Pull back the curtian

This writing shit is really hard, a hell of a lot harder than I thought it would be. So is maintaining a habit but I knew that would be a struggle, especially knowing how inconsistant my health is from day to day. I knew I might fail but I felt if I stuck with it, it would get easier.

Actually, it’s been a fucking roller-coaster and at the moment I’m at one at one of those low points. The first two weeks were pretty exciting but it didn’t take long for the newness to wear off. Then it just became tedious. I wanted to quit and chalk it up as another thing I couldn’t fit in my life. That was never really an option though. In fact failure was part of the plan; to push myself to the point where I wanted to quit and push through.

Unlike the physical challenges I create for myself, writing is easy. Coming up with things to write about is easy for me. The challange is reducing the thoughts in my head or the experiences I’ve had into coherent sentances that anyone whould care to read. The challange is keeping going when all I can think about is how much my writing sucks. It winds up taking a lot of time. I wind up taking a lot of breaks. I wind up drinking a lot of wine.

Then I write something that actually makes me proud. Maybe I can do this. Maybe purservierance does pay off. Maybe it does, but that’s not how it played out for me. Writing something that I felt good about only raised the bar and put more pressure on me. I’m stuggling even harder now.

Then I took two days off. I guess that was bound to happen. Structure is not my friend. My life is simply too inconsistant. When it works, I run with it. When it doesn’t, I accept it and keep hobbling along the best I can leaving my failures in the past. That is the only way I can hope to get to a place where life works again.

I’m probably the last person who should be publishing everything he writes. I’m probably the last person who should be publishing everything that goes on in his life or  every thought in his head. I’ll be the first to admit that I need an editor.

Believe me, I know this is a bad idea but that’s why I’m doing it. I know that for every good idea there are dozens if not thousands of bad ideas that came before it. We just rarely get to see all the failures that happen before one finds success. I want to pull back the curtian and expose the truth. The truth is, there is a long and winding road before you reach the Emerald City.

Nice guys finish last

We are still back on last Saturday. My bff and I were waiting for her sister to arrive at the apartment before heading to the show. With a few minutes to spare I offered to run up to the liquor store and pick up some beer. She handed me a twenty and a five and I walked the two blocks to the store. I grabbed a couple six-packs and headed to the cashier. It should have cost $22 or so but when I handed the cashier the twenty he started making change. I was momentarily confused until I realized he only rang up one of the six-packs. I let him know and we figured I owed him double what I had been charged.  He apologized for his mistake and thanked me for being honest.

“It’s a curse” I replied.

Fuck! I could have walked away with a free six-pack. Granted, it wasn’t my money in the first place.

Would I have been so honest if it was?

Absolutely, but it’s not a curse; it’s conditioning. I have made a very conscious decision to live life as honestly as possible. Despite what I know some people think, I’m not naturally a nice guy. In fact, I’m perfectly capable of doing some really horrible things. I can be an asshole, and at times, when I’m not on my game, that part of me still comes out.

So why not embrace it?

I’ve seen how people can benefit greatly from lying, cheating and stealing. People get away with doing fucked up shit all the time and even if they do get caught the consequences rarely seem to eliminate the gains. Nice guys get screwed over all the time.

Why would anyone choose to be a nice guy?

Well I do, because at the end of the day, I have to be able to live with myself – not because I need to believe that I am a nice guy, I know who the fuck I am. It is quite literally about my very survival. I’ve seen the harm that abuse, corruption and dishonesty can cause and I don’t want to live with someone who is causing that kind of pain. Life sucks enough as it is. I can’t bare the thought of making it anymore difficult for anyone else. Perhaps, if I were a stronger person I could stomach being an asshole, but I can’t. I’ve got a brain that routinely tries to kill me. I don’t need to give it any more ammunition.

