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There are billions of people in this world. A lot of them are really decent. Most would make for passable acquaintances. Some make for really good friends. And a select few make for people you would do anything and everything for. Obviously some people are more important to me than others, usually for reasons I cannot verbalize. The hard part is when I am longer important to a person I hold so dear to my heart. There's really no pattern to it, but it happens often. That should clue you in on the kind of person I'm attaching myself to.
I met my niece for the first time yesterday, she's just two weeks old. She didn't really do much, she just laid in my arms wrapped in a yellow blanket, oblivious to what the world has in store for her. I think of the teens I work with at the treatment center and my own trials by fire; it takes a lot of guts to bring a kid into the world. Life is so beautiful but not without its horrors. Everyone must learn to struggle through the horrors but the real secret is to find the beauty within the struggle.
It looks like a pipe burst in the wall of my apartment. The wall of my laundry room is discolored, it's damp like the side of a cave, a small pool of water has started to accumulate on the floor. This is what I woke up to. It's going to be a pain in the ass to get this fixed, I know that for a fact. There's so much to do in life anyway and on top of that shit happens. I'm ready for summer to be over; it's been all work, what happened to that carefree three-month vacation?
I used to be a miserable person. All joking aside, I really don't consider myself that anymore. I remember being angry and depressed all the time. I still get that way sometimes but I don't allow myself to stay there. I love my work but there are a couple of people who are just plain miserable- they dislike the clients, their co-workers, they don't even believe in what they do. No one works in mental health for the money or glamor, trust me. I use their worthlessness as motivation, I won't stop until I run my own program, just wait.
Apparently I make a lot of enemies these days. It strikes me as odd, I'm a really nice guy. I'm blunt and my opinions aren't shared by everyone, but a nice guy nonetheless. Still I stack up my fair share of dislike. I saw that a client referred to me as a "spaz-tweak" in her notebook; some people talk shit when I'm not around, fuck, a former work associate is actually intimidated by me. I'll admit it, that last one makes me smile. But if you think that hating me for reasons unknown will slow me down... go to hell.
Another co-worker brought in pictures of her kids, which of course led to me being ask the obligatory question, "how many kids are you going to have?" The answer has been the same since I was 13- none. I'm a firm believer in NPG and fatherhood holds no appeal to me at all. I simply do not have that urge to procreate like so many others do. I don't understand why this is perceived as negative, as if by not having kids I'm missing out on part of life; like trading my aspirations for a lawnmower with "optional features."
When you want something bad enough you'll believe in anything that you think will help you get it. This is the driving force behind email scams and Craig's List personals. When you really want something, want it so bad that every part of you yearns for it, you work for it. You trudge through set-backs, adversity, bullshit. You sacrifice time, money, and friends. You work toward it because there is nothing else but that goal. It's a game that tests your patience, drive, and sanity. The ability to out shine the competition comes from the perseverance to outlast them.
Last night my new co-worker rambled to an extent that I have to admit was impressive. I initially struck up the conversation, asking her where she worked before coming here. She gave me a vague description of her life working in sales and talked about "working as a team" and "using people's strengths to keep the goal in site." I still have no idea what her previous job was. She then began to talk about ghosts and aliens. I can't recall any specifics because I tuned her out and finished my paperwork. I guess some people can't stand silence.
When I was 17 my dad brought home a bunch of programming books from the library. A nice action but not the kind of thing I expected from him; I had mentioned that I was interested in studying computers and I think he and mom were just happy that I was starting to focus on something. It's ridiculous that by your second year of college you declare a major as if you actually have any idea what you're going to do with your life. In my 28 years I've bounced from industry to industry, and it hasn't been all bad.
My grandfather died about a year ago; that's when my life turned into a pile of shit for eight months. I came back home to find that my boss had been embezzling money; the place I work would be gone in two weeks. I lived at that facility so my apartment would be gone too. I took the only job in the field offered to me. I was paid so little I didn't clear a tax bracket; I spent my free time applying for new jobs and doing temp jobs for cash. I've come a long way in one year.
When it comes to helping others with their issues, their problems, helping them process life- I'm very good at it. Hell, that's how I make my living. But when it comes to my own life, simple answers seems to allude me. I suppose that's why I get into the situations that I do. That's why I've learned to keep my core friends close and rely on them no matter what. We've learned to cling to each other for dear life and I'm not the type of person to admit I need people. But for those who love me, thank you.
