Good Enough

Good Enough

It never occurred to me that people I know may read this. For years I’ve kept these secrets and posted them so willingly here but never once thought people I know should ever give them a second thought. However, upon reflection it makes sense that these people should be the most interested and invested and made me think of a poem I heard once, or at least a particular verse. The poem was spoken aloud on a the popular AMC drama ‘Mad Men’, the name of the episode escapes me but Jon Hamms voice carried over a particularly somber collection of scenes quoting Frank O’hara:

“Now I am quietly waiting for

the catastrophe of my personality

to seem beautiful again,

and interesting, and modern.” – Frank O’Hara

As the credits rolled I sat and thought of the exact weight of those words. There are people who find things beautiful within you and will nurture them and encourage the most destructive parts of you until it’s too much. Perhaps you have a sharp tongue and people applaud your honesty, maybe you’ll never say no to a night out and people will use this to their advantage and maybe you have a short temper and people will see this as a reason to keep you as a kind of friend-body guard. Amongst other personality traits (too numerous to list) that all seem great in the beginning, wear thin eventually. This then leaves you with no choice but to simply… wait.

What does it mean to be a good person? Is it the ability to do good things or notice when something’s wrong and step in? Is it knowing when the classic idea of the ‘right thing’ may not necessarily be the right thing to do for that situation?

Can you be defined as a good person if you don’t know right from wrong? The idea that there is such a thing as good and bad in people is that we have a sense of this. For example a shark isn’t considered evil because we perceive that it doesn’t have a moral compass, it eats and swims without feeling guilt for keeping itself alive. The bee stings out of instinct and doesn’t consider the fact that it’ll die after therefore suggesting it’s not making a conscious choice to do the right thing and not harm living things. I believe Morality stems from knowing what’s right and wrong and choosing thereafter however where is the line?

Can a good person still do bad things and vice versa? Giving to the homeless, charities, being kind and generous, eating healthy and exercising, maybe even going as far as being vegetarian. Listening to others and giving time to people around you, speaking in turn and being honest and doing everything you can to not hurt another person – all things universally considered good. Murder, violence, taking drugs or stealing. Lying, speeding, texting while driving and interrupting people. Stomping your feet and eating boiled eggs on a train, chewing with your mouth open, swearing and ignorance or being rude and loud in public – all things universally considered bad. Yes there is a sliding scale, but can someone do a bad thing in order to be good? Can you steal food to feed a homeless person? Can you lie to do everything you can to not hurt someone? Can you do all of this and be considered simply as good, or bad?

In terms of a self proclaimed bad deed, recognising it’s bad is half the battle. In my experience It no longer becomes about if you can be drunk enough, the question is can you be sober enough? Attempting to cancel out the bad with good to prevent more waiting. In order to stop from having to repeat the philosophy of Frank O’hara and have to wait for your catastrophic personality to be beautiful again can you be sober enough that all your jokes are still funny and your words aren’t slurred? Can you still be sober enough that you can still hold w conversation and be honest with everyone you meet?

Can you still be sober enough to get a days work done and go out with friends and not have anything question what you do?

Can you be honest enough?

Can you be honest with yourself to the point where you know that you’re lying?

Can you realise when you’ve done wrong and that your choices have led you down the wrong path and can you even make the right choices after that fact? Can you be good enough?

Advertisements

Seven days

Seven days

The first week of any change is the hardest, this is a regulated and well acknowledged fact. Seven days, seven days to be sober or seven days to acclimate to your new job. Seven days to be without someone, in death or mutually agreed parting; the first seven days is always the hardest.

One hundred and sixty eight hours will pass and they will feel like an eternity but that first week is always and undoubtedly the hardest. The first day passes by so quickly that the next six don’t feel like an issue, but as they progress you begin to realise that maybe, they’re more difficult than you first thought.

You have to train yourself not to think about the change that’s happened, your brain needs to be reminded that it’s a good thing that you’ve made the change. But Every time you think about it it’s like lighting a cigarette in a petrol station. You’re one flick away from

Going up in flames. Everything happens for a reason and sometimes that reason is to teach you a lesson. It’s there to educate how you hurt everyone around you, it’s there so you learn how to truly be alone and sometimes things happen to just teach you that you may not be a good person.

The past 7 days I’ve spent sober I’ve had an eclectic and eye opening few days. I’ve felt fear like nothing before, fear of losing my job or respect of those I work with. I’ve felt anger and embarrassment at myself for acting the way I have and I’ve felt alone in a way that no one can describe.

Seven days is all it takes to really reflect on decisions you’ve made. It takes seven days to really consider breaking a habit and wether you are alone or not; seven days is all it takes.

The House

The House

Have you ever been lost? At some point in your journey you took a wrong turn or were misdirected and now you have no idea where you are so you frantically look for signs or strangers that would be willing to send you the right way and get you to your destination. If you were lucky, you weren’t lost for very long and you got home safe eventually and the whole experience was just a funny story you told to everyone you met that day.

