Setting the record straight is rough and tough simultaneously. Inspiring me to write this blog, ‘A Christmas Cruise’, the standout lesson is about having fun whilst betting on oneself. Being me, argumentative, I find myself both perplexed and frustrated simultaneously. Although I know that schmaltzy Hollywood stories are not real life but the tug for it to be so is real enough that I just cry. Now before you roll your eyes in your head at me let me at least try clarify. Living an online life has afforded me the ability to be exposed, thus a great amount of critical examination from people at large is inevitable. It helps push me to keep getting up when everything in me just wants a break from it all. The crossover is the hard part. Going from online to actually engaging others in the flesh all my inadequacies flair up. It is for this that more often than not I retreat. My Christmas invitations were passed up by a catastrophic event where I ended up being saddled with an utter stranger. What should have been an easy thing to fix turned out to be a two day stint of me playing host. The crazy thing is that I couldn’t stand this person’s guts. I am not being judgmental. Because of an unfortunate crises I was put into the position to nurture this person while alternative arrangements, slow to be made, eventually got done. The constant demand to be catered to drove me insane. But a wonderful spotlight has been shone and like an actor on center stage I am compelled to ask myself why I find it so hard to gamble on me. I know this seems quite hypocritical as I run my own little business but the truth is that I do what I do for others and secondary is myself. This explains why I get so exhausted trying to keep people happy that eventually I feel depleted and angry simultaneously.
Simultaneously? So much of my life is contradiction. Not deliberately, naturally. I hate that I love others more than me. I feel bad when I laugh at the innocent expense of another. I enjoy my own space but hate being lonely. I thrive on attention but crave anonymity. The lists go on. Work this one out, I like surprises but want to know they are coming. Either I am a totally dependable or completely elusive. All these contradictions run through me and I don’t know from moment to moment which side of the coin will kick in.
So my indirect Christmas gift has turned out to be a great one. I need to change some things.
As I look back on 2017 I am grateful that I survived, barely but survived. I moved homes and started my rent-a-chair, lost my car, lost a relationship and a best friend, lost friends to suicide, got bitten by a spider that ended up with me needing physiotherapy as I pulled muscles in my back, relapsed, got scammed, got robbed, moved my working space and got my heart stomped on again. A work colleague said, “Shit, you are like a magnet.” It has bugged me the whole day. Clients have said I need to become selfish or self-full and perhaps a little mean. I need to start having some fun whilst betting on myself. My kindness is costing me more than I should be willing to share…. I am coming up short.
AND COMING UP SHORT CREATES PRESSURES THAT RECOVERING ADDICTS, LIKE MYSELF, NEED TO AVOID AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.
Let me explain the incalculable cost of calculable choices.
Although sometimes devastating, as people can actually die in relapse, relapse is not the end of the world. I am not condoning relapse. I am saying that picking oneself up and facing the music is even more important than beating oneself up for letting ones sobriety slide. The consequence is that one loses cred and trust is hard to earn back again. Financially, the strain means making tough choices to survive which in turn creates pressure. A recovering addict needs to observe good health, good relationships, good lifestyle choices, good rest. But I have done ok and I am proud that I survived.
Claiming my independence by taking responsibility for myself through my rent-a-chair business has been tough. But I am getting better at it and I am proud of that. I am becoming conscious of money. Or lack thereof. The part that needs to change, and this is where others come in and I have no control over, is I need to get busier and fast. Scratching a very basic living is both emotionally draining and exhausting. So please book. I really am damn good at what I do.
My kindness to a fault sees me sacrificing things to help others and although a great characteristic it is easily taken advantage of. My faith teaches me to share freely but my humanity needs a bit of comfort. People like Mother Thereza are huge inspirations for me. Somewhere in the middle, I guess, lies an acceptable solution. I need to find the middle.
This last year has been an excellent year of overcoming obstacles. No matter what others might say or assume, I am darn proud of myself. So I have gotten to thinking about what lies ahead. I need to have fun whilst betting on me. In other words I need to socialize on platforms that are non-threatening and safe. Herein lies the the incalculable cost of calculable choices.
As an example: to join a running club I need good running shoes, the fees to pay the club, races, extra uber fare and all extras that go along with that. So this is the current situation, that will pass, I simply don’t have the resources to do more than I am at the present moment. When will it change? I wish I knew. All I do know is that my contradictions flip-flop from extremities because I need to have fun so when I can’t and have to stay home to pay bills the ‘too much free time’ pushes my frustrations to levels of despair. The cycle is both amusing and disconcerting.
The relevance of having resources to spare goes like such.
