Self Preservation or Being a Jerk?

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Some of you may have realized I like to write about my thoughts and musings more than everyday events. These thoughts usually leave me by the time I decide its worthy of a post but this one thing lately made me write down some notes to not let this thought escape me. The question my friend, is why are people I deal with such jerks?

I’m mainly talking about the physical people I run into at work not the loyal friends I follow on Facebook lol Right ! I don’t have many friends outside of work….but that’s another story and something I’m working on.

What I’ve seen happening at work is a common mentality of ‘not my job’ so don’t bug me. This is in contrast to the way things used to be here 10+ years ago where everyone had time for everyone and it was a mutual goal to excel and rise up to be the best you could be. Do I blame them ? no. It’s hard in this climate to stay afloat where the new normal is high output required and your worth is measured and based on how much you can do and not how much you can offer.

I’ve observed that sooner or later people learn that they need to ignore others needs in order to meet their own. If I look deeper it looks to be spread out over the spectrum of love, sex, marriage and family. BUT in making this their primary focus do they realize they become jerks to the others around them. Do they even care when the rest doesn’t matter?

Invariably I believe by obtaining these things people can over time revert back to being non-jerks. The prime example I can give to that are the elderly people around us. I think everyone knows someone that is elderly that will talk to anyone at the drop of a hat and offer whatever help they can. There is an openness everyone they encounter. An interesting lesson we can take away from those that have ‘been there done that’ and found an importance in others that does not fuel self gain.

A big shout out to the enlightened. I thank you for being there. These are the people that are able to do this at any stage in their life and not just when they are old and have found meaning in people outside of their immediate circle of friends. In my opinion this is the holy grail of existence we should all strive for. Am I there? no sir ! but perhaps knowing whats important in life puts me one step further at work or in everyday life from being a jerk.

Do you fear coming out? What happens when the roadblocks disappear …

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The way I see it, I have two big challenges front and center with me: Should I come out now that the road blocks are all gone and if I did what would I come out as ? Let me put out there that it would not be the worst thing for me to get outed via social media or by me being involved in pro LGBT activities or expressing my opinions. I think I could live with it happening that way. What I am talking¬†more about here is coming out in the traditional sense of announcing it as a matter of fact to those that matter in my life and hoping they still remain close. Further to complicate this, announcing your new sexual orientation requires stating what your new norms are. A tougher thing to do especially if you don’t like labels and being put into someones tidy little ‘orientation box’.

After my mother passed away, it took me some time to realize there wasn’t a lot of reasons to remain closeted anymore. It was her I felt I was protecting from the radical turmoil that I could unleash on to my life and hers. Was I being a big weenie for holding this in? probably. If you mix in the problems with anxiety and depression that I have, you start to weigh these decisions more heavily trying not to have anxiety and depression controlling the outcome. Things are not always seen as clearly as others without these problems would see them. What I do know is that there is a sense of peace flowing through me regarding my ‘secret’.

I had a fight with my wife the other day at the end of the night as we were settling in to watch some TV before bed. I was ready to enjoy some quiet time together but she had other plans. It was time for the classic ambush and time for me to explain why the old me came back after an appearance of the ‘good’ me surfaced for two days after my mother passed. Did you know there was a ‘good’ version of me that I constantly try to live up to? I apparently was more thoughtful, kind, attentive and I became a good listener during this period. She did not like that life had gone back to the usual. I on the other hand did not see it. I was still being myself believing I was being more attentive, more kind and more appreciative of my surroundings and family. If there was an improvement in the situation I attributed it to us both being off work and having tons of time to think about things and be reflective. I did ask why she felt the need to attack me in this way and what kind of positive outcome could possibly come from having a ‘conversation’ this way. I didn’t really get an answer to this but let the blows fall as they may cursing myself for letting my guard down in the first place.¬† Thats when it occurred to me if I really made her that unhappy I could offer to leave, come out or both. That still blows my mind to think of the options now that the roadblocks are gone. As I reflect back on that event I feel a glimmer of hope that there might be something good on the horizon or perhaps just change.

Quite possibly the worst part (for me) about coming out is claiming a sexual orientation. It seems like it is socially acceptable to go to the same gender. ie. I liked girls but realize I’m more into men. It however seems like you break what is acceptable and you have a problem if you (as a male for example) want to be with women, men and then women again. This feels like a one shot deal and you better get it right. Oddly this worries me as I am one of those people that always has a backup plan. If I truly believe what I’ve said then you would realize there is plan B once you put it out there. You can only do this once and it will stick for always. No pressure …

No coming out discussion would be complete without doing some inner reflection on just how ready you think you are. Are you ready ? How much have you prepared yourself mentally, financially or socially? Is this something you can just roll with and everything will be alright? As an introvert, I can say that often I’m guilty of over thinking things, especially the larger decisions in life. I think that if you can keep yourself in a good place mentally you are more likely respond appropriately to whatever life throws your way and that includes whatever stresses come your way as a result of coming out. These days I think this is often referred to as self care.

Perhaps my hesitation to come out is why I push the envelope daily and express myself a little more each time. When it happens it will happen. Some day what is on the inside will be on the outside… and you’ll be first in line to hear about it.