Posts Tagged ‘thoughts

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.

 

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18
Apr
18

Too Many Offices Behind the Screen?

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Everything is going internet and APP these days.  Or, so it seems.  No one wants to do anything face-to-face, anymore.  Where do you think that will lead?  And, what kind of faith do we have to have to trust those we cannot even see?

I mean, we might chance the occasional online shopping to get something that isn’t available in the local store.  But, if it’s near home, can’t we sum up the courage and resources to go get it?  [Not if we’re going to support drone service, download the app for everything and do what when something goes wrong?  Who are you going to call for help?  Some Uber android service representative?  Some remote control repair person?]

What gets me going on this tangent today?  Well, I’m noticing sooooo many bloggers writing advice columns for just about everything.  They take up probably 2/3 of this blog site, leaving the other 1/3 to personal tales and soooooooooooooooooo many poems.  Oh, and a few artists’ simplest of works.  Look, I drew a pencil.  LIKE it.  And, random photos from people looking to scrapbook life.

I get to thinking…who takes this advice seriously?  Who reads all of this stuff?  And, how do you trust some advisor you never met?  Are you going to consult a doctor who never touches your body or witnesses what you are suffering?   You prefer self-diagnosis and assumption?  [And, what of the advisor who isn’t even legitimately advising but leading you on to some linked sham?]

I forget that’s what we’ve been doing for a long time with tabloid TV shows and magazines featuring countless ads for pills, cigarettes, ridiculously expensive cars and watches, etc.  Magazines are known for this sort of thing.  So many articles and cover blurbs about how to do this and that better than you probably know yourself.  Why ask someone you know when you can read about it from a complete stranger?

Except, with good ol’ magazines and TV, there was nothing to open or click on to give you trouble.  You slowed your life down to read or watch.  You didn’t invite “malware” to shut down your TV or fingers.

Whatever happened to “word of mouth” or consulting your neighbor?

So, what am I achieving by writing out these thoughts?  I dunno.  Who really cares.  You’ve got more important things to do, see and read.  Like all those advice columns.  This isn’t exactly one of them.  But, it might sound like one.  And, while I know I am a genuine heart and soul writing these words, I realize you only know the text on the screen.  Everything else you feel is your imagination (and, maybe, gut feeling if you’re lucky).

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

10
Apr
18

How Do You Address Aging with Parents Who Are?

***

Touchy subject.

I have parents who are “getting up there” who are first experiencing some of the major setbacks of aging, those setbacks that make anyone else concerned for their ability to function and safety.  And, on top of that, my parents are that proud, self-sufficient sort that think they’ll be superheroes all their lives, not willing to admit or aware they are aging.  They don’t often ask for help even when they clearly need it.  And, if you try to help, you have to be ready to be judged inferior to their standards and be corrected on how to do the tasks you’re trying to help them finish with your own intelligence.

They don’t want to hear, “You’re getting old enough, now, that you may not be able to do that, yourself, anymore.”

So, how do you discuss with these parents your concern for them losing the ability to do what they’re used to doing themselves?

09
Mar
18

Why do noses drip when you cry?

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That’s your burning question for the week(end), dear readers (and casual, compulsive scrollers).  Though I am sure to find some inklings of information by doing an online search, I want to hear your thoughts/input.

Now, not everyone may experience this.  But, for those who do, why does the nose drip when we get so upset that we feel the need to cry?  Any other time the nose drips, it’s a reaction to cold weather/chills and/or an attempt for the nose to purge itself of some invasive particle when you are sick or suffering from allergies.  When you’re upset/crying, you’re just consumed with emotion; there’s no germ to get out.

So, why does the nose run when you get upset?

Hit me with your scientific theories and diagnoses or just share your thoughts on the matter.

02
Mar
18

A Family Imbalanced

****

I am, once again, working through some deep-seeded feelings and–if you the reader so decide to give it–get some input.  In this age of short attention spans, I consider it amazing if the average reader can digest all I have to say.  [So, pat yourself on the back if you do.  And, if you’ve read similar thoughts in previous posts of mine, bare with me; it wouldn’t surprise me if I repeated.

NOTE:  If all you do is click LIKE on this post, I will be annoyed because I don’t know what you hope to achieve by doing that.  And, I will feel like a spectacle, standing in public in my underwear.

