Archive for November, 2010

Cool!? Dude. Cool Dudes.

In the past couple days (years) I’ve come across two types of very different people. Those that have something to prove and those that do not.

The first scenario is this- enjoy.

(1)We were at Sneaky Dees and I asked this guy if we could swap tables so that a few of us could sit together with our friend Bondy who’s in from London England (holler). The “dude” in question was texting on his phone while his friend was away and wouldn’t look up when i kneeled down to ask him. I didn’t want to come across demanding or intimidating so I used the kneeling technique, which generally states that I come in peace without any threat of dominant behavior (Demanding I can be, intimidating no). His first excuse/stall tactic to the request was to clarify myself- “you want us to move?!”. His second response was ” I don’t want to speak for my friend” to which I replied “no problem, I’ll just wait for your friend to come back and you can ask him”. The third, final and most truthful answer was “I’d rather not”. The whole time I’m staring at an empty table right behind his, a 15 seconds move including drinks and jacket. Not once did he look up at me until the very end of our conversation when all that was left to say was “cool! dude Thanks a (f-in) lot”. I paced around for about 5 minutes, taking my jacket on and off trying to decide if and when I would resort to a physical way to communicate my distaste for sh!tty selfish behavior (I didn’t, thankfully). To that type of person I say wise up and take the opportunity to make a stranger happy even if it means getting nothing out of it. You have nothing to lose, you gain more life experience and self growth by putting behind the idea that kindness is a form of weakness. Putting yourself first in life isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just depends of what you’re fighting for.

The second scenario is this-

(2)Matt and I are working out at the beach, doing what we normally do when two burly dudes walk up to the park and proceed to power through an excellent exercise. I am naturally pumped to see other people doing cool sh*t, so I run over to them between their set (general rule of thumb, don’t interrupt someone while they are mid exercise). I say what’s up, introduce myself and ask if it’s alright to take a picture of them working out so that I could include it on my blog. They make a few jokes about facebook, photoshop and the regular subtle disclaimers that state “if you do anything other than post this picture as is, we’ll be pissed”, which is very fair and respectfully noted.  So we meet Matt and Jeff, I thank them for the pictures and part ways. My Matt then mentions to me the very thing that made this encounter awesome- (I’ll naturally turn it into a cliche, sorry Matt I gotta paraphrase) That you cannot judge a book by it’s cover. At first glance they were in fact physically large and/or intimidating men (they weren’t kneeling, ie. read 1st scenario). Walking away from our conversation I was left feeling that they had every opportunity to be whatever they wanted to be. Be it cool, douchie, awesome or douchie the options are always there. Fortunately it seems that they are not only strong enough on the outside but more importantly on the inside to be inviting to a new people/ideas/requests. They had nothing to prove other than general kindness. I don’t know those dudes other than from that encounter and one other where (big) Matt showed us a few new exercises but I kinda wish in life that most were like that one, just real. To those types of people I salute and thank you.

Being sweet is the new sour, live it up.

Living Like It’s 2010.

To balance and separate the man I want to be from the child I sometimes summon…

High school was a long time ago and during those days I made certain choices- to be pissed off, sad, tormented, hating most people so that it was easier for myself and others to hate me. In 2006 I went to my 10 year reunion and I want to add without the aid of 3 solid individuals that I relied on back then to guide me through a lot of self created bullshit. I had to figure out who I was on my own, without holding anyone’s hand and to not only confront internal demons but to celebrate changes I’ve made since the passing of my teen-Ben years.

It might seem obvious to me now but that process of heading out there alone was a test that I now greatly benefit from. There were many factors I could come up with to avoid living that experience but after 10 years of self strengthening, I was ready for another challenge.

So I revisited old hallways, faces and places that I used to consider hell even though hell was in me no matter who or what was present. I remained still in who I was and wanted to be, keeping close the security of knowing that being”alone” even at this moment was good enough. I brought so much to my own table that I could easily feed those who wished to join the feast. It’s probably a good reason why when I was younger I would starve those around me, literally and figuratively. My friends would search for food in my home behind my back because I refused to share it with them. I on the other hand expected them to feed me when I was in theirs. What a difference it makes when you and your friends are full.

That night I broke bread and shared words with friends that back then would have never considered friends. Being there without any expectations or past bias made it what it was, perfect.  All it required of me was to show up, say hello, how you are and before we part I wish you all the best. Just like that we can all move forward and finally let the dust settle.