Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Ramblin' Rundown

Here is list of roles I've been put in or adopted for myself at any given time in my life, good or bad.

Older Brother
Younger Brother
Middle Child
Comic Book Geek
Gold Medalist**
National Merit Scholar
Human IMDB
Drunk Pal
Responsible Uncle
"The Black Kid"
"The Black Guy"****
Best Friend
Dude I Know Through Friend
Non-Gay Gay Best Friend
Kinda Boyfriend
F-Buddy Confidante
Rom-Com Lover
Sci-Fi Geek
Party Animal

The Black Brad Pitt#

Lucky Bastard
Pub Regular
Superman/Mr. Dependable
Encyclopedia Brown###
Dude I Make Out With At The Club####

I'm sure there are more but this list is pretty long as is. Okay. Enough procrastination.

*Black Nerd
**It was for a Kodak/The NY Daily New Math competition when I was like 8. I still consider myself on par with Olympian Gold medalist like Gabby Douglas or Oscar Pistorius...okay, NOT Pistorius.
***Unfortunately not a Rural Juror.
****Just the older version of "The Black Kid." Like Pokemon evolution, you reach this state with training, experience points and hanging with white dudes in baseball caps.
*****Just a dude that walks; not a zombie.
#FACT- I invented this term in 1998. I got witnesses. I also did "tuxedos for no reason." Look, I'm just saying there is a lot of coincidences going down, man. Way too many.
##People told me I used to look like Usher hence the charming handle coined by one of my friends. They're the best.
###Not actually named after the popular character. I got this moniker from reading encycolpedias and being brown. (SEE BLERD ABOVE)
####I had a good run for some years. Been awhile.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

RSI/Residual Self Image-Part 2

I stumbled onto Jackthreads.com yesterday while I was responding to a message from a friend on Facebook. Just to get us on the same page, Jackthreads is a site with clothes for guys. I don't like all the gear on there but they sometimes have good specials and some of the stuff gives me good ideas for design for how folks dress in my writing. I was on there because they had some sort of 40% off sale and as I was perusing the offerings I thought to myself two things- 1)This is an exercise in futility because I'm too broke to really get this stuff and 2)I actually am really wanting stuff nowadays.

The first thought is an ongoing process to dig myself out of this personal life hole I dug for myself.

Deshi (Deshi!) Basara (Basara!)...
The second thought was sort of a shock and not only because the stuff I was looking at wasn't particularly that bad ass but because I actually had the thought "I WANT THAT" flash in my head and it wasn't a geeky item/a winning PowerBall ticket/a giant mythical wolf to do my bidding. 

I've never been a "wanter" or even a "needer." Blame it on being a middle child or being the oldest cousin looking out for the others or being the son of two stubborn people who always did things themselves if they could do it. My father is horrible about getting what is needed and my mother was always the type of person that'll power through anything and didn't ask anyone for help. This combo of different things has greatly contributed to my view and actions to many things in my own life.

This is obviously not healthy.

I've been trying to do better. I have looked back and observed how this long cultivated attitude has messed me up with getting things done faster and even relationships with people. I'm trying to do better but I often switch back into "I don't need that/you" mode which can easily trick my brain into "I don't really want that/that is just greed and materialism talking" mode. This is why that moment yesterday shocked me.


I have a recurring movie in my head. It's not particularly long. It's me sitting at a table with my brother. I'm wearing jeans, Converses and a Superman shirt usually. I'm not sure what my brother has on, probably something ridiculous but fashionable. We are talking about something ridiculous as I wait for an interviewer to show up. She/He appears and I explain my brother is visiting me here in California/somewhere in the South and I hope it isn't a problem. The interviewer says no and then proceeds to asks me questions about my second or third book, how my life is different compared to ten years ago, how I feel about being engaged/married/dating someone supportive and awesome. It's a fun time and eventually the movie just fades to black with me looking stronger, older and happier than I am right now.

I bring this up only to illustrate that I know that somewhere in my subconscious is a guy who wants more. He's in there scratching at the back of my skull. Maybe he's that hopeful 9-year-old me or just pissed off 33-year-old current me. It doesn't matter. Not really. What is important is that I embrace him and focus on getting to that moment.

