Posts Tagged ‘friendship

06
Apr
20

Online Bonding; Don’t Get Your Hopes Up

***

So, after dipping my toes into some online gaming over the past year, I think I’ve finally broken the last straw on whatever supports my belief in finding lasting friendships online.  Online gaming isn’t exactly the most favorable place to secure a friend.  But, I believe anything is possible.  That is…I did.  And, now, I’m fairly certain (never quite set in stone) my high hopes will never come true.  I’ve done the chat-room thing.  I’ve worked emails better than anyone I know.  I’ve blogged and interacted with fellow bloggers, clearly.  But, it’s all wishful thinking on my part…to think any real bond could be made and carried over to the world outside the computer.

I am tired of losing touch with people into who I invest my time, talent and heart.  I cannot continue befriending people just to have them vanish without a trace…and, in this recent case, leaving no trace of what we shared.  It’s as if all I said and did was a dream.  And, when I forget a fairly good dream, that sucks.  [Which is why I recommend keeping a dream journal and jotting them down as soon as you wake.]

So, I think, from this day forward, any contact I have with people online will be with lowered expectations/hopes.  I just cannot tolerate this uncertainty and loss much longer.

03
Jan
20

Life Is Not Short, 1-3-2020

***

A rather common expression these days says life is short or even too short. I strongly disagree and get upset with anyone who says this. [So, if you happen to interact with me in person or online, please refrain from using this line.]

Life is–as I prefer to say–as long as it is granted to you, as long as the Fates allow.

You get what you get and really do not have any sensible, genuine idea how to prolong it, though certain lifestyle choices DO enhance the quality of life and may offer some minor extension…but there’s no proof. Surprises never cease, and those who think they are perfectly healthy can suffer some sudden shock to the system which blows the whole outlook.

So, don’t count…anything. Don’t count the days. Don’t count the calories. Don’t count the steps or miles you run every day; what are you? A hamster? Just live and do your best to let others live; be cooperative but not a doormat. And, if you find yourself in a position to dominate, don’t revel in it; don’t stomp on the competition. You could just as quickly be under the other foot when you foolishly overstep your bounds. And, you project a terrible example to others who could easily replace you.

I’ve recently been discussing the sensitive subject of drugs with my very little nephews. Their parents have “no time” to talk about such things. But, from my childhood experience, I know how little adults (in my family, anyway) make an effort to discuss serious topics and prepare kids for what’s ahead, rather than let some PSA or school program drill a single phrase and some silly video into their heads. I can still see the cartoon donkey telling me to avoid strangers, the YUCK face warning me about hazardous drug bottles and the owl advising me not to pollute. Ya know…those were all cute and fun in their prime. But, real kids either wise up fast or go a long time before something shocks the crap out of them. Guess which one I was? The kid who got the crap shocked out of him when “reality” presented itself. B-But, the school was exceptional with its education system!…or so reputation says. Whatever. Parents and other adults need to be the education system…and not scare the kids.

Just the other day, I tuned into a TV show about social animal species which gave considerable focus to dolphins, elephants and a few types of monkeys. I became irked every time the narrator said an insect’s brain was far too small to compete with that of a dolphin. Does anyone other than me grasp the concept of size being relative, the idea that the physical size of the creature does not determine its intellect? We already should know an ant can lift an incredible amount of weight; can it not be just as possible for an ant to have more intelligence than we currently possess?

What if even the creatures with a “hive mentality” simply devote their massive brain power to that collective instead of dividing their “gifts” on all sorts of meaningless economical concerns and mindless entertainment, as humans do? Maybe our measily ten percent of brain power would grow or achieve more if we were not so…distracted and divided. It would not surprise me if, years from now, we discover plants having brains and a language we simply did not notice…and countless vegans suddenly turn ill with guilt for consuming yet another intelligent life.

[We humans, as far as I know, are the only species to become conflicted with what seems to be primal nature. We are so withdrawn from nature that we are foolishly, blindly destroying it. The “perfume” is so thick, we can’t think clearly.]

As much as it agitated me to hear the repetitive talk about the sizes of brains, I was finding myself emotionally drawn to the elephants and dolphins. In a strange way, I envied their social structures. I wanted to embrace them and say, “Let’s go have fun, together. Let’s go have a picnic at the beach.” I felt the urge to book a trip to some far off place where I could ride an elephant or swim with a dolphin, become the creature’s friend and make sure they were treated properly. [I get very unfriendly when I see an animal mistreated by “the system.” I’m not the best zoo visitor and go crazy when I see so many scientists trying to use technology on other animals, hoping to make them more like humans or give up all their secrets to the insatiable probing of humankind.]

And then…I thought about going home, leaving those animals I just befriended…and how sad it would be, not knowing what became of them or having any say in it, really. I’d be lucky to get a letter from someone who knows the creature. [It’s not like my elephant pal Boris can keep in touch, himself. And, so far, even when people nod and tell me they will keep in touch, it rarely comes true, sort of like parents who promise to take you on some trip to give you a summer worth talking about with your peers or just to shut you up so you don’t drive them bonkers all year, trying to pass off a hamburger and fries as a substitute for Disneyland and summer camp.]

You know what is short (in my life)? Time with those for whom I care and who I grow to like. Time with people who, at least, seem to truly understand and sympathize with me. It’s so rare; it’s like finding a unicorn in the forest. And, just when I think I’ve found some gem of a person, something seems to snatch them away.