The good news is that there is an upside to treating people with respect, kindness, honesty and generosity. There are benefits to being a decent person, but not without humility. Humility is probably the hardest part, and while it may seem a bit counter-intuitive, it is the key to making the “nice guy” way of life self serving. I may be nice guy for purely selfish reasons but there would be nothing nice about it if I thought it made me any better than anyone else. You can’t fake it. You have to be it, but I believe it is within all of us. Hell, if it’s within me, I’m damn sure it’s within you!

So what are the benefits to being a nice guy?

For starters, you can do away with shame and guilt. I’m not saying nice guys never fucks up, but if you are respectful, kind, honest, generous and humble you can own your fuck-ups and not let them get the better of you. You can apologize, learn from your mistakes, and know that your transgressions don’t define you. You don’t need to keep secrets and you don’t need to hide from who you are.

It also makes you less susceptible to manipulation and coercion. The adage that, “you can’t con an honest man”, I will go on record saying is complete bullshit.  But, if you are truly a nice guy, you won’t need the external validation that will make you susceptible to this kind of manipulation. If you capitulate it will be by choice, because it’s your nature or who you have chosen to be, not because someone pulled one over on you. Coercion involves force, which you would think a nice guy would have a harder time defending against, but most force is primarily psychological, not physical. What is usually being threatened is your sense of power or prestige but a nice guy knows these things come from within and cannot be taken through intimidation.

The best thing you gain by being a nice guy is the relationships you create. People will like you. Obviously, not everyone. Some people will have a really hard time with someone who is shameless and can’t be manipulated – that’s okay. You don’t need everyone to like you. Even an elected official only needs 50% + 1 of their constituents to like them to get elected. Okay, I don’t know if that is a good example. I don’t think I would conciser most elected officials to be nice guys but I think that most nice guys have higher approval ratings than elected officials. The people who will like you will like you for who you are – not for what you can give them.

I don’t have money or leverage but I still have people who like me. I have a phone with over 1,000 phone numbers of people I consider friends. These people mean more to me than all the wealth in the world. Because I have built this network of people, by getting out there and meeting people, by being genuine and honest, by being a nice guy, I know that I can make it through anything.

And this is what this entire post has been leading up to…

At two o’clock on Sunday afternoon I found myself in need of a date for a seven o’clock play. It’s an amazing play by the way, it was written by Jon Robin Baitz probably best known as the creator of the ABC drama Bothers and Sisters, dealt with the issue of writing a memoir and the damage it could cause to family members, something I can relate to oh so well, but that’s not my point. My point is that I had three hours to find a date on a Sunday afternoon. I can remember when this would have seemed like an impossible task, but now I totally felt confident that I could do it.

I started going through my contacts. I didn’t call everyone but it still took me up to letter J before I got anyone to answer their phone. Are J named people really better? I like to think so but no… it was just coincidence, just luck, just fate, actually, it was just the way it worked out. But I couldn’t have been happier. I wound up with the best date I could have hoped for.

I didn’t get laid. This is an area where not being a nice guy may have gotten me further but using my not-so-nice-guy skills is not the way I want to have sex. I am grateful that I no longer feel like I need to have sex at any cost. I still get laid but I do it with respect, kindness, honesty and humility.

Yeah, nice guys may finish last but life is not a race, it’s an adventure you want to last as long as possible.

I will leave you with a quote from a man who by all accounts was a nice guy. He came from extremely modest beginnings but became extremely successful and spent 88 years experiencing this thing called life.

“You need power, only when you want to do something harmful, otherwise love is enough to get everything done”  – Charlie Chaplin

 

Fags at a metal show

I honestly can’t remember the last time I was at a metal show. You know, a big metal show, the kind where every metal head in town comes out. I’m sure it was within the last year but as I learned Saturday, as I learn every time I go to one of these shows, it’s been too long. I fucking love metal! I love the constant pounding of the double bass drum. I love the screaming guitars. I can’t understand most of the words but I love the passion with which they are sung. This particular show featured classic thrash metal bands Testament and Flotsam & Jetsam along with an amazing band out of Australia, 4ARM

But what I love most are the people, the metal heads! I love the outcasts who have found their home. Decked in leather, long hair and tattoos, slamming into each other and pumping their fists in air; these are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. I was surrounded by smiling happy people listening to loud angry music. It’s almost surreal. It’s hard to wrap your head around but I get it because I get the music. It makes me happy too. When you listen to something that you enjoy, even if it’s angry, it makes you feel good.

