Tuesday, May 8, 2012

THE ECLECTIC METHOD




IT’S NOT THE RIGHT WAY BECAUSE IT’S MY WAY, BUT IT’S MY WAY BECAUSE IT IS THE RIGHT WAY

Though I have been active on Face Book lately, it is not been indicative of anything other than my computer use.  Lots of homework and paper writing has been taking place, and Face Book has been a great stress reliever.  I natter here and there, read some updates and back to whatever problem I am actually dealing with.  And THAT has been a great stress reliever!  Nearly all of my energies are directed towards moving forward and enjoying my life.  And I think that is what makes me as attractive as I seem to be to others.

And when I say “attractive”, I am not speaking of superficially thinking I look nice or anything like that.  When I think of myself as attractive, I mean that as literally as possible.  People are drawn to me as they have always been, and that has been because I feel good.  In fact when I am asked, ‘How are you doing Mark?’, the reply is likely to be, “How am I looking?”

Took a neuro-pysch eval on Monday and it really, really, and I mean really wore me out.  When I got back home I was so wiped out I only had the vaguest of memories of what went down.  As with the first one I had prior to being recognized as disabled, I found myself saying, “Well, we won’t be letting THAT happen again!”  My caseworker here in Omaha is a really great lady and I feel fortunate to have her manage my case.  I feel like I am actually moving forward and no longer wishing and preparing to get things done.

Anywho, back to Face Book and a post that I made in all seriousness that I think may have been misunderstood.  What I wrote, was read different from what I meant, but that is okay, because for many, Face Book is a superficial place where I don’t think that a lot of people invest much of themselves.  The update read as follows:  I am love... love is in me and around me embracing me every moment of every day... unconscious or conscious, it makes no difference... my energy radiates from within and the frequency is pure, unabated love...

I have to admit that I did like the responses that I got from it but they seemed to miss the point.  As someone who is a proponent of first become the thing that you want in your life, what I was doing was describing the spiritual state of being that I was in at that moment, and every moment prior to posting the words.  It describes my state now, as I am writing these words; whenever you are reading them, that is what I am being, not something that I am describing.  It is not a conditional thing like a feeling or a sensation, but my own personal status quo.

There have been times where I have openly wondered why people were drawn to me.  I rarely go out set on gaining anyone else’s attention or even the object of a person’s focus, much less a group of people.  But I have never been shy or reticent.  It isn’t that I feel I have something to say when spoke to, but that I DO have something to say about whatever is brought to me to comment on.  From words of encouragement, reasoned critique or bemused silence from a lack of understanding on my part, I know what to say to people when they are speaking to me, and just as important, how to say it.  And much of that talent comes from wishing that when I was dealing with situations that caused me the kinds of distress or confusion that those who come to speak to me in, that someone had taken the time and thoughtfulness that I did not receive.  Mind you, doing unto others and all those other simple bromides like that is meant to encourage brotherly feelings for one another and encourage treating others as equals and with kindness, often thrown around.  But how often are they honestly and sincerely displayed?

When I was young and being picked on, I made two very conscious decisions whose impact on my character is evident.  Number one is my self-esteem.  I did not know that what I was doing was securing that part of my id, but I looked for reasons to like myself in spite of the drubbings I absorbed or the horrendous epithets that were hurled my way.  No, I wasn’t into Nietzsche yet, but more on that later.  I refused to believe the negative things that my peer groups said about me, because they had the same experience as I did with life, and that was none.  So what did they know?  Besides, I was a smart cat, and I figured that they were jealous of me, more than I was any of the things that they said about me.

Number two, mean people suck, and they suck hard.  I have never liked anyone who was determined to be hateful and mean.  Of course this maxim has evolved and become more expansive over the years, but the core remains the same.  If I think of you as “mean to me” then you are closer to being written out of my life than you are to being written in.

My starter wife was someone who I thought was mean, and she defines a lot of what I think of when someone is a mean person for irrational, and for poorly thought out reasons.  Then the observations that I made of relationships, mostly from the distaff side of things as women bore their hurts in more obvious and observable ways, whether it was disappointment in their mothers or in their failings in their love lives, you could see where their pain was coming from.  In high school and then in “Army High School”, I thought of relationships as a “quid pro quo” situation, and given how legendary a woman’s love, particularly that of African-American women, who are supposed to be the spiritual backbone and strength of my ethnic group, I believe that if I am doing “this” and I could get “that” from her, then what “this” she was doing would be deserving of me providing “that” for her.  And just as in a fight, everyone has a plan until they get hit…

Because I had been removed what seemed like a long time from the angsty-filled rejection and alienation of my high school years, when I met my starter wife, I was not prepared to deal with her worries, her anxieties, and her gilded self-esteem, which contrasted sharply with mine.  She had so many concerns about everything, from her weight, to her daughter, to her looks and why her Mother did not love her as she did her twin brother, that I could not supply the enough fingers to plug all the holes in her psyche.  But ultimately fail our relationships was some of her preconceptions about relationships, the behavior of African-American men, and her assumptions about me, that along with her failings as a partner, that I truly see as what caused most of the damage between us.  I accept that I also did a poor job of providing leadership, after all, who is to blame if the first mate is seditious other than the ship’s captain?