It’s no wonder I have such a delusional outlook on life, in general. I’m obsessing with fantasies instead of taking what is given to me in a content manner. And, even my fantasies can’t sustain me because I still desire some tangible piece to ground my thoughts and feelings. I still want a body to hold and love, not a cartoon or mannequin.

And, though it is a common driving force to pursue a single warm body for primal needs, I know, deep down, it takes a bit more than that to achieve the grander sense of happiness; it takes a circle of friends and good relations with family. Well, I can pretty much wrap up that last one as a failure; even if I kissed the ground my family walked upon and did everything they wanted me to do, I would not be happy with them…and I am sure a few would continue to be unhappy with me, which is probably where my perfectionist vices originated. As a student, I couldn’t cope with less than a perfect grade but didn’t understand why; I just assumed others would look down upon me somehow. Less than perfect became almost sinful, forcing me to seek the means to atone.

I don’t see great or even good options for paths to take. I don’t see the multitude of good people with whom I am to surround myself nor the means to cast out the negative few. The negative outweigh the positive and, in turn, cause me to emit negativity, apparently. My anger, frustration and despair from what I see and hear is giving me a stink as it stews in my pores. If my social anxieties don’t spoil things for me, I make a fool of myself when I think I am in the right and cross a line with someone I just met. All my lessons in manners and respecting other cultures goes out the window once I open my mouth.

As a child, I was raised to dress properly and sit quietly while adults were in the room. I was a trophy child, someone the adults talked about but rarely with, other than the occasional comment about how I was performing in school or my interests, particularly art which few adults indulged in, thus they had little to say. I was complimented and encouraged to perform better and better than better. It was only when I reached my teens that my mind advanced beyond what my body was doing and became highly self-conscious. At my lowest point, I found my voice and used it to save myself from premature death. I thought speaking out was a valian effort. But, what did it get me? What has it gotten me all these years? A few more compliments about my sense of humor, a few more bits of praise for my wit…and a ton of complaints from the majority of negative spectators who find my words foolish, unpleasant and/or excessively self-righteous.

So, I say it, again. What is truly short? The time I have with those who satisfy my spirit (and body). Not life. This life of mine goes on and on, prolonged by a higher power who has some greater…or worse…plan for me. It began abnormally and continues to survive abnormally. Thus, I can never call myself “normal.” I have come close to ending it myself, but some tiny flame resides in me which continues to believe all is not lost, even if time takes its toll on the mind, body and worldly resources that seem to be so important to having this life (when they have so little to do with nature and life itself).

If you outlive someone who literally loses their mind, the ability to speak sensibly with you and recognize your face, you may be discouraged and join the chorus who sing about life being short. But, realize you are still living; your life continues with the knowledge of someone else losing their full potential for life. You still have time. Do you use it to compare lengths of lives? Or, do you simply live it and understand loss of ability and death are part of it?

Cherish what you have. Don’t quest or chase for what may be too much. Take care of good friendships and other relationships. These should not be labors but natural constructs that you merely maintain and thank the heavens for having in your life.

And, breathe.

16
Sep
19

A Party Year and I Don’t Feel Festive

***

Chinese astrology (and, maybe, predictions from astrology in general) is a bit like a certain brand of computer games that seems to have a mind of its own, telling me how and when to play. And, I guess, as I recently experienced a major “glitch” (troubling error), perhaps that too resembles my experiences with Chinese astrology.

I refer you back to 2015…a Wood Sheep year I thought was a sign of finding the love I have sought most of my life. I thought good things were in the near future; I just had to get out and find them. But, not long into that fateful year, I wound up in a hospital and was subject to a number of tests and treatments like a lab rat just to get me back in semi-normal functioning order. The expression “it cost me an arm and a leg” became a grim, somewhat sinister reality that year and continues to haunt me. I saw pretty faces but lost all or never had any chance of achieving a greater connection with them. So much for finding love. If there was any love that year, it was more like pity and it came with suffering.

Now, to be fair, there was no book or placemat telling me that was the year to find love. I took it upon myself to believe that from what I had grasped of/from Chinese astrology. I didn’t have a master/medium/guru to consult. I simply “divined” the possibility from what I had learned. Which, like many of my mistakes in this life, resulted in a slap-in-the-face disappointment.

In 2004, I took a costly trip overseas to fill a big hole in my life’s “experience folder.” I followed the ways of Bruce Almighty and said (to anyone who wrinkled their nose at me when I told them what I had planned), “If you don’t like what I’m doing, you can ‘megabyte’ me.” I didn’t know much about Chinese astrology at the time but had an inkling of good feeling and built my hopes up by carefully planning everything I could. Sadly, while I was ensured a measure of safety from certain harm, plans fell apart, social experiments failed under a cloak of deceptive friendship and I returned home with a case of souvenirs which left me feeling nearly as empty as I did when I left home.

I cried for days if not weeks, nearly as long as it took me to shake the jet lag. I felt as if the monkey (year) had made a fool out of me, once again. I remember watching so many others enjoying themselves while I struggled to insert myself into the fun, somehow. It was a bit like watching a celebration on a big TV and thinking I could step through the screen; there was no logical way to fit into the picture. The party crowd was just an illusion on the other side of a glass wall; I was not welcome (unless I changed who or whatever I was/am, maybe). I took what small positives I could from that experience…it was an experience which taught me a few things I’d hopefully be able to use on future trips to avoid repeat disappointment.