Have you ever felt lost even though you know exactly where you’re going? You’re walking along the street and you’ve mapped out every turn, all the best traffic lights to cross at because they change the second you press the button and you know all the best times of day to take each street depending on how many people you can deal with yet some how, you still have no idea where you’re going? It’s that same frantic panicked feeling deep in your chest accompanied by the numbness in your head. Being lost within yourself can sometimes feel worse however because there isn’t a right or wrong answer.

The saying goes that when God closes a door, he opens a window. However this house is on fire and the windows are locked and it’s located in the middle of a dark forest that’s going to burn down just as easily. I’ve said previously that nobodies watching you so you may as well just do what you want but that’s not entirely true. People do watch to an extent and their houses will burn down with yours if you let them.

However, nobody said God kept the door locked. Sometimes there is only one way, only one path forward and to do that you have to keep the door open. Nobody wants to crawl through the window like a kidnap victim or burglar of your own life, it’s simply not helpful.

I’ve found honesty is like opening a door you can’t lock up again. The most effective key. Once you’ve told the truth, once you’ve realised your own truth and opened that door to everyone around you it’s impossible to lock it back up. The truth may not necessarily always stay as the truth it can change as can secrets. For example hundreds of years ago it was true that the world was flat and before that it was true that extinction was a myth because God wouldn’t destroy his own creations. So with that in mind it may be true that I’m suffering with depression and other mental health issues. It’s true that I have a severe drinking problem. But that doesn’t mean it’ll always be true.

Owning up to when you’ve done wrong or simply allowing people to know the truth can keep that door open and let everyone around you help put out that fire. Own the house you live in.

Resolution

Resolution

It is a known fact that there are 365 days in a year, there’s no doubt that across the year we amass 52 weeks, 8760 hours, 525600 minutes and yes, I’ve seen Rent. On average we share 42,048,000 heartbeats, 8,409,600 breaths and 10,512,000 blinks of an eye. On average we drive 7,900 miles, we consume 1,996 pounds in food and spend and average of 23.5 hours on the toilet. But what about the moments in between the logistics? The statistics may speak for themselves but what do they say about you?

You can practically hear the year closing it’s doors and ushering in a new one, along side the multitude of gym memberships and diet plans that aren’t going to survive February.

So while I wait on the ‘new year new me’ posts of people who have no intention of changing anything they do; I would like to point out that when the clock strikes midnight you will be the same person you were 15 minutes before. That’s ok.

When the ball drops and you kiss the love of your life or a total stranger, wether you’re vomiting from the copious amount of shots you’ve drank or silently reflecting watching the fireworks from your bedroom window; that minute makes no difference.

365 days translates to 365 opportunities to learn and grow. 365 opportunities to realise that people lose things, that maybe you’re not going to know what you want to do with the rest of your life at 21 (or in some cases 45). It gives you the opportunity to realise that no matter where you may stand you can still hurt people and you can be hurt but knowing that you don’t have to.

At this time in the year it’s worth remembering that whilst change is a good thing and the people around you still love you because of who you are, there is no rush or pressure. There’s something about January first that forces the idea that changes need to happen and whilst in some case this is true, I propose a different idea.

Along with everything I’ve learnt this year, a new me is not what’s needed. The same me that existed before December 31st with a different attitude and a more positive outlook. The same me with better choices.

Square one

Square one

Square one

I’ve always been surrounded by people that knew where they wanted to go in life. At school I had friends that chose their qualifications based on their future careers. In love I joined people that were working towards their end goal of being the best they could in their field. These people, I admire.

It’s like playing a game of snakes and ladders; there’s one hundred squares on a board and everyone has the same goal. The one hundredth square is the goal. Every roll of the dice I throw I may get closer but I may also fall prey to a snake and fall right back to square one. Meanwhile everyone I know may be rolling the same dice and be edging close to that one hundredth square.

The difference is, they know what their square one hundred is. It may be that they want to be a lead in a west end show or they may want to be a high-end photographer. They may want to be a teacher of psychology or an architect but they know what the end goal looks like.

My point is, square one, in the same way square one hundred does, looks different for everyone. Gaining control for one moment, feeling like you’re winning can be the maker. Then all of a sudden you hit your snake. Back to square one.

Square one is a place many people don’t want to visit. For me, it was a place of nuance. Square one taught me not to sweat the small stuff; it taught me my family were more important than anyone. Square one taught me that I needed to grow up and to appreciate everything about living at Home that I took for granted.

Square one may be a place that, if you’re trying to win, sucks. But who are you trying to beat?

