I have started this sentence 43 times. The problem is I have never written for writing’s sake. Some say this means I am not a writer, but you know what?
Tell me if you do, please?
I think to truly embrace this medium I need to adopt the process of catching ideas for use later. Right now its kind of catch and release.
If pushed to speak about ideas for which I have passion, I am at no loss for words, yet when I sit here and consider whipping myself into a froth just so I can write about it seems disingenuous from me. Ranting is easy, a soapbox is easy. When I was taken by such things preaching was easy and the adrenaline of forming and transferring an idea is exhilarating. I understand public speaking from this angle. Its like being a bit of the rock star, the center, the catalyst.
I can speak, at length, with plenty of self righteous but unrecognized authority on a variety of topics. Such is the curse of being my father’s son. A role I find myself filling mentally and physically. So when I muster up the gumption to write about my emotional, monetary or physical state, its always flavored with a little bit of parental contaminant. When I speak to my partner, is it with the authoritarian overbearing spirit of my father? Did I hear my mother in that self effacing comment?
I always considered that at a certain point, we should put away the trappings of our childhood psycho-incubator. I believed that at some point, which I thought I grabbed in my late 20s, I could and should, finally, forgive my parents for whatever damage they did, though well intentioned. Don’t get me wrong, I had fairly good parents to some. But we don’t get through childhood unharmed.
So as I grew up further and my life drifted away from their circle, I could no longer place blame squarely on them, but I had to recognize that while I had transferred blame away from them, I had never transferred it to the person who was now responsible, myself. Oh sure, its easy to point out the flaws of my parents. I mean I have all the info I need from my Psych 101 class right? Control freak. General Anxiety/Depression. Authoritarian. Paranoia. But these simple labels don’t tell the whole story nor should they. People are complex and yet simple. Walking contradictions.
There is an interesting train of thought that we don’t actually make our own decisions. We already know that Confirmation Bias is real, (the drive to seek information that agrees with us), but we can extrapolate further that we merely choose from ideas or meals or dogma that are presented to us with the illusion of choice. Free will, predestination. Consumer products, the car salesperson; these things don’t tell the real story. When I am given the menu, I don’t order what isn’t there. So why should the menu of life and how we treat people or allow people to treat us be any different?
Who presents me the menu of choices when I interact with friends? Or a homeless person? Or a person of color? When I look for a job, how do I choose which I apply to, which I wish I could apply to, and which I scoff at as below me? Can I really say I am autonomous and that I choose to do from the full cauldron of humanity? The answer for me right now must be, “no”.
This all leads to being mindful and aware of how reactionary I behave as I go about the vast majority of my life because my menu is influenced by how I was raised, my biology and how society treats me. But I think this exercise also serves to inform how I “choose” to perceive those around me. When I see the homeless, the protester, the rebel flag waver. Who gave me the menu?