And people wonder where femininity has gone…

Cat dragged in something a little different today. Only have a limited amount of time to write about it right now before heading to work, having just gotten home finally. Am still a bit shaken up and upset. My friends have warned me for years that it may be a matter of time before I run into my own “Mr. Goodbar.” Much as I can’t stand the thought of that, I do appreciate their concern and understand how my lifestyle worries them at times. I’m not afraid to engage with strangers or to head after-hours with people I don’t know to continue conversations. Always been that way and mostly haven’t regretted it. But sometimes I do.

Last night I headed back to the place of a stockbroker and apartment complex owner, letting him know in advance it was only for conversation, guaranteeing nothing more, per my usual disclaimer. Rode with him to a town right outside of the city I live in. Had a nice place, seemed to have his shit together, figured it would be a fine evening. And I was wrong. Shortly after arriving he hit on the pro-life/pro-choice debate and asked my position. I am staunchly pro-choice, as most know, and so I related that. He turned out to be staunchly pro-life. Okay, well, I’ve dealt with plenty of pro-life folks over time and usually we can find some common ground. Not this time. The dude turned into a complete jerk, saying he normally kicks girls out who admit to my stance. Well, I attempted to pull up Uber on my phone so as to get a ride out of there since he became so belligerent, but luck would have it that no Uber driver was available then, which I showed him. Even downloaded the Lyft app and attempted to leave that way, but he’s far enough out I guess to where no one was available on a Sunday night to provide rides from there. I don’t know. Figuring such shit out after an evening of drinking is a bit tricky. Should’ve just called a cab and agreed to pay $40 or more for a lift back into town.

The evening got a bit hazy. I recall drinking a bit of his wine that was already uncorked [stupid, yes, absolutely]. And I recall trying to Uber out of there. And I also recall him saying that he’s booted numerous females in the past for admitting our pro-choice stance at just such an hour and in a similar condition. Next thing I know I’m waking up this morning, having wrapped myself in a blanket and kept away from him. He was butt-naked in nothing but his socks. I never touched the man. Not a kiss. Nothing. Stayed to myself, awaiting a ride back to my car in the morning after his tirade last night left me feeling thoroughly uncomfortable.

This morning I awoke and poured a glass of water, smoked a cigarette on the balcony, and then woke him requesting a ride back into town, as he had promised the night before. But no, he decided to be a total dick. Began calling me a “baby-killer,” a “murderer,” and told me to  get out. Well, I’m sober now and it’s daylight, so no, fuck that, I refused to go easily. I did yell at him. Yes I did. Last night he was so concerned with me keeping quiet, and I acquiesced, but today I had no desire to accommodate him any further. So yeah, I went a bit wild cat on his ass. Told him off in response, loudly, fully understanding his elderly tenants might hear me. Because fuck him. He threw out numerous girls in the past in the middle of the night for simply stating they were pro-choice??  Want to start the day off by calling me a “baby-killer”?  Seriously??  Sorry, folks, but I had had enough of his bullshit. So I went there. Told him I needed him to dress and take me to my car, yet he insisted on remaining rebellious and refusing to do so. He threatened to call the police and I asked him please to go ahead and do so, figuring they wouldn’t charge either one of us for anything but at least a domestic disturbance would be registered for his address. Because fuck him. Every other girl simply accepted being booted in the middle of the night without challenge?? No. Somebody ought to shut his shit down. That was my thinking this morning. If he wants to treat women this way, well, he’s opened himself up to running into a bitch like me along the way. He said he would’ve never brought me home had he known I was so difficult — yeah, well, likewise. I would never have agreed to accompany an asshole stockbroker back to his place had I known beforehand I’d be accused of murder all evening, even without him knowing a damn thing about me or whether I’d ever undergone an abortion, only based on my political stance in that sense.

He threatened me some, but I maintained my physical distance and repeated my demand to be driven back to town to my car. Even went so far as to beg him to do so. He proved smarmy, conceited, and sadistic in his mannerism and comments. A real asshole. Probably the biggest asshole I’ve dealt with since 2008, and that’s saying a lot since I regularly run the barscene and have met my share of jokers over time. He wanted me out, fine, so tell me the address to where I’m at. He refused. I called my close friend and while I had him on the phone this son of a bitch still refused to share his address so I could be picked up. So I grabbed a magazine with his address on it and read it to my friend instead, which this Marc motherfucker tried to take from me. You want me out yet you don’t want anyone to know where to come retrieve me from??  It didn’t make sense. A sadist, like I said. Seemed to enjoy making me squirm, hence why I was such a bitch toward him in kind.

But I maintained my physical distance. The joker said a few times “don’t touch me,” but I was across the room each time he said it. I assume this was for the benefit of any neighbor who might hear us. I didn’t touch the man. Knew better than to do so. My legal mind kicks in in situations like this, thank god, reminding me to watch what I say and to not touch anything or anyone in any way that might be misconstrued as abuse or damaging. Good on me for that, since that indeed appeared to be what he was baiting me to do. Fuck him. Weird ass coward. Extremely strange motherfucker, and no, it matters not how much money he may have. Still a weirdo looking for some kicks that I can’t comprehend entirely.

Anyway, I read off the address to my friend a couple of times and told him I’d be outside waiting for him. Headed out and sat by the road for a while, then this SOB drives by and asks if I want a ride. No, mister, at this point I do not. I obviously had to call for a ride after arguing with your ass for an hour. Fuck you. He drove off, then circled back and taunted me some more while I sat by the road. Then he drove back by a third time offering a ride. All this after a solid hour of refusing to give me a ride, threatening to call the cops, calling me a “murderer” and “baby-killer,” AND telling me to suck his dick if I wanted a ride home. Oh, did I leave that part out before?? My bad. Stupid son of a bitch. Fuck no, I want nothing from your weird ass at this point, mister. Waiting in broad daylight now in 20 degree temperatures for my friend to drive all this way to come get me thanks to your sorry ass.

We live in the Midwest where it’s currently extremely cold, mind you. So this motherfucker was kicking girls out at night when the windchill brought temperatures down below zero. That’s who this sadistic pro-lifer is. Can you understand why I stood up to him and gave him a hard time right back? Are you starting to see why somebody like that might deserve to have some grief flipped right back at him??

Look, I was crying this morning while asking this son of a bitch for a ride to my vehicle. I couldn’t contain my vulnerability had I wanted to. But like I told him point-blank: mister, I am not looking for a fight but I damn sure will give you one if that’s where this is headed. Because somebody has to stand up to pieces of shit like him, and I got all the time in the world to do so. He didn’t seem to expect me to flip him grief right back, which tells me most of the girls he’s treated this way in the past probably sulked and slinked off without giving him any hell. Okay. Maybe they were young. Or maybe they were scared. I understand that. And then he met me, and I can’t quietly stomach assholes like him. Just not in my nature. Right or wrong, I can’t do it. Like I already said, maintained my distance and was careful about legal considerations since I know how some folks roll and how they try to bait you to lose your cool enough to where they can then trap you in some sort of offense. Not happening here. I know how to play this stupid game. Isn’t my first rodeo, mister. Told him he had me fucked up if he thought I’d react like some 22-year-old who hasn’t come across these sort of shenanigans yet. Completely had me twisted if he assumed that was the case.

But I was shaken up. His words were intended to strike deep, but I know that pro-lifers like him aim for maximum impact. Probably the worst one I’ve been behind closed doors with so far, but still. I know how people are and how they can try to mess with you psychologically on such matters. I am aware of the decisions I’ve made in the past, whether this guy did or not, and I also know I made the best decision for myself and my loved ones on that occasion. In fact, the friend who drove out there to get me this morning was the same man I dated once upon a time who went through the abortion process with me as the prospective father. We talked about on the way home how men don’t have to go through this shit, don’t have to hear people call them these names and treated as though their womb is a curse. It is a lopsided ordeal, as we all know. And that son of a bitch stockbroker had no trouble trying to fuck women, trying to get them to perform oral sex on him, trying to intimidate women, yet he can stand back in self-righteous indignation and condemn US for our choices that he himself gives no fuck about helping make necessary. And I told that joker that. Flat-out did. I would’ve sooner hitch-hiked back to civilization before giving that man a blowjob, trust that. So glad to have not laid a finger on him last night. Yup. He might insult the hell out of me, but at least I knew better than to touch his sorry ass.

