In my previous life, I was a loss prevention detective for a large big box retailer.
I’d tell you of my exploits but that just seems both a waste of time and also like a million years ago.
The key thing to remember is that during the three years I held that position, I faced some pretty harrowing things.
I had a crackhead with a blade in his pocket.
Another had a stashed needle in his coat.
Another was trying to spit blood at me and my coworkers.
I was bulldozed by a fifteen year old girl who kicked me in the head as she ran. (not my finest moment)
I wrestled a teenage girl to the ground after flying over a railing.
In short, I did alot of weird things that looking back on it was both an adrenaline rush, ill advised, super risky and very dangerous. A superhero for a company that doesn’t remember I was even there. Brave bold and stupid, you know?
So why is it when it comes to talking to co-workers I have no spine?
When I look at the things I’ve been able to do, a lot of it was just because I had to turn off my brain and just say fuck it. Anxiety is debilitating as is depression and the combination feels a lot like being punched repeatedly in the face and making the most of a busted lip. I’ve done my very best to stay optimistic despite everything and have done a fairly good job of it (previous readers will probably recall the meltdowns and other crisis I’ve been too public in discussing) but when it comes to tackling things like basic social and human interactions…
It’s gotten to the point where I will play a conversation and the variations thereof to make sure that A) I don’t sound like a fucking imbecile and B) that I convey my point effectively and not at all like an asshat.
I realize, that it’s all because I’m in the middle of my own head worried about how other people see me and both outcomes result entirely on how big or small an asshole I look. It’s about me, people. It’s about me not being a fucking pussy. It’s about me being the person I wanted to be but also not feeling like a second class hand me down waste of space you know?
I will sit and overanalyze and things won’t get done and then I’ll vex and obsess about why things are not working out for me because I am spineless and in my own way.
My heroes are not spineless or in their own way.
How does one get out of their own head and grow a spine?
You just do it.
I think back on how I was fighting motherfuckers over stuff that wasn’t mine (stolen merchandise and the no bonus you get in recovering it) like a rabid panda and I wonder where did she go? Where is that guy when you’re trying to talk to someone about making adjustments on a project that is a seemingly easy fix but you’re so busy trying to not sound like you’re incompetent that you basically wind up mumbling and stuttering and coming off exactly like your worst fear. I think back on how confident I was telling a shoplifter that I didn’t want to send them to jail and that they needed to be honest about the number of times they’d stolen things. How much twisted fun the people I worked with had being low level toy cop assholes to people. That guy, that guy was pretty boss. Somewhere between surviving and thriving I lost my nerve. I wound up leaving that job and suddenly all of that changed. My spine curved. My internal monologue became a massive long diatribe narrating the worst things about me and the reasons why I couldn’t possibly that good anymore, especially if I couldn’t work that gig.
Probably didn’t help that around the same time that happened about a few months later I was broken up with (maybe even almost immediately after I don’t remember) disaster lumps itself in threes so the entire thing was just a total dismantling of myself as a human.
I’ve never felt more destroyed than when all of that happened. Okay maybe there were a few other times but c’mon fam…it’s like how many times can a person take L after L?
You’ve read the past posts so I won’t rehash the past but it was hard. It was scrapping and scraping and doing things that needed to be done to get things done. It wasn’t always easy but then again nothing ever is. I lost a lot of myself, and was still chasing after something that (looking at it now) wasn’t going to happen but when you’ve got
2016 is about getting that nerve back.
It’s not without it’s bumps, bruises, ebbs and flows.
I’m trying to do this new thing where I accept that I’m really only capable of doing the best that I can but let’s be honest who the hell has the mental and emotional fortitude to believe in all that bullshit anyhow?
2016 is about getting that nerve back. I keep saying it. It’s popped up once or twice, the straighter spine, the conviction in statements and execution of tasks and the feeling of victory is fleeting but I hang onto it because well, rainy days stay happening and you always need an umbrella and shiny lights to keep you from losing your mind.
The wild thing is that I’ve done so much since I’ve been where I am and that in it of itself is an amazing thing. What I’m trying to do though, is be excellent and I keep getting in my own way trying to be excellent. Can I stay out of my own way? Maybe maybe not. I guess the best advice is to just know that I’m going to be standing in front of myself which means I’m chasing me and that means that there is a version of me that’s pretty advanced and moving at the speed of light so I’m doing things the right way.
Confidence is a thing that doesn’t come easily, not anymore. It’s actually pretty sad because there was a time in my life where I was real fucking arrogant bastard but that was because I really hadn’t any equals. A God complex without ever really thinking about where that came from and just like that it was gone. I could spend a whole boring ass post analyzing it all but let’s face it, we’d get nowhere and you’d get bored and I’d run out of gifs to entertain you.
In the quest to find confidence or find steel in my spine, I’ve been trying everything and anything. I’ve started changing my wardrobe up enough to look cooler or at least vaguely resemble someone in touch with reality as opposed to my actual aesthetic; hats, tee shirt and sneakers I bought pretty cheap on a binge shopping run. Ironically enough, this is the actual look and feel that everyone who is cool tends to embody, I just look like a fucking idiot.
I’ve learned so far that I really am just trying to get by. I’m coping with a mother who’s sick, a job that’s both rewarding and frustrating, a family that’s getting by and a relationship that’s starting to be something and a tattoo collection that needs to get up and on with it’s bad self. I’ve learned that by trying to alter myself I get farther and farther away from me but then again, I wind up back at square one.
The spine thing.
The trick is to live recklessly. You’re going to fuck up, you’re going to fuck up super hard and you’re going to fuck up often. You’re going to say stupid things, wear stupid things, act like an airhead and you’re going to be the biggest idiot for an hour or two but you will never be that for the rest of your life. You will solve all the problems, be the solution and save all the boxes of kittens in burning down houses. Why?
Because you’re a goddamned superhero.
You’re not as bad as you think you are and for the most part, even if you are, you’re not that terrible. You’re the amalgamation of a series of strange occurrances that had to happen in order for to be here. You have to 1000000% remind yourself that while other people are uncomfortable with you’ve got to live with yourself and I guess that’s really what it’s all about.
I think alot about the way that I started out and how an extraordinary a machine I am, banged up bruised and battered (basically I’m the Millennium Falcon) from everything and still keep going. That’s really thing thing. You have to be confident in your mileage, in your ability to survive, in your ability to adapt and even if you don’t look like much, you’ve still got it where it counts.
Maybe that’s really the whole point. I’m just going along and seeing what happens as it happens, conquering things in my own way. I still miss the person I used to be and I want to be the more improved version of that person.
For all I know, I already am.