Know Yourself

Have fun with this latest post. I don’t have a bouncing ball for you to follow, so my words are below.

There isn’t much to tell.

A lot of good things come to those who get up in the morning, suit up and show up for life. Hard work and discipline help me to surmount the obstacles that stand in my way. I toil, I fix things when I break them, I put things back where I found them, and I try my best to leave the world a better place than it was when I found it.

But it appears that there is yet another lesson to be learned in all of this. Social networking, making new friends, and sharing the ups and downs of life with others have made something crystal clear for me in this past week.

I take on too much.

I’ve been forced to draw lines in the sand with people these last few months. Unneeded drama really does unsettle me. I don’t exercise patience with those who would choose to surround themselves with it. To embroil myself in the “he said, she said” arguments of others leaves me feeling confused, angry, and ultimately alone. I try my best to avoid it.

But even my best efforts can fall short.

I do try to be there for the people who matter most to me. I’ve made some beautiful friends. They all have varied personalities. But I have a tendency to want to look out for people who mean something to me. When I was younger, that manifested in a strong desire to rescue others who appeared “lost.” It even led to what I thought would be my ultimate life calling.

I wanted to be a therapist.

But life happened. Some people came and went. Others stayed. In the last decade of my life, I discovered some ugly realities about people and choices.

Fast forward to my life in New York City. I can count the close friends that I have on one hand. When I devote myself to someone, I remain loyal no matter the cost. But that means that I must watch myself in my dealings with others. I must chose my words carefully. I must not make promises that I know I can’t keep.

Now I’m here. I’ve realized something as I lick my wounds and prepare for the battles that lay ahead.

Among people there may be no such thing as unconditional love.

I’m here to propose that maybe that’s not always a bad thing.

Among my truest friends, there are varied talents, desires, and life goals. It can be quite the adventure to navigate through all of those to get to know these people better as time goes on. The ones who have stuck with me the longest are the ones who are willing to let me get to know them, and to get to know me in turn. These are the ones who listen to me as often as I listen to them. I can’t really say that any one of these friends has a drama free existence. Frankly, my life is replete with opportunity for melodramatic nonsense. But the realist in me wants to know that the people in my life can hold down the fort until I get to the scene of the carnage. The pragmatist in me needs my friends to exercise self awareness, to know when to put up and when to shut up. The warrior in me knows that I can’t be there for everyone all the time.

I’ve lost sight of that somehow, and it bothers me.

My inner samurai seems to have his sword drawn all the time now for someone else’s defense. What happens to a warrior that rescues all his comrades in arms? Does he ever see the enemy coming from the side if he’s busy smiting the pursuers of his friends?

If I am a friend, it’s until you find some way to make me deviate from my course. Those who know me  well are in no doubt of my sincerity or loyalty.

But I do make mistakes. I do, on occasion, open my mouth to switch feet. As eloquent as I can be, I have used the wrong words, and made the wrong impressions. I have hurt other people’s feelings. All I can do is apologize and move on. I can’t be perfect. Nature is as close to perfection as anything gets on this planet, and even it can get under my skin.

Only someone who knows themselves well will understand and pursue what makes them happiest in life. At some point in adult existence, people draw their own conclusions about life, love and the  universe. We all must move through this world on our own, and yet we can’t do it by ourselves.

It is one of the many ironies of my own existence that I’ve stopped trying to puzzle out.

If I meet you along the path of my own journey, the warrior in me simply hopes not to cross swords with you. The friend in me might stop and offer a greeting. As an older brother to someone vulnerable, I’m used to being a protector.

But I am no mind reader. I never was. I must make do with the information I am given.

I make no promises and I tell no lies. In the end, you can all think of me what you will.

I think I heard a movie quote once that sums it up rather nicely.

“Good, bad, I’m the guy with the gun.”

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5 Responses to “Know Yourself”

  1. I’m gonna echo Julianne on this one – VERY well said, bestie! I think you know my thoughts on this one. Everything you say is truth. I’ve been there. Still am. And … you’re right, it NEEDED to be said. LYF, and as you well know, I’ll always be here for ya ❤

  2. Clear as mud. 🙂

  3. There’s something about Mary….

    E.

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