Who Do You Want to Be?
April 9, 2016
The nice part about this question is that the large part of who we are
is ever-changing. I see self-improvement somewhat as being the
meaning of life. But what constants or mostly-constants do I need to see
in myself in order to feel secure and how do I bring them about?
Can this angry grackle become a swan?
I have recently started calling to question
my own character. I haven't experienced
insecurity to this level since I was 12 and determined all of life's
problems are brought about by the Michaels and Jessicas who say shitty
things about your personality when you're not around. I have since found
that to only be as true as I allow it to be, but you see where I'm at.
Someone in middle school pointed and laughed at how the way I shook my chocolate milk looked
like a jack-off gesture, and now I need to remind myself that I like me best.
So, WHO do I want to be? Do I have those qualities? How can I reenforce them?
First and foremost, I'm not going to interrupt what you're saying
to inform you that I would rather get in Captain Hook's boo box than
hear you finish your sentence. I will make you feel goddamn proud of
yourself by pointing out what wonderful qualities you have and, by
golly, I will humanely distract from the boring/irrelevant point you
may have been trying to make. OK? Good. (Grade: I have this on lock. A+)
Routine is the big basket of french fries I perform a disappearing
act on after a crappy afternoon and almost always follow up with a
sizable bucket of shameful regret. I aspire to be open to new things,
go new places, and say yes when it matters. My first night in the
Costa Rican rainforest, we arrived after dark, didn't know what was
around us, and the cabin had holes in the screens. It was hot, sticky,
creepy, and I honestly just wanted an AC hotel room at the beach to
watch Titanic in. After that first night, though, I adjusted and
had a spectacular time. I shall not indulge every craving for comfort.
I shall travel the world and love it for its separateness from my zone.
(Grade: I give myself a B- here)
When I park and the space in front of the one I pulled into is
empty, I pull forward, guys. It's the SMART thing to do. But I also once
tried to check my tire pressure with what turned out to be a strange-looking
meat thermometer. I am not the most handy person, but the numbers on the
gauge should have meant something to me. All to say, there's always greater
smartness to be sought and I intend to seek it. Read, admire smart people
like Peter Diamandis, invest in Tesla, don't deny climate change or the
supreme effectiveness of birth control, marvel at the vastness of
our universe and all our mighty ignorance in regards to what it all
really is, and I am on the right track to
appreciating the joy of learning. (Grade: For this, I think I deserve a
C for "ceep trying")
I used to have a band and my creative itch was scratched into vocal nodules.
It's cool. I write now. But before I started writing? Ugh. Misery. MISERY.
I need creative outlets in my life. I hope to sing at the Elephant Room some
day. I want to be a singer again. Nothing is as much of a stress reliever
for me as 3 takes of 'Black Coffee' over a ten minute shower. In the
meantime, this whole writing thing is the best therapy I ever done got.
(Grade: Solid A-)
I got tipsy in Costa Rica and made sloppy
Spanish conversation with the bartender who then liked us so much for
being nice that he took us on a tour of the suite Kennedy had stayed in
and then on to the roof for ghost stories! Life surprises you when you
goof off. I may not have as strong of a vocabulary as some of the smarter people
in my life, but I can throw a really great Halloween party in a class,
non-college-or-bridezilla kind of way. I am constantly reminded not to
take myself too seriously, which I know I am successful at when my boob
pops out m'bathing suit and I don't give a twinklin' toot 'bout it. You
think Disney is lame? That's fine, just keep that wet blanket off my
monorail seat, pls. Thx. (Grade: at LEAST a B+)
Living in the United States leads to an easy sense of entitlement, thinking
we need and deserve huge properties, cars, luxurious things that
were made cheap overseas, and even air conditioning. We are ruining the
environment, but think we have a right to because it's how we've always been
comfortable. I have worked up my heat tolerance to where I use my AC
very little through the year and I think twice before buying that frivolous
throw rug that is affordable only because a sooty child in China was forced to
finish 15 of them before he gets all of one moment to refuel with
nutritiously-dense rice rations. I don't eat meat because I visualize what the animals
go through. The idea that these things make me a yuppy to the aggressive
commenters of news articles really makes me sad because they can do nothing
but good. People feel defensive. My point is this: I don't even want to have
kids, but if I did I would want to leave them a world that was well-cared
for and lasting. Why NOT care about these things? (Grade: A. Hmph!)
When Mr. Megatruck Gun-slinger cuts me off on the freeway, leaving me in his
smoke-trail with the bumper stickered image of the confederate flag burned
into my mind for a moment, I aspire to accept his existence in ignorance and
realize that his thoughts will not necessarily affect my life, but are
born out of an existence spent completely immersed in wood-paneled rooms
with evangelists whose garages are all masterfully converted for
NASCAR worship and hobbies that teach a man to supress
his tears and turn them, instead, to fuel for a greater goatee. He might vote
for something that could be enacted in policy meant to strip women of
their rights down the line, but goodness
gracious I will not think of that, turn up some Mariah Carey, and sing through
the rage into the calming pinnacle of 'Butterfly'. No sense in adding to what
I hold such disdain for. Just breathe and continue on to enjoy another day on
this beautiful planet that gave rise to our vocal overlord MC.
So, all those grades I gave myself? They should probably go away, but I
have no idea how to notice areas for improvement without kicking myself in
the balls a few times. It's a struggle. I am making a concerted effort,
however, not to speak negative things about myself out loud. It's not going so
well lately, but it will. After all, no one needs to hear about just how
clammy I get when I feel nervously unqualified. And no one cares. I shan't
grade this section (butifIdidIwouldgetaD!!!)
And there it is. My ideal me. The goal of this exercise is so that I may
look at someone like Victoria Beckham, evaluate her level of seriousness and
commitment to not smiling to avoid facial lines as a quality I do not possess,
and know instantly that it is OK. I am better off being me and I have a whole
list of proof. I really like me.