just speaking plainly

when i was 6 to 7 years younger i used to think that i was very bad with love. i was the sort of person who would never remember birthdays, never send christmas cards, never express how much i loved people. when you are very bad at something, and you realize it, the temptation sometimes can be not to try. i'm bad at math. fuck maths, who needs math. i was so grateful for a change of environment, a chance to remake who i was, where nobody remembers your old mistakes. i think i got the confidence once more to try these things, where i had gone wrong in the past.

i think i tried harder but as i look back it astonishes me how much i would sometimes lapse back into old habits. i feel i have acquitted myself better the past few years but not enough. so the temptation is there, to chuck it, to withdraw into myself again. i let my mood overwhelm me, and once again i find myself thinking, i need to be in a different place. and why i get so worried at night is that i fear that once again i might become a person who doesn't care about birthdays, doesn't care about what goes on in other people's lives, if i am not already a person like that. i look at great amazement and respect at people who manage to pick themselves up time after time again, and wonder why for me the temptation is always to chuck it all away and run to some other corner of the globe. it is as if suddenly i believe my own stories, that i am cain again, always jealous of abel, branded and undeserving, un-vegetarian, going to travel the world alone, never to pass on my family line which eventually leads to jesus. for i am unwilling to be bent too far out of shape, although i try and i compromise, but i fear that the dark undercurrents, some of my negativity will always consume any investment in positive relationships that i try to accomplish.

anyway, i think i will try. i will try not to let my mood overwhelm me, for a start. i think to learn to speak plainly again, sans cynicism, sans bitterness. of course i am terrified. there's a lot of that out there, a lot of teasing and casual cynicism which i no doubt contribute to myself, thinking that if the world cannot be perfect, then god damned i will be rebel without a cause.

to open up, to say these things, not to worry if people think you are emo kid. to let go, to be vulnerable again. because the prize i get for being bitter is but a consolation prize, sweet though it is. you have never wanted to see yourself at 40 being jaded and disconsolate but have forgotten that in taking things so seriously maybe you already are at 24. not to force yourself to laugh or be happier than you truly are, but when you do laugh, let it chime like the wind.

yes, to worry if people are out to get you or manipulate you or feel like a fool. people like that do exist. and if they are good at what they do then you might never know. to have standards for people, and try to meet them for yourself. to look at them and to judge, and to be forgiving if they fail. give them the benefit of the doubt, because people are different and many mean no harm. integrity is something that might be chipped away, and every lie i tell does that. nice guys sometimes finish last. to accept that and still try to finish first. to look at oneself and to realize when one is being impossible or unreasonable. to fess up to one's failures. and while you may not agree with everything your parents say, the fact is that they have given you a core with which to approach life. while you question if their values are out of sync with this world, you look at other approaches of your contemporaries and you know that they are not yours either. you can accept them, but they are not yours. and so the center must hold, and we must defy yeats. and agree with robbie williams:

"go easy on my conscience, cause it's not my fault. i know i've been taught, to take the blame"

be a better man. not to worry about sounding self-righteous, because it is better than sounding like someone who just wants the world to collapse, though it might ring true. hypocrisy is but the price we have to pay to create a bubble worth living for, on this earth of dust and wind.

and even if people have said things a million times, say them again. to nag like a mother, if a mother is all you can be. every line that comes out of your mouth doesn't need to be original, doesn't need to be strange, doesn't need to interest yourself the way you wish other people's words would interest you. everybody is different. challenge yourself. speak not of changing the world. if people just want to fuck, then fuck. if people want to love, then love. in a few days you might no doubt feel horrible again. i have known myself for too long. but try your best not to consume those around you that you love.

of course, i look at my contemporaries and sometimes think, maybe i should be tough like them. how perfectly logical they are. and i never discount them, i always want to know what makes them tick. i wonder if being like that entails a loss of meaning of some sort, a meaning i am loathe to be rid off, like some casting off of pattern, colour, shape or form. i don't know who is right, and while i respect such abilities, i seem not to have been able to achieve such mastery. there is no guarantee that anyone else is right, anyway, and paradoxically enough, i think in this aspect of my life i am most secure. i am not touting security as a virtue, but this core within me i cannot doubt. maybe a few more bad experiences might shake it a little more, and finally turn me into the seen-it-all person who knows how the world works, sees through the mist and grabs it by the throat. but for now i still don't know the answers, so i will get by on faith, thank you very much.

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