Another thought occurred to me on the way home this morning. I asked my former partner the other day if I sometimes act like a stereotypical black woman. And by that I mean out of control and loud and obnoxious and manly with my aggressiveness. He kinda agreed that I do at times. Okay. I accept that. I’m a Southerner and black culture stemmed out of Southern culture, so it makes sense. But I hear a lot of men, especially online, complain these days about how women aren’t feminine anymore, how we act too hard, too aggressive, too masculine in our approaches to situations. Okay. But here’s the thing, fellas. Some of these guys out here ensure this is the case, especially dealing with a preponderance of them over the years. You want a soft and sweet woman, but the reality out here calls for something else at times. I know what I’ve come up through and realize why I behave as I do at times, and I can’t help but see it as justified in some cases. Because otherwise people will just walk all over you, and then, thinking they got away with it, continue walking on everybody else they can. The buck has to stop somewhere, so I guess I’ve made it my mission in life when it comes to some males to become an obstacle to such intentions. I don’t suffer foolish assholes gladly. Can’t do it. Won’t do it. Yeah, I may cry during the process since I am an emotional woman, but I will most definitely stand up for myself and others. Period. Might not always do the best job of it, but this is who I’ve become, right or wrong. All I know is I’ve been put through enough with jackasses to where I won’t go silently when they choose to mistreat me or others for no good reason. Just won’t.

Some say that’s dumb of me since I’m likely to wind up hurt eventually. But so be it. Have been hurt before, so I understand that. Doesn’t always turn out well. But at the end of the day these losers at least tend to respect me on that level. They may consider me crazy but they at least learn to cease fucking with me, one by one. And hopefully, with any luck, they’ll think twice about fucking with other females as well since you never know what you’re gonna get. We all can act sweet out in public and then show other colors behind closed doors. Anyone who thinks I’m that easy of a mark has another thing coming. I will fight back in some sort of fashion, even if I’m bound to lose. Though I do prefer diplomacy and remaining reasonable, once someone clearly steps beyond that tactic working, what else can I do? Tuck my tail between my legs and simply let them have their way? Let them stand there trying to humiliate me for no good reason while I remain silent? What, run to the Law with all my social problems? No. I fight back, one way or another. Has that hardened me over time? Probably. Am I less feminine as a result? Undoubtedly. But I don’t even know what femininity is supposed to be anymore. Seems like a weakness on these occasions. I cry, I beg, and they laugh and cajole. So then what? Take the supposed high road? And just let them get away with their bullshit completely unscathed? I have a hard time accepting that.

So yeah, I’m not a sweetheart and never claimed to be. Had that motherfucker been in my home I would’ve removed him by any means necessary. That he lures women back to his home to verbally assault and then kick out in the middle of a winter night unless they agree to perform sexual favors on him is atrocious. No, I cannot and will not let such shit slide. Cannot. Did not. Thanks to his mailing I now have his full name and address and will consider what to do with it. I think other women ought to know to avoid the jerk, but I’m not sure how to go about informing them. Probably can’t do much in that respect, though I am considering at least writing a negative review in regards to the apartment complex he owns. We’ll see what can be done there. He’s a sexual harasser of the highest order, a real snake in the grass whom I just happened to run into last night by chance. Is it my fault for giving time to such an asshole? Apparently. As soon as he told me he was a stockbroker a red flag went up. Never met a decent stockbroker in my life. Should’ve known better. So that was my bad. But other women likely will fall in his trap and be treated poorly, as he already admitted was the case prior. So what’s to be done here? He has enough to lose that he cares about to where he won’t likely go full criminal psycho on a woman, but he at least is intent on being a serious pain in the ass in his own way. I wish there were a way to make a guy like that think twice about his choices there. I wish there were a way to make him reflect on his behavior and treatment of women to where he could fully grasp how uncool this shit is. But I am one woman and don’t possess that much power, so I don’t know what I feasibly am capable of here to warn others to leave him alone. I will most certainly return to that neighborhood bar and let the regulars know to avoid him and will alert the bartender that was on duty last night. But that feels like barely anything at all. This joker will continue to behave as he does and luring women home so as to harass them on his turf, and I’m sure plenty of other females will be made to leave in the middle of the night in freezing weather because this jackass despises their reproductive rights. Ticks me off to no end, but what can I do? He’s not the only jackass out there geared this way. Guess I can only look out for myself and my own neighbors and just hope others wise up to him. But that doesn’t feel like much help to hardly anybody.

What an asshole. Truly.

It’s past time for me to head to work now. Frickin’ joker started off my week on the note of calling me a “murderer,” a “baby-killer,” despite knowing nothing about me. Just because I am a woman in possession of a womb who happens to be pro-choice. Okay. Well, goddamn it. I’d rather be a “murderer” than bring a child into a situation where he or she isn’t fully wanted. And I sure as hell wouldn’t breed with a low-life like that man. It matters not that he has money. The dude is a sorry human being undeserving of being a father if that’s how he wishes to treat people. I don’t know what may have happened in his life to turn his heart so cold toward women or for him to take such a radical pro-life stance to where he feels the need to berate women on account of it. Will never know. But I pray something turns that son of a bitch around and gets him to see the light. Because what he’s doing is wrong. It certainly ain’t right and it helps absolutely no one, including himself. All that money and all that time on his hands, and this is how he chooses to conduct himself as a man in his 40s? That’s sick and sad on so many levels. All I was wanting was interesting conversation last night, as I’m always seeking, and yet here we are. Stupid and pointless is all this turned out to be.

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Update 12/28/2016: Saw that weirdo a few days ago for the second time. Ran into him in that same neighborhood bar and confronted him. Fuck it, I was out in public. Realized nearly a day later that my jewelry was missing (probably took it off at some point during the night, per my habit) and asked him about it. Said he had it in his car, invited me to sit down in the stool beside him and paid for my beer. Hmm. This is early that evening so I was sober, being polite enough to wait out him returning my jewelry. A few minutes later he retreated to his car and came back with my earrings and ring in a plastic bag. And once that was over (having already written off ever seeing those earrings again, upset as it made me that I didn’t realize I’d left them there), I resumed my confrontation and asked him a few questions. He asked me how often I come to that bar and was acting pretty strange at first, like he was playing really nice and trying to reassure me he’s not a bad guy. Yeah, well, no. I mentioned some of what had gone down at his home and he instantly began blowing me off, telling me to leave and go elsewhere. So I took my drink to the back room and finished it there. Then returned to him and the guy he was chatting with a few word to say. Told him he should discuss abortion-related matters with people in public before inviting them home if it’s going to be such a contentious subject with him. He began waving his hand and saying “nah nah nah.” Continuing, I said it was messed up that he’d request a blow job in exchange for a ride back to my car, and I told his friend to consider warning his female friends about going anywhere with that dude because he’s fucking weird. Then walked out. Haven’t been back there since.

Not much else I can do. Oh, but on another note, a friend said the guy’s not even a stockbroker. So I did ask this weirdo and he admitted he’s actually a financial advisor. Another friend explained to me that this means he may advise people on stock purchases but isn’t in control of ordering the stock himself. Ah. Then my former began putting two and two together and remembered a man by his description being accused years ago of giving a female friend of his grief at their workplace (a finance firm). This weirdo spoke several inappropriate things to the woman in question and then allegedly waited behind a concrete beam one night for her in the company parking garage. Freaked her smooth out, so she contacted whomever to report the incident. My former partner recalls running into the guy later on and asking if he still worked for that company, and the man said no. Also, strange as this is, my former also recalls nearly 15 years ago this guy walking into a local bar towing a vcr with a video stuck inside, requesting help in getting it out. My former was with the mother of his child and their friends at the time, and he was able to dislodge the stuck video for him. Then this weirdo says to my former that the video he was watching was of his last time having sex with his ex-wife. Shit you not, that’s what I was told. I’ve been instructed to ask the weirdo about that incident if ever we run into one another again, though I doubt I’ll be granted the opportunity after how last time went.

Frickin’ weird dude, ya’ll. That’s all I’m saying. Didn’t mean to meet him and am apparently an idiot for ever giving him the time of day or leaving with him. Bad idea on my part. Lowering of inhibitions is an undeniable feature of drinking alcohol, no question. And this is yet another of those events that force me to stop and seriously reckon with my lifestyle and choices. Has at times led me to interactions with very messed up people I otherwise might’ve possessed the sense to avoid. That’s just a fact of life, so I might as well admit it.

Mid-November 2016 journaling (on reacting to trifling women)

Blustery, cold day over here. Have a few things on my mind lately so might as well journal it out.

