Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Plain to See

They say honesty is the best policy, and that maxim is what I’ve adhered to in dealing with the world around me. Part of that honesty, however, involves maintaining secrets entrusted to me by many I’ve come across, which has led to me honing the skills, layering and storytelling ability demanded of crafting a believable lie. Crucial to that are minimizing the tells which reveal the lie for what it is and risk assessment of both sticking to the lie and coming clean when the pressure’s on, since the ‘lesser’ evil is the more desirable evil in the long run. With enough practice, it’s possible to have the truth hidden in plain sight, even if it stares them in the eye as they pass it by each day.  Lately, though, I’ve pondered in depth if that kind of skill is what I want to let define my success and my growth as a human being, given how corrosive it is to the bonds we all share.

I will freely admit guilt to much dishonesty towards family and friends, much of which, as of this writing, I plan to take with me into my final days. This is mostly to minimize needless chaos, but part of me feels as if I lack the skill to concisely express the truth of my heart with voice alone. This is surely due to lack of practice and the fact that I haven’t deemed myself worthy of the truth, the whole truth or nothing but the truth. I’m truly fortunate to have friends willing to show this to me, and I know because of my actions I must do all I can to earn that right and keep earning it, even if it’s as trying to build and easy to level as a house of cards. I can think of few things weaker and easier to undo than a relationship based on mistrusts and lies, and that’s what I never want to subject those I care for to.

Although I’m an open book about much of my life, I always keep in mind the risks people take when they make themselves vulnerable, as well as the implied trust that kind of act involves. Only when there’s an atmosphere free of deceit can people feel safe opening the locks to their life’s classified files for others to scrutinize. I know that whether I seek to be a great psychologist or a great friend, this is what I must create when I speak with others, and that starts with demonstrating a lack of ulterior motives. How can anyone feel comfortable enough to share their most sensitive info if they think those they speak to will expose or blackmail them, if not worse? Those feelings are why I refuse to let deception and falsehoods become the core of my interactions, for those who live by fooling others are always left to wonder just who’s playing them for a fool.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Facing the Inevitable

At the turn of the new millennium, people were worried that the computer systems couldn’t handle the change in years and simultaneously crash, sending the world into chaos. In 2012, it’s feared the sun will emit EMPs (Electro-Magnetic Pulses, if you need a refresher)across the globe that knock out all electricity, sending the world into chaos, along with bringing the end of civilization as we know it. At the root of all this is the fear of being plunged into a situation we have little control of, a fear of being lead to death. No matter what form it may take, something is reminding us about the impending end of our lives, forcing the core of our character to surface for all to see. While we cannot control the fact we will die, we can control how we react to it and let it dictate the path our lives take, as well as who it affects.

Fear of these sorts of things has fueled an endless amount of bad decisions in people’s lives, all in order to stave off the fear of the Grim Reaper’s cold grip, and its ability to take all we love and care for away from us. To live a full life with minimal to no regrets, this is the kind of fear we must shed, for this is the kind of fear which will eternally cripple us from reaching higher and taking the risks needed to make it reality. I’ve traveled countless miles, broken both arms and lost someone close to my heart on the path to shedding such emotions, and all of it has helped strengthen my ability to walk forward and view this world for what it is. Though I’m not where I wish to be just yet, I’m more than happy with my life, and know that all that I do will be what I leave behind for those that come after me. Every day I seek to leave behind something wonderful, giving them the courage to push ahead in the face of uncertainty and live a life they would be proud of, regardless of what may come to pass.

Conspiracy theories run the gamut of logic and moral pushing ideas threaded by circumstantial evidence, but all of them link back to the idea that we are in control of nothing in our lives and that our every move and thought is planned ahead for us. Ever since my life changed, I’ve learned to view this concept as complete and utter garbage that no one should condemn themselves to. Even if one of these turns out to be true, that doesn’t stop the individual from picking themselves up and rising against the string being pulled, using their own strength to create their own destiny. In my eyes, nothing is viler than allowing your life to be diluted by events that may or may not come to pass, the beauty and wonder that life presents to you flying by all the while. When my time comes, it’s my desire to enjoy it from my back porch, finishing off my best work yet while falling into slumber in a reclining office chair.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Single Step

Part of being human is making mistakes, whether it’s stumbling as we learn how to walk or mixing up crucial dates and missing them altogether. That’s all a part of growing up, and anytime it happens, the stuff we’re made of is exposed for everyone to see, even that creepy guy in the corner no one talks to. After the fact, we always think about what we would’ve done differently if we had a little more sense or mentally whip ourselves for whatever it was we did. Until someone knows enough to bend the fabric of time to their will, we can’t undo the past, we can only learn from it and do what we can to make amends. Doing so involves developing the capacity to forgive, more specifically the capacity to forgive ourselves and allow ourselves to move forward.

My own life has been rife with errors in judgment, many of which I’ve found difficult to forgive myself for, like the day I allowed myself to miss a key test during my first semester at community college in order to help my mother’s friend. I know the best thing to do is seek the positive and laugh it off, but part of knows I should’ve been more firm, more aware and more certain of my aim. For countless years I placed the blame on my shoulders and did what I thought was needed to ensure it never repeated, even when it did. As much as I believe in making your own luck and taking hold of your own life, I’ve grown more cognizant of that which I cannot change, that which I must confront and demonstrate forgiveness. Naturally, something this important won’t come easy, but this act will surely shed some of the weight I bear so I can move further ahead to becoming a proper man.

As life has continued to show me, when you cannot or will not demonstrate forgiveness, it becomes a greater challenge to progress, as if you’re sticking your feet in detergent boxes and pouring more and more concrete in them as you walk. Yes, some things are hard to give that kind of leniency, more so when it removes something irreplaceable, but is carrying that kind of ire towards it worth rending ourselves unable to grow? To me, even with much of what I’ve poured my heart and soul into being ripped away, I don’t ever want the answer to be yes, nor should it be for anyone else. Harboring grudges only corrodes us from within and blinds us to the truth of a person’s being, only letting us see the person they were then, in their time of darkness. The humility and willing to understand others forgiveness demands is the rock that shatters the glass holding this image, falling away to reveal a path meant for us to walk; a path towards joy and inner peace, our joy and inner peace. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Behind the Pen: First Crush

Part of being a writer, in my view, is being able to take your life experiences and those of the people pass theirs on to you and craft them into prose, ideally the kind you'd want to see in the magazines and headlines. To keep a personal record of some of the events that shaped my skills, I'll post any responses to questions I receive which I consider to be something people would like to see about who I am, and perhaps help others realize that, although their experiences are unique, there are others out there who've went through something similar and are willing to lend their hand to you in aid. To begin, here's my response to this question:

 Who was your first crush and what was it like?