Growing older has always been so scary to me. I am a firm believer in health and fitness and all of my motivation comes from the fear of getting old and breaking down. I guess it's the thought that every single day you are closer to running out of time to become the person you want to be. Some people find that to be motivational, and “never waste a day because it could be your last,” but I like wasting days. I'm actually really good at it. I have lots of hobbies and things I enjoy that I could easily do all day for the rest of my life, and they have absolutely no substantial benefit to my life. Like golf, watching TV, video games, sitting on the couch staring off into space. I've been really good at doing nothing for as long as I can remember. In fact a lot of people are. I've made many friends over the years with our only thing in common being laziness.
The dilemma that my love and acceptance of my laziness has created is that it now holds rank over my other needs. I'm human. I have dreams and aspirations. I want to be rich and successful. But when laziness wins out, I tend to lower the bar on my hopes and dreams to give myself the illusion of satisfaction in life. It's a pretty common thing for humans to do. Dramatically blow little things in your life out of proportion as long as it justifies poor behavior. It took me around 30 years to learn my behavior wasn't healthy. So many small interactions between loved ones and friends would end in arguments, and I just thought that it was normal conversation. In layman's terms, I had no clue I was a major asshole. I've been working very hard to change that the last three years. It's so much easier to spot it in others than it is to see it in yourself.
The conclusion of this thought is that I spent my entire life thinking I was clever and cunning. Thinking I was tricking everyone in my life and myself that all of these trivial accomplishments and incidents, that I blew up, were the result of me secretly working hard and making moves. When I'm reality I was super lazy, never really did anything to set my future self up with an easier life. And the people in my life knew it...they just didn't care. They were busy actually working hard and setting up their future lives. Countless people have come in and out of my life that I thought I had fooled. I still talk to a few of them, actually. Some really do seem much more successful and happy than I am. Some do not. Either way I feel like a fool who has wasted his life to this point chasing his wildly fake chivalric truths while the people in his life moved forward with reality. I am fortunately healthy and young enough (I guess) to turn it all around. I have succeeded in many real lasting accomplishments over the past two years. I still love to be lazy, though. And I am still terrified of getting older. Where does one find the courage to stand up for themselves and their happiness? How does one control and discipline their own poor habits? Is it possible to live a life without the constant feel of regret, and no idea what you want to change?
You don't know me, and I don't know you...that's kind of the point of this whole thing I guess. I am a 33 year old white male from a liberal area in rural Pennsylvania. I was born and raised in a very rural/redneck/non-liberal area in Pennsylvania. My current home is about one hour from my childhood home, and that is the furthest I have ever lived from where I grew up. My parents are still married after 32 years, I had a great childhood. We grew up a little closer to lower class than middle, but we always had what we needed. I graduated high school from a super tiny rural public school that set you up to pursue a trade, but also encouraged you to go to college to become a rocket scientist, but most did neither. I never cared to learn discipline in the military like a lot my friends. Instead I learned how to drink, smoke weed, and woo insecure college girls while working as a dishwasher for a local hotel/banquet hall/bar/restaurant. That life is a story for a later time. I am currently living in a three bedroom apartment with my girlfriend Kayla and our eight year old daughter Jenny. We live in a safe, beautiful neighborhood. Jenny goes to a great elementary school that is about a two minute walk from where we live. Kayla and I have been together for four years but we never married. Jenny is not my daughter by blood but I have raised her as my own for the past four years, and I think of her as my own blood. Her father will also be a story for another time, but for now he really isn't in the picture. Believe it or not, I make decent money working for the custodial department of a local large institution. I am not a custodian, but I will tackle the details some other time. Kayla works as the GM of a housing complex. Together we have a solid household income, and if we weren't so terrible with money we could probably have a lot of it. The point of my rambling is to say that I have a good life. I have always had a good life. To a lot of people I would probably have a great life. But for as long as I can remember I faked my happiness. I can't say that I'm depressed. I don't mean that I was sad and I put on a happy face. I mean for as long as I can remember I always saw reasons to be upset and reasons to be happy in every situation. I realized at a very young age that you can make people happy by mimicking their body language, and reading their dress and personality to help me guess what they want to hear. I accommodate to maintain happiness even if it's not what makes me happy. That's what I mean when I say that I have always faked my happiness. I always chose to keep the peace in my life at any cost. For as long as I can remember. And I think I no longer know what happiness is because of it. I have been in and out of many serious/long term relationships, but never have even come close to purposing. I always have that nagging feeling that I am very unhappy and over the years all of my choices made to keep the peace at the cost of what makes me happy have completely overtaken my life. I feel like every aspect of my life was a choice to make someone happy in my life that isn't me. If you read my previous post about Mother Night:'you end up being remembered for who you pretend to be.' I know I can be happy in my current life, but I can be miserable to the point of anger, too. The grass is always greener for someone like me. I can look at my family and feel immense happiness and pride and love. I can also look at them and feel suffocated and sad and controlled. Sometimes I'll see a balding, out of shape, neck beard type of guy sitting outside of the local Burger King eating his Whopper, and I think “Man, he only has to live with crippling loneliness and sadness to have all of the freedom in the world. What a lucky guy.”
I guess this is where I will leave off for now. I plan to use this blog as a place to tell the stories from my youth as I remember them. Lay out my feelings when I am feeling overwhelmed. And perhaps other nonsense you might find interesting. In the end I hope to have an in depth diagram of my past and feelings to help me get better a living this life. #100daystooffload#Journal#thoughts#happiness#blogging#feelings
I've been trying to read more. Every now and then throughout my life I go through phases where I love reading and it's all I do, but eventually desire tends to fade away after finishing a really good book and I can't quite get my life back together. My favorite author is Kurt Vonnegut. I've read most of his collection more times than any other book except or maybe the Harry Potter series. I love the classics like Slaughterhouse-Five and 'Breakfast of Champions,' my personal favorite though is 'Mother Night' about Howard W. Campbell Jr, the American spy working undercover as a Nazi agent in Germany during WWII. He is deemed a war criminal and one of the most dangerous Nazis of all time even though technically he was fighting for America. The moral of the story being: you end up being remembered for who you pretend to be. Every time I read it I feel like it fits directly into the social issues we're dealing with at the time. I've read this book many many times over many many years but no matter what it always seems to fit with what's going on in the world. And I've recently been rereading 'Mother Night' again. And once again it really connected with what's going on in the world at the moment. I thought about it a little bit last night as I was laying in bed and I think I have a decent understanding as to why that book always hits me the way it does. I believe it is the way Vonnegut is able to paint a conversation between humans the way it really is without all of the niceties and other BS. He shows us that throughout history all humans tend to disagree that their idea of kindness is the same because they look different. He shows us that everyone has kindness and mixed with that kindness is mostly craziness and boredom and loneliness. And at the end of the day every single person on Earth contributes to the love and the hatred that everybody feels. Vonnegut is able to remind us that loneliness is in everyone, happiness is short-lived, and bad news always just around the corner. But he also teaches us not to fear any of that because that's just the way life is. Some might have it worse than others but everyone has good days and bad days... So it goes.