It reminded me of a conversation I had earlier in the day. We were talking about Fox News and the people who watch it. I said that some people just enjoy being angry but my friend corrected me. She explained that the people who watch Fox News do not watch it to feel angry. They watch it because they agree with the point of view being espoused and so they like what they hear… and it makes them feel good. Okay, I hadn’t though of it that way but it totally makes sense.

What makes me happy though, is learning something that expands my world view, that tests my preconceived notions, that challenges my assumptions. I like being wrong because in being wrong I am given an opportunity to become a better person.

Politically, the folks at a metal show probably have more in common with the people who watch Fox News than they do with me. It’s a pretty homogeneous group, 90% male and almost exclusively white. I don’t know how many gay people were there. That’s harder to figure out. I don’t even know if anyone would have pegged me as gay in my Iced Earth T-shirt and leather jacket but I was wearing a bracelet with pictures of Marilyn Monroe on it . That should have been a dead giveaway. Not that any of that matters. We were all that for the same reason and that is the only thing that matters. There is no judgement at a metal show.

So to balance things out after three hours in intense rocking out it was time to dance. My group headed down to Hell’s Kitchen a few blocks away for the one year anniversary of Berlin, the indie queer dance night hosted by former All The Pretty Horses dancer turned DJ, Shannon Blowtorch. There shit got a little crazy but no one got hurt and no major life lessons were learned or lost so I don’t feel like I need to write anymore about it. I’ll leave that up to your imagination.

 

Today’s ambitions

Today was my day to get shit done. I always say it’s good to have goals. You can’t get anything done with out them. I also say it’s good not to be too specific because things rarely ever go as planned.

I had plans to hang out with a friend last night. I figured we would just chill for a bit, watch some TV, drink a glass of wine or two and I would get home at a decent hour, get up early and get to work. I don’t know why I thought that. That is not the way things go with this particular friend. She is one of my very best friends and I haven’t seen her much of her lately since she has been spending most of her time in the Suburbs with her new boyfriend  – you know how those things goes. Then when I learned that she had a box of wine and was planning on getting drunk with me it became clear that I would be spending the night.

SIDENOTE: If you have been following this blog, or if you continue to follow this blog, keeping up with my friends may seem like an impossible task. That is by design. My friends and family are the most important parts of my life. I need to write about them but they have not signed up for this so I will not name them. I can’t guarantee anonymity but I can at least offer plausible deniability.

I have many people whom I consider my best friends. These are a combination of people that have been in my life for many, many years as well as people that are very active in my life right now and trust will always by part of my life. They are people that I talk to every day or so as well as people that have moved away or moved on to other activities and I might might only talk to once a month or even less. Still, I know that if I ever needed them, they would always be there for me, as I would be there for them. They are people where no matter how long it has been since we last talked, we can pick up the phone and continue the friendship as if we saw each other yesterday.

Throughout my life I have had, maybe, twelve people who fit this description. Some inevitably decide to leave, new people enter my life and sometimes old friends return. At any given time there have never been more than six. This seems like all I can handle at one time. My hope is that as more time passes, as I become a better person and as my relationships grow stronger, I will be able to handle more. But maybe not, best friends are a lot of work sometimes.

Last night was wonderful, and worthy of sacrificing today’s ambitions. Knowing that someone knows the real you, and loves you anyway, is the greatest feeling in the world. I got to feel that twice last night. At 2:04 am another best friend called me up just to tell me that she loves me. She was expecting to leave a message but I was still up. I guess we must have stayed up until close to 4 am.

