Tag Archives: needy

Enlightenment! Get Yer Enlightenment Here!

My friend Monica Hamburg posted a hilarious daily-deal from Ethical Deals on her Facebook page today. Oh, how I laughed.
Dude’s selling basically spiritual enlightenment for $129, a savings of 84%, you lucky motherfuckers. Act now or forever live in the dark. Free shipping.
You know why he’s selling “awakening” for 84% off? Because you can’t BUY ENLIGHTENMENT, chumps.

Shot by me. You’ll find enlightenment faster here than in a classroom.

It’s not a “Oh, shit! Wrong aisle! I was looking in aisle 7B, next to the Mexican food” scenario. Enlightenment doesn’t come with a t-shirt and a money-back guarantee. It’s not something you take a course for then suddenly you got ALL YOUR SHIT FIGURED OUT.
Are you kidding me?
You think THE MYSTERY OF LIFE comes in a 2-DVD pack with a bonus Afterlife pamphlet? You think it’s just that easy to understand? You think that’s why people have been asking “What’s the meaning of life?” since the time of Socrates and Plato? Because asshole on a Daily Deal site IS HOLDING ALL THE SECRETS, and you gotta pay $129 for that shit?
I heard someone say the average IQ is 85, so it suddenly makes sense why I want to slap people so much, but let’s see if I can overcome that and write this anyhow.
You don’t need no fucking enlightenment course. Anything you need to know about life has been written already. Hell, you can stick to 50 years of creative content in the 20th century and answer anything you need to know about life. For the price of a library card, you can attain Nirvana.
Ken Kesey, one of America’s greatestest writers EVER, once said something to the effect of, if you can’t find God in your backyard in Kansas, you won’t find him at Egypt’s pyramids either.  (“God” there is whatever you want it to be — enlightenment, awakening, meaning of life, whatever, man.)
Okay. Don’t gotta go to Egypt. And don’t live in Kansas, but I’ve got Wizard of Oz on the PVR, so I’m set, bitches.
The secret to life isn’t out there, it’s in you. Just like Jack Palance‘s gravelly old cowboy mutters in Billy Crystal‘s City Slickers, that the secret to life is, “One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that, and everything else don’t mean shit.”
That “one thing” is different for everyone. For you, maybe it’s butter chicken.
I won’t pretend I’ve mastered my one thing, but I’m closer to it now than I’ve ever been. And, like everyone should know, it’s not about attaining it, it’s about the chase.
Like Will Smith says in The Pursuit of Happyness, the constitution doesn’t promise finding happiness, only the pursuit of it.
For me, I find that’s the secret of life. Never stopping the search for more, never becoming stagnant, always trying to be better. Like a snowball rolling down a hillside. As long as it doesn’t stop, it just keeps growing.
I get that some people feel unhinged and lost, and that feeling overwhelms them. I get that others feel there’s no point to life, that they’re a cog on some wheel of stupidity and nothing matters, and they’re desperately hoping to find anything that will change that perception.
I kinda think accepting and embracing those bitter truths are a part of enlightenment too. Feeling small is good. It makes problems less traumatic. Feeling like the world will go on without you should free you from your panic, not increase it. Knowing it all comes down to you finding meaning in your own life is an empowering thing. If you’re not living for a reason, then that’s your choice, and either you accept that choice or you change it ASAP.
Enlightenment can happen in a parking lot, on a beach, in the dark of night while you’re in bed, staring at the ceiling in bed. It probably ain’t happening in a classroom or in front of a computer monitor, though.
“Enlightenment” is also about relinquishing some control and understanding that the good and bad come in waves, and living in the moment makes it less encompassing.
And that sounds easy but it’s not. There are a lot of factors in life that we can control — being in a place we like living, having the time to do things that make our heart feel full, choosing to live in the moment rather than What-If Land — and there are many that we cannot. No matter who dies on us, what tragedies befall us, there is always, always, always a life beyond that experience, and we have to dial up the courage of ancient explorers in order to travel to those new, scary lands of change. That ain’t easy to do, either.
But that’s what it’s about. That’s life. Constant change. Not all of the happy-happy, fun-fun variety, but all of the relevant, educational variety.
If you ain’t on the move and having new experience, you’re not living. You’re avoiding death.
There’s your enlightenment. On sale for 100% off, with free shipping and handling, all thanks to a blog and a library card, man.
Namaste, motherfuckers.