Is there anything more depressing and pathetic then the "missed connections" section on Craigslist? Seriously, if you've never checked it out, go take a look. It's filled with shot-in-the-dark postings like "to the hottie at Power's Ferry Wal-Mart last Tuesday." People groping in the dark for a chance at love. People that want to believe so bad they'll post a want ad on the Internet wanting to talk to a person they've only seen but for whatever reason couldn't approach in person. Reminds me of Bachelor Frog, "Girl is nice to you, imagine life together." Sad.
These past few months I've felt more or less isolated. I only get one full day off every two weeks and even when I've not on the job there's a lot of shit to do. Isolation isn't a bad thing in small, controlled doses. Sure, I have ample time to concentrate on my career, which I'm steadily moving forward in; but it's more than that. For the past couple of months there have been no distractions, no drama, no idiots dragging me down. I've learned to sit with myself and be ok with that- to listen to the drive within.
For years I was happy as long as I ran from the world- and from myself. Shooting-up coke is a great way to alter reality but the lifestyle was just as addictive. Because I hung out with guys that got even with violence and picked up trashy women at bars I felt powerful and unique. Perhaps there's glory in that life if it's experienced in a small dose but after a decade it got old and it got miserable and quick as it started I had no one. The problem is that you can only run for so long.
My friend always says that she's "loyal like a junkyard dog" when it comes to the way she views her friends. I'll admit it was unusual to have someone feel that way about me but she's the one who's taught me what it means to be a true friend. Sure there's a protective nature in her but after lunch today I realize she both accepts and pushes me. Not in a cheesy sugar-coated way- she doesn't bullshit in the least. But at the end of the day she's there to pick me up when the world knocks me down.
I think the apartment across the breezeway from me may be haunted. Perhaps it's a wormhole to another dimension. I lived in my place for a year and my neighboring apartment has had four different residents. The strange thing is that I see these people move in but I never see them move out- any of them. The stoner dude and his buddies lived there all of a month, the guy displaced from New Orleans used to chat with me but vanished overnight. I met my newest neighbor, Stacey, a couple of months ago, since then I've never seen her.
Sometimes I can feel the scars on my arms, I swear I can feel them tighten up. It's a strange reminder of the way things used to be. Of how my life was and how I thought it would always be. Yeah, it's weird but I like that it's there; I never want to forget where I came from. All fear comes from thinking too much about an unknown future. No one knows the future so don't worry too much about it. Control what you can which is today. Stay in the moment. When you sit, sit. When you breath, breath.
I have no problem being an asshole to those who deserve it. I believe in treating people fairly and with respect as much as the next guy but don't try and get a free ride asshole. If I realize that you're a total jackass I'm done with you until you prove otherwise. Ever time you're a dick to me or someone else I'll bring it back to you tenfold. I don't think I'm some sort of superhero, leveling the field with my own brand of karma; I just believe that at a certain point people need to be fucked with.
So much riding on one conversation, one decision. Is that the reality of the situation? I don't know but it sure seems that way right now. That's the paradox of life I suppose. I've been told to stay in the moment, focus on the here and now. Moments pass, feelings pass, people pass. But the tricky part is that one moment leads to another moment...and then another. Today will be a moment that sets the stage for other ones- it's always like that. We just get so used to mundane moments we tend to just focus on big ones.
Eventually you get used to being alone. Sleeping alone, watching DVDs alone, eating alone. That last one I wear like a badge of honor; no longer the mark of the forlorn but a sign that I really don't care what others think. Most people in this world can't stand to be alone even for a minute. That's why so many cling to unhealthy relationships and surround themselves with social leeches that they confuse for "friends." I'm not a pariah, I have people in my life and most of them good people. But I've learned that I can survive without you.
Doing the right thing is not always easy, nor is it comfortable. There comes a time, however, when you must focus and decide to define yourself. This means merging "who you are" with "what you do." Often, the decision is easy to make; the hard part is that it has to be made on a daily basis. The world will continue to challenge, frustrate, and annoy you. People will test your patients and endurance. Because the decision can be revoked at any time and all that work will be for nothing; I'm hoping that the sacrifice will eventually pay off.