I woke up this morning by 10 am. I made coffee and had a cigarette, then I woke up my friend. I helped her haul some stuff up from the basement then I needed to get home. My van was covered in snow which was still falling and continued to fall all day. I got home and shoveled my sidewalk. I still felt like I could get everything done so I headed in to get to work.

I pulled out my laptop, set it up on my kitchen counter, put a pot of water on the stove for coffee, gathered up my mail, checked Facebook on the computer in my bedroom and then wondered… where is my coffee?

Oh shit! I left a pot of bowling water on the stove! This is not the first time this has happened. If you have ADD you probably know this experience. I don’t, but I’m a Type A personality with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome so I can relate to a lot of the struggles faced by people with ADD. Actually, being Type A is probably why I have CFS, and as a result, why I’m an less Type A than I was before getting sick.

I ran back to my kitchen to find the pot on the stove, bone dry and smoldering. This is not a good idea when using a Teflon. Apparently you can get Teflon poisoning from overheating. I washed out the pan and boiled fresh water and made my coffee. I had a few sips but it still tasted burnt.

Shortly thereafter I started having flu symptoms. I laid down but I couldn’t sleep. I decided to watch House of Cards on Netflix. It’s pretty good. I’m not a big TV fan but I do find that I like non-commercial television… and shows that get canceled within the first three years because they don’t make any money. Last night I was introduced to Shameless which is a Showtime remake of the British show which I have seen. I think I like the people in that show better than the people in House of Cards but they are all pretty fucked up. BTW, fucked up is very endearing to me.

So that was my day; not as productive as I hoped, but there is always Monday. I am feeling better. Actually, I’m feeling kind of drunk but that is a result of alcohol poisoning, which in my opinion, is better than Teflon poisoning.

—–

TEASERS:

Tomorrow I’m going to see Testament at First Avenue with my bff, her sister and her sister’s boyfriend. This will be my big night out thanks to the gift I received Tuesday.

Sunday I have tickets to Other Desert Cities at the Guthrie Theater. I asked a cute boy to go with me but he is at a conference at the college my son attends and doesn’t know if he will be back in time. I may be scrambling to get a date at the last minute.

Yeah, Monday will be my day to get shit done. Let’s see how that goes 😉

A simple smile

“Very occasionally, if you pay really close attention, life doesn’t suck.” – Joss Whedon

Tuesday was one of those days. I was deeply moved by the out pouring of  support and generosity I had received.  It wasn’t just gift I received in the mail. It was being taken out to lunch. It was the restaurant re-tweeting my check-in, thanking me for my business and wishing me a good day. It was a friend sharing her hair dye with my daughter. It was even the customer service person at the bank who expressed understanding of my situation and took the time to kindly explain the bank rules. It was in the eyes of the countless random strangers who smiled at me throughout the day.

All day long, I felt like I was part of a community, a group of people who were willing to do what they could, as simple as that may be, to make the world a slightly better place. At least for that day, I found reason to believe that we really are all in this together. I’m not naive. I know how cruel the world can be, but I can also see it’s potential. When I’m open to it, when I look with un-jaded eyes, I see the kindness and compassion alive withing the human spirit. I believe it is there burning within everyone. Perhaps the flame has gone out, extinguished after years of abuse or trauma,  but an amber remains, waiting for a breath of oxygen and the fuel to sustain it.

Filled with the kindness I had received I set out to share my love and compassion with others who were hurting. There are a number of other Facebook groups with the theme, “Life Sucks”. There is Life Sucks, but I Love it anyway, LIFE SUCKS!!!!!!!! and  MY LIFE SUCKS, to name a few. I figured my page should like them. Reading what people had posted touched me deeply. There are a lot of people in pain. There are a lot of people going through hard times. I wanted to reach out. I wanted to share whatever wisdom I have acquired through my life. I wanted to encourage them to hang in there, it’s hard, but it gets better.

