A man’s man’s man of man of manliness

Today I’m reflective of what it means to be a man. I guess it came from boxing class. One of the guys, who’s always calling everyone a pussy, was injured. This guy is a real meathead sometimes, who gets super aggressive during sparring. But we’ve gotten close since we always fight. Anyways, I kinda get why he’s the way he is. It seems like the only answer he had for life and all its shit was to fight back harder, to grit his teeth and to push through the pain. I imagine he came from a childhood that punished boys for being emotional or expressing being hurt. He bears the weight of his family, and so he has no choice but to act, hold everything in, and be stronger. I’m not saying these things are only true of men, but I do think it’s on the fringes of toxic masculinity – thus it must be a masculine problem.

I helped him stretch out his back. I’ve had a similar tightness, and I learned a lot of the problem stems from tight hamstrings, uneven legs, and an over dependence on the back muscles (rather than core). He was very thankful, and I got the feeling this dude doesn’t get people saying good job to him ever, or even trying to help him out. This might be projection, but I think I understand why he’s the way he is; I’ve felt that suffocating feeling before.

Being a man of my word is important; do what I say. There’s also this expectation to bear pain. To shrug off any attack as if they don’t hurt. To never let words hurt you. To be immovable. But the truth is the most masculine men are the most fragile. It’s all in the head, and it’s a spiral of self-hatred, self-denial, and constant pressure.

Removing Ego is important to a lot of things in life. But at the same time, Ego is important fuel for success… I shaved my beard and mustache, and many people have remarked I look like a 12 year old. Come on man! But I’m committed to this look for a while. Also my raw tattoo got punched today. OOF that was not fun.

BTW…

Hope you get to play this with your family. I’m just barking at the wind like a lunatic.

 

Musings by a Lake

Every time I dry my boxing wraps, they become a giant tangled ball of misery. With four ends bunched into knots, they’re always a bigger nuisance in my head. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit untangling them brings me peace. It’s almost mimetic of introspection. I can’t pull on each end. I have to follow a thread, drawing it from it knots and unraveling it from the others.

***

I picked up a novel about moving on, at least I thought it was about such. But it turns out to be this crazy adventure/finding oneself/romance novel. Romance novel… I was enjoying it until it became very descriptive about this dude’s muscular arms. Maybe it was a bit of repressed homophobia, but I was like aw man I don’t want to read about how his arms are inviting cradles for a woman long denied love. But it was about both the man and woman… two persons who denied themselves love because they’re recovering, injured, or trying to find some redeeming qualities in themselves. Is my true self a woman in her forties pinning for rekindling romance, swooning over a novel with a cup of coffee?! Whatever.

But from this book, I’m recognizing a certain connectedness in people’s experiences. People will find heartache in life. There will always be a loss of the ‘big love’ and then the inevitable comparison of loves. My feelings are not my own. This in turn is reflective of my ex’s feelings. The sadness I feel stems from an insecurity of how nothing of our 8 years amounted to anything for her; there were no salvaging moments or feelings, of which I’ve returned to as true happiness.  She wants nothing to do with me because the wounds are still too painful, our history too deep and sad for reconciliation. And they may always remain so… What I’m trying to say is the feelings are mutual, but our actions and choices differ. She has chosen silence, and in turn she has chosen herself. I have always wished that she chose herself. I always told her she should become her own person. Maybe it’s time I took my own advice.

The thing is I thought I have. After all my growth, I still choose her. At my worst, I’ve asked myself whether I simply wanted to love someone for the sake of loving. At my best, I answered no, I truly loved her with everything –right and wrong – I knew. At my clearest and purest self, I loved her for her.

But life goes on, and maybe it knows more about what we want than we do. Woah, calm the fuck down there – my teenage philosopher self is leaking.

 

***

A diamond faceted
souls of my soul refracted
varied strangers whom I’ve called upon
congregate on who I should be
our avatar, a saddened man
rank with smoke sweat and blood
–he is not enough; we are not enough
the boy tortured
the lover imprisoned
the warrior without a battle
master and slave in eternal disarray
a king without rule.
We are a man without meaning,
of longing for the halcyon,
of a person desirous
for freedom from disenchantment
To each, we say:

Give your sadness
Give your suffering
Sacrifice your identity
that we may begin anew.