A few days ago my former and I headed out to my bar for a couple drinks on his birthday. And, as luck would have it, a certain 20-something female walked in (of all days to do so) who’s been trying to flirt with him in weeks prior and approaches him when I’m in the bathroom. Typical sheisty move that most of us are familiar with. Maybe not a major deal, but I tire of the way females like to behave while he and I are out in public together, especially considering it’s become so rare for us to go out together anymore. Mostly because we keep running into issues like this involving other females who, for whatever reasons, apparently want what they want and care not how they make other women feel.

Well, it irritates me. Makes me wonder why this is fast becoming the norm among females, why we seem to be coming up lacking any respect for other people’s boundaries and relationships, why we seem increasingly geared toward selfishness and a total lack of concern for how our choices and actions impact others. Is this a problem specific to females alone? No, but it’s noteworthy there, I do believe. We females may not be prone to criminality the way males generally are, but we do appear to be prone toward wreaking havoc in the social sphere, perhaps because that’s our sex’s greatest sphere of influence.

Don’t know, but tired of observing it continuing to unfold in these patterned ways. This leaves me perplexed on how best to handle the matter. Simply walk away from the situation? That basically feels like letting them have their way. Call them out on this bs? Then they’re prone to either cry victim or become aggressive, thereby further escalating tensions. Try to be diplomatic? People like to lie to your face, telling you whatever you want to hear, and then go right back to doing whatever it is they want to do, unhindered. So, I don’t know the best approach. But I do know I feel like I’m getting too old for this crap, like there ought to come some point where understandings can be forged and maintained, though I realize that to be wishful thinking since we’re all a bunch of strangers in various stages of personal development.

So, what then? Well, I got a little catty. Returned and asserted my presence, took my seat, and basically let her know (without cursing) in very few words that I’m not interested in playing this game. And let it be understood this was a sober exchange — he and I had only finished a couple beers after he got in from dinner with his son. Didn’t necessarily wish to be catty, but I saw no real alternative in this scenario since she, from what I’ve observed thus far in her interactions with others, will take a mile if given an inch. Figured it was better to cut it off at the gate and be done with it, to let her know in no uncertain terms that I’m not tolerant of her antics. And then he and I left.

Now, he was a little embarrassed by this, so we exchanged words when we got back to his place. Apparently I take too strong of an approach in handling other women, in his view. But I tell him that you have to, that lots of women will just plow right on through your subtle hints. He plays the sweetheart out in public, and people like him for this but they also tend to try to take advantage of him as well. I’m rougher in my mannerism, and the downside to that is I probably come across as a lot less approachable, which to some may seem like a bad thing. I’d argue it’s both positive and negative, that sometimes it’s for the best to not be appealing to anybody and everybody since that then reduces the unnecessary drama others bring me. He felt I should’ve just ignored her or at least not reacted until she had crossed a more serious line. Okay, but why is it automatically wrong to act preemptively when you’ve already assessed this person and figure on them most likely doing just that in due time? In other words, why give them the opportunity to create that drama in the first place?

He and I had to agree to disagree on this subject, as is so often the case between us since we’re such incredibly different types of people. He is far more agreeable than I am and prefers to avoid short-term conflict; I’d rather get things over and done even if that causes some tension that others might prefer to avoid. He said I likely only further encouraged her to cause problems going forward, but I’d argue that there’s really no clear way to stop a person like that, but you don’t have to stand by being tolerant of their shenanigans with your lips sealed. Continue reading

Still observing racial and gender-bent movements

American politics continue to blow my mind. Blew it hard enough that I pretty much gave up on the presidential BS from 2008 onward. Didn’t watch speeches from either Hillary or Trump, just as I didn’t listen to speeches by Obama or Romney or McCain back before. Don’t care. *shrugs* Same old, same old every time. Already know plenty of what Hillary Clinton talks about, seeing as how she’s been in the political spotlight since Bill was in office in the ’90s (during my teenage years). Gave up on so much of that shit. Had to. Continued volunteering for a local “peace-building” nonprofit organization until 2011, mostly because the international economic situation and war-mongering were hardest to ignore and not speak out about.

Still care. Just not quite as much, or at least not in the same way as once upon a time. Beginning in 2012 I wound up re-exploring gender relations issues discussed online, having around then initially stumbled upon the so-called “manosphere” which includes men’s rights advocates/activists (MRAs), MGTOWs (“Men Going Their Own Way”), PUAs (pick-up artists, as described by authors Mark Manson and Neil Strauss as well as Roosh V). Learned about feminism in the past and returned over the last 4 years to observing it generally as a movement, witnessing it transforming into this weird, new “SJW” (“social justice warrior”) hybrid (thanks to intersectionality conglomeration). Taken me some time to make better sense out of what all I’ve been looking at — an ongoing struggle, to be sure.

But went there, been doing that. Still, when the run-up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election began over a year and a half ago (ugh), I opted to tune out. Didn’t want to care. Know already plenty of reasons for why I don’t like and would never vote for Hillary Clinton. Saw no reason to concern myself with Trump. *shrugs* Sticking with Gary Johnson, so fuck it. That’s been my attitude for a long while now. Not been watching the news barely. Haven’t subscribed to cable television in my home for many years. Lack enough fucks to give to all that nonsense. I care enough to continue reading books to gain a better sense of perspective on where we are at this point in history, where we’ve been, and where potentially we might be headed, intentionally or otherwise. Occasionally share titles with pals open to giving them a perusing. Most aren’t. Living in my woman cave, working and paying bills and handling my own shit. What goes on in Washington D.C. is just more fuckery so far as I can ever tell.

Social relations matter more to me than politics. Probably because they’re down here on the ground where we individually actually have some direct control and power. At least can learn to better control our own selves, so far as we need to. But down here at ground level it’s clear that we’re not all constituted equally. Doesn’t break down purely according to racial or sex/gender or purely socioeconomic demographics — no, it’s far more complex than that. It comes down to us as individuals and what we’re apparently made of, what potential we might possess and whether we choose to work to unfold it. No one can determine that outcome — nobody but our own selves. And we divvy up across the spectrum in that regard, as is clearly evident to any of us who take time to look around.

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement is bugging me a bit lately in terms of what videos I’ve been watching on youtube. Watched quite a few over the course of the last few days, particularly paying attention to post-election protesters. Also went back and observed footage of campus protests in both the U.S. and Canada. Listened to law enforcement commentators and congressmen speaking on the subject. Today I came across an author, Colin Flaherty, who’s very critical of the state of the black community, calling hypocrisy on black people’s explicit racism against whites, examining news reports and showing displays of unjustified violence committed by black individuals against various others. Was an interesting channel. Is he racist? I don’t rightly care since he primarily focuses on numerous specific examples that we can then investigate for ourselves and form our own opinions on. Subbed.

Earlier today I also happened across a YT channel by Oshay Duke Jackson. Opted to subscribe to him too.

A few years before my Papa died, he warned me that there will very likely be a civil war during my lifetime and it will be race-related. Took that piece of advice and considered it in the years since. Initially assumed him to be wrong that the civil war would be race-related, though yeah, a civil war unto itself may occur. Tensions are mounting in this country and have been for a long time, and various factions seem intent on pushing the situation into the red zone. But race-related? During my lifetime it appeared that race relations were overall improving. Sure, we had the rise of gangsta rap during the ’90s and that set a trend that has yet to lose steam. But more interracial mixing has been occurring. Upon visiting my hometown in Mississippi, I’ve frequently been amazed at how much interracial dating is permitted and tolerated in recent years. Wasn’t like that even when I was a teenager a couple decades back. And I remember how racial divisions back then were sown and enforced by both older whites and older blacks, meaning black mamas and papas and grandmas took just as much issue with their child dating outside of their race as white mamas, papas, and grandmas did. See, people up north don’t seem to understand that fact. I come from a hometown where our high school then and to this day has segregated proms. Why? Mostly because black students throw a fit about changing this setup. It’s primarily their decision, so far as I’ve ever been able to tell, for why prom hasn’t been integrated yet. Yet we non-black folks are accused of being racist for this reality, which is basically to say they’re called racist for accommodating black people’s preferences in that town and school. Can’t win for losing there.

I’ve grown up observing a state known for possessing the highest black population in the union (nearly 40%), the highest out-of-wedlock teen pregnancy rate, the highest obesity rate, and one of the highest social welfare-dependency rates. Mississippi has the poorest public education ratings in the nation (switching places with Arkansas occasionally for 50th), high drop-out rates, and low economic opportunities throughout the state. Hence why people with ambition tend to leave, as did I at age 21. Kind of a depressing place to be, having lived in a few far-flung cities across Mississippi during my time down there, as well as attending Mississippi State University for a couple years. So I come at these topics with a perspective informed from what I have witnessed and directly learned about, not just what others may have told me.