I stayed up all night reading about other people’s struggles and offering support. That’s what I really want to become of this blog, eventually. I don’t want it just to be some narcissistic one-way rant about my life. I want build a community of people supporting each other, learning, sharing, and growing together. It’s going to take time, I realize. I haven’t even written my “About” page yet. But that is my dream. That is what I try to hold in my heart each day when I write these posts.

Without a wink of sleep, delivering my CityPages route was a real challenge. I had to go slower, I had to focus, I had to fight through the pain and I had to consume a lot of caffeine. Still, when I got a txt from a friend asking if I could baby-sit, I was there. Life sucks, anything I can do to make it a little bit better, I will do. Sometimes there is not much I can do. Sometimes I don’t feel like I have anything to give, but I know every little bit helps. In these times, I have to dig deep, muster up what little strength I have, to even produce a simple smile. But if I can do that, if other people can do that, if we all do whatever we can each day, we can make this world suck just a little bit less. We may even be able to find those moments when life doesn’t suck.

“If nothing we do in this world matters, then the only thing that matters is what we do.” – Joss Whedon, Angel: After the Fall, Volume 1

Shit on the present

This quote has been bouncing around my head today…

If you are depressed, you are living in the past

If you are anxious, you are living in the future

If you at peace, you are living in the present

It’s often attributed to Lao Tzu, but given that depression is a relatively new term and Lao Tzu supposedly lived in the 6th century BCE, it’s highly unlikely he is the source. It sounds more like the kind of new-age pop-psychology bullshit that annoys the piss out of me. But hey, if it works for you, go ahead and rock it! It’s just not my life.

I live in the present and my present is home to both depression and anxiety. It’s not because I am simultaneously living in the future and the past. It’s because of the particular way my fucked up brain is wired. Living in the present does not bring me peace but living in the present is my only option; at least until I get a visit from a blue police box. In the meantime, I struggle and I fight and I immerse myself in the mystery and chaos which that battle provides.

Today was not one of those days. Today there was calm on the battlefield. Today had structure and a schedule and I pretty much knew what was going to happen. I was going to go close my checking account (finally), have lunch with a dear friend, go to therapy, pick up my daughter and spend time with her, after which I was going to come home and write about my day. These are all wonderful things and I was looking forward to all of them. They just weren’t what I needed to overpower the chemicals in my brain.

I found myself in tears this morning, overcome with sadness  There was no reason for me to feel that way. I had nothing to be sad about but I could feel it in the pit of my stomach. My chest was tight and I was having a hard time breathing. It’s that feeling you get when you are walking home, all alone, late at night, and you just know Freddie or Jason is about to appear from behind the bushes and attack you. But I was safe at home in my kitchen. I had nothing to fear.

I did find my self thinking about losses in my past and uncertainties about my future but the feelings came first. If anything, I was conjuring up thoughts to make sense of my emotions.

It made me think of this quote, which I believe was first discovered written on a bathroom stall:

If you have one foot in the future, and one foot in the past, you shit on the present.

That’s what I was doing… on purpose. The present was so uncomfortable that I stretched out my legs out in both directions just so I could shit on it.

Well, one glorious thing about the present is it doesn’t last long. That is to say, it’s always changing. Whatever discomfort I was feeling was not going to last forever. However predictable I thought my day would be, it was bound to get disrupted by something. I guess I do find peace in knowing that.

I expected to be able to close my checking account. I did not expect a pending transaction to prevent me from doing so for another two days. I didn’t expect Elsie’s to be out of veggie burgers today but found the bean quesadilla to be quite wonderful. I did not expect my therapy session to be all that helpful since I pretty much talk about everything here on my blog but I did notice my SUDS-level decrease significantly. I did not expect my time with my daughter to lead me to Electric Fetus where I got to see my friends Aby Wolf and Grant Cutler perform.

