All of the knowledge I needed to acquire, I acquired in my first year of formal education.
I had a much catchier first line for this post, but someone else copyrighted it. Stupid bastard.
Which brings me to my first lesson, incidentally!
1) Don’t call people names.
When you call people mean names, it hurts their feelings. And when their feelings are hurt, they are a lot less likely to listen to anything else you have to say. Making fun of someone’s size, calling them dishonest, or pulling a reference from an Elton John song all have the potential to make people mad and cause big problems for you! Continue reading
You probably tune out when the flight attendants do their choreographed safety dance about exit doors and oxygen masks. I do, too. As I recently heard a man at 7-Eleven say to his lady over the phone, “Listen, you tell him if he gone kill me, come kill me. I ain’t afraid to die. I don’t want to die, but I ain’t afraid to.” You and me both, sir. You and me both. Continue reading
I try really hard to maintain my positivity at all times. I believe – through years of serious experimentation and reflection on the subject – that we have a significant amount of choice in how we feel. To that end, I have learned that if I choose to remain positive, I find myself feeling happier.
A few days ago, I ran into a situation that made me stop and think about what has become an automatic for me. Continue reading
Let me preface this post with a caveat: I’m writing about positivity, loss, pain, redemption, lessons, and the like. It’s important that I tell you that I’ve lived a charmed life. I’ve never gone hungry. I’ve never lost my home or my parents or siblings to war or terrorism. No one I know has ever gotten ebola or river blindness. I have multiple changes of clean, dry clothes, a car that runs, a girlfriend that loves me, and a dog that thinks I am a giant biped dog with whom he gets to live. Continue reading
What’s your superpower?
Everyone has one. I have many. For instance, when I was a kid I could tell the difference between first-run TV shows and reruns by the audio alone. That is a completely useless superpower, unless the fate of the world depends on whether this is a very special The Facts of Life, or if it’s just a regular one that you’ve already seen.
Confession: I quoted Rush in a paper I wrote in high school completely out of context, but just to do it. It went something like this: “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice. That has literally nothing to do with this paper, but I wanted to cite Rush in my bibliography because I’m a senior.”
That’s what you’re working with here, guys. But on to actual points that are worth making (maybe):
I’m forever working on myself. I want to be better than I am. I also want to be more content with who I am. Yes, that’s right, one of the things I’m working on is not working on myself so damned much.
I used to be a badass.
I had swagger. I viewed myself as, quite possibly, the best damned thing that had ever happened. The undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.
Of course, as is the case with anyone with swagger, I was insecure about my possible inadequacies. I had a low grade fever all the time: a fear that my inflated versions of my own reality would be punctured. The fever sapped my energy. The echoes of my own inner voices reverberated in my head on a constant loop until my ears were ringing.
I love metal. There’s something about the raw energy and the intensity that gets me going. I also enjoy the fun of rolling down the windows of my Prius with Slayer blaring at full volume. Especially at stoplights. In age-restricted neighborhoods. At 3 am.
You’ve never heard of the Stupidity Vigilante, and that’s ok. He was my alter ego, and I killed him slowly and quietly. The world is better off for it. Trust me.
Here’s the history. I am from the middle of nowhere, raised in an evangelical Christian home in the rural United States. We were not “poor,” I’d say we were lower-middle class if I had to guess. I’ll put it this way – the kids I thought were “rich” turned out, with some perspective, to just be normal suburbanite families with more than a few hundred bucks in the checking account.