Collector’s Items

I kinda wanted to expand on what I talked about last post¬†about not getting too caught up in the details. Each person is a collection of their own experiences. How we each are perceived is collections of other people’s experiences of us. You never know what details about you are going to stand out, and maybe that’s why we put so much pressure on ourselves. I want so badly to control how other people see me, but that changes how I act, and thus how people see me. And yet, being someone who wants to control their image, which in-turn affects their behaviors, is part of that person’s identity.

I am both a collection of my experiences and my actions, for better or for worse. I can never truly change from who I once was, I can only add to that collection. In that way, I feel like regret is pointless. All those experiences and actions make-up who I am now, with the mindset I have now, and the perspective I have now. To change any of that would be to change who I am in the present, but I kinda like who I am. Plus even if I wanted to, I couldn’t change any of it, I can learn from it though, but that’s still just adding to the collection.

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esprit d’escalier

We’ve all experience the frustration of thinking of the perfect comeback or response after the opportunity to use it has passed. Can’t think of how many times I thought of something “better” to say right after I hit send. I may dwell on it for a bit, maybe hours, maybe days, but those moments are barely blips in my memory now and probably even less in the minds of those I’m talking to. I am the type of person to fuss over small details which actually have little significance in the bigger picture. Don’t get me wrong, I still think details are important, but I’m trying to be better at determining which details actually matter. The specific words I use often are not as important as the message as a whole, and so choosing the exact right word between two synonyms may not worth the time (unless I’m writing a poem).

With limited bandwidth, I gotta choose to spend it on things that actually matter.

Seriously

Everyone would be a bit happier if they took themselves less seriously. I feel like that’s one of the keys to overcoming irrational fear. So what if you fail, no one 100% expects you to get it the first time, and if they do, they have their own issues. Speak up even if people are listening. Send the risky text. Try that new thing. Be bold. And if things don’t work out, there’s a good chance the world hasn’t ended.

Life is pretty forgiving… are you?

People

It’s almost like a vicious cycle; people are ignorant because they don’t to ask questions; they don’t ask questions because they are scared or because they don’t care; they are scared or don’t care because they are ignorant. This is a simplification and a generalization, but I think those can be good ways to start to talk about complicated things in a manageable way.

We’ve all probably experienced not knowing something, wanting to ask, but being too scared to ask. That fear sucks and is stupid, but it’s real. I’ve gotten my head bitten off more than once for asking a genuine question. And sometimes I get frustrated that, in some cases, in order to get answers I often have to dance around people’s emotions or feelings, but that’s the way things are. It’s either that or changing the entire culture of human interaction and perhaps human nature along with it. So while we chip away at the culture thing and the genetic thing, it’s probably best to at least smile, nod, and pretend like you care. And who knows, maybe you will actually start to.

Symbiosis

I saw this Twitter post earlier with a lot of retweets and likes or whatever:

“The problem with putting others first is that you’ve taught them you come last.”

What a depressing thought. There are some things that people say or quote that are supposed to be profound and deep, but end up just being utter horseshit (see above).

I feel like there’s this obsession with people choosing between their own happiness and the happiness of those around them, or with people showing how much of personal toll they are sustaining for the benefit of others. Why? Are we looking for pity or pride? Do we want others to view us as some type of Christ-like figure sacrificing ourselves for others?

My happiness should not come at the expense of others, nor should the happiness of others come at my expense. Sometimes it can feel that way, and perhaps more so today than ever before, where all of our interactions with people feel like transactions. Though maybe that’s not new, but there has to be a better way. Why can’t my happiness come from the happiness of others (and vice versa)? Mutualism is possible, but it takes a culture shift. People need to reorient themselves; their priorities and their attitudes.

Hairy

I met a friend of a friend this past weekend. Super nice fella who got some of my more obscure references. It was super early in the morning ’cause the three of us were checking out the sunrise. I was in a beanie, sweats, and wrapped in a large Iron Man blanket. To me it’s funny that when you meet someone for the first time wearing a hat, they have no idea what your hair looks like, and that there’s a chance they have constructed their own idea of what your hair looks like based on how you are dressed and how you behave. I’m curious what he thought my hair looked like.

