Thursday, July 8, 2010

Escaping Blindness

"A man needs something he can hold onto
A nine pound hammer or a woman like you
Either one of them things will do"
-Jolene by Ray LaMontagne

It's been a mere seven short months since I wrote my post about being a better man in 2010.

I can say with confidence that while I've made great progress in certain aspects, I still don't quite have everything "together" that I'd like to. Granted, my idea of having things "together" is probably more complex than others. I'm not oblivious to the fact that I have a pretty good life and not much to complain about. I'm very thankful for that, and don't at all take it for granted. Yet, there are issues I deal with that may very well be self-induced, but they exist nonetheless, and I'm trying to find my way through them.

Having said that, I can't express enough how much of a learning experience this past year has been for me.

I've gained an incredible amount of insight into the person I was, the person I am, and the person I want to be.

I've learned more unique life lessons in this past year or so than at any other point in my adult life.
There's been some very emotionally-draining days where I had powerful moments of insight that will stay with me forever.

"God is not always silent, and man is not always blind. In every man's life there are moments when there is a lifting of the veil... But such experiences are rare events. To some people they are like shooting stars, passing and unremembered. In others they kindle a light that is never quenched."
~Abraham Joshua Heschel

Now I admit that not only am I pretty private, but I have just as much - if not more - pride than the average guy, and rarely do I share my personal issues openly.
I'm not the "FML!" kind of person looking for sympathy, and I despise attention whores.
I'm more the suffer in silence kind of person who chooses to fight his own battles solo while staying out of the spotlight.

But yet I still find myself at a crossroads (for lack of a better word) that I'm just trying to find my way through.

There's a few things I've learned along the way that I strongly believe in..........

It's OK to ask for help. It doesn't mean you're crazy or pathetic, it just means you're looking for others' input to help you find your own answers. There is a clear distinction between a sad, pathetic, whiner who always craves attention, and someone who just could use a little input right now. I hate whiners, so as long as you're not being one, its more than OK to open the doors of communication to help find some guidance.

It's not OK to be pessimistic or cynical. I can be a wise-ass. I readily admit that. I make jokes and comments about people and things sucking because I find it humorous. But I don't readily believe life is like that. For the most part, I've always been and continue to be balancing on a healthy line between realism and optimism, with a tendency to lean towards optimism. Good things will happen if you make yourself smile and believe that they will. There is always something worse that could be happening and someone out there with a life that is a thousand times shittier than yours. So suck it up, realize how good you actually have it, and continue to know that positive experiences will come your way eventually.

Write. You don't have to be a poet, an English major, or well-read in Medieval literature in order to write. I'm not talking about sonnets, or screenplays, or Pulitzer Prize winning pieces. I'm just talking about the physical act of writing ideas, thoughts, feelings, concepts or problems down on a piece of paper. I don't care who you are, sometimes you have so many things bouncing around in your head that it's impossible to keep track of everything. Even if you just write a list to help you visualize things, it will help. If you want to write something creative, it could be a much-needed artistic release. Just do it. Not only will it help, but it could even end up being something you're proud of - like a post on your blog that nobody reads but you keep writing it anyway.