Now, what does all of this have to do with the price of tea in China? Perhaps nothing.

But, this year, 2019, is said to be a year to party and enjoy the fruits of past labors. Yet, as I think of the past eleven years, I cannot fathom how or what to celebrate. I used to dismiss the disagreements with family, who seemed unable to understand my interest in, my passion for celebrations of other cultures, and find my own small way to enjoy something like the Asian moon/harvest festival.

2011 was probably the last year I can recall feeling remotely good about that. I made an effort to grow pumpkins and redeem what was lost in my youth to very strange foul weather, a freak hail storm which destroyed a precious pumpkin plant in my family’s garden in the middle of summer, as if some god threw down a lightning bolt and said, “No! You can’t have any! No pumpkins for you!” I sought out my own kind of moon cake and bought paper lanterns. I had a party for one outside while the rest of my family isolated themselves with TV and computer screens. It was both mildly amusing and deeply tragic.

This year, I feel very un-festive. I feel like…what’s the point? And, somewhat accepting my lack of company on the same wave length, I feel like leaving the lights off and the decorations packed away. The Asian moon/harvest festival just came and went, and I didn’t even check out the moon until the night my most recent upset unfolded, the cliche Friday the 13th. I didn’t find my special moon cake. And, as family talked about caramel apples, I didn’t feel as strongly as I have in the past to get a special one of my own (which usually costs more than I’ve been told makes any sense to pay).

I couldn’t care less about dressing up for Halloween, if family can get together for Thanksgiving or if there are any decorations or presents out for Christmas. I’m slowly starting to agree with all those who “bah humbug” the holidays as commercial trickery. And, that really makes me want to cry. But, perhaps, all my “dammed” tears (tears I cannot seem to shed alone and which continue to amass behind a mental dam) are merely the sound of paper tearing, paper torn by the grim reality of practical value, telling me what is merely an illusion of happiness and what is the biological function of inevitable decomposition.

It’s really difficult to stand firm on any feeling because there always seems to be that other side of the fence making some kind of noise. If you’re the festive sort, there’s someone who’s a “humbug” nearby, trying to lower your lights and silence the music. If you’re the “humbug,” there’s someone turning up their music, launching firecrackers and/or turning their home into a spectacle. It’s like, no matter where you go, there’s no peace of mind. And, if the peace people carol about cannot be found, well, that’s just tragic and tears me to the core. It makes me question everything. And, questioning everything just stops the world dead. Everything becomes a rusting amusement park strung with cobwebs.

I “hear” some factor of Virgo (and/or Pisces?) might be responsible for this recent bout with self-doubt. But, who knows for sure. Though, I do see others, even here, having similar doubts. At least, it appears the doubts are similar. But, knowing my luck, this is just another misconception, another assumed grasp of reality ready to be shaken by disagreement.

It just makes me feel lousy to think this year could be the biggest party in twelve years and I, once more, don’t feel like being part of the crowd. Imagine going the next eleven years, listening to people rave about that party back in 2019 before they bemoan the toils of the present “labor” year.

To be fair, I’m not much of a crowd person, as far as I know my core spirit (though my thoughts of such have been swayed by research of astrology). I’ve never been comfortable at loud parties with countless people…or even a family of fifteen. When I was a kid, grown-ups did all of the partying; and us kids just had to sit quietly with a present, if we were lucky to get one. We didn’t get to play much together nor with the adults. I would latch onto brief smiles from pretty older aunts and cousins and think I was at the door to some magical world…and then be forced to let it all slip away as I returned to a restricted life at home like Cinderella and try to reset my mind for school work and all the education I was being told was important. I rarely knew the true warmth of friendship; friends would appear and disappear or change into something I could no longer accept.

And, I still occasionally mourn the loss of what I consider the best friend I’ve ever had, partially blaming myself (and partially blaming her). She was the only friend who stood beside me and came to my aid when I was suffering; she checked in on me like a good nurse. Male friends were only looking for fun I could rarely supply because I didn’t share the same sort of imagination or have the latest toys. But, *she* wasn’t like that; she would have been my friend, no matter what I had or didn’t have. And, though I didn’t share all of her interests (which made me worry I wasn’t the best of friends), I was fairly content just being with her, seeing her smile and hearing her infectious laughter. Yet, we drifted apart after she denied me the growing feelings I had and went to a different school where she became involved with some guy using drugs; and, back then, that was like a cardinal sin to those of us who had been raised on anti-drug campaigns. Had I known then what I know now, I might not have shuddered at all at the realization and fought to keep her at my side (instead of letting her go and drifting into my own solitary misery). [Granted, to be fair, I was in no position to fight for someone else at the time. I was grateful to have any friend visit me and give me some sign of comfort and/or strength to fight with my own internal monsters. I couldn’t be someone’s hero when I needed my own hero…or heroine (a female hero, not the drug).]

