Tag Archives: personal

Survival of the Fittest or The Softer Side of Me

Note, the following was one of many started but not finished pieces of writing I seem to have accumulated over the years.  I merely finished it recently.  This one I started over one year ago on 12/5/15 and can only guess what it was a response to.

Survival of the Fittest:

I’m not gonna lie, or try fronting.  Today got a little emotional for me.  Out of nowhere, I started to uncontrollably sob, the hysterical kind where after a minute or so, you realize how ridiculous you must look to anyone and everyone else if they could see you at that moment, and that thought makes you laugh, and you spending the remainder of your diva moment alternating uncontrollably between the two, until eventually it just stops out of the blue, for no apparent reason, and with as much advance notice and fanfare as it first came on with, which is none.

Maybe it finally got that snickers bar.

I’ll be the first to admit that I have this nasty habit of never allowing myself to feel proud or to be excited or to admit fear or many of the other basic emotional responses to various environmental stimuli.  I don’t know why I do this, or what it is I’m afraid of to where my instinctual response is to downplay my interest level or to not ever let on just how much something truly means to me, but it must somehow be tied into my survival as all instincts naturally are.  The only thing I do know is it often has the opposite effect in my life, stunting my growth as a person and alienating me from people and situations that I would otherwise stand to benefit from in the long run.

Maybe I’m afraid that by letting on the fact I’m excited about something will in some way influence the universe in delivering it to me or me to it, because there are many times I feel like the universe and fate, (if there even is such a thing), is out to get me.  It’s because those times I do show any outward exuberance towards something all I’m ever left with is a sense of disappointment when it doesn’t measure up, or deliver in the end, which it never does. 

Just Who Do You Think You Are?

After allowing myself to feel dejected for a while, I start to think to myself, who do I think I am to  have the audacity to feel I deserve anything from this world, from this life, from the universe? 

Such Hubris.

I am nothing, and no-one.

Nothing’s guaranteed except THIS very moment you’re currently living in, and even then the only thing you know is that this too will end, though you know not when.  Time is not a linear thing in this regard, all moments were not created equal, some last only an instant and some moments go on for longer like the energizer bunny.   How much of that is dependent on the individual, how much is by design, and how much would have happened the same way irrespective of who it happened to?

I’m not fooling anyone, am I?

What is it that makes me think not letting on about whether there exists a softer side of myself in any way makes me less vulnerable?  A soft underbelly is a soft underbelly, just ask Churchill.  The immobility this fear and these questions leaves me with cripples me, and leaves me paralyzed, at least from the brain down because my mind is constantly racing and working in overdrive, which acts as a counterweight to everything else about me.

The more effort it exerts, the less I’m able to do.   Classic cookie cutter example showing the pitfalls and dangers of overthinking, purely textbook.  In extreme cases, if left untreated, for long enough, a death of sorts is possible, even likely.

A slow and painful death, arduous to reach,  immobilized with fear, laying at the bottom of a kiddie pool slowly being filled with Piranha from the Amazon which would be easy enough for you to escape from if not for being paralyzed from the brain down.  All you would have to do, is stand up, step out, and voilà, crisis averted.

Instead, you just lie there, slowly dying from the inside out, one tiny bite at a time.  I know no physical pain remotely comparable to the psychic pain this causes and I wouldn’t ever wish it on another human being because it’s a pain I’m all too familiar with, having experienced it to some degree for my entire life, or at least as much of it as I can remember.

That’s what I get, for thinking the universe owes me jack diddly shit when it doesn’t, or maybe it does which is why that’s what I get and that’s another thought that terrifies the shit out of me.  What if I’m not nearly so good, or so decent, as I thought I was?

What if the universe has long since moved off of the gold standard, and the dollar, and now paid it’s bills using nothing but Karma?  How fucked would I be, would you be, would we all be? I’d be in debt up to my eyeballs either way and maybe that’s why my life has taken such twists and such turns as to make “move over murphy” become my new mantra?

I’m sure I’m not the only one this change in cosmic currency would affect in such a way either, because the universe, by it’s very name and definition, is universal.

You wanna talk about a global economic crisis; try that shit on for size; then we’ll talk.

Karma, yeah it can be a real motherfucker and it always has a funny way of coming back around and biting you right in the ass when you least suspect it.  But if that truly is the case, by that logic, to have the string of shitty luck I’ve had I must have done something truly horrific.

My whole life I’ve felt singled out, picked on, targeted, taken advantage of, or had shit started with me because for some apparent reason, one I’m unfamiliar with, I look like I make for an easy target or something.  Sometimes I catch myself searching for the sign or the target that must rest right between my shoulder blades and paints a bullseye upon my back when I stretch my arms, which I do often on account of my bad shoulder, to no avail.

