April 28, 2010

Dear Life, At Last I’ve Got You All Figured Out

in Confessions, Family Matters

Sorry if you came here looking for the answers to life. Was that title misleading?

My apologies that my posts have been a bit introspective lately, I suppose that’s because I’ve been doing a lot of introspecting. Or taking a lot of sleeping pills. Either way, deal with it. P.S. I’d like to extend my utmost gratitude for all of your comments on my previous blog. You have no idea what an effect your encouraging words have on me, even if they are just floating out there in cyberspace, and even if you really are just a bunch of perverted old men with a hit list, it still means a lot.

I was riding in someone’s car the other day. I got excited when we drove past a business and I saw my dad’s work truck parked outside. He looked at me and said, “I hope that my son’s face lights up like that someday when he drives past my truck.”  I’d never thought of it that way, but I guess my face did light up. It always has.

scan0001When I was young, I was convinced of all sorts of things. I thought babies came from swallowing watermelon seeds, I thought my grandparents had immunity from death, I thought the earth was suspended in air by magic, and I thought my cats actually went on to live in a better place after they died. A place where trees were made of Cat Nip and it rained milk. I thought married people really loved each other, and I thought the whole point of Easter was so that girls could wear cute hats. In fact, all it really took was for my dad to tell me something was true and and nothing could convince me otherwise. Example: for fifteen years I believed my cat had run away when I was 8. Not until my grandpa got wasted at Christmas and mentioned “that time my mom accidentally crushed the cat to death under the garage door” did I know the truth. It was a tragic discovery. But at least I know the little fuzzball went on to a better place.

It was a blind faith I had back then.

There is something innocent and wonderful about blind faith andhaving a father that you know would rather sacrifice his own life than see you get hurt. Someone who highly overuses the benefit of his doubt, who is eternally compassionate and understanding. But it skews your perception. And although I never thought there could be a downside to this, I find lately, that lifelong assumption may not be entirely accurate. This mindset is foreign to me and I’m unsure what to do with it. Much like that first kiss after moving on, it’s neither good nor bad, it just feels different. Different than you might have thought. Different than what you were used to.

If you’ve been around here for more than a hot minute you know that my viewpoint is anything but unicorns and pots of gold. Life has left a pessimistic taste in my mouth. But in spite of everything, when it comes to people, I have always had a tendency to believe the best, that their intentions are ultimately good, that they empathize with others, that they feel pain. Anyone can open up a history book and see that this is far from true, and naive at best.

I’m sure all of you can relate to this in some aspect. Your experiences have left you either too trusting or incapable of trust – so who is better off? Are we both just screwed? Cus I kind of like the sound of that. I’ve seen my dad tremendously hurt because of his outlook on life and people. Unfortunately, at the end of the day, I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather end up like. So what does that mean?

I don’t know. The older I get, the more it seems, I do not know. Confusion is where I live, and the population just keeps growing.

But I do know this: I still believe everything my dad says.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Maggie May April 28, 2010 at 11:27 pm

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Damn we are riding the same train, same compartment, sitting right next to each other drinking vodka.

blunt delivery May 2, 2010 at 12:36 pm

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maggie – is it at least top shelf?

yellow – yea, i tend to be distrusting and cynical of the world in general. i don’t know why i always give the benefit of the doubt when it comes to people. maybe because, thats what i hope they will do with me.

bear – i’m probably the best blogger in the world.

yellowcat April 28, 2010 at 11:59 pm

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I’m very distrusting and cynical from a long list of bad experiences. I don’t think I’m better off than those who do trust and sometimes I give people a chance…to screw me blind. Arg.

Bearman April 29, 2010 at 5:08 am

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Whoa slow down sister. Two posts in the same month??

Brandon April 29, 2010 at 10:28 am

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The more you know, the less you understand.

It’s been documented that as you become more aware of reality, the more helpless you begin to feel in terms of overall control of life, your emotions, and the way people affect you. While the vast majority have zero malicious intent, they will inevitably disappoint you to some degree. The problem is that people are inherently self centered, which often includes even those who do things for other people since they themselves have some stake in such things (receiving personal joy from it, or the benefits of keeping a particular person happy, for example).

The goal of any person who gains this overall awareness is to process it, understand it, and refuse to become jaded because of it.