If I had an inkling of that same good, enduring feeling (that I had with her) with another person in the past thirty years, I’d be less inclined to mope. But, sadly, I cannot say anyone could compete with her. A rare phone call or email just isn’t the same as someone who could pay me a visit and shake the tears from my branches until I could smile, again. A pen pal is a nice dessert but far from the main course I still do not have in/with me. And, I think of all the things we had yet to do together, things so many young lovers claim they’ve done (or so I hear). While many turned their focus to the pursuit of sex, I was thinking about so many other possibilities that would bring far better, enduring joy. It just never came to pass. And, at my age, it seems like a foolish notion to consider anything outside of a world of broken marriages and single parenthood, of “sloppy seconds” and “second chances,” if that, of people making desperate moves out of desperate positions only to fall back into fruitless ruts after attempting to satisfy their “sweet tooths” (or sweet teeth?). I don’t want to think any window has closed for good………..

….So, we’ve reached that point in my train of thought when I know I need to hit the breaks (Tsssh!) and regroup so I can get on with my life before I am completely and permanently derailed.

I know I shouldn’t let any of this get to me. But, I feel an inclination to mentally stab myself (not using an actual knife) for missing out on some festivities, for not making the proper moves to share in the fun, every time word of some party going on reaches my ear. I don’t buy into all the “best ever” and “bigger than ever” crap people keep pitching. But, I know there’s a party…and, even though I’m not the best party joiner…suffering from some variety of social discomfort/anxiety…I’m missing…something. I suspect what I am really missing is the joy of good companionship, of friendship and revitalizing love. But, many if not all of us feel that pull when people are enjoying themselves; don’t we? You feel like you’re on a dark street looking in on some lively, colorful crowd laughing, dancing, eating and drinking. You feel just a little like that infamous Scrooge traveling the pathways of time and space with those three eerie spirits.

But, down the road, I doubt these feelings will matter much…or they will just become “wash” in the layers of sand gathered during aging. I just…don’t want to be an old humbug. But, I also don’t see a way around it. And, that makes me quite nauseous and tense.

And, how does one go on living when the past seems so empty, when your story cannot feel as good as that of another you encounter (and it makes no sense to say it’s better than the case of some other poor chap)? When that fateful day arrives to write an obituary about yours truly, what will it say and who will write it? I currently don’t have someone I know will do myself justice in print. Nor, even if I did, can I feel good about filling this life to its fullest. Maybe I never should let such notions get into my head. Maybe everyone can only live life as full as they can or the Fates allow. Maybe I only get half a life while someone else gets twice their expected share. Maybe that’s just the way of the cosmos and beyond human understanding…and not something we humans should dare pass around as fact or expectation.

So, what if I write my own obituary? Would that matter? A little. And, still, it would feel empty. Because, aside from my good intentions and fewer deeds of service than some I’ve come to know, I see plenty of missed opportunities either thrust upon me by controlling and/or mentally abusive adults or spawned from within myself by genetic “doubts” and “fears.” And, it pains me to think of when I did take chances only to fall flat on my back and injure myself. It’s as if even trying to do something was in error. So, why try anything? It’s a question that continues to peck at me and leaves me feeling restless.

If only I could tune out the rest of the world and focus only on what is in front of me. Even if I could or would do that, could I be content or find contentment in that? Or, is it already too late?…because I’ve bitten the apple that flooded my eyes with illusions of wonder?…with ideas of what could be and pretty faces I wish I could call my friends and lovers?

21
Aug
18

Conditional Friendships, Lousy Incentives and Switching to Find Fleeting Happiness

****

You have two people who want to be your friend. One cannot guarantee they will remain your friend if you do anything to upset the friendship. The other says you can make one big mistake and be forgiven without any change to the friendship. The second person sounds pretty reassuring; right? But, what happens if you do anything to upset the friendship after that first big mistake?

What’s the news flash here? No; it’s not about not being perfect. It’s about “changing rates” of support. When all someone can offer is a temporary incentive, is befriending that source worth the investment? You wouldn’t want someone to give you a contract of conditions to be their friend or, even more impacting, their lover. Why would you want to gamble with something like insurance?

I’ll give you another scenario.

You want to pay someone to do a job for you. Person A wants to do the job at a consistent rate per day, and, if they’re really nice, they will let you know that rate up front. Person B will cut the price in half the first day but says nothing about what the job will cost you the following days. Person B is hoping to snag your attention with the first part of their offer before slipping the hidden consequence under your rug. And, to make matters more complicated and/or interesting, both person A and person B suggest “switching” who works for you at some unclear point during the time required. Switching also comes with an incentive similar to the one offered by person B. However, though no penalty is discussed for switching, the effort will likely wreak havoc on your workspace, rob you of privacy and put financial information at risk.

Does this sound like a game you want to play? If not, why the frhekhtehtlwbwe are we subjecting ourselves to this crap in all things financially binding? Why do we have so many ads pressing us to “switch service plans” and dodge “contracts” when it seems just about every source is selling the same garbage? Hubba, hubba, hubba…who do you trust? And, if the answer is no one…or if you play the switching game that’s presented to you…how exhausting this life is. It’s barely living. It’s running a hamster wheel before dying in a heating duct.

Wake up, people! How do we disconnect and stay connected? Start thinking and get out of the doldrums, all you Milos out there. [I’m telling myself, as well.]

18
May
18

Friend-Less, the Solution to “Icky Drama”

****

[The setting: Woman-A meets with her friend, Woman-B at a cafe for lunch. They start talking and eventually reach a disagreement which gives Woman-A a bad case of indigestion and gas (because her emotions are tied to her digestive system). Woman-B decides to use the Ladies’ Room while Woman A maintains her distance and hopes no one complains about her flatulence. A female stranger, Woman-C, notices the discomfort of Woman-A and joins her.]

