Posted tagged ‘life choices’

The battle internal

June 23, 2014

Would it be fair to say that this place has lacked attention lately? Sure. Okay. I won’t fight you on that one. Heck, I won’t fight you for much of anything, unless it’s making me do something The Lazy doesn’t want me to do. Imagine the battle going on right now in my head over writing this article.

Me: I really need to do a brain dump and get some things off my sluggish mind.

The Lazy: Or, you could get sidetracked by your annoying co-worker who has taken over loud-speakerphone duties from the guy who held the championship belt before he retired.

Me: But what about sparking creativity and advancing my skill?

The Lazy: Here’s a bag of salty snacks and some meaningless videos to tempt you back to the brain-couch.

Here’s the problem: my soul is starting to itch. That deep-down itch like a million caterpillars are crawling out of my spiritual bunghole and I’m on some public stage where I couldn’t possibly itch it without causing a scene. And it was made worse this past weekend.

A good friend of mine unknowingly turned a set of high-intensity flood lights on my lack of meaningful accomplishments in life. It wasn’t his intention. He’s just so smart that he can do two things at once: 1) reveal a plan to revolutionize space exploration that is so simple and perfect that you can’t imagine why it hasn’t already been done and 2) cut to the core of what is going wrong with society as a whole. Interestingly enough, his stated reason for wanting to make his dream come true, aside from the obvious “holy crap, this is going to be so cool!” factor, was to get people talking again. And I don’t mean here, in the land of ones and zeros, but face to face. And even this was lost on at least one person who had to immerse himself in his social media while the discussions were still on-going. It made me smad. Sad/mad.

Having highly intelligent, and motivated, friends can be like owning the world’s most powerful computer. You know you could grow and expand your mind, pursue lofty and meaningful goals and likely become a better person. But then you see a commercial for a new video game, or you notice that Princess Pretty Face posted about her dinner on social media, and you get distracted. Well, not the truly intelligent folks, but people like me who anthropomorphize states of being and give them names like The Lazy to cover up the fact that they’re simply…well, lazy.

Finding out that a good friend of mine will likely be the talk of generations to come should have been like a defibrillator on my sleepy spirit. It should have galvanized me into returning to my attempts at finishing the second draft of what will likely end up as my never-finished book. What did I do instead of slapping myself hard across the face and then pounding away at the keyboard like a crack-addled primate? I took the easy way out, I let stuff distract me. In that moment, I realized that I’m no better than the person at my friend’s meeting who buried himself in social media while meaningful discussion was still going on.

To be fair to myself, I actually am currently pursuing lesser goals. I’ve knocked out fifty percent of a technical certification I’ve wanted for a while, and I’m working toward another goal that I’ve recently begun touting as a large part of my retirement plan: SCUBA instructor. But I’m still restless, which makes me wonder if the ants in my creative pants mean that I’m still not doing what I’m meant to do. But I’m nothing if not selectively patient. Make hard decisions about what path to take in my life that will lead to fulfillment and happiness? Eh, I’ve got time. Grind out countless hours on video games and movie-watching? I’m on it, stat!

Maybe I just need to stop being so rough on myself for not accomplishing anything but making it through each successive day without pissing too many people off. Maybe that’s the problem, not being rough enough on myself to spur action. Action that can get past the goal-line defense The Lazy has set up for anything that takes away from my beloved “free time”. Maybe I just need to get over myself. Yeah, that last one.

Legitimate questions about marriage

May 20, 2013

***Let me start this post by saying I’m not against marriage. If it’s right for you, it’s right for you. I simply have questions.***

Like nearly everything else in this life, you don’t know if something like marriage is truly right for you until you try it. Like sushi or roller coasters. But where modern media isn’t bombarding you with a never-ending barrage of your life won’t be complete without this raw fish and Space Mountain messages, there is a monumental amount of pressure to legitimize relationships by having governments and religion tell you it’s okay to be with your partner. So much so, in fact, that married people will often berate others for not following the same path they may frequently gripe about. And let’s be honest, neither religion nor governments have a stellar track record when it comes to the best interests of we the people.

