My personal focus for the close of the year will be one where I improve my overall and specific focus and to zero in on what I want and what I expect not only of the next year, but of the next 5 years as well. “Tired” is a word that for me is indicative of a level of frustration that has exhausted all reasonable expectations of patience. It is a word that I don’t use OR interpret lightly. It is word that is a precursor to direct actions that are aimed at making a change that impacts on either a way of thinking or vision. Having the definition and understanding of “tired” that I do, when I hear it in everyday conversation, I always wonder if a person is “tired” of something or someone, why do they allow the situation or person hang about their lives like barnacles? I mean, it isn’t magic that I have not been involved with people who calls to mind those whose purpose were to serve as a warning to me, making me aware of the characters and traits of those that I don’t care want in my life.
I have thought about more extensively of the traps that await me as I strive to make the life that I imagine for myself. Right now, today, the very moments that I use to create this entry, are representative of my having reached a base level of comfort, free from comprehensive want. I am financially independent, with enough saved up to where I can lose both my job and disability payment and pay for the next three months of my expenses. I am now looking forward to reaching where I have six months of emergency savings, which is my next primary financial goal.
This winter term will indeed take a great deal of effort. I will be in school long enough to be considered a full-time student, and I am looking forward to the challenge of being a disabled cat who works part-time and is a college student full-time. While I am most concerned with the being on the path intended for me, I do want to test myself from time to time, to see how capable I really am of being a fully-formed independent adult. Not being overly concerned with the speed of my matriculation does not mean that I willing to settle for poking around when I can do more.
The notion of what are the most important components of good relationships have came up in my daily musings recently. While I could not have articulated it as well as I can now, even as a younger man I thought that time was the only real thing that we have to give to one another, the only real thing in this possible hologram of an existence that can be counted as exchange currency between humans beings.
Tuesday evening, Nebraska and I will have the umpteenth talk about “us”. Sometimes I think that it should be obvious that the “you and me” discussion between us resembles the you and me discussion that Butch had with Marcellus Wallace in “Pulp Fiction” (because there was the present, “me and you” between them and they also had “THAT me and you” between them). There isn’t a whole lot between us, which is a disappointment. But because of my nature, I have to give an opportunity when it is asked of me… since I want for opportunity to come my way in life. By my hopes and philosophy, it would be selfish and slightly hypocritical of me to do otherwise. And that includes using the only real thing that we as humans have, time, to meet her request.
Our differences is at its most fundamental level. How much deeper can we go, I have no idea. I believe because SHE believes that we can reach an understanding. We will see. Lately, I feel as though I have been overusing the whole “introvert” thing. Some of that is due to the whole social status thing… it is cool for one to say that they are an introvert, just as it has become cool to self-identify as a “nerd”. Since I am both, I know that being an introvert or treated as a nerd it is NOT cool, particularly the latter, and neither are anything that one would be proud to identify with when I was growing up. But whether it is someone who hears me make the claim in my journal, or my co-workers whom I told almost on day one that I will not be exchange phone numbers or accept friend request on Facebook, if the past four years have been a personality revelation to Nebraska, then she really has not been paying any attention to me AT ALL. I have always told her that despite my enthusiasm for our possible loveship, that I would be just fine as her friend, and likely that I would be better off on my own. While there is some hint of the resentment from fails when I have given as much as I could (looking at YOU Mookie Dee and Princess..!) at the time of the relationship, the majority of the confidence I have in myself is that by myself, I do well. My “ETP score” (endurance, tenacity, and perseverance) has always been very high, and note, those traits do not need a group to be displayed to be meaningful. My “I can do it”, confidence stems from the observed belief that those three things are among the “must have” traits for achievement of any kind.
"IF YOU WANT TO BE THE HERO, YOU HAVE GOT TO TAKE THE HERO SHOTS.” -Reggie Miller, former NBA and college basketball star
If there are ever any questions about your or another person’s character, any wonderings about the relationships in your life, the very first place the search for answers should begin is with oneself. I am a firm believer in the change that one wants in life begins within, not from outside. And it is nearly unavoidable that the people you allow in your life, and those you attract are as well, are but a reflection of traits that are within your own person, in part or in its entirety.