Are most people racist? Probably. At least prejudiced to whatever extents. Appears to be a part of human nature. We may aim to take people as they come, but we still do tend to form opinions of demographics based on what our exposure to them has shown us. Oftentimes our exposure is too narrow and needs expanding, for which I’m grateful for the opportunity to live in the Midwest to juxtapose with Southern living, as well as my social science curriculum that did help in fostering a wider appreciation for what others may be facing, from Papua New Guineans to American black folks to Hispanics aiming to make a life in the U.S. due to widespread economic hardship in their native countries to Native Americans losing their cultures to the white Europeans originally brought here under indentured servitude, etc.

BUT…after college, a whole new education unfolds before us. How do those social theories perform when rubber hits the pavement? Do current socioeconomic and racial differences justify violent revolts? What other factors may figure into these situations beyond what was mentioned in the social science theories we were once educated on? When studying collectives, is it not an error to overlook the actions and choices of the individuals therein? Does that not produce a bias?

While no human is fully 100% an island, neither is he or she simply an irrelevant cog within some sort of hive-mind borg, individually obscured through a commonly shared identity.

I’m reflecting on Papa’s words tonight, pondering the possibilities for the future. I’ve said before that we can’t fight this system through the use of direct violence, because we wouldn’t win. Violence begets violence, and the State has more firepower than all of us combined. Act like a hooligan and expect to be treated as such. Harm innocent people who in no way have violated your rights to a similar extent, then don’t expect sympathy. Because that’s misguided. Won’t help anyone, including yourselves. Just turns more people’s hearts cold.

It’s almost as if some are pushing a self-fulfilling prophecy where they show up hostile and chaotic but see any response to that as proof of racism or sexism or homophobia or whatever that somehow justifies their initial aggression. But that’s not logical. It’s a skewing of reality, setting up a situation where defensiveness is paraded as some sort of offense. Why? To aid in perpetuating their own sense of victimhood. When aggressors are not plentiful, create them by making people stand up for themselves and others and then flip the script on them.  straight_face

That’s a shitty way to behave. Yet we see plenty of examples. Seems like more and more over time. I’m not okay with that. Nor am I okay with so much of the public kowtowing to political correctness requirements to where they’re unwilling to state the truth plainly, fearing social and possibly professional repercussions. Got people in a weird bind these days. Making cowards out of folks. Don’t want to us be reactionary in our responses to one another, but also don’t want to take shit lying down with our eyes and ears firmly closed. That’s not helping anybody either.

Late-night journaling in early October 2016

Talked to a man tonight I’ve met several times in the past. Didn’t wind up going well this evening. Not sure what to say on the matter exactly…

He spoke of “positivity” and seemed adverse to anything he deemed negative. But life is a mix, I said. It’s not all clearly one way or the other. We learn from the problems and pain too. But he had trouble with that, seemed unwilling to fully accept that, particularly from someone who wasn’t also promoting the “positive” track as he sees it. Much more ambitious than me in terms of playing up to rich folks out in the gated community where he works and the acting jobs that he pursues. But I already knew long before that he’s more domesticated than me, more geared toward upward mobility in the material sense. That’s not who I am. And what I relate with is not who he wishes to be either.

And that’s fine. Wasn’t a guy I’ve seriously considered dating in a major way. But I was aiming to become friends, which he said he wanted too. But he can’t handle me, right off the bat. One bad day unrelated to him proved a sufficient turn off. I didn’t get loud or do or say anything crazy (according to my standard, but that obviously differed from his). Just not in the best of moods this evening. Had a little bit of drama over dinner with my former earlier. Kinda hurt my feelings. May be hormonal as well — looks very likely that way due to timing and all. Not feeling particularly well past midday today. Still getting over last weekend’s cold. Basically nothing to pin-point specifically, just a shift in emotions that continued shifting as the day and then night wore on.

This guy wasn’t my type, which I’ve known, but it still kinda bothers me how he seemed to recoil from what I said tonight. Am I the happiest person alive? No, and never claimed to be. And, unlike him, I don’t repeatedly profess to be a “good person.”  No interest in doing so since it’s not fully accurate. I’m mixed, just like most folks are, whether they care to acknowledge it or not. Not all to the same degrees, but mixed nevertheless. And that’s where I work from, in acknowledging that fact of life. Turns some folks off.

Several say I remain too attached to my former. Still spend a good bit of time with him. Still go over for dinners regularly and spend the night. And he’s still not seeing anybody else. Wants to but hasn’t found her yet. And I’ve tired of trying to date outside of him while he remains single since he likes to kick that back in my face. It’s a trap. If I step out when he isn’t yet doing so it comes across as if I’ve committed some sort of crime. Encourages me to do so, but doing so comes with consequences. I get it. But still. It’s an old game. Certainly not new between us. I am the faster mover among us. Different types of people. Very different pasts and life experiences.

I don’t know what to say tonight. The guy I spoke with this evening stated he viewed me as not as far moved along as he expected by now. Not going to debate that. But I told him what I tell everybody: not seeking anything serious right now, mostly just interested in making friends. Even if I am in a weird and precarious situation that others routinely find uncomfortable if they stand too close to it, so be it. I am out and about these days. Mingling. Conversing. Not interested in pretending about much of anything. Not even barely interested in concealing aspects of the past, though perhaps I should be more censored and guarded right about now. Not aiming to attract more hostility or problems from outsiders.

Frustrated. Because I know I am not ready and willing to fully engage with the dating scene at present, yet some folks make it seem like I am not worth knowing if that is the case. And the mingling atmosphere in many bars has gotten pretty disrespectful, both between the sexes and across women. Been that way forever probably but certainly doesn’t seem to be improving. I don’t know. This shit makes my head spin is all I know.

Feel like a retard surrounded by a vast sea of various forms of retardation. Apparently it is what it is.

Tonight kinda felt like trying to interact with a liberal, which I did mention to this guy. Elaborating, he considers himself a Christian and his faith very important. That’s cool. But then he went on about humanity and his feeling of being put here for a reason, to somehow stem the tide’s direction. And that’s where I can’t help but chuckle to myself a bit. We chatted briefly about how that which we call God remains and likely always will remain beyond human comprehension. And yet we like to assume we as individuals have somehow tapped into the ultimate answers. I can’t claim to know. The main great evil, so far as I can tell, is the sexual abuse of a very young and prepubescent child. That’s how I tend to gauge that which we call evil, treating it as a spectrum with the most heinous cases of that on the farthest end. Pretty simple person in that regard.

He went on to speak about the planet and how we’re destroying it. I sighed and conjured up the words of George Carlin and how the the planet will out-live us after shaking us off like a bad case of fleas. Paraphrasing obviously. He partially agreed but seems geared toward believing humanity should and can somehow be “fixed.” Always have to ask by what standard there, and people tend to blink in disbelief as if we all should logically be on the same page. But that’s not reality. And change things how? Enforce it how? With what unforeseen consequences on down the pike? We don’t know. Do we spend serious time devoted to trying to figure that shit out? How many of us and to what extents? We don’t know. Limited in figuring that out about one another, especially when we’re relative strangers.

Meeting new people is tricky for me since I require a good bit of truthful and clearly stated information from whomever I’m engaging with. How I operate. Not by choice, just learning to live with being geared this way the best I can. Doesn’t work out well with plenty of folks, males and females alike. Seems I say the wrong things, or they play coy and refuse to spell things out when needed. No one promised us human relations would be easy. I know. Still. Frickin’ frustrating plenty of the time. Not fun feeling so misunderstood because there’s not enough time available and intermission from distractions to elaborate in enough detail that the pieces start making more cohesive sense. Like people want you to sum everything up nowadays in a soundbite, and I don’t know how to do that. Don’t know how to control my emotions all the time either. Working on plenty of shit, but won’t claim to have it all figured out yet. Likely won’t ever entirely. Likely most or all of you won’t either. Welcome to it. Such is Life.

Just a bit irritated tonight. Wasn’t in a good mood for socializing. Should’ve backed away earlier on and just stayed to myself mostly. Better nights for interacting. But if that’s all it takes to freak that dude out, he’s not going to be a compatible friend or even bar-pal. And that’s fine. Goes that way sometimes. Just wish I’d have acted differently on my previously established understanding of how incompatible he and I are and not attempted conversing with him in any depth on a night when my mind is already taxed enough.