Good morning, religion, this is the front desk with your Crusades wake-up call. We’ll be sure to contact your neighbor, government, with their every-equal-rights-movement-ever-endured call.

Watch any of your favorite shows or movies. What’s the directional flow of interpersonal relationships in most of them? What are most commercials depicting varied scenes of while they try to convince you that you absolutely cannot function properly without their product? The answer, in most cases, is what has been sold to us as The American Dream: spouse, 2.5 kids and the white vinyl fence (picket fences don’t do enough to keep the zombies at bay). Everything we watch is geared toward making us feel like a mutant demon child if we don’t spend the money and perform the ceremony that makes it okay to live with the person you love. It’s baffling to me. And reading about the origins of marriage only makes it more so, from a modern perspective.

As they like to say here on Planet The South, I’m a grown-ass man. Why is it not okay for myself and my chosen partner to simply love each other, agree to be exclusive and share a turbulent, but official bondage-free life together? Some people in this part of the world go into a near catatonic state when they find out you a) are not married but share a living space; and b) have no intentions of asking governments or religions to approve of your union. It’s fun to watch them run the facial-color gamut from pale, shocked surprise to ruddy outrage.

Do a little light research (i.e. Internet searches for something besides porn and celebrity gossip) and you’ll find the initial basic premise of marriage appears to have roots in fear: paternity assurances, jealousy attached to unwed women in tribal configurations and, occasionally, the joining of two separate families for gain of some sort. Seems like a whole lot of insecurity woven into this construct. I mean, most societies that required marriage back near the dawn of the concept didn’t even give the women much, if any, consideration in the process. You, with the long hair and vagina! You’re with him now. You don’t have to like him, just make babies and food, and keep stuff clean. Seriously.

While that outdated model has evolved into one of more equality, guilt from family and strangers alike and overspending for a one-day event that most people don’t even want to attend, we still seem to need authorization to love. Why?

Seeing as how divorce is a generally acceptable option these days when things turn out to be as wrong as a turd in a punchbowl, there doesn’t appear to be anything reasonably sacred about marriage. Heck, I have military friends who got married for convenience; mainly the convenience of not living in the barracks where someone can barge into your living space at any time and tell you what you can and can’t do. While that’s not a perfect example of the differences between marriage and dorm life (man-cave anyone?), you certainly can’t divorce your dorm and get half. Not without the right lawyer.

Maybe it’s the perception of financial security? But I’ve seen fiscally fatal couples part vicious ways over bank accounts. Money truly does not buy you love…for more than an hour or two.

It can’t be the perception of fidelity, as we are bombarded with stories of mutilation and murder over even the incorrect perception of infidelity. I mean, if you need someone that badly in your life, but wind up gutting them with a potato peeler for smiling at the waitress, maybe what you really needed was a nice quiet room with lots of cushions on the walls and floor.

Look, I wiggled around in that petri dish for a while. I was married for five years and still wondered what all the fuss was about. While I won’t use this as a forum to bash that person, I will say we got married for all the wrong reasons and were ultimately not compatible at all. Like a toaster and the bathtub: there might be exciting sparks for a while, but it’s over before you know it, and then you’re just a scarred tub with soggy crumb-water, and a fried toaster filled with regret.

Marriage was not the cure for loneliness and poverty I assumed it was. But that’s what we’re led to believe, that we’re not only incomplete, but downright naughty in the brain (and pants) if we don’t run out and get approval from Uncle Sam and some ancient bearded magic man in the sky when we love someone.

Luckily, I have someone in my life who loves me (except when she’s mad at me) and doesn’t need anyone but us to validate our life together, so I only ponder these questions as they pertain to everyone else.

So why did/would you get married?

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