Burn the boats.

Intellectually I understand the philosophy of knowing that things do not have to be as a wish they were, and often I act this out. To hold this belief that my life must be structured in a certain way causes anguish, and to know this and still participate in this mental construction is a kind of metaphysical self-harm. I’ve been known to do this…often,  I guess I’m just an all-or-nothing kind of guy. This all of nothing approach works in many aspects of my life as it eliminates any distractions from side-ventures, options and plans, and allows me to dedicate all of my focus on the main project. Understanding this, hopefully will help you understand why I put all my tofu in one basket, roughly speaking; is this a feature or a bug?

Do you ever see something and just that you must have it? “I want that one, that’s the one that I want” – a common phrase echoed in children stores in the western world. As we get older, this doesn’t particularly fade, the object(s) of desire just change, and often this fixation in the source of much heartache. It produces an uncomfortable feeling in the bottom of your stomach, this feeling is a manifestation of the unknown. This is unmapped territory, your mind doesn’t understand what this terrain is and it knows not what it means; it’s a scary place, that’s for sure.

You will spot the glimmer of gold among the rubble with ease, this is not like finding a needle in a haystack, it’s more akin to finding a haystack in a pile of needles. I spot golden traits as if they were glimmering gold; My eyes locate the gold among the rough, the hope in the darkness and the positive in the negative.

I want that one”, an all-or-nothing attitude with almost guaranteed heartache.

I wish I was an emperor penguin.

I’m myself every second of every day, but lately, I’ve been feeling increasingly discouraged to continue, should I wear this socially constructed facade?

In tribal times, being different meant putting the group in danger; failure to conform meant you were the weakest link, an unreliable chink. However, in modern times, societal norms do not directly protect us from danger, however, they do uphold the cultural status quo. Think, why do so many people feel unworthy, or not enough? Unworthy, not enough, in the eyes of who? In reference to what? In order to feel unworthy, you must feel unworthy in the presence of a standard, a reference point.  Culture is the reference point. The ideal body displayed on your feeds, the narratives of motion pictures, and the imagery in Instagram marketing; 12 hot tips to lose 35% of your body weight so you are summer ready! Culture infiltrates your mind every day, you are a subject in a grandiose and cruel experiment; they call this experiment life.

We’re constantly told to be ourselves, but what the fuck does this even mean? Does being myself mean thinking and acting uninhibited, doing whatever I fucking please? Oh no, you can’t do that…that’s not socially acceptable. To discourage some fucking behaviour but encourage others? Who the fuck are you to decide?

At age 7 I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a mild form of autism. I didn’t have many friends until I was legally an adult. I grew up socially isolated because I didn’t conform; it’s not that I didn’t want to, I just didn’t understand that I had to, nor did I understand any aspect of social interaction. Sure enough, this left me alone and vacuously depressed; my life pre-eighteen was nothing short of hell. As an adult, I read stories romanticising the strong correlation between tech entrepreneurs and Asperger’s Syndrome; this gives me hope, however, they have left out the struggle.

Every day I struggle. Every fucking day.

Always embodying the energy that is me, wearing a genuine smile, looking out for the well-being of others, and seeking to always brighten each person day; I don’t understand why I feel so isolated? It cuts deep when the person that I am is not enough; is there something wrong with who I am? To be myself means I exist outside of the group, I must stand outside in the cold alone. This is the daily price that I must pay, an inescapable tax on living.

It’s not all bad though. I possess an energy that others do not comprehend, and yeah, neither do I; I can go 12 hours a day, all day, every day. Every second of every day the force that is my mind is analysing the world, observing patterns and formulating theories. This force is almost unbearable, but somehow I’ve managed to focus it toward improvement, rather than destruction (when I was younger, I did battle with this unrelenting self-destructive energy). I can think outside the box, and solve problems in unconventional ways. Now, I can’t validate the truth of this, but I hypothesise that it is because I do not, and have not ever conformed to the cultural group-think. There are definitely upsides that I feel in a big way, but is it worth the feeling of ostracisation, and the cold lonely breeze?

Today I am fucking angry, but tomorrow is a new day. Another day to get up, walk, run, and then trip, stumble and fall right back down again.

I wish I was an emperor penguin, at least they stand out in the cold together.

Modern-day hero.

I want to be a modern day hero; what a grandiose claim!

I want the white picket fence, with two lil’ monsters to boot,

I want to be the shoulder to cry on, and the callused hands to rely on,

I want to take on each challenge as a team because two minds are better than one,

I want to be Mr. Dependable and speak only words of support and encouragement,

I want to experience the breadth of human emotion, expressing myself fully,

I want to be the calm within the storm, solid in the face of adversity,

I want to walk an adopted pooch along the beach, fingers interlocked,

I want my words to reflect my inner transparency; honesty is key,

I want my actions to reflect only my principles, even if not in my best interests,

I want to selflessly improve my character, to benefit all those who interact with me,

I want to be a modern-day hero, such a shame that this is considered an ideal,

I dream of the day that the modern-day hero is not but a hero, but all men.

 

Sore thumbs.

I’ve got sore thumbs.

