Thursday, May 14, 2009

May 13, 2009

I am going to ramble tonight. And it's for a lot of reasons. I want to post, but I feel like I stop myself from posting when I try to do something that is too good. I also feel very human tonight, and I find that nights I feel like this and write about it generally lead to me learning more about myself. This is what I want to do-- so here I am. 

Do you ever remember something you used to know? Or recall something that you used to think about all the time, but stopped thinking about somewhere along the line? That happened to me last night as I wrote in my journal. A theory of mine, one that I may have actually put up here. Just something I used to use to explain the way that I chose to act and the way that others acted. It wasn't really a theory, more of a model. But I'd talked about it with my guys, and we were all on board with this. We used it to classify ourselves and to classify others. It was a pretty sweet model, and I felt like it helped me be a little bit of a more effective person. I forgot about it somewhere between here and there. I know I didn't think about it for the entire time I was in Logan. I probably didn't even think about it at all last summer either. But in one pretty awesome moment I remembered it last night. And that makes me happy.

It was the investment theory that me and the guys had worked out. The idea that every conscientious action that a guy undertook around a girl was in some form or another an "investment". If he was trying to win her heart, he would purposely do something. Sometimes he'd slide up next to her and put his arm around her and try to act smooth. We referred to this as a short term investment. P-Burn was our poster boy for the short term investment. Now, short-term investments do work, occasionally. They are high risk-- but that means that they carry high rewards if they're successful. Short-term investments were never quite my style. Short term is one side of the spectrum, and the other side of the spectrum is the long term investment. That investment style is low risk and relatively low reward. The only reason that long term works at all is because, over long period of times, you can accumulate a very large quantity of long term investments that stack on top of each other. Given enough time, you can become a good guy in the eyes of many. Long term investments were my way of justifying not being brave enough to flirt with girls. But aside from all of that, it did make a lot of sense. 

Understandably, not every action undertaken around a girl is actually a conscious and calculated piece of work. But the moves that are, we figured, exist somewhere on that continuum between short term and long term. 

You know, I made exactly one friend in Logan. Interestingly, I think that the investment model works for friendship too. The whole idea behind the investment model is that a guy takes something of his own and devotes it to gaining some part of someone else. I'd take some of my energy, time, ideas, ability and work and try to win some regard or a smile or something from someone else. It's a risk that we all undertake. We devote our energy, which is precious, and risk failure every time we do this. It's a big deal.

In Logan I didn't devote too much of my energy to people. I had some of my closest friends in the world with me wherever I went. I had schoolwork, video games, sleep, and the occasional game of basketball to devote my time to. I didn't set out to make new friends, and I more or less didn't.

Now, I'm not lamenting this. I smile because I really did make one awesome friend. Someone that, when I'll see down the road, I'll smile and be happy to see. Not an awkward reunion where I have to say hi because I know them, but because I really am legitimately happy to see them. I'll want to know how they're doing, and I'll be sincerely happy when I hear that they're doing well. I made a friend. And it's a real friend, and not a friend that's going to go away. It's a really great feeling.

I don't make friends super easily, all things considered. I can be nice to folks, I can help folks out, I can enjoy being with folks, but friendship is a pretty big deal for me. So I don't really feel terrible about making only one new friend in Logan. I value it, that's all.

The moral of my story: making friends takes investments. It requires a sacrifice and risk of time and energy. But when people do give of themselves they tend to be rewarded. I didn't give much of myself to others while up in Logan. I won't say that I regret that, but I will say that I want to be the kind of person that is constantly giving of himself for others. 

Don't you just love the past? I love telling stories. I love remembering things that I haven't thought about for a long time. Events that are long past, but that still bring a triumphant smile to my face. I love remembering nerd team and track from junior high. So long ago, but such a huge deal to me at the time. I love remembering hard things that I've succeeded at. I love the old jokes, the old work, the old stuff that made me who I am today. I love knowing that I didn't die and change when I went to college. Some stuff changed, and certainly I've changed, but that doesn't mean that I have to throw all that old stuff away. I want to be a complete person, and you can't be a complete person if you just throw out high school and junior high. The littler version of me, for better or worse, brought me here. And all in all, that's pretty cool stuff.

If there was a zombie outbreak, I think I'd go to shopko. There are lots of reasons that Shopko wins out over Wal-mart or target or anything like that. When mass hysteria breaks out, crazy people trying to load up on food and weaponry will be just as dangerous as the zombies will be. The great thing about shopko is that I haven't seen a single person shopping there for years. So while the masses are fighting amongst themselves over Wal-marts dwindling supplies, I'll be sitting pretty on top of my untouched mountain of insulin, crossbows, deodorant and nutri-grain bars in the middle of shopko. Christopher: One, Hysteric masses: Zero.

