did not “get”, it was always relative to whatever the something was tied to, interactions and perspective, anything that did not had no direct point of reference for and I truly was not “getting” was usually something that I was not invested in.  I mean, I used to get why it bothered my starter Wife when I would say that “I’d rather jack my d*ck with a handful of razor blades…” than go visit with her at one of her girlfriend’s house as a complete conversation, but for me to break things down into simple bite-size pieces, it simply was not worth the effort. She only could see the reason why “she was right”, combining that with the negative profile she had of brothers, we would bump heads no matter how we framed the conversation.  Anywho, now that there is some damage to my “disk drive”, rather than keep on adding applications to it, I would rather simplify things and use what I have available to me more judiciously, and find out how far I can get with what is available to me.  That this is notion came to me before my injury is coincidental, and is why I continued to codify my life.


How many times have you heard someone opine, if not asked of yourself, “Why..?” and you can fill in the ellipsis with whatever situation you can imagine, finding love or happiness, making more money, dealing with fail personal relationships, and the rest of the usual suspects.  As much as I was enjoying life in my late 20’s, I found that I was only approaching what could have been “happiness” for me.  This belief changed how I approached the questions in my mind, because if I thought that I had what I needed to be happy, then why was I feeling and doing the things that degraded my happiness?  Listening to young women who were trying to express complicate emotions through associating their feelings to crappy pop and R & B songs, I decided to likewise make the words that meant the most to me actually MEAN SOMETHING to me, and that led me to the Codified Life.


...THIS POINT MUST BE REACHED




(which is not to say that I am beyond “song idealization” myself!!)


I knew when I heard this song that it told the story of what I must do with my life.  Recalling the lyrics, “they think so small, they use small words…”, as a summary as to what was separating me from my surroundings and the thoughts that made “sense” to the people in my environment.  But here, I must pause, because whenever I hear someone talk about being “unique”, I want to say to them, “You keep using that word… I do not think that it means what you think it means.” Because in my understanding of the word, it is used poorly in everyday language, and as with the word “literally”, the constant misuse of these and other words will eventually lead to the evolution of “newspeak”.  And that ain’t good!




Anywho, I think that there is an arrogance in being so involved in your own interpretation of things that you cannot engender the slightest contradiction to your beliefs.  Stubbornness should not inhibit you from being able to assimilate new ideas that ask you to reassess your belief old thinking, and presses your beliefs to new limits. Stubbornness is most effective in subjective and localized areas... It is something that I have always used to assess others by, because it is a sign of the strength of their mind to hold ideas and weigh them without conflict or to the determent of their own way of thinking.



I see and hear what I want in a relationship so clearly in the “Friday Night Lights” speech, that were I to show it to a woman and she were to say that she “gets it” and she really does, she’d would become a candidate to “level up” along with me!!  But since that is unlikely to ever happen, I would have thought that with Nebraska knowing that there is something in the scene that is critical to my thinking, that she would have inquired what made it so important to me.


First of all, it isn’t about football in the least.  It is about relationship and love, faith and promises kept.  Stop looking at whatever obstacle that is currently facing you, but instead look at this moment as a chance to prove to someone, to show someone, EXACTLY what they mean to you.  You would think that it would be easy for that to happen in a relationship with just two people if it can be accomplished with a group of teenagers, but sometimes it is with two people where commitment and love breaks down the easiest.


BONA FIDES


I wonder how many times I have said that what I expect that I will give back, value added?  Referencing the word “unique” to show exclusivity for our problems is egotistic.  How do you believe that your situation is so incomparably special that it justifies your actions, no matter how harmful they may be to other relationships in your life?  But what really astonishes me is the sense of entitlement that people have when they fail to do anything different from what they were doing before, yet still expect to reach their goals in whatever spectrum of life that they feel cheated.


Now if you can, with clear eyes and love and joy in your heart, make the same commitment that Coach Gaines asked of his team to the person you claim to love and say that you gave all that you could toward making a relationship better, that you could not have done one more thing to make it more loving, functional, I would think that you had all the answers that you needed.  There are clear reasons in my mind as to why relationships tend to fail in my life, and codifying things was my attempt at being better at them.  But the main reason for my having “Rules To Live By”, is to set standards and to LIVE BY THEM, and create the expectations out of my desires into my reality. But what have you done Mark, where you feel you can have the expectations that you do of others?  Whenever I feel pressed to explain myself to someone, I tend to catch myself and wonder if they have been paying attention to me at all?  For me to let someone know of why I feel that I can readily expect certain what I ask of them, especially when they feel as though they know me..?  Well, it is an insult, and I have no patience, no love, for those who would need more or require more of me.  

NEXT ISSUE:  ARE WE STILL IN SCHOOL..?