Sunday, November 6, 2011

Three Guys in Bar

Andre Agassi found himself at a point in his career when he nearly retired because he was burned out and disinterested in the game of tennis. He was consistently losing and realized the approach he was taking to his sport was no longer adequate. Rather than going through the motions and continuing on a path on inevitable failure, Agassi decided to adapt a remarkable strategy to resurrecting his career. Instead of merely trying to improve on the aspects that were failing him, he decided to relearn the game as if he was picking up a racquet for the first time. I haven’t read many sports biographies, but I would highly recommend reading “Open.” (I was not paid for this plug, hehe)

My learned behavior has been incredibly difficult to change. I readily admit that I would employ the service of a professional to help address the extent and magnitude of my bad habits if only I could afford that luxury. Instead I rely on the opinions and suggestion given by friends, family and acquaintances and based on my own personal reflections. I have had many profound conversations with friends in restaurants, bars and coffee shops that I swore would be life changing at the moment. I can’t even begin to image how many times I left a conversation with the feeling that I had discovered a new and fresh perspective that would allow me to change my life and transcend it into a new realm.

To my dismay, when the morning sun rose the next day and the challenges of life were once against imminent, I hastily forget the impact of the previous night’s liberating conversation and reverted back into the familiar zone that has provided comfort and stability. Regardless of the time period during my life, the behavior I had learned and exhibited to that particular point had allowed me to get through the day without the feeling of being an utter failure. The comfortable feeling of being average is just enough to get through most days. However the tolerance being average eventually evolves into an ominous feeling of inadequacy. My inherent characteristics will never allow me to feel a sense of achievement based purely and on mediocrity.

Last night I had another one of these conversations with friends while having dinner out in Cuyahoga Falls. Life doesn’t get better (to me) than three friends sitting around talking about the intricacies of life and dynamics of personal relationship. I was able to come to the conclusion that it’s necessary to start from the beginning (like Agassi) because I have realized that behavior I am exhibiting in a specific facet in my life is not working to my satisfaction. This behavior is causing me to lose respect in myself and be taken advantage of by certain people and in different situations. This is not an instance when I know I am close to finding the right formula and I merely need to tweak it to obtain a desired result. This is an aspect of my life that needs rewired, revamped, reworked and learned over. It may not get better than having great dialog with friends but these moments that provide clarity and motivation become futile if they perishes with the conversation. The challenge now becomes; what will I do today to begin eradicating this learned behavior and adapting a new approach?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Really? The Nightly News?

Many of these blog are my written reflection of the past more so than my observation of the presence or predictions of the future. I don’t mean to give the impression that I have figured out the world or even figured out my own life. In due time, I will be producing a similar blog expressing how inexperienced I am at this moment. Hindsight is 20/20, as we all know. I’ve read through some of the first blogs I produced when I first starting and I feel I come across as having a definitive sense of correctness. I can see how it could come across as being quite arrogant. Looking back, I feel it was keen ignorance. As I write today, I still possess limited knowledge of the world. My daily interactions with my mentor, elders and friends from different regions of the States and world make that abundantly clear. The difference today is that I acknowledge my lack of experience and I wish to learn an infinite amount more. I was recently told that the biggest mistake anyone can make is to believe they are smarter or superior than anyone. If I have made that dreadful mistake in the past, I will do my best never to make it in the future.

Halloween weekend three years ago, I moved into to a new apartment in Charlotte, NC. I only had a few small pictures to decorate walls, the lack of furniture made the small apartment appear deceivingly spacious and cable was omitted from the television. I spent my nights eating fast food or preparing remedial dinner that originated from a can. It was a lonely and desolate place that lacked not only basic amenities but a heart and soul. The refrigerator was practically vacant, I didn’t know how to turn on the oven and never bothered calling maintenance to fix the burned out light bulb in the living room. At 26, I was unable of taking care of myself on even a rudimentary level. Ask my friend and neighbor Jen, she’ll tell you how appalling that situation was.

I write today from the confines of new comfy house, sipping a cup of tea with the CBS nightly news playing on the TV. I just cooked a spaghetti dinner; one of my best cooking ventures yet. The house is clean and furnished and the bills are paid in full. I never thought these basic accomplishments would provide me with so much solace but it’s this comfort that has turned me into a more humble person. I have life experience, family, friends and relationships to thank. I realize that if I want to become more prolific in life, more caring and companionate, it is these common factors that will get me there.

I expressed a few blogs ago that I would start talking about my past relationship because I was finally over its negative repercussions. The first few months after a relationship ends are full of some many emotions that it makes it nearly impossible to reflect adequately and accurately. It’s more of a time of pointing fingers at both yourself and your significant other and being blatantly pissed off. It’s my opinion that people that grow from their relationship learn to reflect on both the positive and negative aspects of the relationship rather consistently dwelling on the pejorative affects it causes. As I sit here today, I can confidently say that many of improvements I made were due to things I learned from during the course of my relationship with my ex girlfriend. I know she will never read this, but I do owe her a debt of gratitude and I wouldn’t want her to think I think negatively of her after my last post. She did ultimately help me to become more mature and proficient. I cannot wait to know what I will learn about myself in my next relationship.