And on that note, my brother called earlier tonight. First time we’ve talked in probably a year. Last saw him in April of last year. Maybe 2008 before then. He’s turning 30 later this month. Couldn’t be more opposite of one another on nearly all levels. But he’s doing very well professionally and seems content. Working up in his company toward becoming a software engineer and hoping to retire in that position. I’m proud of him. He’s taught himself a lot and followed his interests and is honing his skills and actively aiming toward developing further expertise. He’s doing what he wants to do in his life, difficult as his interests are for me to deeply grasp and relate with as a non-techie type. And the same goes vice versa. It will be interesting to observe what the future holds for him.

My little brother is pretty mild and meek in his relations to others, whereas I can be pretty aggressive at times. Different personalities and different dynamics we encounter as a result. Wholly different. Interesting how that all shakes out between us.

Was good to talk to him. Surprised when he called. Rarely does he return my or anybody else’s calls. Busy working much of the time. Said he went to his 10-year high school reunion last year and nearly all of his classmates were married with kids. Always amusing to hear people’s takes on their high school reunions.

I guess the night isn’t so bad. Made it home safely. Talked to my brother for the first time in a long while and for several hours. Business was all wrapped up throughout the day. Took on a new client for Thanksgiving week. Shared a nice dinner despite my former getting grumpy initially. And am not even terribly upset about the dude I chatted with at the bar. Just felt the need to talk and relate to somebody, but he was seeking something else. That happens. Just felt strongly tonight the need to relate on some level. Probably should’ve moved on and opted to chat with someone else. I do get moody sometimes. Not claiming to be compatible with most encountered. A little embarrassed for how the conversation turned  — got confusing. I don’t understand most people and probably come across a bit odd to plenty of them as well. C’est la vie. What can I honestly do about this? There comes a point where acceptance is necessary. All one can do is navigate to the best of his or her ability. Not all are created equal in that regard.

Just sometimes wish the act of relating weren’t so cumbersome. And sometimes wish I were better adapted for it.

Am tired of this subject now.

Hello Fall (late-September journaling)

Very little rest for the wicked…

Been enjoying staying out and about lately. Not playing the scene in any major way, just mingling and meeting new folks. Not really seeking much of anything right about now other than interaction and entertainment.

Will say that the one guy I attempted to date this summer wound up being a pain in the ass. Really and truly. A bad drunk who gets an attitude problem on the drop of a dime. People, especially online, like to say that we womenfolk should give men in precarious situations a chance, should be open-minded to the possibility that maybe they’ve been falsely accused by a female which is why they’ve wound up in the legal and financial predicaments they face, that maybe they’re decent men underneath it all deserving of a fair shake. Okay, well, I’m the type to give people a couple of chances to see what they’re made of, and this last attempt unfortunately demonstrated that some guys bring hellfire onto themselves. His financial problems appear largely to be a consequence of his drinking problem. Let his life fall down. Bankrupt his business, let his house be foreclosed on (which makes little sense for a place he’s lived in for 20 years that only has a $700-something/mo. mortgage payment, not much more than I’ve been paying in rent all these years — in other words, not some ballooning mortgage trap), let his child support payments fall behind on the one daughter he has. And the domestic violence charge, accompanied by an OWI, that he managed to attract last year turns out to be the result of his own drunken stupidity and negligence. He’s a grown man in his 50s so this isn’t some naive young man I’m speaking about here. Well, with all of that on his current resume you’d think maybe he’d be grateful that a woman would be willing to take a chance on his ass. Wrong. Arrogant and rude for no good reason is what he is. About a month into knowing him I finally had had enough. Can’t even be friends with a son of a bitch like that. Mean-spirited jerk is what he proved to be. Kind of embarrassed that I ever gave him the time of day to begin with. On top of that, he’s a bartender. I rarely ever date bartenders, and for good reason.

Story should’ve ended over a week back when I walked out and told him to cease contact going forward. But a week on he texts me saying he’s looking into renting an apartment in my complex. Yikes. And this is yet another reason for why I rarely let men know where I live. Don’t like being harassed in my own abode. All I need is his drunken asshole antics waiting for me in the parking lot at 2am when I’m trying to make my way back home. Told him I was uncomfortable having him live here. Not like we live in a small town — there are plenty of other rentals in the area. And he responded with denigration and spite throughout the evening, playing on my phone, trying to get a rise out of me. Told him to go away and leave me be. Kept texting mean-spirited shit to where I finally did give him a piece of my mind. First time for me to really tell him off thus far. Was working on keeping my temper in check, but no, he couldn’t let a sleeping dog lie. So, anyway, I’ll do what I have to do to protect the sanctity of my home life. If he wants a battle, he can have one. I’m not one to back down easily. His last girlfriend reportedly has no self-esteem; well, I’m not her and I don’t take this type of crap. He may be used to being a bully but it won’t fly with me. I didn’t do anything to deserve his ill will and am surprised he feels so justified in flipping me all this shit. Like I am just supposed to take it. Why? Because he needs someone to look down on and take it out on. Not my problem. He can kick rocks. And that’s where it all left off. Hopefully he has just enough sense to recognize that I won’t play with his sorry ass and that he’s cruising for greater issues if he keeps trying to engage with me at this point.

Unfortunate that it had to come to that. Was no reason for it. Should’ve gotten along just fine. But he’s a shitty drunk with a chip on his shoulder. It surprised me to find it out, but it is what it is apparently. Gave him a couple chances and wound up regretting it both times. So, I’m done. No benefit in putting up with that from a relative stranger. The man has nothing to bring to the table, yet he seems to think the world owes him everything. I won’t pretend to understand. Not even interested in analyzing it any further. Just stating this here so as to vent it out. That being my first real attempt to get back into the dating scene. uh_oh

So, anyway, that aside…beyond dealing with that tool, life’s not so bad. Not much else to complain about these days. Been listening to good music and hanging out with my peeps, meeting new folks and chillin’ into the late-night hours. Working during the day, escaping during the night. Not interested in getting tangled up in any new seriously committed relationship anytime soon. My former companion and I still have our bs moments, but overall we’ve been getting along better throughout this summer. Trying to take life easy right about now, going with the flow so much as I’m able. Steering clear of the partisan political bullshit since that’s a monumental waste of time. Staying out of gender-related battles as well since I’m sufficiently sick of the he said/she said drama. Humans are all capable of being assholes so far as I can see, myself included.

What else? Gearing up for a busier work weekend. Planning to share pizza with my former this evening. Watching the wheels go ’round and ’round. Ain’t about much these days, and that’s fine. People like to guilt you for not taking on their pet project or standing up for this or that cause, but ah well. Since when did they care about what I care about? Everybody seems to think we need to change the world, whereas I’m doing my best now to try to flow with it, to stop resisting so much and to learn to adapt so far as I’m willing and able. Sure, there’s a ton of bullshit to contend with in today’s world, which likely has always been the case. But what people reasonably expect us all to do is beyond me. Seems mostly folks just want to flap their gums over this or that matter, pretending to be doing something rather than living a life of action. Berating people to vote for this or that candidate, as if that’s going to change the system one iota by this point. Best way to change the world is to change thyself. Rather than worrying with what everybody else is doing. It’s too easy to stand in judgment of everybody else — no real challenge in doing that. Just a cheap way to appear like you’re passionate and driven without putting any real skin in the game. I tire of that.

That’s my update for today. Time for work.

Living and learning in 2016…

Upset a friend last night. Unintentional and inadvertent, but it happened. Wasn’t my goal, but still. I don’t regret my decision to pull away and change course. Not the same person I used to be and no longer wish to be that person. Sure, it would’ve been nice if I definitively understood that a bit further in advance to last evening, but sometimes we have to be put in a pressure spot to truly and deeply comprehend where we’ve come to stand. I changed over time and will never be her again, not like that. Can’t. Don’t wish to be. Some things money can’t buy and can actually devalue.

Seasons change and so do I, we need not wonder why…

So, I feel badly that my friend was upset by this turn of events, but alas —  such is life, harsh as that may sound. Never claimed to be a sweetheart nor the most accommodating woman around. I do care, but I also care about myself and my own progress as well. Wish I hadn’t been so allured by the offer presented, but old habits die hard. Glad that I called it off though while there was still time to do so, admittedly wishing I had seen more clearly sooner.

