Today I drove into Los Angeles to meet one uh my oldest Los Angeles friend at the Golden Road brewery. She was celebrating her birthday with friends and family. I hadn’t seen her since her last birthday. We didn’t get much of a chance to catch up in the group setting, but I enjoyed myself. I don’t know that anybody could see I was cautious except for maybe my friend.
Why was I cautious?
Let me take a stab at it.
But for some reason I don’t want others to think this of me, so I exert a lot of energy trying to convince them I don’t.
“The Devil wants me as is, but God he wants more.”
If Truck North is right then God wants me to exert this energy.
If I am convinced I suck, can expending this energy actually make me a better person or is it just concealing the truth.
Is it possible, for instance, that I could, knowing full well that I suck, walk into a room and impress a group of people.
I could certainly entertain them and often do with my silly jokes.
Today I was the last one there. I feel embarrassed now, but at the time it made sense. I had work to do, and she told me people would be arriving at different times. Some as late as noon.
I got there at 1:15.
That’s a shame. And an insult to her that I didn’t adequately acknowledge to her.
And further proof that I suck.
I tried to distract from my suckiness by asking a 3-year-old if anyone was using the chair next to him. He looked at me like you would expect a 3-year-old to look at a grown bearded stranger asking him a question, he didn’t run away or cry.
He just looked at me, and tried to understand. “Do I know him? Is he saying anything I need to hear?” His wheels were turning inside I’m sure, but his face gave none of it away. A blank slate.
His parents intervened and gave me the permission he refused to give. I took the chair.
I like Golden Road Brewery and would like to go there again. The Devil wants me to stay at home.
Why do I judge myself for trying to convince others I don’t suck?
Maybe it’s where my attention lies. Who am I trying to convince? Myself or others. Where am I centered? In myself, or in others?
Somedays I feel centered in myself, and I ask myself, “Was I too selfish or inconsiderate today?”
Somedays I feel centered on others, and I ask myself, “Was I too needy or disingenuous today?”
It’s not easy to walk the middle road. It is exhausting, and despite all the energy you put out, you can still end up seeming incredibly boring.
I think who I am on the inside is not easily understood by strangers in small doses.
This may be true of all people.
I know an older gentleman who seems to be of the impression that “as is” is the only authentic way to present himself. He seems to think he’s a revolutionary when he refuses to pull up his pants and cover his butt, but really he’s just and old man showing his ass.
This frustrates some of the people who are closest to him, but where does it come from?
He’s struggling hard to find his identity. Still.
As am I.
Both of us may be looking in the wrong place.