Maybe I’m a dreamer
Maybe I’m misunderstood
Maybe you’re not seeing
The side of me you should
Saturday morning I woke up, thought about doing something worthwhile, then went back to sleep for a bit. After waking up I decided to ride my bike and do some soul searching.
An hour later I found myself dodging people around the Long Beach Harbor and thinking about my life, how I view myself and how I need to do something about both those things.
My iPod was on shuffle and my brain was trying to stick with one thought for more than thirty seconds when this song came through my headphones. I’ve heard it dozens of times but this time something clicked in my brain and I really listened to the lyrics.
It sounds stupid to say, but the words really spoke to me and I realized this was the message I needed to hear. And that I now knew what Monday’s blog post would be.
Sunday morning I decided to do it again and rode for another hour down by the harbor. It was relaxing and I was able to think and set a game plan for getting my head out of my butt.
Once back home I picked up the laptop and went to work on the post again. A few minutes in, my mailbox chimed and I looked to see what it was. It was from the Contact form on the blog and it was exactly what I needed to hear.
I was raised by a bi-polar mother and i am proud of you for taking the chance of being the parent. Your drama queen would not be the same beautiful person without you. I give you the dad of the year award.
You see, I’ve got some serious self esteem issues of late. I’ve had a decent career as a freelance writer for magazines and newspapers but there was never anything “big time” and that sometimes bothers me.
As I work on the second major revision of the novel I “knew” was right the first time, I wonder if I’m crazy to think I can tell the story I want to tell. Deep inside I know I’m a good writer, but the outer part of me second and third guesses everything I do.
If you think this blog post is about “woe is me” it’s not. I’ve got crud in my life just like everyone else does and I know that in the big picture my problems are nothing. I’m sharing these problems with you so you can learn from my mistakes and because it’s cheap therapy.
Maybe it’s time to change
And leave it all behind
I’ve never been one to walk alone
I’ve always been scared to try
Before you tell me to not care about what other people think, I know. I don’t generally care what individual people think but I do wonder how people perceive me. I wonder if I come across the way I mean to or if things get misintrepreted. I know that might sound crazy but let me explain.
Several years ago I was playing hockey when suddenly I had a stick in my mouth. [feel free to snicker] I wish to God it was a hockey puck, but it wasn’t. Anyway, a tooth very near the top front was knocked out and soon thereafter I got a fake one to replace it. It looked pretty good for a while, then it came out again. After that it was accidentally thrown in the trash by my daughter and has yet to be replaced.
Fast forward to the present where I do my best not to ever smile. Why not? Because when I smile I look like I come from a place where families are closer than I’m comfortable with. No offense.
I know I’m the same person with or without the tooth, but I also know the reality is that the average person will judge me differently once that discovery is made. It’s stupid for me to think that way, but I do. I have great friends who could judge me for a hundred other things ((they don’t) and I sometimes avoid doing things with them because I hate looking like an Okie. Again, no offense.
How do I avoid smiling around people? I hole myself away where I don’t have to deal with anyone and generally avoid situations where I might spontaneously smile. As I type this I realize how completely insane that sounds and I feel like I should slap myself for being such a douche.
There’s more to it than just the tooth. There’s neurological stuff at play and a lot of self imposed (and mostly unnecessary) stress. It’s a vicious circle with the fear feeding the stress so the stress can cause more fear. What I need to do is kick them both in the junk and tell them to get out.
Don’t get me wrong, my life isn’t all bad and I dont spend my all my time hiding. Sunday afternoon I met one of my closest friends at a local establishment to have a couple beers while watching the L.A. Kings sweep the St. Louis Blues out of the playoffs. We had a great time and I felt more relaxed than usual but I was still over-thinking and second guessing.
I’ve also got some great blogger friends and followers of the blog who I enjoy virtually hanging out with. Sometimes the online friendships are easier because people don’t have to see the missing tooth and wonder what the hell is wrong with me. Plus I have a great daughter, a pretty awesome Muse and family that loves me.
That brings me to the final part of this. The self deprecation. Because I don’t have a good impression of myself I automatically assume others have the same negative impression. In my head I’m a guy who can’t smile, has a hard time hearing, who has a hard time focusing on multiple tasks and who doesn’t deserve to be happy.
But I DO want to be happy. I know I should be happy and I know I can be happy, I just can’t figure out how to tell my brain to let me be happy.
I feel like when people see me online or via any of my writing that they see me as some dude who has nothing to say and who is kind fo wasting their time. I’m pretty sure that’s not how I come across, but I could be wrong.
This isn’t me fishing for compliments or anything like that. This is me telling you how I feel and that I shouldn’t be afraid to be the J.R. I want to be. When I’m hitting on all cylinders and feeling like myself I’m the freakin bomb, but I rarely hit on all cylinders.
So why does it feel so wrong
To reach for something more
To wanna live a better life
What am I waiting for?
‘Cause nothing stays the same
Maybe it’s time to change
The point to all this is that I need to not give a crap if I look like a hillbilly, can’t hear out of one ear or if I have trouble focusing. I know the person I am inside and that’s the J.R. people, including my daughter, need to see.
Does it seem weird that all this came from a song on a bike ride? What are you waiting for? Is there something you need to change? You don’t have to tell me, but please discuss it with yourself.
If you want to see a side of me I’ve shown very few people, check out my latest at Good Men Project. It’s called Saved By Faith and might surprise you. Please come back tomorrow to hear from my Rad Dad, Jack Steiner and make sure you’re here Thursday to hear how Ashly Star interprets May Flowers as my guest “post-tender” for Happy Hour.