You know what’s interesting for me? No, not you. Tell me what is interesting for you later.
An interesting thing for me is to take a look back at myself over the past year and see the changes that have occurred. The big ones, for me, weren’t even intentional. They seem to be natural by-products of the events that took place.
- The loss of an internal censor. I used to really make an attempt to, if not politically correct, at least sort of polite. I would take stock of who was around me, get a feel for their credos and belief systems and then speak diplomatically, so that everyone around me was able to feel like I respected them and had made an effort to see their side of any issue without really injecting much of my own opinion. I was a good sounding board. A good listener. A soft speaker.
That doesn’t happen anymore.
I can longer edit what I say. Whatever happens to pass through my transom just comes flying out. Oh, I’ll think before I speak. But that thought process has turned into:
“I really want to say this.”
“You should totally say it.”
And then I do. Regardless of who is around. Now, I usually get loud and obnoxious when I’m drunk, but that doesn’t even matter anymore. If you could look closely into my head, you would be able to see a place where it looks like giant badgers have eaten their way through a huge slab of drywall. That empty place is where that inhibition used to be. I didn’t really have many inhibitions left anyway, so I think we’re just going to clear a majority of those that remain away, give the place a nice loft-space kind of feel.
- I can no longer tolerate nor exhibit passive/aggressive behavior. Why are we fucking around with that kind of action? You know what? Even people who are passive/aggressive can’t fucking stand other people who are passive/aggressive. I know this, because I used to be so P/A. Taking my little subtle vengeances out on people. I will totally hide the mayonnaise the night you decide you want a tuna sandwich. I don’t know where your cute shoes are. I don’t even know what shoes your cute shoes are. And now, I totally didn’t notice you were almost out of gas even though I was driving your car around all day. Ooops! Sorry.
All that P/A behavior does is one thing: it pushes the button on your own internal time bomb. You are setting yourself up for a massive implosion, which will probably happen in a very nice restaurant. I have people who hate me. I’m sure there are people who would be far, far happier were I dead. They could sleep at night, they could take my picture off the dartboard, all kinds of good things would happen for them if I were out of the picture. And that’s fine. Odds are, I hate you too. But don’t act nice when you’re around me, okay? Because I can tell. I can smell your fake bullshit. happy face from across the crowded sanctuary. I can see it through the sneeze guard at the Shoney’s salad bar.
It is doing nothing but keeping you mad and pissing me off. So do us both a favor. Either avoid me or tell me in no uncertain terms to fuck off. I am a professional fuck-offer. No big. Just so we’re clear, neither of us have to pretend anything and Jesus looks down from Heaven and smiles on our attempt at living an authentic life.
- And this is me, happy. I probably sound all pissed off. I’m not. Are you kidding? Once you shuffle off that mortal coil of pretense that you think have to wear, like a hideous shawl made of the foreskin of infants, just to fit in with society, I think you’ll find it remarkably liberating.
I was actually told at work today that I am like “…somebody’s grandpa, who just says and does whatever he wants because he’s old and he can, except you’re not old.” Learn from your elders, kids. Because here’s the weird thing that happens.
When you decide to just be who you are, you will find that society begins to mold itself around you, instead of you having to mold yourself around it. You can feel your soul start to grow back. It’s itchy at first, like puberty, but you get used to it. You get used to the off-side looks, the expressions of shock. You learn who your friends are. Hell, you may lose a few friends. It happens. Of course, everyone around you is going to be happier if you are doing exactly what they want you to do. Is that going to make you happy?
You should maybe think on that. You should make a decision about that maybe.
And certainly, you don’t have to do a goddamned thing I do. Most would agree you’re safer and better off not doing anything I do. Fine. I am not here to tell you what to do. That is not my job.
All I’m saying is that if you’ve known me for a while and I seem really different now, it’s because I am. I have learned a few things and actually decided to put them into practice. I think I’m a better person for it.
A ruder person, a person you probably don’t want to take to meet your Pastor at your weekly “If It Be God’s Will” dinner… face it. Most of you probably think I’m an asshole. I have tendencies towards assholishness. Who doesn’t?
But if I am an asshole (and I’m not thoroughly convinced I am), then I am an authentic one. I’ll be the asshole who didn’t lie to you. I’ll be the asshole who told you what he really thought. I’ll be the asshole who gave you the honor of being himself—a real person, not another goddamned Barbie doll replicant with the perfect everything and the same shelf life as an irradiated Twinkie– in your presence.