Woman C: Is your friend giving you digestive problems?

Woman A: Urp! *sigh* …Yeah.

Woman C: Then you need Friend-Less. She’s 100% human but without the complicated emotional upsets. You’ll never have to endure a conflict of interests, again!

Woman A: Sounds *B-Lurp!* great. Where can I find…uh, her?

 

[You won’t find Friend-Less in any restaurant, workplace, club, yoga class, pharmacy or department store. Science hasn’t worked out all the bugs on this one, yet. And, even if someone did, it would be a crime against nature (unless a higher power chose a lack of emotional upsets as a step in evolution, as an adaptation). ‘Sort of like any food/drink that has been tampered with to boast a lack of side effects. It’s NOT 100% anything except guaranteed to be manipulated.]

08
May
18

F-Book Stalking and Reliving Old Wounds

****

So, it’s like this.  I don’t use the site/service I prefer to call F-Book.  You know what I mean.  The place you profile people, poke them, stalk feeds, etc.  I’ve heard enough agonizing, annoying stories about the place.  So, I keep my distance.  And, for the most part, so does my family.  Yet, there are those who find their reasons and do all…that.  They may not have their own “page,” but they’ll still dig into the pages of others, of people they used to know just to see where they are now.  And, if people actually thought to look for me?  Well, too bad, so sad, you won’t find me there.

My sister decides to show me pictures of people we used to know when we were kids.  If these are former classmates of hers, I’m okay with it.  But, I still think it’s wrong if she’s not actually reaching out to these people.  That’s just stalking…or ghosting.

But, when she shows me people I shared a class with…people I used to think of as love interests and/or friends…people I lost touch with…who have now moved on, married, had kids…….

It’s like I’ve been in prison all this time.  It’s like I missed out on life.  It’s like I’ve lost them all over again and multiple ways.  It’s hard to just brush it off and say I’m not bothered or discouraged.  I’ll likely need time away from seeing more of…that…to forget about it, as aging is likely to afford.

In  a very small way, I suppose I should be happy these people, at least, appear happy.  And, the girl I thought I’d eventually marry…at least she has a kid with a name I would have agreed to give the child.

I don’t know which is worse.  Or, I do and don’t want to admit it.  If I had done the searching, I might find myself wanting to get lost in a bottle of booze I dare not touch.  But, I didn’t open the box.  My sister did.

…..

How much can one guy like me take?

I just needed to vent, to process this a bit and now have to let it all go.  So many falling stars.  So many beauties I’ve come to adore running off with other men.  I’m just too slow.  It’s my fault.  But, I’m better off not letting them get to me.  Let them go.  And, where I fall I fall.  Just tune out what I cannot hold or control.  Wait for my moment.  My moment will come.  Or, I’ll die a hermit in good service.  I’ll be like a monk or prophet.

 

19
Apr
18

Exit the Social Media Freeway System

*****

Everything internet comes with some measure of traffic. If you feel yourself getting stuck or lost in any of that, if you feel like the loser at a school reunion with nothing to compare, nothing to showcase with a smile, pull to the side, stop the car and get out. Now. Don’t spend another minute putting up with the irritations and discouraging faces around you. Don’t continue to sit in guilt, distress or confusion.  Don’t turn to drugs or destructive behavior as some sort of revenge-slash-self-harm. Don’t keep looking for the off-ramp to satisfaction. Just get off the road and take a few deep breaths where the air is fresh.

This isn’t the venue for making the best of connections.  This isn’t the best art gallery to feature your work.  This isn’t likely the office of the publisher you want to turn your latest fruit of the heart into a bestseller.  I’m not saying these things are impossible here, but the odds are much slimmer.  And, I know slim odds.  I’m tackling them right here with you, steering away from the “mainstream,” trying to exist outside the box.  It’s hard.  No doubt.

But, how many ever achieve anything while in traffic?  Other than road rage and maybe an exchange of papers in the case of an accident?  Other than those rare stories of passersby sparing a crash victim from dying in the vehicle?  How many are making friends in traffic?  I mean something greater than the friendly wave for letting you into the very traffic I am warning you is going to get to you.

Thanks, stranger; I needed a way onto this road to get where I am going…but, wait, I didn’t want this!  Now, I’m stuck.  Again!

Everything internet feels a bit like the rat race to get the latest this or that or fill our “bellies” with what we crave.  And, if you can’t keep up with the speed limit, it can really wear you down or wreck your life.  You might take a break and get right back in it, too.

Why??  What is so addictive about this trafficking.  Heh.  I said it.  This, too, is human trafficking.  It’s not the known definition of the term, for that is just the cover under which so much else goes on unseen.   That’s how moral crime works.  You only see a glimpse of the whole or bigger picture.  There is so much more going on outside your perspective.

Now, let everything I just said wash through your hair and out of your brain.  Let’s get right down to what you’re seeking.

Fame?  Find an agency.  Make a YouTube spectacle of yourself.  Self-publish your books and do whatever you can to get on a talk show or share a table with someone who has her own channel for just about everything and loves bread.

If you seek human connection whether as friendship, love or to feed your soul some other way, reach out to people, at the very least, online as you find them.  Make contact.  But, better yet–and I need to remind myself of this–get away from the glowing screen and deal with people around you.