I don’t doubt he’ll read this, so partly this is being posted for his benefit. But I am also attempting to assert my own self here. Definitively. Irrevocably.

The heart wants what it wants. I can’t and won’t apologize for that. So I’m going to concern myself with continuing to follow it since returning to the past and the old ways is guaranteed to be regressive. That was a long time ago and I like living today in the knowledge of how far behind me all that was. So let’s just leave it there and move on. Otherwise we’ll wind up parting ways because I just can’t stomach that reality anymore, as he knows and as I’ve stated many times prior. What was true is still true, come to find out once again.

That’s all I have to say on the matter.

I needed to believe in something

A song I posted on here recently that just sticks in mind nearly constantly since stumbling coming across it a few weeks back on a forum post:

That was The Chemical Brothers with “Believe.”

Gonna let that play in the background while I type tonight.

I desperately need to believe in something. Not religion. Not an ideology. Something bigger and better than any of that. Lord, my soul is hungry. There must be more to life than I am capable of comprehending at this juncture. And I can feel it…I know it’s out there. Feel glimpses of it regularly. Feel inspired by it. Yet still have myself shackled against my own will or, more accurately, due to a conflicted will.

Year after year…yes, I know. Still plugging away at it, just that perhaps the answers seem too easy for me to accept and embrace just yet. Keep thinking I’ll get on that tomorrow. Tomorrow. Always the next day. Later on.

How sick at heart does a person need to get? That’s another question I ponder regularly enough. Stupid question since it’s an obvious call to action going unheeded. See it, hear it, feel it in my core…and yet don’t follow it. Keep preparing to do so, and keep falling back. Nobody’s fault but mine, I understand that. Just sayin’ is all.

Already tried to believe in some things that proved to be toxic. Once bitten, twice shy. Hungry for something bigger than that and am realizing that I have to create it for my own self. Looked everywhere and gleaned plenty of useful information and ideas, yet what I am seeking specifically appears to not exist or at least has eluded me thus far. Been searching for many years.

This winds up being one of those things that prompts a person to comprehend that every life problem a human can experience doesn’t necessarily eventually deliver one to an intellectual or even seemingly rational answer. Because that’s not all there is to life, or those tools don’t tap into this aspect of life I’m struggling with and against and am striving to point to here. It’s little, if anything, to do with numbers or politics or anything that might be considered tangible. Have I flown the coop? Perhaps. And perhaps a person needs to in order to get to the next level, in order to view things and operate in a different way. Humans are strange creatures — that’s never been a secret. But what we’re aiming to become nowadays very often proves to be a limiting and limited version of ourselves.

Yet it remains so incredibly easy to fall back into established habits, vices. To lean where you ought not, or at least not so much. To seek comfort instead of doing the work you already damn-well know you ought to be attempting. To let thoughts of that comfort distract you more often than not. To fight the internal resistance…call it a demon or a gremlin, call it whatever you like…that self-destructive tendency that apparently is oh-so-common. Nobody else can fix it for you. Nobody else can save you from yourself. Or save you from mediocrity and boredom and deflatedness.

My internal critic is a jabberbox. Many in my family are critics too. Some of the people I associate with are as well and many more were in the past. But that cannot be helped really. Gotta just muster up enough determination to drive on through all that. What am I trying to do here? What will I someday regret having not attempted? I already know the answer there or at least enough to know which steps to take next. And yet, still I’ve been holding myself back as if I’m waiting on something. Waiting. Reconsidering. Re-approaching such matters. Re-examining. Pursuing more information and ideas, as goes on and on. Can get lost in them sometimes too though. Can prove to be a distraction in their own right if one can’t pull up and find ways of taking direct action. To simply fucking DO IT. To stop talking about it and GO. To finally feel sick enough that the walls inside cave in and no other choice is left. But why wait for rock bottom? Has it not already nearly arrived? Is the call not loud enough yet already?

Motivation remains the sticking point. Nevermind what so many others happen to be motivated by. Go out and volunteer is the common kick-start offered up to people stuck in ruts. Since contributing to others is supposed to be the remedy to internal ailings. Yes and no. Can be. But sometimes a person needs to find better ways to nourish themselves before they can be of much use to others. Beyond that, what cause is the most pressingly worth pursuing? America’s Left/Right paradigm has had my head spinning for many years already. Done dealing much directly with politics. That ship has sailed. And yet it’s everywhere, dominating so many conversations, infiltrating where it’s not wanted or even of any value. But that’s the world we live in. I’ve grown to hate that shit, and yet it’s seemingly inescapable. That’s not where I’m fixin’ to start again, though will probably occasionally still circle back around it since there’s really no way to ignore that aspect of modern reality. Because everything has been deemed political, even that which shouldn’t be. The personal is political, they like to say. And boy, they’ve worked hard to make that come to be.

Fuck ’em and their laws, I keep telling myself. Observe the ones you must, but damn…  It closes in on people faster than we like to realize. Guess I’m rendered extremely nervous by that shit. Too many pitfalls and booby traps.

But I continue telling myself “fuck ’em.” Have to. Need to learn to say “fuck it” far more often in areas that keep troubling my spirit. Because there ain’t nothing I can do about some of that. Will just be whatever it’s going to be regardless of my thoughts on the matter. All I have control over is this flesh I was born with. It’s all I really got. All that any of us truly possesses, assuming we even truly possess that. That’s the most power we’re afforded in this life. It’s our vehicle, plain and simple. This we get to navigate. Can’t navigate everybody else, though people surely do love to try. Will never work, at least not as some hope. Backfires. Destined to do so.

Was listening to an interview of Jordan Belfort earlier where he talked about how the first thing a person needs is a vision. And it is that particularly which I’m still struggling with at present. Goals mean how much outside of a greater vision? But perhaps a vision can develop over time. Perhaps the initial steps themselves are most relevant right now. That last bit I am pretty damn certain is true. Hopefully the vision will come in its own time if I first work more diligently in a better direction.

Journaling in early June 2016

Arrived back in the Midwest late on Thursday. Back to it. Back to this life that is what I make of it. Two weeks under schedule since the tensions down South grew wearing. Five weeks is indeed my maximum capacity for visiting and staying with relatives.

But the Mississippi drama is fast fading in my mind. Came to a few realizations during that trip, though not on the subjects I had initially expected. Turns out we indeed are all crazy. Every last one of us so far as I can tell, just to varying degrees. Subjective. No matter how hard-working or how outwardly loving. Humans just are.

Life is drama. It just is.

And that’s okay. Can’t be any other way seeing as how no one individual controls all the possible variables in any given situation. Life happens.

Think I learned a few things during my time away to carry forward. Trip wasn’t all for naught despite some “insights” I hadn’t counted on encountering. No family is without its problems. Ours could be much worse.

Was nice talking walks around Grandma’s neighborhood at night. Cut off one vice I intend to go easy on in the future. Made further strides with another vice I’ve taken up a struggle with the last two years and made a lot of progress with. Good. That was a change that seriously needed to happen. No going back on that one — can’t do it anymore. Still drinking a bit. And still smoking cigarettes like they’re going out of style, as they are. Some habits die harder than others.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Always worthwhile to keep that in mind.

This is my future.Where to from here? One foot before the other. Not seeking to experience a very long life, just would appreciate creating a better life in terms of developing a better attitude toward it all. It all is what it is. That’s just life. For all our chatter incessantly going on, life itself just keeps ticking on undeterred. What it does. Sometimes freak shit happens. Like what occurred in my best girlfriend’s sister’s family. Very sad situation that’s been on my mind all week.

Too easy to take so much for granted. Friends who are always there. A reliable roof overhead. Enough money to get by comfortably enough. An affectionate pet who desires more attention. The close family members one does have. Others’ generosity. Freedom to speak out and be tolerated doing so under the Law. Freedom to choose who we associate with and where we work. Freedom itself.

Erich Fromm warned about people becoming overwhelmed by our freedoms and thereby coming to insist that life be rendered more orderly by big daddy governments. Feeding our power to the government is what cements its totalitarian decline. People don’t intend on that happening and most certainly don’t deeply wish for it, at least not to where they themselves wind up stifled, but this proves to be the outcome nevertheless. Because that’s how power functions. Accumulates and accumulates, never ceding itself. And people don’t like to imagine what they consider worst-case scenarios, preferring optimistic wishful thinking more often than not. Partly because that mindset helps foster a healthier mental and emotional state, which each individual needs. Realists, in contrast, wind up looking like a bunch of nihilistic pessimists and boring nay-sayers by comparison. Who wants to sign up to belong to the latter camp? Clearly not the majority. But it’s all shades of gray, as are most things in this life.

