Thoughts from Mr. Optimism.

This flower contemplates things.It’s night time at the end of a cold day.  The rain has spattered occasionally and I’m trying to unwind a body that has been acting fatigued all day.

Normally  and opening like this would require me writing something on my personal blog, but I’m feeling more publicky today.  Maybe it’s the election now nearly only 1 year away.  Maybe it’s the 12 hours of jedi training I had today.  Maybe it’s the booze.

Probably not the booze.  Didn’t have any booze.  Only had grape juice and casserole.

A couple of thoughts tonight, though probably nothing to spark discussion like the whole “Losing faith” comment I made a while back.

1.  It’s nice to see self improvement.  I remember being in training just a few months back and thinking “I have no idea what is going on.”  Now I’m teaching the newbies – who, incidentally, have the “I have no idea what is going on” look on their faces.

2.  I feel good about life and people in general.  I’m not extreme in any direction.  If I were a shape I would be a sphere with a slightly rippled surface.  No poky parts that I’m aware of.  It’s not that life is easy or people always treat me well. (I’ve had my share of trauma and stress.)  It’s just that the bad things fade gradually to a dim nothing and the good come into sharper relief in my mind.  I don’t know precisely why this is.  It certainly wasn’t always this way.

3. This leads me to my real thought:

Close your eyes and think of yourself – your “Self Concept.”  Now open your eyes and read the words “Now open your eyes…” and continue on from this point.  Good.  Now keep that idea in your mind.

Seriously, when you close your eyes and think “Me.” who do you see?  What characteristics does this person have which are hidden from the world at large but overwhelming in the black behind your eyelids?  Is this person someone who has created his or her self or who is a creation only of the forces that press endlessly against you?  Who is this person that only you know?  Why are you who you have become – what has made you who you are?

I am bothered by those who have the automatic and instant response.  Those who can say (and often do say) at any given opportunity “I am this and that.  I had this and that happen to me.  This is what defines me.”  Such a response indicates that once upon a time this person did some amount of introspection, then committed what he or she felt was important to memory for use in conversation.   The problem is that the conversation topic of “me” seems to eventually overlay the true identity.  Frequent and meaningful introspection decreases.  Sense of worth diminishes.  Sense of control over one’s life decreases as experiences occur outside the realm of the ‘self description.’

I hope I’m being clear.  You’ve seen people do this.  Especially those who have traumatizing experiences.  Some people say “I am/was a victim.”  And while it was true, it was never that persons identity.  But over time the ‘victim’ comes to identify him or herself as… “Victim.”  Have you had conversations with recent acquaintances where your new friend contributes to the conversation by saying something like “I was abused,” as if it were the same thing as “I used to be a redhead?”  Or am I the only one with this particular experience?

Here’s how I see it – and prepare yourself for pure opinion on my part here.

What defines us as individuals is not our pain or suffering or trials.  It’s not our successes or good luck.  Who we are is not what we do or what is done to us.  What defines who we are is how we react to those things – what we do with ourselves after.

Here’s another angle that may illustrate my thoughts better:  There are people who reach a certain point in their growth and then stop.  You know these people too.  These are the people who found something either so bad or so good that they never talk about anything else.  I know that sometimes we all need time to “wrap our minds around” big changes in life.  But when we take so long ‘getting used to it’ that we form long-term habits it’s pretty hard to continue to grow and experience the world in new ways.   As an example:  Think of those who leave high school for college, find an intelligent and charismatic professor and take all of his classes and re-spout all of his teachings and opinions to everybody else as if there were nothing else as important.  I, for one, know tons of these students.  They found something they see as so good that they are unwilling to find anything else.
I feel happy.  Oh so happy.Another example:  I spent many years as a teenager playing the part of the martyr.  I would always give up something good for other people and try to draw attention to how tough I had it.  I don’t remember what the event was that happened that caused me to develop the habit, but develop it I did.  It finally took my own mom saying “Stop being such a martyr!” one day for me to begin the process of escaping my own personal trap.  But escape it I did.  And I’m glad.

Back then if I were to close my eyes and examine myself I would have seen a skinny white boy with no fashion sense and who had a pitiful and unhappy life.  A couple years later I would have seen a skinny white boy with no fashion sense who was generally happy.  The boy hadn’t changed, only his thoughts on who he was.