Want to know what that person is thinking or doing right now?  You know, there used to be this thing called a telephone, technically a “land line,” and you had to use that same scrolling finger you burn up on the glowing slab of plastic-crete you may now hold to turn an actual wheel a few times to reach the person you favor.  And, if that wasn’t good enough, you could put pen to paper and put that in an envelope that went through what used to be called a postal service which then sent the paper and envelope, along with a “stamp” to the person you named on the envelope.  Or, you hopped on a bike, took a hike, caught a bus or drove a car to VISIT the person(s).  Try that, maybe.  You’ll likely feel better and get some fresh air in the bargain, that is, if the air is still fresh when you do.

I’m slapping myself with this one right now (metaphorically), reminding myself to mind the traffic.

 

11
Apr
18

Like a Sad Puppy Looking Out the Window

***

No.  You’re not going to find any sad but cute puppy pictures here.  Go clog your storage drives elsewhere.

I’m just expressing how I feel at the moment…at this stage in my life.  And, just to let you know, I’m going to get a bit long-winded; so get comfy and prepare yourself for some heavy paragraphs if you care to read.  But, if you want a more intimate look at the real me, this is about as close as you get without making the effort to reach out and connect via the pathways I provide.  I may repeat a few things from previous posts.

I feel like time is slipping away while I struggle to stand and get moving.  I hear about neighbors I don’t socialize with regularly, finding out their kids have already married and bought houses when it seems like only a few years ago they were kids playing in the backyard.  Have I actually reached THAT age?  Am I already the gray-haired elder who talks about the little ones being taller than I remember?

I’m not particularly physically handicapped.  But, I feel emotionally and mentally challenged…crippled.  I feel starved and deprived of good energies that I’d assume propel other people into action.

If someone says I just lack motivation, what does that mean?  I should be whipped like a slave?  I should throw myself in front of a bus or hit my head against a wall til I get the picture?  I just need to take more risks, more chances?  I’m not charitable enough?  I’m not “hungry” enough?  Exactly what direction should I move in to be doing this life right?  [No.  Don’t answer that one.  There are way too many people doling out answers they think are right, already.]

It’s sad to say, too, but I look forward to and sometimes rely upon emails to communicate.  I used to turn to the landline telephone.  But, reaching people isn’t always as easy, anymore, now that there are “options” and more things to distract people (rather than connect them).  I don’t mind leaving a message if I know I’ll get a response.  But, I don’t want to be the guy calling at “a bad time” and feeling like I am expecting the person to be my therapist while they are wondering when I’ll stop gabbing because they have “more important” things to do (that I could/should be doing myself).  Often enough, talking on the phone makes me feel worse, later, than I do composing a letter or email (which, for me, often turns out as long or longer than some letters I used to write).

So, when I finally do get an email or offer to email, I perk my head up a little and might even pant before responding as soon as possible.  Sometimes, I go out of my way, give it more time than most would, really try to make it into something special, something personal and considerate.  Over the years, I’ve realized that usually smells of desperation and is not–as often as I’d like–appreciated.

I try to be patient with others, particularly when they say they are sorry they cannot respond sooner/more often.  I say, “Oh, that’s okay.  You’re busy.  Take your time.”  And, then what happens?  I don’t hear from these people for weeks, months…  And, well, if it goes past a year, I pretty much assume our connection is dead.   [One sad, lonely dog, looking too hard for attention over here.]

“Back in the day,” (heh) you might write to a pen pal and wait a year for a response.  But, you were not considering that pen pal anything more than a seasonal visitor like the Easter Bunny or Kris Kringle.  You didn’t expect much from a pen pal and were grateful, hopefully, when they felt thoughtful enough to send a treat or souvenir.

I don’t look for pen pals at this stage of my life.  If my “circle” was that fulfilling but too local to satisfy my explorative interests, I might look for a stranger overseas to tell me tales.  But, these days, you don’t need a pen pal for that.  You can find people like that online!…in places like this one!  And, if they are friendly enough, you can exchange dialogue!  Isn’t that nice?  [Not that there’s much dialogue going around from what I can see.  More often, I see “award” notices, strangely worded/ignored comments from faceless strangers, brief words of vague sympathy and plenty of “snapshot” responses (the LIKES and the FOLLOWS) which are void of warmth.]

My timing and my low level of comfort with mingling are also terrible.  It seems I am always inside when others are taking walks outside.  [Again, the sad puppy looking out the windows.]  And, even if I cross paths with someone while walking, I’m in no way comfortable striking up a conversation.

For one, I don’t want to come off like an intrusion or misunderstood threat.  I don’t want to take away from the exercise or interaction someone else may be having with their exercise group/companion(s) (while I am almost always alone).  If they only have so much time to exercise, why try to or expect them to stop and gab as long as I may?

Secondly, or rather, additionally in regards to general discomfort, I am not comfortable talking on a walk or in public for more than a minute or two because I know my skin is thin and that I will break the dam wide open if given a chance.  And, the last thing I want is to get loud or breakdown among passersby who are likely to turn their heads and very quickly add to my discomfort.  What’s wrong with him?  Do you really want to know?  [Not to mention all the concerns I’d have of being rejected or “judged” for expressing or hearing something that disturbs one of us.]

What I really would like is to meet someone on a walk or online (or somewhere far more comfortable, wherever that is) and spark a conversation but take it somewhere more private so I don’t expose my “ills,” my concerns, my woes, my heavier thoughts to more people than necessary, especially to people you don’t know who are capable of doing things with your output that might shock and/or upset you.