The Real Gay Agenda

The Real Gay Agenda

The LGBT community is one that has faced many obstacles in its short public existence. For the past few decades it has grown in the media and we’re now seeing more and more representation in tv and film, celebrities are coming out everyday and the world is changing to allow us to be married in multiple countries. Whilst the majority of us in the western world can now live an open and happy life, much of the community still lives in fear however being a member of this so called ‘community’ for twenty one years (seven openly) has taught me its biggest obstacle is itself. To put things in perspective I’m going to use what I like to call the M&M analogy. Imagine you have a bag of peanut M&M’s and you’re allergic to peanuts. However, in this bag, all the red ones are safe to eat so naturally you wade through the bag picking out all the red ones. Now, this bag is shared with everyone else but some people are like you and can only have he red ones but some people can have he red or blue and some people can have any colour they want but sooner or later you’re going to clash with someone that wants the same red one as you. Not only will you clash, with the limited amount of red M&Ms you will probably grab one someone else has already had and put back. It’s unavoidable. That’s the gay community. You would have heard the term ‘gay agenda’ thrown around by straight rednecks who believe all we want to do is make other people gay or trans or whatever the target person may identify as and all honesty there’s some truth in that. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the community wants the world to be like them the way the world wanted (and still wants) then to be, but I am saying that all too often the LGBT are ready to attack each-other for being different. In a world where loving the people you do isn’t the norm it’s tough to finally come to terms with that. I’m not denying people’s struggles although not personally having to go through it as I was lucky enough to be brought up in a family that didn’t care either way. With that in mind, everyone should then understand that everything is delayed. Being a twelve or thirteen year old straight kid when you have your first ‘boyfriend’ or ‘girlfriend’ and then breaking up with them after two weeks and listening exclusively to Kelly Clarkson’s ‘since you’ve been gone’ or Avril Lavigne’s “complicated” on repeat isn’t something the LGBT community gets to experience authentically. As a result, the early 20’s is that time and furthermore people seem to be trapped in this endless cycle of immature insecurity. It’s a community that gets angry if you go on a date with someone that a friend was remotely involved with ten years ago, a community that allows itself to propose and be engaged to two different people within a year (and be with neither of them in the present) and it’s a community that begs for equality and acceptance by putting itself in a smaller box. It’s men that are in committed relationships for years only to get dumped and then find the love of their lives weeks later or fall in love with a ‘straight’ man and allow themselves to be used as the token. Its a place where babies are born because one man decides he needs to be straight and it’s a place where a person can moan about their significant other and proclaim their hatred for hem only to crawl right back into bed with them with not so much as two words between them. It’s a community that is divided between the left wing liberals and the right wing ‘not real’ members. Side note: all of the above are real examples that I have seen and are in no way fictitious. There’s a sub culture of “if it’s not intense or dramatic then it’s not real” and that’s bullshit. There needs to be a balance and there needs to be an understanding that if two gay people meet by chance they don’t need to fall in love or get married or even sleep together, they don’t even need to try and date each other. I’ve learnt in my short stay that the real gay agenda, for all of us is to love and be loved back. I’ve also learnt that the attempts to get there are somewhat misguided and are not in any way equal. Speaking from personal experience, I’ve had men ask me out on a date and within two minutes are coining the phrase “show me your big…” and whilst I’m flattered at you’re description of my penis it’s not the way to go about seeing it. I’ve had guys offer to pick me up and say something along the lines of “you can come out to my car” as apposed to knocking on my door and picking me up like a respectable human being would. I’ve seen other members of the community be taken advantage of because of their need to feel loved by someone who legitimately is only giving them the time of day for attention. It’s a self hating void that needs to learn to love itself before asking for what they think is love or any semblance of a normal relationship.

The man on the train

The man on the train

There’s a man on the train, he sits and he minds his own business in silence. There’s a man on the train and he’s trying to prove something to his friends by bragging about the many conquests he’s had that weekend. There’s also a man that doesn’t think anything at all, he sits in silence and judges you as you walk on by but he lets you go about your day. There’s a man on the train and he worries about his relationship, he’s concerned that he’s not loved by everyone he loves and there’s also a man that’s stewing in his regrets.

There’s always someone, somewhere, wherever you look that’s thinking and calculating just waiting to be recognised or ignored. As a functioning member of society it’s your job to figure out which one. My point is, that everyone, no matter how big or small, is doing their own thing. Everyone is concerned about their own lives and everyone is affected to that end. I had a teacher when I was in secondary school and she said something that has stuck with me; “everyone’s problems seem big and important to them because they are their own”.

Everyone is dealing with something and they all have something they’re going through so try not to project. Recently I’ve been watching a this show called the good place, its a humorous take on the afterlife. I cannot help but think about what happens when our time here is up, would you end up in the good place?

I would not. In all honesty, I would end up in the bad place, I’ve never thought about anyone’s feelings and I certainly haven’t given people the time they’ve awarded me. I’m the man on the train, I’m going to sit in silence and calculate.

There’s a man on the train, and he opens his eyes, he realises that being alone is better than faking it. There’s a man on the train. And that’s it.