The boy offered his body for destruction
the lover, his freedom
the master, his control
the slave, his shackles
the warrior, his hand
the king, his throne

Only then can we progress.

***

The sun and cigarettes have carved lines into my features. Side note, I should finally visit the Grand Canyon. Maybe spend a day and night in Vegas doing whatever the fuck I want: get a massage, eat some damn good food, and just wander. Maybe for my birthday

A Direction

Yesterday I asked for a raise and got a tattoo. A year ago, I was scared of a lot of things. I was lost and trying to make something of myself. For some reason, this tattoo had meditative effects on me. I decided to get a blue lobster holding a sword. Well a few hours in, I suddenly realized this lobster totally reminds me of you.  At first I was thinking about Jordan Peterson and his rules about lobsters. But then it got really personal.  It was based on a joke we had way back. It’s the auspicious lobster that was your blog name, haha. The tattoo didn’t hurt for the first 4 hours, but when I realized this it broke my concentration!

lobster

Well whatever. You are a great part of me. It sits next to my lion. It’s close to the cancer symbol, as the lion is my leo symbol. At first I was like NOOOOO, I’m trying to move on. But then I accepted it. I accepted the gnawing pain. I accepted the flesh being scraped away. Tattoos are very therapeutic and symbolic for me. During the session, I repeated to myself that if I can endure my depression and heartbreak for you every day, then this physical pain is little. Also it’s cool you endure pain and you get something tangible you think is beautiful. It’s change you can witness on yourself…

A year ago I didn’t face my deepest problems. I was safe with you. I’m not happy, but at least I became a person capable of change. I’m doing a lot actually. I’m doing amazing work at my job. I’m boxing at a world famous gym with really intense, great people. I’m finally in therapy trying to better myself. I do yoga! I get to take my family out and bring some joy to them in really shitty times. And I have all these tattoos on me now. I know I’m patting myself on the back too much, but I need to bring myself to the next step. I need to remind myself that I’ve built some personal credit. I have created a personality and infrastructure to keep changing. And the next step is really going to kick my ass.

I can’t just leap into chaos. I need to take one step at a time. JP always says you can’t destabilize your life completely or things will become terrible real quickly. So I’m going to go to school again. But I need it to be an online program. USC apparently has a good psychology masters program. I might be worried about cost, but I should recognize I have the ability to bring in money! That’s a large part of my job at work. I just have to apply it to myself now in the form of scholarships and grants. I already wake up at 5 AM. I can get use to studying/doing work after my job like I use to.

I just need to be braver.

uwhahaha

It sucks but no one will be as perceptive and considerate as you are. It’s lonely, but no one can really give you what you give to them. You really are different. 

Well that doesn’t make me feel less lonely. No one can save me. I have to save myself. Happiness is not for me. Intensity and hard work is the only thing I can rely on. I cannot rely on others. I am strong enough not to rely on others.

It doesn’t make me like life. It doesn’t make me happy. It makes me think that my life is suffering. I almost cried in therapy when I finally told her that life has been suffering for so long. Oh well. Deal with it. Move the fuck on. Get my shit together. Face myself and my bullshit. I want a change in my life. I’m the only one who can help me. There is no kindness for me. I use to feel really sad when my mom told me I deserve all this pain because I did something fucked up in my previous life. Fine. So be it. I accept my loneliness. I accept my suffering. I accept my mistakes. It’s time to bring out my inner Goggins again.

Some Happier Things

It’s time you accept yourself rather than constantly try to improve yourself. You’ve had a hard life. I’m really sorry Alan. Everything about your past, your family and your situation sounds really painful. You’ve become someone really incredible. But it sounds  like you’re basing your entire redemption on her coming back. Maybe redeeming yourself and her coming back are two separate things.

I think you’re right. I wanted to become a person worth coming back to. She’s not coming back. It’s delusion at this point. But it’s the one thing that gives me hope lately. So apparently google thinks I’m suicidal. I just typed ‘why is life so hard’ and bam first thing is suicide hotline. stop caring for me google!