I guess what I’m saying is that I hope we always grow beyond the negative parts of our pasts and add everything that’s positive as best we are able to.  I feel bad for those who see themselves as somebody who is ‘happier’ being the cynic or critic or depressed person; because that seems to me to be the most difficult attitude to overcome.  Especially when that person also believes that anybody who is happy is only faking it.  (You know – the people who think of themselves as the intellectual elite, often wearing black and listening to poetry and telling others around them in what ways they’ve recently heard the world is awful and disagreeing with everyone except certain students, professors, and musicians who share thier bleak world view and who believe that the only art that is real art is that which was inspired by something depressing. You know?)  I’ve been that person.  It sucks.

Note from people who are content and, yes, happy:  We’re not faking.  Life really is good.  Finding it out is by far the best experience of life.

-Greg

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5 Responses to “Thoughts from Mr. Optimism.”

  1. whiteraven Says:

    You should not talk about Kellie that way! Hahaha I am joking, you and me have something in common we were both skinny white boys with no fashion sense. Me I was beat up a lot in junior high, in fact i made friends with my bully in highschool I myself have experienced what it is like to not be friends and than make friends with someone I (by societies stand point) should not get along with at all.

    I rarely get offended, it takes a damn lot to really get me down, I believe anything you have to say is important whether I like it or not and it is not my right to tell you that you can not say that even if it is super offensive to me. I have something to say as well and it is not your right to silence me. You have some good points, and yes I know the type in fact you are protecting on eof them.

    I know you do not like it when I talk about Kellie, but did you ever stop to think that maybe she did do something to deserve my treatment of her? I can give you all kinds of emails that she sent me telling me how miserable she was and is and how certain people should treat her the way she wants to be treated. Everything I say to her is offensive whether or not I meant to be offensive, now of course that is all I am is offensive on purpose of course. She actualy went as far as to tell me to stop coming here, like I am going to do as she asks why would I? The fact is she is demanding something from me and telling me I am not her friend so why would I be a friend and do as she asks? If I am so damn unimportant to her, than why don’t you ask her why she wrote a poem about me?

    I would ask you a very good question in my eyes, what is happy? I hate those people that do that oh we are english people or we are scientists or we are techs (in highschool I was a stage tech and there were a few that labeled themselves and others) I hate that more than anything to me what is wrong with being just Greg? You do not do that but some in here do, and if you are offended by that than you are one of them. The people around me accept me for who I am despite my weakness, they do not care that sometimes I say the wrong things they could care less cause they accept me.

    Kellie once said to me friends come and friends go and that is the way the world is, and I totaly disagree with that view my friends stand by me and I have many of them and not only do I have many of them I have known them for years. But I do make new friends from time to time and they stay my friend. The last time I saw her before I became as I am now, she told me that she wondered which friends of hers were her friends my response was “if you have to ask that than they are not your friends at all” if I have to behave a certain way for you to be my friend than of course you are not my friend cause you are trying to change me to benifit you.

    What started our little fight was before she left my sight she told me that “she wanted to change me” and than said “well not change you just the way you think” I have to say that I was not very happy about that because no friend has ever done that to me. Than she kept telling me all she wants from me was to be my friend yet I thought we were friends I did not know that there was a difference between a lover and a friend. I always looked at people in my past I had feelings for as friends that is how it starts out isn’t it?

    Oh damn dude you hit a nerve I got to go, I wish to tlak more about this subject whether or not you want me to. I will come back, and I have to tell you before I go and think about what you are saying (I am going to print this page to let it seep through) I am not unhappy but I am not truely happy either I am content with my life I can say that I get to do whatever I want to do and I have plenty of time to do it. As for having a mate, well that is not all there is to find in life right? You do not have to have a mate to be happy and it took losing a friend for me to learn that. If only she would understand than we could be friends (though I will admit every presence she has with me is a possible sexual encounter and yes I will try even if she would hate me for it) well until I let it sink in you think about that too what is Happy? I will test to see how content I am and tell you what happens

  2. whiteraven Says:

    one more thing before I leave here today: Just because I am the sworn enemy of a friend of yours does not mean I will not listen if you have something interesting to say. But remember she was my friend long before any of you even knew she existed

  3. whiteraven Says:

    Well I am back, it has been a few days and I did go and meditate on what you said here.