What inspired this purging of the soul?  Recent events in which I have been giving much of my time and energy to my family and seen little in return.  Sometimes my offers of assistance and input are rejected, with or without mention of how I should live my life differently.  That reaction seems to run in the family (myself included, under certain circumstances).  I just wish someone would step up and say, “Now, what can I do to help YOU?” Or, “How are you coming with ___?  Need any help?”

I seem to be more willing to help my family (and anyone who triggers sympathy in me) than they are willing (and/or able) to help me.  Granted, they have loaded their hands with fairly full lives of their own while I struggle to “get myself together.”  I cannot offer much more than my helping hands, remaining mobility, “over-thinking” and sympathetic brain (for working out all of those little mental wrinkles that plague those with failing memories or certain problems that need solving)…and patience.  And, if a member of my family did anything that shocked or upset my “code,” I might be less willing to offer help.

[IE If someone chose to get drunk and go broke, I might have a hard time offering financial or even emotional support.  That is, in part, because I’ve never let myself be so careless and cannot relate; I don’t feel like I have the “coping skills” to deal with that situation.  I could easily hand over money and risk leaving myself in financial danger, but I am resistant–for whatever reason–to do so.  And, I’ll get more into that sort of situation in a moment.]

It’s actually somewhat amazing I am willing to help my family, at all, when, some years ago, I was at a serious crossroads with the core of my being, and my family essentially looked the other way, treating me like a misfit of society who didn’t want to “go with the flow.”  [Which is ironic after years of chasing fads only to be told this behavior was costly and pointless.]  I realize solitude and defending myself so long has depleted my resistance and left me more in need of human contact and cooperation.

Long ago, in my late teens, I wanted a fresh start, a makeover of sorts.  And, if anyone supported the entities that rubbed me the wrong way, I withdrew from those supporters to defend myself, rather than accept people simply telling me I am crazy for being so troubled by something they saw as harmless.  [This came with trusting professionals with my life and feeling my life was threatened by those professionals.]  All I knew at the time was I needed to purge my being of what felt like a serious mistake, similar to atoning for a sin.  And, my family, my foundation, my roots, stood in the way.

[You might hear or read sources that say you should “be” and “love” yourself.  I have felt unable to do that thoroughly because I continually run into opposition, including family.  If you like metaphors, it’s sort of like being a young bird wanting to fly and having your wings either torn to shreds or weakened by lack of proper nutrition.]

Now, this endured for many years, me unable to trust my family with just about anything and feeling misunderstood.  I had no privacy, no freedom to maintain a room of my own (design) as I saw fit.  [If I left the house, I’d return home many days to find my possessions rearranged, altered or missing.  Thus, each time I wanted to leave home, I couldn’t help being concerned and was denied the option to use locks to secure my space.]  I survived by doing what I had been told to do since I was little…keep myself busy.  But, this wasn’t advancing my life in any good way I could see.  When I wanted to have “adult” discussions, no one could cope with my rapid-firing concerns/hesitation.  And, if they felt like bringing up old news–like that time I was trying to put behind me–any chance of cooperation went down in emotional flames rather quickly.

[Again, ironic, considering another member of the immediate family has had several makeovers and never once had to worry about his own room being invaded/rearranged.]

A bothersome pattern involves me buckling whenever I hesitate to try/do something and seek input from family.  I’m reluctant to ask, worrying about the response I may get.  And, if the response comes with some measure of judgment, objection, insult/offense or resistance, I give up the quest for assistance/input and recoil into a troubling state of helplessness.

Add to this my inability to do just about anything for myself, including stepping outside my comfort zone (if you can even call what I had comforting) to meet new people, to socialize, and I am a rather handicapped individual going nowhere.  Before I stopped going (and began fighting to defend my decision), I couldn’t even go to mass/church with family without feeling lacking in their acceptance, feeling a bit like a reject and enemy.  The church was supposed to be my sanctuary, and it couldn’t be; not with my family and social anxieties.

This is just the tip of the emotional iceberg.  And, after giving these thoughts a few hours of my time, I am feeling lost in thought and depleted.  So, without knowing what else to say, I will stop here.  If I feel up to it, later, I will revise/add to these thoughts.

* I am writing this in addition to a previous post about lacking love and friendship. *

 

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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