I’m a Writer, not a blogger…..
On November 7, 2018
In todays world, everybody wants to be somebody.
They’re a blogger because they vent aimlessly about whatever is on their mind.
Or about some private catastrophe they’ve overcome in their life, and need to share with the mass-less.
They’re a filmmaker because they know how to use a DSLR and Final Cut, and charge below market price for a below average product.
They’re a fighter because it’s all about machismo, and every Tom, Dick, & Harriet wants us all to think they’re a bad ass.
None of this are accurate, but at the same time maybe it is..…
You can be anything in life you say you are, but that doesn’t mean you’re good at it.
It means you have a title.
But as with most, and especially the generation just below mine, there is no skill set backing the claim.
No one starts from the bottom anymore and learns their craft from multiple points of view..
They all want to start on the top floor and run a multimillion dollar business instantaneously.
And if you can, good on you.
There are some who are genuinely outliers in this regard, but what has become all too common as of late, is people counting on the exception not the rule.
There is a term I’v coined for this. It’s the “Ed McMahan Mentality”.
It’s the thought, “why should I work for anything and grind like the rest, when any minute Ed McMahon is gonna knock on my door with a giant check.”
This is not the way it works.
We are living in a world where people who have experienced tremendous amounts of hardship in their life, and have worked diligently in therapy to deal with it.
Those same people have carved out very successful careers and had children.
They have handicapped these children by insulating them from the harsh realities of life, and pampered them into overly sensitive, entitled, lazy shits.
I know that sounds harsh, but I want to smack the shit out of every young person I see like this. I don’t blame them. I blame the parents. I don’t actually really blame them either.
The fact is, we are all imperfect.
We are all byproducts of upbringings, some more extreme than others, by people who were damaged unknowingly by their parents.
It’s a fact!
It isn’t an excuse, and it doesn’t justify bad behavior, manners or parenting.
It just allows for imperfections.
Life is a pendulum, and it is always swinging from one extreme to the other.
Unwittingly, this pendulum of life overcorrects to account for things that were less than ideal in the generation prior.
I have been a product of this. A sense of entitlement. A sense of feeling I was owed something because of my less than idyllic childhood. Horse Pucky!!!
Truth be told, I baby my son in many ways.
I was always there making sure he had the best of everything and felt protected and defended. I showed up. Maybe I did too much. This was more about my issues than his.
There are some negatives to this, and I realize that.
There are also positives. The main one being, I’m not rich.
So the practicalities of my ability to overdo were limited.
It also helps that I’m a pusher.
I push those around me to be better. The same way my mother did with me.
And I know at times I was very hard on my son, but I’m aware of that.
And I tried to amend that when I knew it was coming from an overbearing place.
The point is, we are all affected in some way or another by our upbringing and that permeates into every area of our lives.
In some ways it’s great. In others, not so much.
But the ways in which it has manifested into the young people of the world is disturbing on so many levels to me.
We are so entitled, and selfish, and spoiled, and narcissistic, and sensitive all at the same time.
We have a generation of young men who walk around like paper dragons, covered in tattoos that couldn’t smash a grape in a fruit fight.
And a generation of young ladies….
Well actually, I have a son, so I don’t know much about the young women.
From what I’ve gathered from my sons friend group, it seems to be doing pretty well.
But I’m sure they’re just as fucked up in their own ways too.
Now keep in mind, the youth I’m exposed to through my son are incredible.
They are kind and smart and considerate and hardworking beyond measure.
But they are the exception, not the rule.
For instance, my perception of the rules in life have been so skewed.
I thought to be a man I needed to fight, fuck, be tough, aloof, tattooed, the “bad boy”, which is complete BS.
I thought being a director meant being arrogant and flippant and superior to those around me.
I thought being a musician meant projecting an air of cockiness and flamboyance.
I thought being an athlete meant being perfect and better than everyone else.
And I thought being a writer meant I need to read a lot of books and wear cardigans, to sit at a mahogany desk in a rich wood study, and to be worldly and educated with a vocabulary beyond compare. And I was pretty sure I need to be able to type well.
But none of that is true.
To be a man, I need to be honest, kind, charitable, present, focussed, humble and hard working, no matter what the job may be.
I needed to be a communicator and support those around me, and lean on them for their area of expertise without feeling threatened.
I needed to be open and willing to look foolish. To be embarrassed and sweaty and uncomfortable, but do it anyway.
And I needed to fail, time and time again, and work on the things that I found challenging.
And as far as being a writer goes, I just had to speak from the heart, in the voice that is uniquely mine.
That is what sets each of us apart.
That we are distinctly suited to represent ourselves in a way that is most authentic.
Not what you think you need to be, or who you need to be, or what the avatar the digital realm projects as success.
Keeping up with the Jones’ is a listless endeavor.
It implies that to be something or someone you have to compete with thy neighbor.
You do not. Nor do I.
But I had to sit.
Sit with my thoughts and block out all the minutia of “life” that tries to pull focus.
None of this is pressing, it is simply a distraction to create an illusion that you are being productive.
Busy and productive are two completely different things. Be sure to know the difference.
I sure do. I learned it by diluting myself into thinking I was being affected.
Which I was, but not where it counted. And not in ways that were fulfilling me.
While my nature has been to avoid the challenges and focus on what I am naturally good at.
It is a fleeting satisfaction.
The most valuable asset I have is my time and energy.
And knowing that I’ve spent them on worthwhile ventures is immeasurably more satisfying than the “busy” work that can lead me astray.
To be or not to be, that is the question.
And to be, I’ve had to figure out what I’m not to figure out what I am.
And what I am, is all that you are.
The difference is, I have to work at it!