Zombie outbreak aside, how do you become that guy? You know, the guy you want to become. I think that I need to work on remembering that I want to become that guy. Because if I don't think about becoming anything I don't think I'll actually become anything. I need to remember that I'm a dynamic character. Sometimes I get stuck in this rut of thinking that I'm the way I am and that nothing is going to change that. Some rut about discovering what my deal is and trying to find good ways to work around my flaws. It's a tragic view of life that I totally don't buy into when I'm really thinking about things. It only comes around when I get off the horse of progress and simply exist. I don't spend near enough time on that horse anyway. 

See, that last statement, "I don't spend near enough time on that horse". How many ways can I actually look at that? On the tragic side, I, as a person, am limited as to the amount that I can spend progressing. Because I don't do much of it, I am therefore destined to continue to do not much of it. It's just the way things are. On the optimistic side of life, that statement just says that I have previously made choices that didn't make me progress. That's all. It doesn't say anything about what will happen tomorrow. And that's pretty refreshing, because that means that tomorrow is up to me and the decisions that I make. Now that's high quality living right there.

That's one thing that blogging has always done for me. It has always reminded me that I'm in charge of making myself into something incredible. It reminds me that it is my responsibility to make choices that will make action happen that will move me forward. Knowing that what has happened to me has been a function of the choices that I've made is critical. Knowing that means that I know what I have to do to become that guy that I want to be.

Thinking about people, friendships, relationships-- stuff that's important to me-- that's all that comes down to right now. Decisions. How am I going to spend my life energy? What am I going to do about all of this? Pushing boundaries, experiencing new things, it all bundles into it. I make decisions to do things, based upon what I want. If I want nothing to change, I just do what happens. But if I want change in my life, I need to do work to make it happen. While I'm generally happy with my life, I do want change. That means work. And work is always a good thing. Can I really get what I want right now? Haha, there's a good chance that I can't. But that doesn't mean that I'm not going to work for it. As corny and cliche' as it is, I'd so much rather work and fail then never work and fail anyways. Because failing because you didn't work is killer. Failing because you worked and failed carries a certain sweetness and victory to it. There's something very rewarding about failure, I think. Well, righteous failure at least. I guess what I'm trying to say is that there's something very very rewarding about doing your absolute best at that one moment of time and still coming up short. Failure, sure, but you know right then that you did your best. And it's not often that one can truly know they did their best. Sometimes victory doesn't require your absolute best. Sometimes you win with 75% of your capacity for effort. But when you give 100% at one moment in time and still come up short. Mmm, that's sweet, because you know that that's the way it is. At least you go home happy, knowing you worked.

See, that's another one of those good old stories. I have spilled my guts to a girl I knew would reject me exactly once in my life. I may have come close to doing it some other times, but those times *might* count. This time was so legit that there's no way it couldn't count. It was some time ago, but I'm still happy about it. Because hey, I did work. It was something that I'd never done before. It took courage and determination. Now I'm romanticizing it, but still. Life is cool like that.

Who am I writing to? I'm not sure. I remember that I was never quite sure who I wrote to before, but I always had an idea. I even invented a character for some time, mystery blank. Boy, was she something else. Some distressed girl that found some measure of comfort from reading all the stuff that I wrote. It was my way of making the world a better place, by helping her through the blog. Now of course, it wasn't as close to crazy as it sounds, I promise. That was just the name I gave to the mythical girl that was some embodiment of the sum total of all my readership. Not that all my readership was some distressed girl, but rather that that was my favorite way to find motivation to write. And in a way I do believe it, yes. Because like I said, I gave some part of myself. And whoever it was that chose to accept that part of myself, that interaction and exchange still took place. Interesting how that all works, isn't it? Hmmm.

So what's the plan? Tonight I'll take out my index card and write down the things I know I need to get done tomorrow. And then I'll wake up and work on investing. Investing in old friends, new friend, in Ultimate, an economic future, preparedness, everything. Investing because I do want a different future than the one I'll get by doing nothing. And while I don't know every detail of the future that I want, I know enough about it to start working. I've got a picture, and I'm running with it.

I hope things are going well for you, whoever and wherever and perhaps whenever you are out there. Much love to you all. Much work too.

1 comment:

Kortney said...

I really liked your post Chris. I'm glad you've started to post again.