GoT Season Finale

**Again spoilers ahead; venture no further ye who hath yet belaiden thine eyes upon GoT 73.**

Over the past few days since the series finale of Game of Thrones¬†I’ve had a chance to hear different perspectives on what just went down. Here’s where I land:

This season left me feeling somewhat dissatisfied, but I don’t think that makes how it ended bad. I can’t help but feel that way and I think that might have been the intention of the writers. Some people seemed shocked about some of the things that happened, but to me nothing was completely out of the blue. This is GoT, not a fairytale, not everyone is going to get their happy ending or their deserved demise. That scene when the “royal council” (Tyrion, Bronn, Sam, etc.) are discussing matters of the kingdom, while perhaps confusing and somewhat comical, was a nudge at “life goes on,” this apparent triviality of everything that had transpired. Events that were once huge tipping points on the scale of humanity just become stories like all events before. I said before that this season felt rushed, and I still feel that way, BUT I do think that if you watched all of GoT beginning to end without have to wait so long between seasons (especially between the last two) if would feel much better.

Anyways, that’s all I really have to say, but if you have any ideas/ opinions or want to discuss specific events/ scenes/ characters/ arcs, my DMs are always open.

Fakin’ It

I was listening to Conan’s podcast the other day with Howard Stern as the guest. It was a longer episode, but I really enjoyed it. Not because it was particularly funny, but because I thought they talk about some interesting things… they got real. With some of his guests all they talk about is SNL and can get pretty “meh.” Howard Stern has always been someone I didn’t know much about but felt like I was trained not to like, but listening to him on the podcast I feel like I would enjoy listening to his stuff. Anyways, Conan and Howard talked about this feeling of being out of place; feeling like you shouldn’t be where you are at, like you get false accolades. And while I am nowhere near either of their stature I feel that sometimes (on a relative scale). People will pay me compliments sometimes or will say nice things about how I’m smart or funny or whatever, but most of the time I don’t feel that way. I’m no different than everyone else and I think most people see that. Maybe there are times where I try harder, but that because I’m a strong believer in the idea that pretty much all people are capable of achieving the same potential, but there are also time when I probably try less than I should.

Hippopotamus Crates

Abortion has been a hot topic lately, and I know nobody asked for it, but here’s my thoughts:

We need to make sure that women have access to safe and legal abortions. From a medical standpoint, as many of my friends who work in medicine have mentioned, abortions are going to happen ban or no ban, so why not make sure they are safe. However, this debate goes beyond evidence and facts because your stance on the issue depends on what you believe. If you believe life begins at conception, then abortion is murder. To that point though, I think this post by Methodist pastor, Dave Barnhart pretty much covers it. Ok, sure you can advocate for the unborn if you want. If you believe an individual’s life begins at conception, that’s yours to believe. But if you do, you should also be advocating just as hard for all the other lives that are threatened. Every day people are dying in the streets, abandoned and alone, but the there’s no outrage over that, barely a fuss.

We love passing judgement on those who are already born. Once you are born you have agency over your life and therefore if things aren’t going great, it’s your own damn fault. On one hand passing judgement on other people seems like a very human thing to do. We evaluate others’ actions and determine whether they are in-line with our own personal codes, values, and philosophies. At its core judgement is a form of kindness. Each individuals lives are certain way because they believe it to be “good” and they want others to live similarly. People want to guide others, their kids, their friends, their community in that “good” direction.

Where things fall apart is when that desire to guide others becomes a desire to control. I don’t think any one person knows or even can know with absolute certainty what is ultimately “good.” And while I do thing we should strive towards some moral standard, it is not our place to force that standard upon anyone. We have laws to protect rights that we “collectively” agree should be granted to every human being, the inalienable rights. I believe strongly that among those inalienable rights is the right make your own choices, regardless of sex, gender, race, or creed. We should live our lives with love and compassion, and leave the judgement to God or whatever gods may be.

Only

I only want to laugh, the way you make me laugh.

I only want to cry, the way you make me cry.

I only want to go, with your hand in mine.

I only want to dream, the with you on my mind.

I only want to feel, the way you make me feel.

Because that’s how I know it’s love.