Not sure anymore what the point is in trying to run around aiming to change people’s minds on this or that matter. There are countless causes and only so many resources to go around, so bombarding people with shaming fests and guilt trips to try to sway them or garner their support comes to look like another recipe for crazy-making or driving people further into isolation so as to avoid the relentless chatter. I’ve certainly withdrawn a great deal over the years, directly in correlation with the more I learned about. Can’t help it. Requires time and energy to sort through it all and try to make some sense without a complete overload of too much new and conflicting input. Surely I’m not the only one to feel this way.

Disorientation apparently comes with the territory in this 21st century. I see no way around that fact of life. Depends on what you hitch yourself to, if anything, but it still can’t help but remain disorienting in various aspects regardless. Lots going on these days. Rapid changes like no other time in history. More information abounding than any one of us can ever hope over an entire lifetime to take all in. And we’re a complicated species to begin with.

Someone sent me this link to a blog and post I’d never seen or heard of before. Which then led off onto another article before arriving up at this one in the Washington Post about a woman who died in her 50s from liver cirrhosis. That’s what’s occupying some of my time this evening. Better to read about that sort of thing than hang out on gender-war movements’ forums and sites. Had enough of that. Really think I’ve reached my fill there. Tired of seeing so much divided according to sex as if we were all on separate teams. We are not. Ridiculous to try to divvy life up that way. Shakes out in all sorts of ways. Generalizations only carry us so far. Nuanced conversations and understandings are especially needed now. And yet most will continue to retreat in the opposite direction.

I wonder sometimes if the mentality that you’re up against this or that group over this or that perceived injustice — if that mentality unto itself is half the problem we’re experiencing these days. While I get it that resistance is necessary at times or shit would never change for the better and resources would continue being squandered, yet it still generally seems like approaching life as “us vs. them” results in a losing game. Can’t change everybody else. Can create laws to restrict people, but that doesn’t truly change them. They will continue to think and feel whatever they will and also likely will grow more resentful of the group who forced the legal changes, ensuring that the restricted will eventually find a way to rise in power and go toe-to-toe in an effort to push laws back in their own favor. And on and on it goes…

People are gonna do what they’re gonna do. The best we can hope for is to not exacerbate each other’s craziness beyond what is fair. Subjective. And requires a lot of effort. Because the only person one has control over is oneself. Can’t completely control the future. Can’t control the past. Can’t control others. Can try to manipulate and coerce them, but ultimately they will do as they will do. Can try to reason with them, which is probably beneficial if they’re open to it. Can try to sway with appeals. But can’t control. At least not yet. Give us and our technologies time though. tongue_out

Can’t probably tell from my latest posts but I am feeling somewhat better than I was a month back. Still thinking on some of the same topics, as to be expected, but that’s just how my mind works. Apparently likes to chew on the concern over the rise of totalitarianism, why we’re headed there and how come it’s inevitable, and also how might an individual sidestep it and its effects so much as possible. Beyond that, seeing family and observing the dynamics there proved further illuminating. I will never move back to Mississippi, much as I do like plenty about the state. Gonna remain in the Midwestern city where I’ve been living for nearly a decade and see what opportunities arise going forward. Would like to live somewhere entirely new someday, to try it out, shake things up, maybe discover somewhere with milder winters and summers. Maybe not. Would be interesting to roll the dice again someday. Fine here for now though.

Other personal matters on my mind will remain private. Gossiped enough on here in the last year to disgust my own self.

So now the focus returns to objectives and taking steps in a more beneficial direction. Been too much talking and not enough doing coming out of me.

Moving back down South?

Been thinking lately while on my trip down here to Mississippi. Considering maybe relocating down this way in the future. Still have my rental lease up in that city in the Midwest that I just renewed that won’t be up until next spring, but I’m pondering perhaps relocating down this way after that. Just a thought. Who knows what might happen between then and now? But I do know my life up there was steadily unraveling in recent years and that it was feeling like a major change was in order. Got stuck in a rut, and still am in terms of my mindset, by and large. Having trouble letting go of some of what needs to be let go of. Struggling with forgiving myself for certain past transgressions. And also wasn’t doing so good at staying out of bars up there, being so easily accessible and all. Was just basically depressed, severely so, and it wouldn’t ever let up for more than maybe 2 weeks at a time. Feuded with my former companion more than was reasonable. Just seriously unhappy for whatever reasons.

Cultural differences plagued me for a long time there and never let up. Like I couldn’t assimilate no matter how hard I tried. Maybe, simply put, that state just got the best of me. Too many stoic individuals uncomfortable around emotional types like myself. Leads a person over time to feeling like a freak, a weirdo, a perpetual outsider.

Down here, though, more folks are emotional too and plenty are craving something outside of the norm, so perhaps this is my destiny in the next leg of my journey. To return to simpler living around people who, despite our typical religious differences, are at least more in line with my own life philosophy (which makes sense since it was originally forged down here). Compared to these Southern cats I’m actually a bit more put together in some ways, or at least I fake it well.  lol

This is the first time in a very long time that I’ve been back to my home of origin and felt relatively comfortable being here. Took a week to adjust a bit, as to be expected, but I’ve been feeling like there are more opportunities than I assumed there would be. Plus, it wouldn’t require a whole lot of money to make it down here, especially if I moved in with my Grandma where I’m staying now. And she could use the help, considering she doesn’t drive and all.

Is it lame to move back in with one’s Grandma in their 30s? I don’t know or particularly care. If it works, it works. I’m just pondering the possibilities at this point. She seems to could use my help around here, and I’m sufficiently broken up over my last run in the Midwest. Not that the Midwest isn’t fine and full of opportunities itself, just that I am so goddamn tired of feeling like some strange outsider with no family around in that state. Can make a person feel too clingy and disoriented if they can’t forge many new bonds. While I have had some success up that way, and my best guyfriend lives in that city, and I have friends a few hours away in other surrounding states, I’m just wondering if a massive change might not do me good at this point. Life is simpler here, slower, less demanding. Of course I’m also on vacation each time I come down this way, and it’d be a different story if I relocated here and needed to secure employment. But I figure I’d manage, as I always do. At least have a bachelor’s degree under my belt, plus currently over 8 years of work experience in a self-employment venture with many references willing to vouch for my work ethic. That’s something to work with wherever I wind up eventually. Not that I’m currently interested in seeking sophisticated forms of employment anyhow.

It’s just a thought. Perhaps I should exhaust all possible options. Just know how unhappy I’ve grown up in that latest Midwestern city in recent years. Never fit in there and keep complaining about it to where I’m even sick of hearing my own self. Never had such a major lack of success of relating with people anywhere else before, except maybe here in my hometown, but, again, that tended to have to do with religious reasons. This is the Bible Belt, unabashedly. Gotta find the misfits, as I did in the past, and as I’m prone to do anywhere I go. Not that I can’t get along with plenty of religious people — I can, just sometimes takes a bit more finessing due to their own concerns about associating with “heathens” like myself.

Up there it’s more secular, but the stoicism practiced is a bit off-putting and confusing for someone like me. Not that I’m cracking on stoicism — will do me good to embrace more of that in moving forward. Just that it comes across as suppressed emotionality in favor of an air of professionalism to such an extreme that they so often tend to repel from those unlike themselves. Plus, in that city so many people were born and raised there and know each other. I come in as an outsider when they’re already all connected up. Hard to penetrate an atmosphere like that, much as I’ve tried. Can’t just get along one-on-one, gotta be accepted by the clique, which I suck at catering to.

But I loved my job there. Was very fortunate to come across that idea. Would totally miss the animals I’ve watched grow up there. That would be hard to leave. And some of their owners I bonded with too, to whatever extents. Grew to care about their families. Got tired of all the inner-city driving, though, and the crazy, scattered hours. But c’est la vie. It was a very good gig, which I will return to in late June once I leave here. Guess one more year of it would be all right, and I can think about where to go from there. Not the kind of position I’d likely be able to pull off down here, though. The economy probably wouldn’t be able to support it. And that’s okay since I wouldn’t mind working with people again after nearly a decade of working primarily on my own and without direct supervision.