Nothings there.

Maybe it’s the fact I don’t feel the need to puff out my chest, mark my territory, inflate my ego, or brag about how I’m the man in bed, in the head, or anywhere else (save work), and that was only because work was more about effort than anything.  If you wanted to get better, you would, if you didn’t, you wouldn’t.  Simple enough concept really, or so I thought.

Maybe it was my general stature which is small, or my demeanor which is and always has been of a much larger variety because I always try to carry myself well through this world (and sometimes I fail at it miserably), because I’ve always believed that while it may not be about the destination, how you undertake the journey matters, the way in which you go about getting there really fucking matters in the end.

In this belief, as with many others, I’m left feeling all alone in sticking to my guns and my morals and in all those things which I believe develop ones character in the long run it always feels like I’m the sole person standing up for myself, or for others in a room full of people sitting down on those things.  The only sane person in a world of insane people…now doesn’t that sound crazy?

At which point do I stop being the sane one? 

But I know I’m not crazy and I feel it in my heart that I’m not wrong either, that a lot of things that go on which people have conditioned themselves to accept are in fact wrong, in such a blatant way, and with such wanton disregard for the very basic principles of human decency that it serves as a damning condemnation of society today and begs the question whether we humans still have any decency left within us.

We should all be ashamed of ourselves, and I say with intentionality because while I may not subscribe to it, there is more that I could be doing to change it as well and therefore my own inaction makes me just as guilty as anyone else.

The only recourse which prevents me from adopting the cold and callous attitude of my immediate surroundings, and not to have already said, “fuck it, I take what comes next”, flipped the switch and turned the lights off for good, which I’ve already tried to do once (though that’s a different story for another time), is to adopt a devil may care attitude, and give off a general aloofness to the happenings of the world, both of which are just as much evolutionary adaptation as they are a conscious choice.

How else could I exist in a world so filled with hate, and with such reckless disregard for the wellbeing of others when I have so much love in my own heart and care more about others than I do myself?    

A major complication this presents me with, is the extremely small number of people I allow to get close enough to see me past a very superficial conception which, on account of my aforementioned defense mechanisms, and natural tendencies is at odds with the real me, and with my true self.

Due to my poor track record with those I have allowed to get close enough to hurt me, this path has now become littered with booby traps and other hazards and one must overcome obstacles which are daunting if nothing else.

Anyone in their right mind would rather have a family picnic in the middle of Korea’s demilitarized zone during the height of the tensions between the North and South, or would prefer an honest answer to the question about whether that dress makes them look fat or not, I know I would.

Needless to say, more often than not, my dinner plans consist of a standing reservation for one followed by light drinks, some quality time with me, myself, and I; maybe even dessert, we’ll see how everyone plays their cards first.

Judging by what I’ve seen from this world, I’m content with that, though sometimes even I get lonely and feel hopeless, and even I can only do that whole me against the world routine, carrying the world’s woes upon my back like Atlas, before I’m eventually forced to either shrug or be crushed under the sheer weight of it all it’s just too much pressure.

   

Here’s some of my oldies but goodies

https://sammyscoops.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/the-passing-of-rodney-king-what-it-made-me-think/

https://sammyscoops.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/an-attempt-to-write-these-wrongs/

https://sammyscoops.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/modern-age-lynchingtrayvon-martin-emmitt-till-of-today/

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Hey there strangers…

Hey, there you!

I have a slight confession to make…

I’ve missed some golden opportunities

Look I’m a little embarrassed in my lackluster performance this past year, I really screwed the pooch and missed out on delivering some solid material on a lot of issues near and dear to my heart such as #BlackLivesMatter, and the general push to de-militarize what has quickly come to resemble an occupying force; being the most glaring example that just jumps right out at me.

I’d also in that same vein, have to say that I missed out on the main events which kicked off the 50th Anniversary of the Black Panthers for Self Defense founding in Oakland California by Bobby Seale and Huey Newton as a direct response to many of these same issues surrounding police tactics and increased presence in communities of color.

It’s so striking to me the many similarities between the Black Panther Party’s mission and that of the #BlackLives movementi from today’s day and age; And I’m not talking they vaguely resemble one another (some real fraternal twin shit), I’m talkin that two peas in a pod, I share your thoughts, and whatever other weird “ness” known only to those who share every last thing in common, including their DNA, you know, the identical variety.  Essentially the issues being raised could have been lifted straight from 50 years ago and plopped down right here in the middle of everything else.

