“I’m an old man! I’m confused! I thought I paid for it!”

amethyst

I’m so jazzed because my comment got read on The Friend Zone podcast, the other day.  It was a double down on the best gift ever.  It tied into my recent course correction and reaffirmed I received and understood the adjustment opportunity.  Just for listening to a favorite podcast. (!!!)  And there was a follow-up gift of custom, created just for us, tools I know how to use in my healing.  Yay!  (I ordered mine, and in 2-3 weeks, I’ll show and tell.) They even gave us a heads up to set aside some fundage. 👏🏽

Seriously, if you’re not listening to The Friend Zone, why not? They’re explaining and showing how to level up in life for free.  It’s three (or more) people who are padawans out loud.  These are creatives and influencers who are playing the long, deep, sincere game.  I, for one, am not blinking.  Be nice to yourself.  (You’re on the journey of your life, and kindness feels right.)

bridge

Jade (of Jade and X.D.) presented a special podcast this week where she interviewed three teens.  They were intelligent, but as teens, they haven’t yet linked the part of their brains that allow them to translate their thoughts into language that matches their articulation potential.  It’s super frustrating, (which is why I remember so clearly, even though I’m oldish.)  Jade was a delightful, patient bridge that allowed them to share important things.

I heard them and learned about how to do better by them as an adult.  I strongly suspect these three teens did a solid for their entire generation by stepping up.  The urgency was palpable because they pretty much have to scream to get a whisper out (figuratively) at that age, which is just one of the many reasons adolescence is so traumatic.  I’m so proud of Jade and the kids.

Here’s an update on my progress with this year’s challenge.  I chose a neighbor who wears Cult 45 t-shirts.  She’s the same age as Stevie Nicks and recently retired.  She’s from a small town in Iowa, and she used to support Ben Carson before settling for 45.  Openly.  We exchanged emails yesterday after a friendly chit-chat.  We used email like long-texting for a few minutes, and she told me a little about herself.

basketball hoop

We have plans to go to the park to play basketball when the weather cooperates.  The last time, she attempted this alone, the kids in the park wouldn’t let her play.  I told her I would mediate that situation, and she was visibly relieved.  (+10 for recognizing it.)  I think we’re going to be friends by July.  It’s headed that way without me doing anything but being myself, and taking the time to connect with someone who sees the world differently than I do.

Also, I like her.  M thinks she’s a harmless kook.  (That’s pretty much his way of letting me know this is a solo expedition.) 😂  I like that M doesn’t participate in anything I do that doesn’t interest him.  He also doesn’t invite me to places I’d want to leave after ten minutes.  Like Las Vegas.  Nothing about me says: add alcohol.  😂  (The universe already taught me my body transmutes alcohol into tears.)  But I like knowing he’s having fun there, now, while I’m in my airconditioned safe place with candy. 😆

It's a beautiful life

I watched Dead to Me through twice, recently.  They had me at Christina Applegate.  Duh.  It’s brilliant.  This weekend is all Grace and Frankie on Netflix.  It’s my favorite show now that Thrones is over and Westworld hasn’t resumed.  It’s even better the second time around.  Brianna is who Daria wanted to be when she grew up.  Love.  Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin are teachers.  This show is their school.  I’m learning about aging beautifully, realistically, and joyfully.

I’m also learning about sexuality, marriage, divorce, breakups, raising multiple children as a single parent, interracial adoption (FINALLY portrayed in a manner that doesn’t offend my bullshit detector) and more.  Thank you, everyone, who made it happen.  It’s a fabulous show and such a fun way to learn about life.  I’m off to continue watching.  💜✌🏽

“Jimmy’s got some new moves.”

Woman on a bike

Did you ever notice how people determine your value based on exceedingly flimsy data?  For example, we draw on memories of how others behave and subconsciously assign these behavioral expectations to strangers merely because something about them triggers a memory.  It could be the color of their skin, the way they dress, or even the scent they wear.  Our minds decide the person fits in a predetermined category almost instantly.

It’s a human trait to conclude based on very little information.  It’s the reason science is a thing.  Science deliberately bases conclusions only on evidence.  Without evidence, it’s just a theory subject to being disproved at any time.  These fields of study exist because it’s counter to the way humans typically think.  Training and education are customarily required to obtain the ability to think scientifically.

Have you noticed how people are reluctant to alter their perception of others, even when counter-evidence presents itself?  How we’re usually surprised when someone exhibits behaviors that don’t fit with the category we assigned them?  And how we often throw Occam’s razor out the window and instead, come up with outlandish reasons why a person is defying our initial impression so we can continue to define our initial theory as fact? 😶

in my pockets

I’ve wondered why we’re like this, and come up with a few theories to explain it.  I postulate it’s because our lives are short and we’re generally intellectually lazy.  Further, I suspect we’re intellectually lazy because our lives are short.  We don’t have time to analyze every thought and determine whether it’s evidence-based or assumption.  (Granted, as a fellow human, I’m unwilling to carry the unflattering label without the caveat.) 😂

Despite this reasonable theory of why we behave this way, it deeply saddens me.  I’ve stated several times I’m most fascinated by people.  I believe we’re each a universe of information, experiences, thoughts, etc.  I enjoy observing and listening to people and trying on their unique perspective.  Through trial and error, I’m learning to be more respectful in how I do this.  (Such as being more conscious of how long I can look at someone before it’s staring.)

I regret we have so little time, and therefore, don’t usually recognize how everyone we encounter is incredible in their unique way.  We all hurt when rejected, so many of us build walls out of self-preservation.  We present a side of ourselves based on past treatment and rejections we’ve experienced.  We perpetually tweak our presentation to yield the least amount of pain.  Some of us are less able to alter our presentation and settle for avoidance and isolation, instead.

It’s a complex operation, and I freely admit I’m more prone to avoidance and isolation.  I lack the necessary sophistication and am far less apt at reading body language than most.  On top of that, I’m sensitive to the energy of others, which makes it far more challenging.  I can easily sense rejection but suck at narrowing down the cause.  It’s frustrating, (she said while claiming the Understatement of the Year award.)

Kramer inaction figure

It saddens me because we so quickly reject those who aren’t instantly comprehensible.  Those who are so different, we’d have to create a new category on the fly to process them into our existing catalog.  It’s so much easier to label them as strange and disengage.  I have a strong theory that these encounters with unusual strangers are opportunities to grow and expand ourselves.  But only if we’re willing to spend a bit of time connecting with them, and opening ourselves to differences.

I truly believe, based on my own experiences, that ignoring the initial inclination to reject someone because they’re different is a shortcut to overall growth as a person.  Sure, it may take a moment to wrap your mind around something new, but I think it’s an investment in your character.  You stretch your mind to encompass something new, and in doing so, expand yourself.  And finally, my point.  I challenge everyone who reads this to test my theory in 2019.  To consciously and deliberately connect with people you encounter who are different than those you’ve bonded with in the past, and see if it leads to personal growth.  💜✌🏽💪🏽