Being able to own where I am in Omaha is crucial to my approach to a relationship.  I don’t expect to be needing of anything from another person than what is due to me.  If YOU (that’s right ladies, if anyone reading this wants to know, I am provisionally on the market!) don’t know where a relationship me is placed in your life, or you do, and I think the value is too low, then I do understand.  We are not going to get along.

It is between that and the misunderstanding of empirical evidence v. emotional resonance that has brought Nebraska and I to where we are currently in each other’s lives.  There are certain “deathless words” that sit heavy when “said” (in quotes because we never talk) changes the arc of a reasoned conversation to that of an internet flame war in which someone has violated “Godwin’s law”, and essentially tabled the discussion.  Oh, there are still “words, words, words”, but the debate has been concluded, and the exchange of ideas stopped.

Though many of the components that made up the original concept have changed, the objective and the goal have not.  The idea was to come up with better way of living and to choose a path to a more fulfilling life.  Up to this point and into the foreseeable future, the decision to move here has more than met my expectations.  So, back to my Face Book posts and why they did not mean what everyone who saw my posts assumed they meant.

No one has said anything about anything about “boy friend and girl friend”.  But for the sake of clarity and because I do want people to “know” where they stand in MY life, I decided that where she has me in hers, merited my putting myself “off-limits” in a way.  By doing so, I can still post the same kind of mess that I have been posting without the unnecessary drama of underwear bunching and panty twisting that can be seen on those “update fails” that gets shared on Face Book from time to time.

When Nebraska and I were supposed to have our last conversation, it had been a dreary, rain-filled day, and was on the coolish side that evening.  Would it rain more or would it grow cooler as the evening wore on?  I don’t know and I did not want to find out.  The possibility loomed of “less than good” conversation, as often we simply cannot find enough common ground to speak constructively with one another from.  And since I had to question my value in her life, I decided to apply that question to that of her value v. my effort in light of not feeling well and possible inclement weather approaching.  Maybe she would be able to come up with a suggestion, especially since I mean... oh, wait... it was a value judgment.  And I think that long ago I was place on "this shelf".  Fine.  It happens... and I always KNEW it could happen with me, too.

Though I never had any “specific” vision of our relationship in mind (remember, the dream that I had of me and my girls at the State Fair was of me, and MY girls), I do know that if we were not able to establish a foundation from which to build from together, we would not make it far.  I believe she had set a foundation and a framework for how things would go unilaterally, and by doing so was never flexible enough to adapt to the changes after I got here.

I would be amenable to being “friends” with her but she has already said that she did not think that would be wise, and understandably so.  There would prolly be “sparks” between us among other things that would be detrimental for our interests, so she is likely to be correct.

My other attempts to write this post, which is a necessary part of the healing that needs to be done as the both of us go off down our paths, winding on and on, were filled with such frustration and anger, that I did not want them to be read.  Much of that is because unlike my starter marriage, there is someone who was at fault to our end, and gets the lion’s share of the blame for our not working out.

I never asked Nebraska to love me.  Even when I was vowing my heart to her and she was “otherwise emotionally engaged”, I asked only that she treat my feelings for her with as much respect as possible, and I would accept whatever came of what took place between us.  I got that she had her responsibilities and her own goals to consider… not only does everyone shop at Sear’s, but I have ridden in rodeos before, and therefore, this is not something to which is new to me.

Ah, but to give credit where credit is due is a task that most people find difficult to do at best.  “Keep your problems to yourself kid, I got my own,” is meant to implicate all of those who think that their troubles is of such immensity that only their woes are worthy of consternation and that out of the teeming billions, that they alone carry the weight of Atlas upon their shoulders.  Yeah, little precious unique snow globe, so different from all the others here in the gift shop, you go right on and think that you are sooo special!

So be it.  Each day that I am out, whether it is toting my groceries home on my bike or hauling an air conditioner on a bus, I think about how cool it would be to have someone to ask for help.  How nice it would be to think that I had a friend to go with me to the mall to window shop, or maybe take in a matinee?  Maybe we would sneak out together for a lunch Chipolte, or even, daresay we get together for a weekend “nooner”?  Yeah, it would be nice if any of those things would happen, but a brother like Mark is going to get his ANYWAY… still, it would have been nice!

5 comments:

LceeL said...

Do you know what draws me to you? Your mind.

You're smart. You should have been a writer, and perhaps not a pugilist.

Besides, writing is safer.

L&R

Arriel said...

Have you forgotten about me?

FrankandMary said...

One day there will be someone who worries over you, sits in comfortable silence with you, tends to you..& for whom you do the same.

Ken Riches said...

Sorry that the Nebraska concept seems to be on the wane, but at least you are where you need to be.

V said...

I love your attitude towards life. Like really. And I agree people suck hard. There might be a few exceptions but mostly, yeah.