Moving Forward

I’ve got a lot of other really great ideas and nowhere near enough time for me to possibly flesh them all out in as  much depth as I’d like to or that they deserve to be treated with, but giving it an honest go never hurt anyone (at least anyone I can think of) other than ego and pride should we fall flat on our faces, but such is life right?   The act of simply showing up and trying is more than most do on a daily basis, and those unwilling to leave it all on the table and risk overextending and belly flopping aren’t trying hard enough,  period. So they should zip it as far as I’m concerned, there’s no room for idle talk.

I almost forgot to mention

Last but certainly not least, I should explain why it is I have so little time and availability with which to maintain this thing… Your boy made moves, of the epic life altering variety and let me tell you the struggle has been real.

I know I had allueded to wanting to pursue the profession I had known I wanted to do a long time ago, I jsut decided to take a year off of school in order to work full-time, get out of my dad’s place he was kind enough to let me live in, just not very peacefully, or without any sort of tension.

Well, it took a while, and things got off to a rather rocky start, but I finally shook them damn cobwebs off; I’ve taken and passed both the CBEST and all three subsections of the CSET for Social Science, a lot of which, such as Economics I had to either do a major refresh or teach myself entirely from scratch.  It was a lot, and I do mean a lot of hard work, and it’s not nearly done yet, not by a long shot.  In fact, this party’s just barely getting started.

In order to do justice to this most priveledged of professions with so much potential to affect our youth, and one I have such deep respect for, I had to really give it my all, and be committed, and let me tell you, I gave up everything to ride this one out until the wheels come off.  I’m in it to win it.

I guess I should start with…THANKS

And I definitely need to give thanks to all those I’ve encountered who’ve also heard its calling, especially those who had the grave misfortune of having me as one of their students, because they helped shape me into the person I am today, gave me their unwavering belief and support along the years, and having given me a love for learning that’s given me so many gifts in such a short timeframe that I will forever be indebted to them.

If that’s not enough, they did it in a way that not only let me be me, and do things in my own way, but actively encouraged the process of finding those things in the first place despite some of my poorer choices along lifes continous pathway of trial and error.

And let’s just say, mines had more than it’s fair share of errors along the way, but my decision to pick this dream up, dust if off, and bring it out of deferrment will never be one of them.

It’s the first thing I’ve done in my life that just felt right, which begs the question, “what took you so long?”, and while I may not be able to ever truly answer that fully, in a way that does the question, or my path up to this point any degree of justice, what I can, and will do, is respond in such a way that makes up for lost time, and says “I have arrived”.

Stay tuned, cuz baby, you aint seen nothin yet!

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Author John Greene Gives Amazing Commencement With Lessons We Can All Take Away From It

A Useful Commencement Speech:

John Greene was recently asked to deliver the commencement speech at Baylor University for the graduating 2013 class; and the result was pretty awesome.  The lessons of humility, happiness, learning to be a nobody; and learning to not be a jerk are just as valid for the person who has long since graduated from college as well as the uneducated.

I really appreciated his wit and his humor and I would urge the same as he did;

Always allow for the possibility “Have a nice birthday sir, despite everything”  being the translation for those things we don’t understand in life; whether it’s graffiti in another language, or a person or situation you’re having trouble wrapping your mind around.

Count the Blessings by the Barrel: A Workers Comp Tale

Alright, lookin back at this I see it’s somewhat lengthy, thats ok with me.  Its what my fingers produced when gravity ran its course.  If nobody reads it, I dont care.  Its not for anyone else.  I just had to get it off my chest, put this out in the open.  Heads up though, its about to get real personal….

I’ve been depressed, like clinically fucking depressed.   And right when I felt like things had started to turn around for me at work and in my personal life, or when I felt like I was starting to truly be happy again.

BOOM

everything changes...

           I was working crazy amounts of overtime because I became the head order writer/main dairy clerk for a large grocery store Safeway just before Thanksgiving.  Anyone who has worked at a grocery store knows during the holidays and NFL season, everybody and their momma has discovered a new affinity for sour cream, cream cheese, butter, cheese, you know all the shit I have to order and work with basically no help, in a store that does a million a week in business on average (during the holidays think closer to WAY MORE).   Anyways, I got done workin like a 12 or 13 hour day, hit a friend up, had a few beers and an appetizer at our local pub went back to my place and I was done like dinner.  I passed out exhausted within like 20 minutes of being home.  What made it really bad was the fact I was supposed to give him a ride home when we were done chillin.

         Anyways, when I woke up on the couch I had that feeling in my hands of being “asleep”  like I fell asleep on it and all it had to do was shake it out or something for it to wake up and get the blood flow goin, get rid of that pins and needles sensation.  A goal which became increasingly more and more important to me as time went on.  For some reason this time it was the most intensely uncomfortable sensation I had yet experienced in my life.  If that wasn’t cause enough for concern, any time it felt like it was starting to go away and I would start to fall back asleep it would return with a vengeance and wake me back up again.  Alarms were definitely blaring when the sensation still hadn’t returned half-way through the following day.  Despite this “minor inconvenience”  I proceeded to work for close to two weeks before I said anything.