    Who am I really? That is the question you would ask. The answer is……. A quite little boy who cries out to be loved, someone who does not need any other attention then to hear the sweet words of his beloved whispering in his ear “I love you”

    That is who I am on the inside, but that is a faint light slowly dying because time leave’s so little for us. That person on the outside is considered weak and pathetic. The outer me would gladly kill him if he stood before the eyes of the Raven King. You are only half right on the statemement of who we are. Truely we are those trauma’s are we not? If you are to be robbed once than you learn to take steps to not be robbed again, but at the same time the same person is trying to find new ways to rob you. The human brain is a collective of experiences good and bad alike, but that is not the total of our being.

    I should not say this to you, cause I am sworn to protecter her, and Kellie I know will try to hurt to spite me, but a woman from the past has again come into my life ever so slightly and because I have had time to be away from her, I know now that I care about her for real, it is no delusion (no I am not talking about Kellie, I will not say her name because of Kellie)

    But that very thing has put me at a crossroad, do I pursue that person or seek revenge on another? I can tell you revenge is sweet but love is sweeter. Well sir you have my answer. Oh yeah one more thing, we are all victims in some way or another, I always considered us to be the victims of the whims of God. But know this too, there are some traumatic experiences that are just burned into the brain, these victims feel as if though they were the ones that were in the wrong. You can not condemn a person for being raped if you yourself have never experienced being raped. I think you are trying to explain people that are like Emo’s (hehe that reminds me of a mad t.v. episode, tickle me Emo do not leave him alone for too long or else… “Oh my God I hurt myself” hehe)

    I get where you are going though, like they only play sad music or do sad paintings or tell you how horrible life is Kellie is actualy one of those people (damn depressing to hang around) I go nuts everytime she is in my presence. Which brings me to the next thing I have to say, I have to say thank you, you gave me an idea, I have every email that Kellie has ever sent me, I am going to publish those to the web. Yeah sure it will piss her off, but I already done enough of that for it to not matter. People find other peoples lives fascinating for some reason, and my life is much more so.

  4. Greg Says:

    You have some good insights here, though it’s hard to notice them when your writing is so clogged with the word “Kellie.” I don’t mean it to sound mean, I’m just saying it would be nice to hear what you have to say without hearing what you have to say about kellie again and again. I guess it’s like you say – you can’t appreciate something you haven’t experienced. So I have no appreciation for whatever you went through with kellie and I have to admit my attention span on the subject is pretty short.

  5. whiteraven Says:

    No you do not sound mean at all. Well, ok it does sound kind of mean I guess. But it is true, and I can not run from that. I prefer what is true over just telling me what I want to hear. I guess all I can talk about to you people is Kellie, I am sorry for that. But when you said depressing people that is who popped into my mind. Really I can’t stand to be near her, she just talks about herself and how great she is half of the time, I figured the rest of you were like that, I guess that is my bad for assuming any of her friends were just like her.

    I got you pegged for the typical mormon I only listen when it is convenient for me type person I guess I am wrong. Her husband Ryan well unfortunately he is exactly how I think he is, I try not to pick on him too much cause that poor bastard has hell on earth coming to him.

    But I will take what you said into consideration from now on I will try to keep my war with her on her website alone. But I said “try” I am not so perfect. As well to the last statement you mean to tell me you never had anybody tell you what a worthless piece of shit you are and that they hate your guts and judge you without even truely knowing you? Come on you were a missionary I am sure you have had loads of people tell you that they hate you without even knowing you. notice that if you talk to me a certain way I will respond a certain way, if you ignore me it does piss me off to know extent I mean it makes me crazy like stab you fifty times crazy.

    I do not think I am perfect, haha I only could wish I was perfect. I do not think I am better than anyone else. I am not as big a jerk I make myself out to be (though I do have my moments). I can tell you when I was younger I had a reading problem people called me stupid I been called a retard a few times by my third grade teacher he would punish me by making me copy down words in the dictionary and than of I got them wrong would take a ruler and slap me accross the head. But I learned to read in time. Most of the way I learn stems from that, I got to do it right or I will get slapped in the head which hurts. Some people would think that is a sad thing, and tell me they would just cry, well hell yeah I cried that did not stop the hitting did it? Hell no the more I cried the worse it would get. So like any other person I learned to cope with pain, but in a way it did ruin me a little because I expect people to be tough like me. It has made me a little cold, I have a hard time letting people see the good side of me the gentle side. Tami was able to pull that side out of me for some reason. I never understood why. I often ask God why he allowed her to be in my life. Hmmm………. well that will do for today I guess


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