Confidence.

I’m confident in a lot of things about me. If you ask anyone close to me they’ll probably tell you how I can talk about myself for hours. Which is probably true. I am not afraid to talk myself up. I don’t mind putting my best foot forward and I think people actually respond fairly well to it. Am I a little cocky? Probably. Does that make me a bad person? I don’t think so. But to get to my point there are a couple things I’m not too confident in.

I don’t think I have much to offer people. It’s probably the last dregs of that teenage low self-esteem angst but, I’m not sure how much I add to people’s lives. I mean they tell me they like having me around but, everyone lies. People get into relationships (all types) because they want something from someone else. Whether it’s companionship or because the person is smart and they can help me get ahead or do good on a math test. Whatever that is they offer something. I don’t know what my thing is and I overcompensate.

I try to be a big part, helping them through their pain and troubles. A shoulder to cry on when they’re in need. If they need something they can always count on me. I push myself way too hard to be available and ready with the right thing to say.  Not that I’m bad at that part but, it weighs on me. There’s sometimes when I’m an absolute mess and there’s no one to talk to. They tell me their problems and I try and fix them. It’s easy not because it keeps me away from my own problems because it makes me feel useful. I like feeling useful. I like knowing that no matter how low I get someone’s life would be worse without me in it.

Does that make me selfish? Probably. Do I tell them? Yes. I tell them that I’m self-centered that I do most of these things for myself. Do they believe me? No, they just think I’m being humble. If there’s anything you learn from reading this blog, other than the fact that I’m an overthinking basket case, it should be that any bit of demureness that comes from me is due to uncertainty.

The other thing is my writing, it’s not as interesting as the earlier topic, not much to analyze here. I guess I’m the same as everyone else here. We’re all just trying to get through the next project and hopefully, one day write a hit. I know I’m not alone in wanting this so bad you lie awake at night hoping just hoping that it’s good enough. That the right person thinks highly enough of it and tells all their friends about it. That it somehow gets on the right person’s blog and they read about it and love it. And everyone is just clamoring to get their hands on your book like it’s the only one out there. They read it all in one night or savor it over a week. They love your world so much they dream up their own characters to fill it. (Deep breath. I actually did this while writing this.)

I want what every writer wants. What every person wants. To be loved for what I bring in the world. To be admired for what I can do. And to be cherished by the people who love me.

PS. Sorry, this is so heavy but, I had a lot get off my chest.

Vultures

Some people are vultures circling and circling hoping to find you when you’re weak and needy and take advantage. What do they want from you? How far will they go?  Does it even matter? How can you spend your entire life around Vultures and not turn into one?

I’ve got this friend and she’s been going through it these last few years. She’s been very strong and tried to keep her head down but, in light of what’s gone on, she’s starting to see the people around her for who they really are. The only problem is when all your friends are vultures how do you get away? I want to help her but, she says she knows what she’s doing… And I don’t really know if there’s anything to do. She’s got a lot of feelings of attachment to these people. Some have been her friends for a long time and others are even family and she feels more than a bit of responsibility toward them.

I no longer have vultures in my life. I don’t really entertain that kind of behavior in any real capacity. If I see them flying overhead I show them exactly why I’m not the guy to pull that shit with. There is a difference between people who seek to pull others down to their levels and those people who need a little help to get out of a jam. And the differences are readily obvious. I don’t ignore people who need help but, I can’t stand the people who seek to make others miserable.

My advice for dealing with Vultures and people surrounded by them is Stay vigilant, they always show their true colors eventually. It’s frustrating watching people get taken advantage of but there’s only so much you can handle. You can’t only help those who need it when they’re ready to listen about it.

Goals (At least the ones that don’t have to do with writing.)

My friend has been really going through it this past couple of months and for the longest time, I didn’t know how to help her. I won’t really talk about what happened because even though she might not care, I’d rather keep her privacy. I gave advice and it didn’t work. I was a shoulder to cry on that they didn’t take. For everything I tried to do nothing seemed to work. I hated the idea that I might have to watch all of this come to a head and not be able to stop it. The whole thing vexed me.

I knew it wasn’t about me. I knew that what she was experiencing had absolutely nothing to do with me but I wanted to be there for her like she had been for me. Without meaning to she dug me out of a hole I was in due to my depression. It was the only reason I really got back on board with my writing and the only reason. I got back involved with the blog. So her friendship, needless to say, is very important to me.

This is the first time I’ve ever been actually able to help her in any meaningful way. And though I’ve been on call for the past couple of days (gently woken up by text notifications) I haven’t been happier. More well rested maybe but not happier. Being able to be there for a friend really makes me feel fulfilled in a way. I’m sure that says something about me and my overall psychological state, in a psychology textbook somewhere.

Needless to say, I wouldn’t want what happened to her to happen to anyone else. I just think when this is all over we’ll be closer. I hope that I can pull her out of the same hole she did me and we both can move on.

Thoughts about my name and death and things that happened on a Monday.

If you haven’t guessed by now my name is a pen name. Honestly, the quiet refusal to show my face should’ve been your first tip off but I digress. It is as much something given to me as something I’ve chosen. I get to sit at a keyboard and be something different from myself. It is incredibly freeing.

This Monday, I paid my respects to my last grandfather. He was a lot of things to a lot of different people. To the people of the church, he was a good Christian man. To the people he worked with, he was a hard worker. To my father, my uncles, and my aunts, he was a father and a powerful man. To me, he was Granddad, the person who had this laugh that will echo through me and make me smile whenever I think about him. A person who connected me to a large part of my heritage. I couldn’t always understand him, he had a thick accent but I’ll remember the twinkle in his eyes and the hat on his head.

I’ll admit I wasn’t as close to him as I probably should be but, I’ll miss him all the same. I hope some of his tenacity rubs off on me. I hope I can be half the man he and my father are. The Dalton part of my name is a goal and something to look forward too. I hope I can make something of it.

The hardest part of funeral’s are watching the people you thought were so much larger than life be human. Seeing them cry and feel lonely and diminished. I couldn’t breakdown with them. I hurt so much to see them and I wanted to join them be overcome but, I think something broke inside me when my brother passed. I don’t know if anything will hurt me like that again. I don’t know if that should be comforting  or a sobering. Probably the worst part is seeing my father standing there like that so much pain in his eyes but, not being able to release it.

My Brother

I had a dream a couple of nights ago about my brother. He died three years ago. That’s all I usually say about it. He died. I mean people ask all the time about it. How he died and I tell them and there’s a pity in their eyes.

It’s not that I like talking about him, it’s not that I like there sympathy. I guess it helps keep me grounded. Centered on the fact that it happened and that I’m okay. Maybe that’s wrong, using him like that… I mean it probably is… It’s just I need to have it be there in my life. I need to know it was a fact and that it happened. That he’s gone now and I loved him.

So back to my dream. He was dying again, this time longer this time we knew. This time I wasn’t angry. This time he was older. As old as he would have been today. He was just sitting in the car. I guess for privacy to get away from everyone. This time I had a chance to say good bye.

I told him just how much he meant to me. How sad I was going to be to see him go. I guess my mind hadn’t quite gotten their yet. I held him tighter than I’ve ever held anyone. I cried so much and when my mind had finally caught up. I told him we’d be okay. That we’d be fine. We already had been. That we’d be torn apart and forever changed, but we’d be okay. And he cried for the first time. We cried together.

I think in then end this dream was good for me I needed to get it out. It was cathartic. I don’t know if dream me got to be with him in his final moments but, I finally got to say good bye.