"You've got such a dark past," the nurse I was working with last night told me. I guess I do although I don't tend to label it as "dark." People can change, some never do, but people can and do change. I sensing change coming up in my life soon. Life is good right now, but it's been on standstill. Too much routine, too much has been predictable. If I've learned anything from my past it's that as soon as I get too comfortable life throws a curve ball. When life changes you have to change to adapt to it.
I miss the sounds of a modem dialing up and the time when Hotmail was a top choice. I still fucking love the web, what it does and who's on it. No, it hasn't "empowered the people" like some said it would but it's still great to lurk around and read what's out there. I miss BTF, Ask Seth, and Rand. Fuck, even Pigdog and Snuff X are barely updated anymore. L0pht once proclaimed that their archive "wasn't going anywhere." It did. I guess the problem is that people burn out on little projects. Life is thankless enough I guess.
Part of the freedom in the way I've learned to live these past three-plus years is that I no longer have to take part in things that are bad for me. It sounds so simple but look around, plenty of people play into the bullshit everyday. I'm a genuinely nice and empathetic person but I have no tolerance for drama queens, backstabbing assholes, social leeches, and egotistical fuck-ups. I used to be an asshole but would also cling to things I was comfortable with even if they were negative. Today I cut all that out of my life.
It's the calm before the storm. I can feel it. There's a lot to do today and I've got a hell of a lot riding on certain things tomorrow. But for right now, everything is right with the world. I'm not stressed or anxious like everyone expects me to be. I've learned to just let things play out the way they're supposed to. I've done my best day after day and I have confidence in my abilities and skills. At this point I'm walk in there head-up, say my piece and whatever happens, happens. Just for today, I'm good.
Good fucking God it's hot! Temperatures have been in the 90s with humidity of about 300 percent- that's miserable even by Atlanta standards. As I've said before, I'm done with this summer. I'm not exactly sure what I'm looking forward to so much in the fall but this summer has dragged on and on. I still have fond memories of summers past- not being in school, going to the beach, working at Zoo Atlanta, but this year it's been a pain in the ass. I'm doing ok, really I am but it's been all work and the heat isn't helping.
I guess a little struggle and disappointment is what I need in my life right now. Doesn't really matter if I need it, that's what I got handed today. Patience is a virtue they tell me but that's a bitter pill to swallow. I see why so many people get beat down, sell themselves short, or just plain give up. It's tough to keep going in the face of setback and adversity but what else do we really have in life? The idea of trading my ideals and passions for comfort and security has never appealed to me at all.
People die. It happens a lot, so I've noticed. People close to you or who have special importance to you die as well. This also seems to happen a lot. What is important is that I'm are still alive and I get to do all the fun shit that being alive entails. There are people in my life that make me happy, or at least are reasonably pleasant to be around. I've found myself laughing at the most horrible shit possible. Why? Because it keeps me sane. This whole world is so fucked up, sometimes it's like a sick joke.
Patients, my friend, patients. It's a virtue, or so I'm told. That may be true but it sure as hell is not my strong suit. I deal with waiting now much better than I used to but there is still no feeling as restricting as knowing that all you can do is lie and wait. That's were I am right now, I've done everything I can and now I just have to keep at it until the situation shakes out like it's supposed to. And it's going to be a long haul for sure, at least six months... maybe more.
They switched me from the addiction unit to the psych unit at work last night. It was my normal shift on addiction but the goddamn nurse switched me with a more veteran CA. "You're not gonna fight it?" A co-worker asked me. No, I wasn't. And that's when I knew that this month hasn't been a wash. I've dealt with a few setback- setbacks not failures and the attrition can take its toll but the fact that I didn't pick a fight over something that really doesn't matter is good. My goal of late has been to simplify life.
Give it up fucktards, you'll never hold down again whether through emotion or financial chains. I'm done chasing my tail for you spineless assholes. I'm very happy with life overall but this last year has been difficult and frustrating in its own way. However, I've created so much of this problem and the one way to solve it is to simplify my life. I will no longer play to your ego or fix your soul by selling mine. Some of the worst pain I've felt has come from those offering friendship. I've cut myself loose- take it or leave it.
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