My Elephant

Writing

29 June/Posted by aaronplaat

Reading Time: 5 minutes

I’ll do my best to keep this one pleasant. These past few days have been fairly stressful, which is only exacerbated by the fact that the next five days of my life will include little-to-no sleep. Overall, the fact that I’m able to push through several such days at a time and coast through the rest of the month seems like a reasonable sacrifice to me. In addition, the excitement does the soul a bit of good.

The upcoming trip to Ohio is one that I’m seriously looking forward to. It will be nice to break free from the lack-of-monotony California brings, transitioning to a week or so of meetings, late nights, and miniature adventures with good friends. The media displays a sort of spiritual ascendancy associated with taking long road trips. And I can certainly see why; it’s not just changing locations, but taking the necessary time to recognize all of the changes that have occurred in order to get one from A to B.

There are few things I dislike more than others telling others how to live their lives. Don’t try and drive other cars if you’re on the highway. I can assure you that you will most certainly crash. We all have cars to drive. One of my least favorite personality traits of others is when they mistreat waiters – or other service industry employees – because they feel as if they need to ‘earn’ their tip/wages. It makes me sick. As a former waiter, I can relate to this type of frustration. As a self-employed individual, even more so. What frustrates me is when both parties feel the need to lay down the proverbial law, rather than work together. I can’t wait to step on board that plane.

Stepping across the United States to live in another place has been a bit of an experience. Perhaps it’s grown me up in a positive way. Perhaps it’s taught me to further distance myself from others. What I appreciate most about this transition is that I’ve been able to keep myself afloat here without any surefire guaranteed work prior to moving here. My Grandfather had the remarkable ability to step foot in any place and instantly find some semblance of success. I can only pray this trait is evident in me as well. Proof is in the pudding. Talk is cheap. Actions speak louder than words. No excuses – Just results.

In light of the fact that we live in a world where information transfers can be completed instantly, information accessible in the blink of an eye, and knowledge about the rest of the world has never been at a higher peak, I’m surprised at the stupidity of others. Emails will never replace the time and thought that goes into a carefully-penned handwritten letter. Truth be told, my handwriting looks like a toddlers, and is one of the few things I’m self-conscious about. However, my word per minute (WPM) rate is pushing 110+. Not bad, champ. We’re so stupid smart.

Recently, I went to an art gallery and had the opportunity to peruse through the various pieces of exhibition. While not a fan of modern art, I was almost sad to see that some of the pieces did not have benches placed in front of them, so visitors could fully sit and observe the work of the artist. Cliff Notes, Wikipedia, and Twitter feeds have blurred our ability to fully think and dwell on an idea. Hell, even domain URL’s are too long, thanks to Bit.ly.

Blind complaints? Possibly. Perhaps the real question is “Why does this matter to me?” of course it is; we live in a MySpace generation that’s more concerned with the photo comment count than the fact that 40% of children in the world are impoverished. We live in a world where our attempts to think deeply about certain subjects, or people, are met with the inability to do so. As we no longer live in a world where it’s encouraged to truly think, soak, and dwell on ideas, concepts, and philosophies, our minds simply aren’t capable of doing so when we are given small opportunities to flex our mental muscle. And so we take these opportunities, such as getting to know and understand others, and completely blow our chance to make proper assessments. The resulting damage is that we’ve made conclusions we have no business making, leaving us apologizing to others only a few short days after making adamant statements about their character, intentions, or modus operandi in life.

I’ve grown very tired of the incessant dance that is played between others. It seems like all of us are in some sort of tango with those around us. We waltz through our relationships, tango through romance, and swing our way out of situations that are demanding of serious thought.

I was recently criticized for going too deeply into thought about a particular idea. I entirely disagreed with the idea that I had thought too deeply about the idea. Positive thinking is thought that inspires, or gives birth to, action. Unhealthy thought occurs when one simply sits in their room and never leaves the realms of their mind; creating a self-made world that does not fall in line with reality. I had a roommate who did this. And I was able to witness one of the most unhealthy, self-destructive lifestyles I’ve ever seen. His method of getting in touch with the real world was watching MTV’s “Jersey Shore” every week. After each episode, he’d mimic the language and mannerisms of the main characters on the show. Anybody familiar with this show is well-aware of just how unhealthy this type of lifestyle would be.

Personally, I don’t think there’s a bad thing in taking high amounts of time to devote to ideas, thoughts, or personal reflections. After all, you have a right to your own life, including your mind. While I may not have agreed with my roommates lifestyle, it was his own right to live that way. He has the free realm to live as he wants to, so long as he accepts the consequences for his lifestyle. The last words to have come out of his mouth, before shamefully moving out of the house, were “If life is a game, I just lost.”

Inner frustration at becoming somebody who I don’t want to be has stemmed many thoughts in my mind. While It’s possible to become overly critical at myself, I’ve found it’s more healthy to instead focus my attention inward. Self-improvement can rarely peak. It’s also hard to find the necessity of being with another person for the rest of your life when you are able to find happiness on your own. Or, worse, find enjoyment at the onslaught of misery that is bound to happen when you are a good looking twenty-three year-old man who has the world in from of him, just waiting to be conquered.

Somewhere along the lines of my life, it clicked in my mind that certain things are to be avoided. Whether it’s processing the mistakes I watched loved ones make, or personally making a boatload of poor choices, something inside of me snapped. Some people proclaim it’s a miserable thing to be alone and shirk the opportunity to love another for the rest of your life. What I think scares them the most is that they know it’s quite possible to be happy by yourself, and they simply don’t want that lifestyle. We’re often most scared of the things that we are most capable of.

In the past few years, I have had the opportunity to take a great many risks and leaps of faith. In fact, this topic is one not unfamiliar to my blogging. With all of the risks that have been taken, there has been more than a fair share of bad situations that severely hurt myself – and others – in the process. Each one of these situations (or, as I prefer to call them…failures) is often met with the confident suggestion from others that I ought to see them as valuable learning lessons. It’s never enough to just fail; you’ve gotta learn something from it, champ. Atta boy. If this is the case, and failures/poor choices are the best learning lessons, then it’s only natural that those hurt the most will be the ones who eventually become the executor of these very valuable lessons.

Too much coffee. It feels phenomenal to take a breather.

Back to the grind (another venti) then it’s back to the grind (work).

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