           That was the 15th of November and I still don’t feel the ring and middle fingers on my left hand to this second as I type these words.  To top it off, I had moved apartments & been working a physical job for several months earlier with a very painful or sore shoulder.  My life, “in a nutshell” since about June or July has been a regular, consistent 7-11 on the pain scale.  At times I can’t even pick up my water bottle because of my shoulder, even if I could get a firm grip with the affected hand.   Even though I wouldn’t have been able to afford all the physical therapy if I had gone through my own personal Dr. I wish I had never reported the injury through work.  Doing so was the biggest mistake EVER!!!!!  I can no longer even work at my store, where at least I’m comfortable in the sense of I know everyone.  No, its Safeway’s policy that they don’t allow you to stay at your store when you’re on workers compensation, at least until I’m fully cleared to come back without restrictions by the Dr. which is NOT looking promising anytime soon.  Especially since this new Dr. saw me for less than an hour and took one look at my MRI and scheduled me for a second one and wants me to see an orthopedic surgeon now. and wrote me off from work indefinitely.  I found this last part especially intriguing because the Dr. I saw the day before him said she was unable to write me off work because I “wasn’t totally disabled”….  She also said everything on my MRI looked fine other than the nerve damage and resulting loss of muscle bulk…..

Am I the only one who feels like their reactions were on opposing ends of the spectrum?

My life is now dominated by Dr.’s visits and BULLSHIT.  Receiving misinformation, when I receive any…. Getting the runaround or mistreated by people in distant corporate offices as if filing a claim relinquished any earlier claim I may have had, you know, like the one where I’m treated like a person who deserves respect.  My whole world is flipped on its head, and the not knowing whats going on from one week to the next, is stressing me out.  As if I don’t already have enough on my plate right now, Im forced to work at a new store with new people, on days instead of nights which requires an entirely different skill set.  I don’t know what I expected from the process, but it wasnt this.  Sometimes it feels like I’m right on the brink of losing whatever tenuous grasp I may still possess…And then what?

This whole experience has been the most de-humanizing experience I’ve ever gone through.  Between that and the pain, Im not gonna lie, there were several points where I’ve just been ready to check out, say fuck it and pull the plug, make it end.

I just know that I can’t live like this.

Cant let her see me this weak,

                 Can’t keep pretending that I’m OK

                                   Cant continue writhing in pain

                                                             OR

                                                      Relying on painkillers just to make it through the day.  I couldn’t tell you the last time I cried before this.  Now it seems almost like I’m crying every day.  My pride has most assuredly learned to take an Ali like  pounding.  The only problem is there’s no “dope” to rope but me.

It just feels like they’re never gonna get it together and at least patch me up to the point where I’m not in near agony on a GOOD day.  It took me 3 months of seeing a Dr. to get her to order an MRI and I shit you not, during my last appointment with the astute Dr. she said to me “I think you have something wrong with your shoulder”.  I mean, how do you respond to that?  Keep in mind, I had in fact told her this very same thing, EVERY SINGLE APPOINTMENT!  Sometimes I just feel like I’m invisible, or like she thought I was faking it, as if I had given just cause for my credibility to suddenly be in question.  I mean, the nerve, I should be questioning her own credibility, because certainly I would like to verify her crackerjack credentials!  Every time I told her that I needed a refill I got that condescending look, like I’m some sort of junky.  It couldn’t possibly be related to the fact that I wake up in pain, I go to sleep in pain, and that’s when I can even get comfortable enough to fall asleep any more because…..yep you guessed it.  I feel like sayin What has two thumbs and hurts like a bitch?  This guyyyyy…….  If anything its only increased from when I first filed the claim.  I’m still not entirely sure whats wrong with me, but at least it seems like this new guy “understands the words that are comin outta my mouth” to quote Rush Hour

Its times like this, I need to remember how lucky I am to still be here. (And by here I mean like HERE, on this earth here) Or just how close I came to that not being the case.  I gotta work more on appreciating the things I do have at this moment, even if good health is not among them.  When I take stock of the amazing people I have in my life, or how far I’ve come in some areas of my personal development, or how far I have left to go… When I look at it that way, and the ways in which I have grown from having experienced this.  I truly do count my blessings by the barrel

Far From Fearless

Im worried….

Plain and simple, I have been, for quite some time now.  Every day I try to pretend that nothing is going on or that everything is “no big deal”.  The unfortunate part is that there isn’t an ounce of truth in that statement.