And, I think that’s what I’ve been doing and striving to do since the internet began.  [I am pretty sure I’ve discussed my experiences with making contacts online elsewhere in my posts.  I just don’t feel like linking or repeating.  And, hey, if you really need to know, you just ask.]

I don’t or can’t expect someone I just met to welcome me into their home or car (and that doesn’t sound too smart to begin with, anyway). I really don’t know where to go to make this happen.  Nor do I have any bright idea or motivation to make myself more comfortable.  It’s one thing when you have a friend or “wingman” with you.  It’s a whole other to feel as fragile as I do and try to go it alone.  I mean, I am sure people do it and have done it.  And, if it comes down to it, I’ll figure out a way.  But, time is passing by so quickly, and I am still spinning my tires.

It sure would be nice if more people reached out to me, too.  Ya know?  I feel worse thinking the world is only going to get better if I make it better for myself (and others).  For all the stories I read of people making things happen, starting businesses and such, I don’t see people reaching out to me.  I keep getting the feeling like I’m different and have to do the leg work for others.  They might have tons of offers or be going through applications/resumes like some location seeking employees.  But, I remain the lone applicant just hoping to make a dent, to get my foot in a door.  [Stop looking like that, sad puppy man!]

Am I just living in some TV show or video game?  Is this just a 4D world in which I have the controller to make things happen?  Have I been so bewildered by the simulations that I forgot I am Player One?

Some would say I just need to get busy or be busier with my life.  When you’re busy, you don’t think as much (about these things).  And, while that may be true, do I want to busy myself with work that does nothing other than feed the careless, wasteful impulses of others (just because someone chooses to make a business of that, because someone convinced them this was profitable) or work for someone who sells a lie built around fear/doubt?

Oh, sure, I could get very busy.  I could not make any money and devote my life to charity because the world sure needs plenty of help.  But, I am terribly afraid of my social and general anxieties getting in the way, of ending up penniless and dependent upon some system I don’t necessarily understand or like.  It’s not like I would be good at balancing charity with doing everything I need to support myself.  I’d more likely give my all and wind up with nothing…or give so little that I feel like a cheapskate/miser.  It is all a bit too risky for me.  [Yet, charity sounds better than some alternatives.]

Sigh.  Woof!

 

 

 

 

14
Feb
18

Happy Year of the Earth Dog 2018/4718

*****

Friday, February 16, 2018 (4718) is the beginning of the Chinese New Year, the year of the (brown/black) Earth Dog.  [I’m just letting you know (in advance).]  What does that have to do with the price of tea in China, you ask?  I’m not sure.

But, it’s a good year for both building up investments and security and, if you have faith, feeling secure (provided your honest and a dog’s friend).  Put more money into retirement savings.  Cash in on stocks.  Buy or sell property.  Enjoy the fruits of interest/dividends.

If you own a dog, treat him or her right.  Don’t neglect the dog.  Don’t send your dog away.  But, don’t spoil the dog, either.  Healthy care is a healthy investment in your four-legged friend (or three-legged if the poor thing lost one).

The Dog guards against the vices of the world.  It has no tolerance for thieves, doubt, greed and/or any behavior that causes division (such as racism or sexism).  Thus this is a year you’ll see plenty come to justice for misdeeds.

And, this is a time to spread good will, share the wealth/crops and, if you’re good boys and girls, receive some from others.  Don’t forget to give thanks to any kindness you receive.  [I am also not sure what makes this different from other years.  Every year, it would not be a bad idea to be kind to others.  However, it would be wise to not give more of yourself than is sensible.  Do not leave yourself at risk of exhaustion or going broke.  DO NOT GAMBLE.]

YearoftheEarthDog-2018-4718_doghouseguarded_1100700-ap-1JYearoftheEarthDog-4718-2018_moon-doghouseguarded_1100700-ap-2Jhappychinesenewyear-lantern-fireworks-paper-red-8501100-ap-CSPP-1

08
Feb
18

The Impact of (Lacking) Friendship

****

I’m going to start of this thought train with a very vital question.  Does anyone else know what it is like to go 30+ years without a solid, reliable, comforting friendship in one’s life?  Does anyone have any idea…if you have a circle or even just two good friends…can you imagine the impact on a life of not having a reassuring friendship for 30+ years?

If I was someone who had at least two friends upon which I could go to with anything and actually hang out on a regular basis, feel like there was nothing taboo or that would earn me some measure of rejection, I would probably be speechless to find someone who had no good friends for that long.

Obviously, I am having a personal crisis moment.  I have these now and then about friendship.  The last time I felt I had a solid friendship, I was 13; and that friend decided to date a “frenemy” (friend who became a sort of enemy/indifferent classmate) and say we’d never be more than friends though I was hoping she and I would be more than friends, after knowing each other so long and growing together and after having feelings I didn’t even understand long before they were a topic in sex education.  I was roughly 7 years old when I knew I felt something for this girl who became a good friend.