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Thar Be Stalkers: Twitter

I got unfollowed by someone on Twitter yesterday and it was one of my [social media] week’s high-lights.
Every now and then, not too often thank God, someone comes along that crosses the boundaries of “social media chatty” and begins verging on “stalkerish.”
I’m lucky to have always had a pretty engaging audience. I usually have about 25 to 75 mentions or interactions a day, and have had way more periodically, which is quite flattering to me. A lot of folks will engage me regularly, several times a week, or even once/twice a day, and that’s awesome! I love to have those kinds of touching-base interactions.
Still, let’s face it. I’m definitely an acquired taste on The Twitter, and that’s fine by me and the folks who’ve acquired said taste. I get unfollowed daily by a lot of people, but the follows almost always outweigh the departed. Thank goodness! You LIKE me! Or someone does.
When, like me, you make a point of talking about your life’s minutiae and you put your foibles and foolishness out there for others to get a chuckle out of, it’s sort of natural to develop a friend-like bond with some of your followers.
People don’t turn to my feed for social media prowess, marketing tips, or news aggregating. They tune into my shit to see what I’m cooking, whose ass it is I’m tearing a strip off of, or where I’m cycling to, what I’m watching, and whatnot. They tune into the stupid, boring everyday things I do in my life. For some deluded reason, they think I’m interesting.
And it ain’t for everyone, thank god.
But for those whom it works for, it’s a fun two-way street when I get people reacting to things, sharing their take on my ridiculous happenings, and all that. It’s fun, and it’s probably the best part of Twitter.
Sometimes, though, it can be the worst part.
The fact is, unlike some real estate agent or marketing guru, I’m on Twitter for kicks. I’m there to record mini-me moments of my life, as much for my own sake as I do it for my followers.
And like I say, now and then a “stalkerish” type comes up. I’m sure they don’t perceive themselves as stalkers, but it can come off the wrong way when I’m getting 10 or 15 tweets from the same person on a daily basis. And I don’t mean in a conversational-type way. I mean, I tweet about eating spaghetti and the person will then tell me about their spaghetti, then in an hour I comment on a show, and the person then has a reaction to that too.
Whatever the marketing types are telling you about Twitter being an “ongoing conversation,” it’s ALL LIES, BITCH. It’s not a conversation! It’s zillions of one-liners flinging by in the night.
I’m not speaking to one person when I tweet, I’m throwing it out there into the cosmos for the world. I don’t want to have an ongoing everyday conversation with the same follower that I don’t even follow back.
It sounds cunty, but Twitter isn’t my JOB. Despite that, I’ve always prided myself on my level of engagement. I do try to reply to most people. I don’t answer stupid questions anymore, is one of the ways I’ve reduced the intrusion into “me time.” (Yes, Virginia, there are stupid questions. Google that shit!)
There are days, too, when I’m just too busy to be polite and responsive, and I never feel the need to apologize for it, because life happens and social media is just a thing we do in between moments of life. Or at least that’s how I do it, and if people have an issue with that, the unfollow button’s right there, man.
Imagine, though, if all 5,000 of my followers were to send me 15 tweets a day like Said Stalker was. That’d be 75,000 mentions a day. I like the 25-75 mentions better — from a variety of good souls. I like bantering with the odd folk who reply to my tweets with funny stories, interesting viewpoints, or even just to tell me I’m being a dork about something. Dialogue’s great.
What’s my point here?
Just remember that, for many of us, Twitter is a distraction, something fun we do for whatever demented reason we do it. When you expect things of us — or ask silly questions you could Google, or “demand” recipes, or do forced “Have a great week” tweets where you list 10 people you’re kissing ass of, including us — you’re taking the fun out of Twitter.
If you’re replying to the same people all the time and their interest or replies have waned, you may have crossed the line and become Twitter-clingy, something like the boyfriend or girlfriend who always texts you when you’re supposed to be playing with your other friends. This is a good time to look out in the world for OTHER people to follow AS WELL as that person you’ve found fascinating.
Fact is, there are zillions of amazing personalities with fantastic content on Twitter. Famous authors who actually have something to say, fascinating political minds, comics who put consistently funny material out there, and even just normal people with brilliant minds tweeting on all manner of topics.
Wanna have more fun with Twitter and be less of a stalker? Ditch your feeling of obligation when it comes to reading content. You don’t need to read EVERY tweet by someone in order to follow. Just add their stuff to your stream and skim it. Enjoy it when you have time.
But stop thinking that any one Twitter personality is there to be your friend. Stop believing that just because you like their content that you could be buddies in real life. Stop expecting more from the relationship.
Start realizing that it isn’t a “person” you’re getting attracted to or fascinated by — it’s their CONTENT. You have no right to their time. You simply have the privilege of enjoying their creations.
Enjoy the tweets, and comment now and then, and everyone will be happy.
NOTE: Pretty sure my “invasive stalker” count’s down around, oh, zero right now. That I know of. Which is preferred to actually knowing one is being stalked. Ignorance IS bliss!