I did not expect to find in my mailbox, anything of value. I love the US Postal service but since they usually only deliver bills and advertisement, I’m okay with them taking a day off now and then. Let me just say that today was the best mail day ever!

The first thing I saw was a postcard from one of my favorite people on the planet. She is in Bali. I got a fucking postcard from Bali – how cool is that?!?

Then I saw a letter from one of my delivery accounts. They periodically send me bonuses for doing my fucking job. I’m not sure how I feel about that. It’s not like it is enough to make me work harder. I do my job because it’s my job. It’s more like it would make me feel shitty if I didn’t get it. That seems kind of manipulative to me. Anyway, I figured there might be money in there so I ripped it open. Three bucks! Whoahoo! Hey, when you’re broke every bit helps.

Then I saw a small envelope, hand addressed in red crayon with a Finding Nemo stamp in the corner. It was from my first true love. I turned the envelope over. Across the seal was drawn a pink heart. I opened it and pulled out a card with a picture of Tinker Bell, colored in with crayon. I opened it and read:

You are Loved!

Please use this gift to treat yourself to a fun night out

and the rest for whatever.

Happy Late B-Bay!

Enclosed was a hundred dollar bill. She sent this after reading about my financial troubles. I guess I called her just after she had put it in the mail, just to tell her I love her, having no idea what she had done. For the second time today, tears welled up in my eyes.

I will leave you with one final quote:

“There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle” – attributed to Albert Einstein although there is no evidence he ever said it.

I prefer the later.

Presidents’ Day

If my day had ended after making my last post I would still have considered it a nearly perfect day. My day did not end there, however. I’m not saying that it went to hell after that. No, it didn’t go to hell. It continued to be amazing. It just wound up being more than my poor little body could handle and I’m paying for it now. So I need to take a day of rest and give myself a bit of a break. And why not? It’s a holiday, it’s Presidents’ Day. If the government can take a day off, so can I?

As I was writing my last post I was feeling quite content with the day. I was perfectly satisfied with what had transpired and was ready to put it down in the win column and retire early. But that was before I saw that some of my friends were getting together at a nearby bowling alley. Oh how I wanted to see them. These are good friends, near and dear to my heart and friends that I haven’t seen enough of lately. Winter tends to go that way. None of us get out as much and our social contact suffers. So does my mental health. Still, it would require energy that I didn’t know if I had and after having such a wonderful day I was reluctant to test fate.

But as fate would have it I also ran out of rolling papers at this point. If seeing my friends wasn’t enough motivation to get me to go back out, my nicotine addiction certainly was.  I quite smoking back in 2004 and except for a few slip-up here and there, I remained smoke-free for six years. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, but when my nephew was killed, I just didn’t seem to care anymore. Since then I have tried quitting numerous times, even started using electronic cigarettes for a while but in the end I kept going back to tobacco.

Addictions can rule your life and I don’t like anything having that much power over me. Nicotine is extremely addictive but it’s not that harmful in and of it self. I’ve actually found that nicotine, as a drug, plays a beneficial role in my life. It levels out my mood and is a great appetite suppressant. I’ve probably lost 20 pounds since I started smoking again. What I do have a problem with is the twisted pleasure I get from smoking tobacco, something that I know is damaging my health and could very well kill me. That’s just insane and it needs to stop. E-cigs and their acceptance have come along way since the last time I used them. It’s time to try it again. Next month, once I have some money again, this will be my first purchase.

Until then, I still need rolling papers. It was almost 10 o’clock on a Sunday night and I didn’t know who would be open but I felt confident given that there were at least four convenience stores or gas stations between my house and the bowling alley. As it turned out, the closest one to my house, a mere six blocks away, was open. So far things were still going my way but I realized that I was at a pivotal moment. I had a choice. I could go home and call it a night or I could venture into uncertainty by continuing on and meeting up with my friends. I knew in that moment, that whatever happened, whether good or bad, could be traced back the the decision I was about to make.