Maybe it won't occur like that. Maybe I'll still be single or my brother won't be there or I have on a Captain Marvel t-shirt instead. What won't change is that I'll be there, older and happier and more fulfilled and successful.

I want that moment. I want that.

Friday, March 8, 2013

RSI/Residual Self Image-Part 1

People see the me they wanna see.– Matt Damon, House Of Lies
They only see you how they wanna see you/'Til you make them see you in some other way.- Childish Gambino, Hold You Down

Before I get to it, let's play a quick little game. It's called spot the goofy jackass. You have 10 seconds. GO!
Found him?

We'll come back to this....

When I was little, I used to tell my great aunts and pretty much anyone else Down South that my name was Sam. My grandmother used to call me Ripley, after Ripley's Believe It Or Not for some odd reason. People in my neighborhood used to call me Lil Will because a) I looked like my dad b) there were other Seans on the street or c) they forgot my name, yet remembered my siblings' far more complicated ones. I tell you all of this boring stuff to just begin with just so we have a base for an idea of identity.

In my limited/long time on this planet, I've realized that I'm not one person. No one is one person. We are all generally an amalgamation of the perception of the people around us, and to an even greater extent, the world's view of us.

For example, if you asked people that knew me at different points in my life who I was, I'm reasonably sure you would get a different answer from each group for each time period and a slight variation from the folks in those groups. At the same time, the me of those time points would tell you I was a different person, probably based on what I thought I was (when I was little), what others thought I was (pre-teen to early teen years) or what I thought others thought I was (pretty much all of other times).

I was full of myself at one point in my life.

From geeky blerd (black nerd) to slacker pal of someone's kid to guy who would put in the most effort at the office, I wore a lot of hats. The problem was that none of these hats were picked out by me. As I got older, like a lot of people do, I just tried to become the person people believed me to be or wanted me to be. This is foolish but it's part of the growing process and "finding yourself." You have to try different roles if you aren't one of those rare lucky individuals who know who you are at a relatively young age. But, still, it's a bit stupid.

But you know what's stupider? Doing the opposite of what people expect of you just because. Not because you want to necessarily try something different or have an idea that this "you" is not the "real you." I did/do the opposite because I was just being difficult and also think following "what the world wants of me" is stifling to my freedom.

FUCK YOU, WORLD...and yellow polos.

Which brings us back to the above picture. Did you find who I was asking about? Here's the answer.

It's the guy to the right of the Sundance winner and above the reality TV star. Seriously.
This goofy jackass came to this event with his two buddies. They all drank and 2 out of 3 of them smoked that day. Yet, he is the only one who looks like that. Why? Because a) he drank because this was/is how he is perceived to be and b) he smoked because he had become the non-smoker by this time. He didn't have his shit together. Not that day. But it's alright. He'll have this picture to remind him of the next points I'm going to make.

There is nothing wrong with bucking against the world perception of you and there is also nothing wrong with slipping into the role that people present to you as what they think you are. The key is finding out who you really are at your core. We all take time to get to that point and we slip up at times. Just look at that picture again. I feel it has taken me longer than most, or at least my pals, and that we all continue to evolve as we grow but I'm feeling better daily about who I am and am getting more comfortable with who I am.

I'm not perfect. I fuck up. I'm better at a lot of things than others. I'm way worse at other things than some. But I believe in myself and my own personal level of awesome.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Like The Man In The Stall Said To The Man Waiting...

"Give me time, baby."- Al Bundy, Shoe Dick

I promise an update (maybe 3!) today. Been busy trying to work on something big that could be the start of actually being a real writer. Also, trying to nail down certain things in my life and figure out where I stand.

In the meantime in between time, check out these two links. The first is an awesome series of cartoon that I probably mentioned before.* The second is this writer on Cracked.com and I enjoy most of his articles on life. They speak to the screw-up in me. Enjoy.



*Plus I want that "SHIrT" shirt. Someone get on that for me. Thanks.