I had male friends, too.  But, usually, one at a time, and they were not the best friendships because most of my focus was on what we had to share, video games, trading cards, whatever.  Sure, we could joke and hang out together, but not as often as I would have liked.  [And, there’s another reason behind that I won’t go into, today.  One that was not of my control/choice.]  For some reason, I couldn’t have more than one male friend at a time.  It was like one would rub me the wrong way or he’d get tired of my cautiousness and find someone more fun to visit.  So, out the door one would go, and, somehow, another slipped into place.  I don’t even know how I made these friends.  I think we just sat together at lunchtime and, while talking about video games or some kind of toys, decided we should consult our parents about getting together.

As for my best female friend, we met through a summer group and stuck together through school.  It was almost like we were two trees growing side-by-side.  And, I remember the distinct difference between the guy friends and the girl friend.  The girl friend was more sympathetic on her own while the guy friends found discussing feelings a bit uncomfortable.

I regularly had to curb what I said with the guys whenever they turned stone-silent and looked away.  Even as a kid, I had too much to think about or say, not necessarily being chatty at the time…because I was still one of the “quiet ones” back then.  I didn’t get chatty til my teens when I had to fight for my life, different from the days with bullies when I sometimes settled things with my fist or foot.  [The cornered cat scratched back, back then.]

As I got older, friends became even harder to find and keep.  In high school, I was under a ton of internal turmoil for a handful of reasons.  And, if the guys didn’t know how to deal with that when I was little, they were not much if any better as teenagers.  And, the girls were suddenly like deer in the eyes of wildcats.  The laws of the jungle were taking hold of my peers, and here I was contemplating the meaning of life and where my future was headed.  I might as well have been a lamppost in the forest.  The friendships I managed to make with the old system of common interests fizzled as soon as I became emotional or found my “friend” was supporting a cause or theology I did not respect.  I had to make moral choices, and that left me out in the cold, time and time, again.  No one came to my aid.  Peers didn’t reach out any better than I did.  [I probably would have been more social if I wasn’t consumed with anxiety and depression.]

Even professionals could only do so much; they didn’t understand.  A pill was not the answer; it might mess with my head and distract some part of me from functioning, but I cannot live the rest of my life like that and still feel human or true to my faith.  And, a pill is not the answer to a family situation that’s problematic.

[You can’t make everything better just by twisting my brain into some alien configuration that gets “better channels.”  My family did not have the answer nor accept me as I was.   A pill is not going to change that; talking just to me isn’t going to change that. And, distancing myself from family is only going to make me feel more alone and inadequate without a friendship to fill the gaps.

If people cannot cope with my intense persona, do I honestly think a pill that shuts me up is going to make that all better or allow me to see and use the “tools” someone thinks are the answer?  Some might say, “You don’t know until you try.”  Wanna be a guinea pig and deal with all the hazardous side-effects while trying to find the “right pill for you?”  Be my guest.  I hope you live long enough to toss the pill bottle when you finally feel better before you have other medical issues, possibly from liver or kidney sediment.  I hope the pill spares you from dealing with real emotional matters and when whoever upsets you gets on your nerves, again.  Or, if you’re one of those real lucky ones who DO “level out” just right…well, I’ve got nothing to say about that.]

So began the age of “no one understands.”

Then we get to adulthood and the workforce and how people don’t really mature much, even if they sound and look more mature.  Or, if there were more mature people, I had lost comprehension of maturity and was not seeing them beyond the trees of the forest I occupied.  I might read about someone with a “better” life without knowing all the facts and listen when others point to those people and say, “Look; they can do it.  Why can’t you?”

I manage to get along with coworkers.  I even get brave enough to put offers on the table.  And, on a rare occasion, someone makes me an offer.   But, what happens to those offers?  Not much.  If I get my hopes up, they seem to disappear or go south.  If I hesitate or brush it off, I hear, “Why didn’t you take me up on my offer?”  Um, maybe because I didn’t want to get my hopes up for the first result I mentioned?  Or, maybe you didn’t bring it up twice even though I can mention the same desire/wish a dozen times just to get a faint chuckle and/or a “yea” before it gets ignored.

Have I made any solid friendship with coworkers?  Not really.  I mean, sure, we got along and talked off and on at work for over 10 years.  I can email and call a few just to say hi and “catch up.”  And, no doubt, we’re all good at telling each other what they should do.

But, do we hang out or do anything outside of work?  Oh, no, because there was something wrong with me or my abilities.  Or, as unfortunate as it might be, we both have limitations that get in the way.  And, maybe, I don’t want to be the single, lonely guy poking his nose into a family or married situation when I am unsure of what is good timing or proper to suggest without offense.  [And, I don’t mean I was ogling someone’s wife, either.  But, if I was befriending a guy with an attractive wife, sure, I may feel attracted and then have to watch myself, which does add pressure to the situation.]  I don’t want to be the guy who “has too much time on his hands” and gets plenty of suggestions what to do with myself when I want to spend time with or have someone go over something important with me, who happens to have their hands full with family or their own social life, as if I would be a bother.

So, I am supposed to be a fully functional, professional and well-adjusted adult on his own, not letting what others say or do get to me, doing everything on my own as if I don’t have to interact with anyone yet somehow do whatever is “normal” to avoid being an outsider.  It’s like no one can explain how good friendship works….it just does.  It’s just like Life cereal.  Why does Mikey like it?  He just does.  And, Nike just does it.  So, why can’t I?

Well, if anyone wonders why I am progressing so slowly in terms of a “normal adult life” yet sitting with this “amazing brain” of mine, hopefully this current rant will shed some light on the matter and not drive potential friends further away.

 




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