And I love my Grandma. Much as I might gripe from time to time about her trifling annoyances, she’s a good Grandma. Lucky to have had her in my life. I’d like to help her out, which I’m sure my aunt would appreciate since she’s bitched plenty over time about feeling like all the burden of helping Grandma has fallen to her since she’s the only one to remain living in this town. Uncle moved a couple hours away, my mom disowned them all back in 1990 and lives in the Midwest, and I too have lived consistently in the Midwest since age 21. Fourteen-hour drive away. Not close. Been losing myself up there too.

Even my uncle keeps encouraging me to return to the South to live. Calls it “God’s Country,” but everywhere assumes itself to be God’s Country. Does it not?

I don’t know. Time will tell. It’s just a thought.

Wannabe gold-diggers and televised fantasies

In the mood today to observe and analyze my familial relations in writing this evening. In the interest of not seeming disloyal to my people, I’m not wishing to write any of this out of spite. More intended as retrospection and introspection for my own purposes. Will aim to keep it relatively vague to protect the identities of (some of) those involved.

For whatever reason, the last couple of generations of women I’m directly by blood related to seem bent toward gold-digging attitudes. Not that they’ve proven successful in their ventures, mind you, it’s just the mindset they bring to the table in discussions pertaining to male and female relations and the expectations they’ve expressed over the years. The family members in question came into existence either in the 1940s or 1960s, so I’m guessing it’s a cultural matter at the core in terms of the impressions they’ve adopted and taken to heart. Nevertheless, it’s a bit irritating to have come up with this bunch of disgruntled women, perpetually unhappy with darn-near anything a man has brought to their lives.

I bring this up due to conversations occurring this week, not that they are new or that I am naive to my family members’ positions before now. Just strikes me, as it long has, as wasteful and pointless. Listened to the elder female family member’s complaints, yet again, about her deceased husband and his shortcomings when it came to providing income for the family…and yet she’s never acknowledged in a fully responsible way how her own financial choices and behaviors have proven detrimental to their economic situation. And now that he’s dead and gone, it gets to feeling like the blame game will never cease.

Believe I’ve mentioned previously on my blog how my own mother was a wannabe gold-digger, and the most successful out of the bunch too, I might add. She married my stepdad for his “earning potential,” as she repeated numerous times throughout my upbringing. And that marriage eventually crashed and burned, namely because she was never content, even after he indeed did prove successful and provided them with a perfectly nice and comfortable home in the suburbs where she was not required to work to add to the family income (though she typically did work part-time between stints of returning to college in a succession of major changes that never resulted in a degree earned, all of which he financed). And he offered her great conditions during their divorce, the most I’ve yet to ever see a woman awarded whom I personally know. If I remember correctly, I believe he granted her about $30k on the value of the house (that she never made a payment on), she kept her car of course, plus half the furniture, plus $900/mo. child support for their one son, plus $1100/mo. alimony for about 4-5 years. She didn’t have to finagle that out of him either — he had his lawyer offer that settlement, which she eagerly agreed to at the time. And he’s since told me he offered her as much as he did because he wanted his son properly taken care of for the rest of the duration of his teens without some new man being brought into his life. Which was accomplished. My little brother was about 16 at the time of their 2nd divorce from one another (yes, they married, divorced, remarried one another, and divorced a second time). The kicker is that a year after their first divorce back around 1990 my mother actually moved back in with my stepdad and essentially lived as roommates until they remarried about 4-5 years later. So…

I grew up observing a good bit of that, and listening to her bitch and complain as though she were being tortured. He didn’t abuse her. He on special occasions bought her trinkets and nice jewelry. Provided everything she needed. Curbed her from putting them (further) in credit card debt by locking her cards up, which she resented deeply. Yet forever she bitched and complained that she wasn’t treated right, that he was a tightwad, that he was an asshole, that we’d be better off without him around, etc. As a kid, I was partial to her perspective since she was my mom, my only biological parent, so I took her side. Nowadays, as of more than a decade now, she and I have virtually no relationship and, by comparison, I’m actually on closer terms with my stepdad, who’s fairly recently remarried and now has a new baby boy as of this year. Mom, on the other hand, is still working crap jobs and living in an apartment (after the house she bought after the divorce was foreclosed on), last I knew still single and sporting a shitty attitude where she blames everybody but herself for her lack of success in this life.

She’s the worst of the bunch, the most extreme, but still…she learned the attitude somewhere.

A sibling of hers shares a similar attitude toward men and their utility.

Sadly, so does their mother.

Not that the other two proved successful in fulfilling their expectations at all, but the attitude persists to this day. I keep hearing about it, year after year, especially when I’m down here and in person. Not trying to call out my people or be a bitch here, but damn. Listened to one of my female family members recently, won’t say which in an effort to protect a bit of privacy for info I’m specially privy to, encourage me to request a guy friend of mine to set aside money for me in a savings account to be used in the event that I kick the bucket so that my body can be transported back to Mississippi for the funeral. A guy friend. Not my lover. Not my husband. A friend. And I laughed her out on that suggestion. Like, lady, you cannot be serious! That’s not what he’s there for. If I start hitting him up for everything under the sun, he’s not going to want to remain my friend, and why do someone like that, especially when he and I have known one another over a decade?  tongue_out  That’s rude as hell. Why try to drag him into my family financial matters where they do not concern him? Simply because she assumes he could afford it, and apparently that’s just what men are for, to her. Ticks me off. And I told her so.

And I’ve gotten the impression over time that these women in my life are a little peeved that I have access to men with decent incomes, yet at the same time they seem to wish for me to exploit them, while remaining a bit jealous about that prospect too. Geez…  You know how irritating that shit is?

Makes me want to turn to a couple of them and let it be known that it’s not my problem that they didn’t marry particularly well. Had they married for love instead of constantly worrying about what material possessions they don’t have, and had they figured out ways to save and perhaps build side business ventures to boost the family income, then maybe they wouldn’t remain so envious of others. But I cannot say all of that aloud. Will only cause massive family strife and problems. I speak out too much as is.

I can see where these attitudes impressed on me, especially when I was younger, and I’m also grateful for being the daughter of the worst in the bunch so as to learn better than zeroing in on all of that. It’s an ugly game. Made their husbands feel like shit, like failures, like never able to measure up to some outlandish expectations, when those men were in no better position starting out than these females were.

Personally, I blame a lot of this shit on television and the advertising and marketing that made a major impression on people, particularly back when that medium was relatively new on the scene. Not that it doesn’t have a major impact today as well, but I believe it may have been worse for the baby-boomer generation, generally speaking. They seemed to have internalized its “ideals” hook, line, and sinker. And that’s nutty, when you really stop and think about it.

Most especially when we’re talking about self-professed Christian people. I mean, damn — what are you really about then? Material acquisition? Wanting to keep up with the Joneses? Why? To what end? To prove what?

Tell me this has nothing to do with a sense of entitlement sowed into the population over time, giving people (particularly women) the impression that they deserve so much more than they’re receiving and that that is a travesty. Because? Because welcome to the modern age. So and so down the street can afford this or that. Those people enjoy modern comforts that we don’t. You spend money on this or that, so I’m ticked since I feel that’s to blame for us not having this. And on and on the divisiveness goes.

One thing I continue to appreciate my stepdad for was cutting off cable when I was still pretty young. Certainly didn’t hurt to go a few years without so much televised input, and I’ve opted to not subscribe to cable myself for the last 8 years solidly (and intermittently in years prior to that). Watch TV over at friends’ places enough as it is. Best to not subject oneself to all that fantasy shit. Gets your mind wandering and stimulates the tendency to compare yourself and your life (and your appearance, and whatever else) to that which is televised, none of which is fully and truly depicted. It’s not intended to reflect real life, yet it is intended to intrigue us into wanting shit we don’t need.

Repeat the same BS to people often and long enough and many start to believe it.

Strikes me as quite amazing how much people are willing to believe simply because it’s shown on television. Like our reasoning gets short-circuited. People love to assume that they’re terrific at separating reality from fiction, but the evidence doesn’t bear that out.

But is television alone to blame for these sort of attitudes? No, probably not. But it definitely helped in sowing those seeds to the masses, especially to the ignorant (whether willfully or otherwise), uneducated, and easily impressionable. Sorry folks, but it’s true.

Anyway, I probably received a worthwhile education in a weird, back-door kind of way there. Learned vicariously what life is not worth wasting time on, at the least. We all enjoy possessing some nice things and having enough money to get by and to take in worthwhile experiences in life rather than working like slaves, don’t get me wrong there. But isn’t it a question of how we choose to conduct ourselves and what we value most? I mean, there are worse things in life than not having a bunch of money. And so many who chase money and luxuries don’t seem all that happy in the end anyway.