These thumbs have tried to force a triangle through a circle so many times, and these thumbs ache a dull pain. The more I push, the more my thumbs ache, it’s clear that this isn’t working; to relent goes against my nature, a dull ache that I continue to feel.

My thumbs traverse the glass surface in pursuit of my goal, a futile attempt at forcing a triangle through a circle.

You give me sore thumbs.

WHEN, NOT IF.

Settle noun

Settling for second best.

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In life, too many of us settle. We may believe that we aren’t worthy of somebody who is truly is right for us, physically, emotionally and intellectually. We may believe that the ‘right person’ doesn’t exist, or we may believe that it’s too hard. We may believe that we aren’t worthy of love and then desperately clasp at any opportunity. Maybe we weren’t shown love early in our lives, or maybe we were hurt by somebody, or maybe our arduous life has beaten us down at every turn. I’m here to tell you why you are worthy, why you should value yourself and why, if you don’t settle you will find your match.

For so long I didn’t feel like I had value, and I’d grasp at any opportunity of love, attention and praise; I was hooked on it. During my teenage years, I engaged in irresponsible promiscuity in an attempt to validate myself and my worth. This is a common mistake; to base your self-worth on someone else’s opinion is to have self-worth built on unstable foundations. You may feel really good when somebody that you fictiously value as ‘better’ than you takes a liking to you, however, when you are rejected you may feel unlovable and worthless. You don’t have to be Donald Trump to realise that this is a pretty bad deal that you’ve made with yourself. What if you could base your self-worth on something a little more stable, a bit more imperturbable, and you could ride the waves of acceptance and rejection unscathed…wouldn’t that be swell?

If not others views, what?

Your life has value because you are alive. I’ll say that again…your life has value for the pure and simple fact that you are alive. It is for this reason that we find ourselves feeling such sorrow for those who choose to take their own lives…if only someone could have helped them sooner; they suffered but their lives mattered, they had value. Your value is not based on whether you have a job, whether you look a certain way, where you live, how much money you have or what you can or can’t do. Not convinced? Let me ask you this. Do you value the life of a baby? How about a toddler? What about a pre-schooler? How about a primary aged child? Did you say yes to all of these? What about the life of a teenager? What about a skinny teenager? How about a pimply faced teenager? What about an obese teenager? What about a star pupil? Now, what about an adult? What about your mother? What about you? At what point does a life lose value between infancy to maturity? We value the lives of our the young simply because they are alive. To base your self-worth on external things is fleeting, ever-changing and illogical. Why base your self-worth on something that you can’t control? Base your self-worth on the fact that you are alive.

Moving forward

To settle is to sell yourself short, to deny yourself true happiness. One day someone will appreciate every ounce of you for how it is and not how they want you to be or what you could be, however, this is not to say they shouldn’t encourage you to be the best version of yourself. If you choose to settle, to select a partner that you know to not be a perfect fit, ignoring red-flag after red-flag, you are telling yourself that you are not worthy of a partner that is right for you. To accept the second, third, or fourth best is to devalue yourself in the eyes of yourself. We don’t just settle in relationships, we settle in all aspects of our lives. We don’t push ourselves as hard as we could at the gym for the fear of failure, an omnipresent energy living in your mind, of which you believe will strike you down if you don’t succeed when you try. We don’t push for the top position in our line of work because we don’t think it’s possible, we don’t think we’re good enough. You are good enough, you are worthy of love, and you have value because you are alive.

Don’t settle because one day during this up-hill hike to self-actualisation, you will encounter another travelling soul who resonates deep into every ounce of your being and the two of you will be drawn to eachother with such magnetism, and what an incredible feeling that will be.

It’s when, not if.

Am I worth it?

I long to remember what it was like to be filled with a complete sense of self-belief. Every goal, no matter how grandiose, seemed only just out of reach, all I had to do was stretch forward. I miss those days, and I miss believing in myself and I miss my furious drive to do great things.

During my academic ‘glory days’, I studied with relenting persistence to obtain prestigious grades, thinking that this number reflected my self-worth; this was my fatal flaw. When my interest in my area of study wavered, I found that my ability to apply myself and remain disciplined diminished with each coming passing semester and this affected my grades. By basing my self-worth on my grades and how much effort I applied, when my grades and effort decreased so did my self-worth. How can it be that I’ve achieved a great GPA throughout my whole degree and yet I feel like an academic criminal, masquerading as somebody intelligent? This whole time my ego distorted my perception of my own intelligence and now the facade is in decay. It’s hard to believe in yourself when you believe you’re exceptionally unintelligent.

What do I base my self-worth on if not my grades? Can it ever be based on something external, being that externalities can be perturbed?

 

The Ice Man.

This is a story of a man who lived in a town,

Bob walked all around expressing a frown,

Angry and stressed from the wounds he possessed,

Emotion and pain locked so far away,

Such a great weight he carries inside,

Nobody around him knows what he hides,

Frustration and anger is all that he feels,

Taking it out on those he held dear,

A moment of kindness gifted by a stranger,

A stranger, momentarily staving his anger,

The ice on his heart doth began to melt,

Evaporating the pain kept frozen for so long,

All along all he needed was a simple gesture,

A gesture which carried more weight than anyone could measure.