Grappling, lifelong, with being a bear (I have body hair) vs being smooth as I am lean in shape is still unanswered. To my contradictory mind, in order to remain natural I need muscle as a counterbalance to the burliness of being hairy….kinda like a Viking. To get a body is going to take money and by the simple fact that I have a high-metabolism lots of money to see the ‘body’ project through to completion. This applies to shaving my balding hair off too. I know that it is funny but, to my mind, lean and hairy are not a great visual combination. I got an offer for ‘fun’ again today. Although the invitation was tempting when I answered that I want to have a day of being more than a piece of meat to be relieved on the conversation came to an abrupt halt. Sad…. the online chat was rather nice for change.
To join an art class or to study new things…. and so the eternal unresolved issues continue. It is like today; having to give up meeting someone for a coffee. The uber fare to meet at the halfway mark + a coffee + an uber to work on Friday + pack of R27 ciggies meant staying at home was necessary as there just was not enough moola to go that far. Nevermind the fact in 2 days I am supposed to pay R16500 towards rentals. I get so annoyed when people flippantly offer solutions to the cyclical low screams of despondency that I share openly. The simple rule of thumb remains that in order to achieve anything in a society where money is the manner in which we trade…. money is necessary. Worse yet are the well-meaning but far deluded label-yielding semi-informed soothsayers who believe that yesteryear is an identity from which to suck a commentary from. Worse yet when they haggle a discount for a null-and-void exchange of potential business. But it is enough already.
Sitting in my bed wishing that I was at work making money to pay the bills that never stop I am enjoying the peace but a piece needs to be made. It is a strange time of year and things are slow. It is my favorite time in Johannesburg as the roads are less congested, people slightly more relaxed and I feel like I am in a village environment again. You know what I mean, right? That sense that life happens organically and not forced. God knows that Johannesburg is aggressive; and how?
I have been asked of late, “How are you feeling these days?” “Mmmmmmm,” I respond because feeling is not as important as the fact that action needs to happen and action is in limbo. Even the response to giving everything up to potentially become a Buddhist full time is a slow process and yet unanswered idea. You see spirituality is the be all and end all thing for me. When my spirit is broken my reality is incalculable. Why on earth am I like this and why I chose to live this life is another contradiction yet remaining to be seen. It is a bizarre thing knowing that ones value is so much more than the circumstantial results of that chosen life. Holding ones head up, online,in real life or in ones own private thoughts is a forgone action that must be lived if living is a must.
So what am I saying?
JUST SHOOSH IT.
Get your butts into my chair, let me use my 23 years and award-winning experience to use my instinctive love language being ‘acts of service’ to create looks for you as an individual, just suck it up and pay the price in all regards and trust the fact that I do what I do because I genuinely want the world to be in awe of of your hair and know that the most cost-effective and personalized considerations are accounted for. And for goodness sake stop asking the world around you to approve your hair because they are neither you or I. The constant harassment to do something that often is emotionally based as opposed to REAL YOU based is sucking the very lifeblood out of something that should be a simple experience of expressing yourself. God knows we don’t need anymore sheep in the world that make individuals like myself such a scarce commodity that we seem crazy when in fact the crazy lies in thinking that others live in you; so can choose your authentic you. And DO NOT bring your friend/hubby or child to sit in on a consultation. The alternative is that the contradictory rebel in me kicks in and I simply want to head to the hills as far from the onslaught of bullying into professional subservience that gets my back up and creativity at a low. Some people, like myself, are desperately trying to hold onto a ‘win-win’ life philosophy because no one human is more important than any other. That philosophy is applicable to whether one is a creationist, evolutionist, atheist, or whatever other ‘ist’ man-made concept label we identify ourselves to. You see in my mind care has less to do with words as much as they have to do with how we action ourselves. My instinctive reaction to a world obsessed with thinking they have the answers to everything is to withdraw from it as a sign of non-participation. I don’t want to play when the game is loaded with antiquated rules that marginalize other humans, like ourselves, by categorized and inflated levels of status that is applauded by materialistic viewpoints as opposed to a global love perspective. Everybody in the world has the equal right to strive for their dreams. I am sick to death of being judged for being GWM, a recovering addict, a creative, a faith believer, humanitarian and a guy who just wants a simple life filled with wonderful memories more than trying to fit the defunct cookie cutter mould that I have never fit into. Let me be the teacher/ student. Let me be expressive. Let me be intellectual. Let me be humanitarian. Let me be. I don’t go around judging you for being conformist. It kills me and frustrates the hell out of me, but at the end of the day your consequences will yours alone to face…. not your friends, not your children, not your hubby/ wife and not your whoever else…. yours alone. We each only have this life to live. The next is the next. It is unknown. The past is gone. Now is now.
With my art works on sale perhaps 2018 might start in a pleasant way as opposed to the continuation of being a guy trying find a way to reach for his dreams because he believes in himself. He believes even when simultaneous contradiction is an incalculable cost to calculable choices that seem set to flavour 2018.
So to conclude this vulnerable blog I leave this thought…
You say: “It is my hair, my life, my choice.”
I say: ” You are right…. are they?”
The they’s are just you’s saying/doing/ being the same thing. Why would what they think be more important than what you think?