Life is far too short to get caught up in petty drama, deal with constant crap from others, and waste time hating particular people for wronging you in some way. (That isn’t to say you let those people back into your life. Hell no. You drop them like you would Neil Diamond and all copies of his music off a cliff if given the opportunity.) You know I keep my life particularly drama free, the last time I had any significant drama was centered around a break up I wasn’t prepared for… over 4 years ago. But I learned from it, matured quite a bit, and came to terms with everything that happened. I’m quite confident that if the situation arises again, I’m better prepared to handle it.

As I’ve told you before, of all the people I know, you are by far the best prepared to handle all of this adversity. Given the situations you’ve been through (and subsequently triumphed over), you have shown amazing resilience while maintaining your unparalleled sense of humor. In all of the years I’ve known you, you refused to let yourself become jaded no matter the situation, no matter how much it seemed to pile up on you. You’ve effectively had my break up occur, in orders of magnitude of significance, multiple times to you through your life. Each time you’ve come out stronger on the other side, maybe not necessarily happier, but they all helped shape who you are today. And because of this, I’m fully confident you’ll find the strength to pull yourself out of this temporary rut. It’s just a matter of time.

Don’t stop looking for the best in people, but be aware of when things are turning sour and the need to walk away. This isn’t really blind faith if you’re armed with awareness and knowledge going into every social encounter. The most difficult part of this is knowing when to walk away and actually doing it, it’s something I continue to struggle with.

Use your dad as an example to follow: Despite everything that has happened to him, he still hasn’t changed his overall outlook over the years. That’s something to aspire to.

blunt delivery May 2, 2010 at 12:50 pm

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brandon – as always, thank you for your encouragement. i know i always bounce back, some issues take longer than others to get over. i really don’t want to become so jaded that i can’t open myself up to anyone. i think that would be a greater tragedy than getting hurt.

me – yea, me too. my parents never spoiled me. they were just always there. still are. and they are the kindest, most amazing people i’ve ever known.

taylor – as i’ve noticed, we are the same person! i’m so glad you started coming around. you are definitely my kind of girl. and it sucks to be us, sometimes. but mostly, it rocks.

Me April 29, 2010 at 10:48 am

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I’ve always been a total Daddy’s girl, too. Not in the gooey get-everything-you-want kind of way, but, yeah. I still am. . . Dads rock!

Taylor April 29, 2010 at 12:11 pm

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My problem is that I trust everybody. Big hearts get broken easily. I want to believe that everybody is a good person, and sometimes I’ll convince myself that they are, even when they’re SO obviously not… This post reminds me of a quote I read somewhere: “Everyday, I look for examples that there is more good than evil in the world. I always find them.”

I don’t know. I spend too much time thinking about this stuff.

Loved this post. I completely relate.

J April 29, 2010 at 5:30 pm

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Your relationship with your dad is just like my relationship with my dad. He’s pretty much the one constant amazing thing in my life. The only time we ever argue (now) is about tattoos. For some strange reason he hates them, I love them. So we don’t ever talk about them. And we’re always happy.

Especially if we’re smoking weed.

blunt delivery May 2, 2010 at 12:52 pm

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j- speaking of tattoos, i’ve decided to finally break down and get my first one. not sure how the dad is gonna take to that…. its gonna have to be in a secret location i’m afraid.

jill – your hubby is right. although all i’d really like to do – is forget about them.

jen – amen. you are 100% right. people are inherently selfish and so am i. i just think some people are less concerned with the feelings of others, and how their actions affect them.

jill April 29, 2010 at 6:26 pm

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as my hubby has told me over and over….keep things you’ve experienced in your back pocket (which really means don’t forget), but go on with a smile and learn from them.

Jen May 1, 2010 at 4:06 pm

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Deep down, I am highly cynical of people and their motivations. At the end of the day, no matter how good someone is he or she has her own agenda. This is not to say that I don’t believe most people are not capable of great kindness and altruism. It’s just that when push comes to shove it’s the rare person that will routinely put his or her interests above someone else’s. As I wrote in one of my posts a while ago, “people are asshole, they just don’t have to be.” And, those are my words of wisdom.

steve May 4, 2010 at 6:51 am

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I hear ya…but I also believe cynicism and pessimism is the easy part. The difficult one is believing that most people are good and helpful and caring. Lots of folks take the easy way and blame others. But you know what, your words seem to be the exact opposite of what you say..I know that sounds odd…but I love your blog not only cause you write great..but your very uplifting…so yes I believe what you say like you still believe in your dad….zman sends

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