So I have established that I don’t like people. Now that is a bit harsh, but when you are really an introverted person, being to myself while working out, shopping for cookie butter, or posing for stock photos of urban bike riders, I NEVER think about asking someone to join me in those or ANY activity. There was an HuffPo article about introverts that does a good job of providing a general overview with dealing with a person like myself. I haven’t done anything like that since I was an adolescent and fortunate enough to have a Mom who would take me out to the comic book convention in Novi… wanna come with? I mean, what don’t you understand about being my being a PERSON WHO PREFERS HIS OWN COMPANY..?
In her TED Talk, Susan Cain describes a scene from her childhood experience at a girls summer camp where she was singled out and compelled to "fit in". Just like Susan Cain’s younger self, I have many instances where I was chided for not “joining in”. But there has never been a point in my conscious existence where I felt I was anything other than free.
There are so many tropes that I think dominate and really skew objectivity that are a factor in my purposed withdrawal from social engagements. From something as benign as watching a television show (I give side-eye to people who talk about how unusual the characters are on “Modern Family” and don’t get me started about “Blackish”), movie or any other media, to addressing “why I don’t like chicken?” questions, many of us are locked into a thinking that limits the possibilities of the people we encounter. And from here I am going to segue from my introversion and why there is a different understanding how it determines my role and needs in interpersonal relationships, to why I feel that Nebraska and I have struggled to be a part of one another’s lives.
I haven’t looked it up but I do remember journaling about what I call “The Dominant Consideration” with regards to whom I choose to be intimate with. While not as poetic or having the potential to be as warm as fuzzy as my demeanor may otherwise indicate, when I have a problem with a person close to me, this inevitably what is on my mind. Being confident as I am in reaching the broader objectives of my life, when I begin to narrow my focus and make decisions on more subjective areas of my life, such as interpersonal relationships, the places that I would like to see and go, et. cetera., I use this rule to measure the reason that I am utilizing my energy and resources to have this person as a part of my life.
The “must haves” as they apply to my confidence, are in question when the buffer zone between “me and you” seems wide and reinforced. I don’t have confidence in our connection and I simply cannot rely upon you as a friend. Most of the time I have felt this way about a person, it has been for concrete reasons, and one haunting transgression of this “rule” is the legendary “Tommy Hearns diss” made by my ex-wife. If any of the other signs that she was not the one for me were indeterminate, this incident was one of which that there could have been no misinterpretation of the worthiness of our prospective relationship. And for some insane reason I blew past that sign, and I have rued my ineffective reasoning ever since.
It was also the last time that that I feel I made THAT mistake again. Did not prevent me from then-future screw ups, but repairs were well underway in my philosophy. And the important aspect of drawing the line at the people who I invite into my life, at least to me, is that lesson well-learned.
By having codified my thinking to the extent that I have, I cannot understate the importance of having my “Rules To Live By” are to me. Before my injury, I thought I was a good guy with a giant red “BUT” hovering over him. Clearing how I think has helped me cut through the fog that I believe was keeping me from reaching the next philosophical step in my development. Now, if someone has a “but” with regards to me, it is more about THEM and their life experience than it is an indictment about me.
So go on… think “all black men are--” fill in the blank. I am simply being… did not do anything to you and I have no influence on any of your previous experience prior to our lives crossing. And maybe this is something that maybe Nebraska, Princess, sister-girl dropping of her kids over her Mom’s house before she pulls a double at McDonald’s, or Sally on the late shift at the Super Wal-Mart, waiting and hoping that her boyfriend shows up on time to pick her up (for a change), can’t grasp. *shrugs shoulders* That is their set of singular experiences and my theory puts it back on them to find a way around to clarity… or be willing to follow one who is on the path...