Of course I decided to continue on… Life is an adventure, live it!

Fortunately, it turned out to be a good night filled with good friends and good conversation. After the bowling alley a group of us convened at the Spring Street for last call.  There were more friends, more conversation and more drinks.

Upon leaving the bar I was approached in the parking lot by a handsome slightly older man.  We started talking and he invited me back to his car to get high. I don’t smoke pot, nothing against it, just don’t like the way it makes me feel. Plus, it’s illegal and I really try to avoid criminal activity. Still, I found him quite attractive and was curious to see how things would play out so I followed him back to his car. I can imagine you thinking that was really stupid. How many tales of gay bashing, robbery and murder start off just that way?

Certainly it happens and I think I have a pretty healthy level of skepticism when it comes to strangers. I’ve had my share of unpleasant run ins with people I didn’t know but the people who have caused me the most harm in my life are people I do know. What I have never experienced is any trouble from meeting a stranger at  a bar, in fact some of my most memorable experiences have begun this way, not that I make a habit of it.

Once inside his car it because clear to me that he was most undeniably gay and that he wanted to take me home with him and that he wanted to have sex. The fact that he was gay pleased me but the rest I was not so excited about. I’ve engaged in after bar hook-ups before and I have no regrets about doing so – it’s just not where I was on this night. Plus, I really prefer to be sober when I have sex with someone… at least the first time. We did make out for a while and that was fun. But that was all I was up for so I excused myself and continued on my way.

I’m telling you this story because I feel like there is a misconception out there that gay men will seize any opportunity to have sex. Maybe for some gay men this is the case but it’s in no way universal.  Just because you are gay doesn’t mean that you are attracted to all people of the same gender any more that being heterosexual means that you are attracted to all people of the opposite gender. And just because you find someone attractive does not mean that you want to have sex with them. The fact is, for most of us, there are very few people on this planet that we would actually have sex with. Gay and straight are social constructs and regardless of how you identify it is not the primary factor in determining with whom you have sex or with whom you fall in love.

That reminds me of another conversation I was having with a woman earlier in the evening. Actually we were talking about boobs; more specifically about how everyone loves boobs. She mentioned how even gay men love boobs. It’s true, they do. Some are down right fascinated by them. It’s not a sexual thing, at least it doesn’t have to be. People just like what they like and boobs are pretty fucking amazing!

One more story, the I’m calling it quits.

While catching up with an old friend I mentioned that I am aspiring to be a philosopher. He was being supportive and suggested that I go back to school and study philosophy. Instead, I found myself getting defensive. I mean, I studied philosophy in college. I’ve read many of the greats and understand the basics of philosophical thought. That’s not what really bothered me though.

You see, the reason why I’m pursuing philosophy instead of say, economics or even psychology is that I don’t believe that it requires any specific training . All I need is the ability to think critically and the means to communicate my thoughts. If other people connect with my ideas, if I can explain and inspire, then I would conciser myself a good philosopher. I don’t need a PhD. or other accreditation. In fact I think could be a hindrance. When someone is considered and expert in a particular field their status can add more weight to their words than the actual ideas contained within. For some things, science for example, expertise is essential. But when it comes to understanding the human experience, keeping an open mind is essential. I believe all experiences and points of view have merit. I want to be judged by my ideas, not my degree.

Still, he’s not wrong. If I am serious about becoming a philosopher, I do have a lot more to learn.  I’m just not going to limit myself to learning the same things ever other student of philosophy learns. I will learn from everyone  and every situation. I have read Plato and Aristotle. I’ve read Camus, Confucius and Rene Descartes. On this day, I studied you, fellow bloggers, writers and experiencers of life; ordinary people with extraordinary stories to tell.

I leave you with this story I found on xoJane; a particularly poignant example of how life can suck and how we can still find a way to make the most of it.

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