***

I believe it. All the improvements you’ve made will only find you someone really amazing as well. You’re the best person I know.

***

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I was feeling like I didn’t belong anywhere, but this reminded me that somehow I found a place among others. Even at work, it’s become somewhat of a family for me.

IMG_4421

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_BDO5606 _BDO4577 

***

I was taking a shit when I saw a lady bug trying to climb up the shower wall. “I’ll save you little buddy.”  Idk it felt poetic watching it fly away outside. Like letting go of my ladyyy. It was probably mortified. Imagine just exploring some place and a giant takes a shit next to you then tries to transport you to a completely different location. I washed my hands dammit! I am a civilized giant!

 

 

 

 

Dig Dig Dig Dig

I divided my personality into different archetypes.

King: confident, helps bring success to others, lifts people up, leader, calm, problem solving. I think this is the best aspect of my personality, and takes from all my other personalities. I feel like this is the most recently cultivated. He’s the one who has to gather my personalities.

Master: Incredibly Disciplined. Routine. Hard-working, but veers on the danger of being tyrannical. Perfectionist. Stoic.

Slave: Sadness, does what I am told, pained, emotional, the writer, empathetic of other’s and their suffering

Warrior: Anger, willpower, strength, enduring, this was my biggest hurdle, I have to constantly tame it, tireless

Boy: baser instincts, hedonistic, adventurous, childish, fun-loving

Lover: this one is currently in a dungeon. but he’s sweet, romantic, caring, wants to make people happy.

I felt really bad at work today. Again, I had nothing to show for all my hard work and change. Sure, I brought in $160,000 in donations, but my family is still poor. Money is still tight. Sure I take on leadership roles and guide people, but I’m still not getting paid for it. What does it matter I helped my coworker move, and I’m still stuck? What does it matter that I help people with their personal problems and they seem happier after they talk to me or something clicked for them. I’m a wreck still. What does it matter when they just slip back to their old ways. All my efforts was for nothing. Why did I ask for an 80,000 loan for my arrogant, blundering family? What does it matter that I let her go so she can find someone better? What does it matter that I take my family out to eat every week? What does it matter that I heard screaming late at night and went outside to see a couple fighting? What does it matter that I awkwardly go up to them and tell the lady to not hit her husband, that I understand that she’s hurting and that I’m not saying she doesn’t have a right to be angry, but hitting him will only bring them pain and regret? WHY?! Who cares that I have this knowledge now! I know I’m supposed to find value internally rather than externally, but every day has been a battle inside. My supposed best friend can’t even hang out with me after I told him I feel really lonely and we agreed on a time and he has finished studying and homework. My other friend can’t even hang out with me without consulting his wife though I am happy to teach him how to skateboard. I’m still stuck at my job. I’m still alone. I’m still hurting from heartache. I’m always trying to do what’s right, but nothing has been right for me for a long time. I liked myself better when I accepted happiness is not for me. oooooo watch my resentment mannn

I’m being a silly goose right now. I do these things because fucking lover boy is trying to escape his fucking dungeon. Get the fuck back in there! No, that’s not the answer. I’m probably just overthinking things. I have a lot to be proud of. I have a lot to be thankful for. I think one day things will make sense. But for now, I’ll just take a hot shower and climb into bed. Weh heh heh WUH.

 

 

 

Happy

I fell into a depressive mood today (what else is newwww). But I went for a walk around a lake and I began to talk to the hordes of geese. I’m pretty lucky to have loved and to have been loved so completely, so wildly, and so devotedly. Honestly, it was kind of a once in a life time thing. I thought of our jokes and how our weird humor complemented one another. Thanks onion man. It was like living in a fairytale, and we were just kids until we broke up. We behaved like kids. We loved liked kids. We tried to figure things out like kids do. And I made a lot of mistakes along way. I loved like how my parents loved me. Hey, I’m just figuring out how to unlearn their toxic behavior so I can’t say I could have been better. I mean they’re old now and they’re still stuck in their ways. High highs and low lows. But I guess you have to experience one extreme to experience the other. It was crazy and stupid, and I’m very lucky to have had it.  I have to cherish how wonderful, how polarizing, how selflessly we loved one another. We were the pigeons of Collblanc.