Respect Yourself

I’m tired of women who get into a relationship, lose all of themselves in the man, the relationship ends in a matter of weeks, they come apart at the seams, and it’s “Oh, I’ll never love again.”
Get serious.
And to moan and piss and whine like this publicly, on social media sites?
Get serious.
I’m not lying and saying I’ve never done that.
I have, and I’m not proud of it, but it’s been a few years since. I don’t respect myself for having been that way, but at least I know it was because birth control fucked up my estrogen. Even then I knew it was shameful, the way I was coming apart over this guy I knew didn’t really deserve me or my heartache, not now, not after all I’d come to learn about him.
It’s a few years later and I know now that, this dude I came apart for, I wouldn’t even date today. I’d be friends. I probably wouldn’t get turned on by him, and I sure as hell wouldn’t be having the delusions of marriage I entertained then, but maybe it’s because I saw how he became in times that got bad.
All of us are pretty undesirable when our lives go off the deep end. We’re not ourselves. That makes sense, it should be apparent to others.
Times get bad. Hurts happen. Sadness is inevitable. Anger bubbles up.
These are human elements and we’re at home with each of them.
But I draw the line at tolerating victims. I draw the line at anyone who thinks shit keeps landing on them on purpose and that they have nothing they can do about it.
In the last decade, the amount of shit that’s come my way — man, if I thought someone had it in for me and it was happening to me intentionally, I’d just cry. And I’ve kept my head on reasonably straight about this throughout more than one depression.
Just an example: This back injury that debilitated me for a year? Rehabbing it repaired most of my other long-ailing injuries, and taught me that I finally understood how to eat properly to maintain my weight, and gave me insight into really seeing what living a long-term compromised life did to others, and I think the whole horrible year made me a FAR better person.
Almost every negative that has found me — including my mother’s death — has resulted in incredible personal growth and insight.
Am I tired of the endless struggle? Fucking right I am. But am I feeling like a victim? NO.
I’m feeling like someone who’s woken up and realized all the fighting I’ve been doing just to survive has been completely misplaced — those energies can be better spent, my attitudes & goals can be refocused.
If anyone can do it, I can, and don’t you even think I don’t know it.
I know I’ve overcome incredible odds, but the odds I’ve overcome are the kind that HURT the bank account and HURT the bottom line, not help them. To the outside, I’m some underachiever getting by in an expensive town with a job that doesn’t nearly compensate me for my skills and talents, working too little to really get anywhere, with a stubbornness about “selling out” to get by.
TO ME, though, I’m an incredibly resilient person who’s been kicked somewhere new by life almost every 6 months for 10 years, but I still keep improving, I still get better, I develop more empathy not apathy, and I grow from every single thing that hits me.
I don’t need to be a social butterfly or the talk of the town. I don’t need a fancy car or pretty things. Like Atwood says, as a woman, I need a man like a fish needs a bicycle.
What do I need?
I need to respect myself and know I’m doing what a girl’s gotta do. That’s it.
I got that. I’m down widdat. On it like Oprah on a ham, baby.
I still like the directions I’m going in. I wish I could have more — I wish I had a man on this beautifully full plate of mine, someone to sink my teeth into and a relationship to take shelter in on weekends, but space to enjoy during the week. I wish I had the energy and money for friends and good times.
But money and love, they’re out there, and I’m getting to them. They’re usually the icing on your life cake, and patience is needed.
I know, deep down inside, that I’m changing at a clip I can’t believe. The last thing I need is to get into a relationship with someone who’s where they want to be while I’m going a mile a minute. I need some stability and some comfort with where I am before I think I can choose rightly as far as man-things go. The more of this “self” I enjoy discovering, the more I’ll have to offer in a month or two or three, as my newly changing realities take firmer hold.
A month or two? Yeah, I’m not biting at hooks TODAY but I’m looking as of now. Why not? What’s the worse that can happen? I love a little, get left a little, hurt a little? Okay. So be it. I’ll try.
Because I know, who I am has nothing to do with a man. My attitude, my goals, my abilities, my dreams, they’re all me. Would I like to share them? Sure. But no one’s co-opting them or taking over the driver’s seat. Not now, and hopefully never again.
I think, biologically & anthropologically, something in women hardwires us to pairbond for security and protection.
But what happens in 2010 when a girl’s forced, through economic & social realities, to survive on her own? To get her own security taken care of? To protect her how interests?
Then what’s she looking for in a man? What’s she need now?
Does anthropological history and biological predisposition still kick in? Or does a different quality of pairbonding happen? “I’m the queen, I’ll let you rule in my kingdom alongside me. You, your chair is there. Don’t even think about sitting in mine.”
I don’t know.
But I know I look at men differently now than I did four to five years ago.
And I know I’ve proven I’m a survivor of the kinds of things that most people would rather not test themselves through.
So, a girl’s got to wonder.
What am I really looking for, and what’s it going to take to get it delivered? (Grin.) I really don’t know. I really don’t care. ‘Cos I know I’m gonna find out. Don’t know how, but I’m gonna. So are you.
And if, or when, it goes south, since there’s 95% chance of that when every relationship starts, well, I’ll try to hold myself with a little decorum, because I’ll be pretty confident in the knowledge I’ve overcome bigger things than a boy.