The Only Lesson

Kids, this blog isn’t and shouldn’t be about life lessons or rants. Though I’m guilty of writing both (lately all the time but it’ll get better.)

It’s about awkward. Funny, ridiculous awkward.

And I’m sure that’s what we all could use right now.

Yeah, you wish. I’d have to go outside to do something cringe-worthy to come up with something awkward. Doing something embarrassing in private isn’t embarrassing and awkward is, you know, life.

Because if you were able to see how I’m sitting right now, that would be embarrassing. (If you think I’m taking a pic of it, that would be stupid.)

Not going to happen.

Being distanced and quite enjoying it until the dreams and tics started, I’ve been granted the opportunity to revisit every single thought I’ve ever had ever, over and over again. Yay me!

I’ll spare you the minute details because there isn’t room on even the massively creepy unknown amount of hidden Google servers to hold the OCD thought-roller coasters I’ve been enjoying.

And enjoy them I have.

It’s like getting 3 free months of e-tickets to Disneyland but the only ride open is that rickety no-name roller coaster they built before liability suits were a thing. With the requirement that you ride it continuously until you throw up.

I did glean one thing from all the Wheeeee! I’ve been celebrating that I think is useful. It’s a lesson and a warning. One that is counter to how people my age (as in you’re old enough to get the e-ticket reference) have been raised with but couldn’t be more important than now. Because it’s never too late to unlearn stupid.

It’s this…

Wake up. This is important.

Be aware of bad people.

Yeah, I know. It’s hardly the most earth-shattering realization in the world.

I’ll make the concession that it’s also not my original idea. Props to the guy that came up with it.

We, as in most of us, have been raised in the false, erroneous, naive, set-up-to-fail ideal that we should give people the “benefit of the doubt”.

Don’t.

Don’t ever do that again.

Monsters are real. They don’t have bad days, they cause bad days. Don’t forgive that insulting rant just because “work has been crazy.” Don’t look back if someone uses your life or body as fodder for their internal ugliness.

They are bad people. They deserve to be as far away from you as possible. Don’t make excuses, just bail.

The first time.

Now, back to the awkward fun.

-NTZ

Defend Your Sacred

It’s a weird place to be when you finally see with sparkling clarity that you ignored the bazillion red flags in a situation but went ahead with it anyway. Feeling a lot of regret that you wasted so much time and effort, having to clean up the damage, and a lot of beating yourself up that you weren’t thinking with your head. Feeling a lot of remorse for having suffered a lot more than you should’ve had you just listened to-every-single-person-you-ever-knew warning you off it.

But you knew better, right, buddy? Yeah, me, too. I’m now accepting applications for my personal decision-maker. I’m just kidding because I probably wouldn’t listen to you either.

We all do stupid shit that, in hindsight, kind of make you want to throw up in your mouth. We all do. What’s important is finding the lesson in it.

This isn’t a philosophical argument I’m making in this post. It’s a real pin-pointy kind of deal. This is more of a ProLifeTip. It’s a, “if you’re not going to listen to me or anyone else, listen to this” kind of lesson. So listen up, stubborn readers, I’m actually going to make sense here.

*Everyone has some weird thing.

—Oh stop! That’s not what I’m talking about, pervs.–

I’m not talking about things as in possessions. I’m not talking about things as in people. I’m not talking about the overall big things we take to heart as citizens like life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Or even beliefs we hold morally, religiously, spiritually, rationally and relationally. Because those grand things can be hard to apply to your personal situation and are easily manipulated by others. They’re also vague and what the self-help shit the Interwebs are rife with and always seem to point to.

This is far more precise.

What I mean is there is some thing; quirky, funky, odd, scary, eerie, abnormal, nonconformist, antisocial, exceedingly cute, unpleasant, beautiful, unconventional, or downright weird about all of us that we hold special. Chances are we’ve never shared it with another person our entire lives. Whatever it is, it’s ours and sacred to us and us alone.

These weird things, that if you look deep you can find, have always been a part of you.

It can be some kind of music, a dance, the awkward way you run, your pride in being double-jointed, that you’re psychic but have yet to prove it, that you cry when you see sea turtles laying eggs, your love of dancing naked to TV theme songs, or an indefatigable belief that dragons are real and making me type this right now.

I’m not saying those are my sacred things. Seriously. I’m NOT! Shut up! They’re all different. They’re all unique.

Because whatever it is, it makes you, you.

I’ve realized recently that finding this, or many of those, things that which we hold absolutely sacred is the key to having the ultimate protection from others damaging you in any real way. By defending those things that make up you, keeps you who you are.

Protecting those things will protect you.

And no, I’m not supporting some idiot who takes this to mean, “my thing is—insert depraved criminal act here—.” No, you’re a freak and an asshole. This isn’t for you.

And I don’t mean physical protection. If you’re in danger, call the police for Christ’s sake.

What I’m referring to is that thing you’ve loved and cherished since you were a kid and held tight to your chest ever since. That favorite piece of you, then and always, regardless of how you hold yourself now.

Because that thing is us.

Finding those things about yourself, pinpointing what they are and staunchly holding them dear, can repel anyone who tries to change those things and therefore you.

This method, of discerning what it is you precisely find sacred in yourself, not only gives you a tool to figure out who you are at the core but provides a fail-safe way of waving that red flag so full in your face that you simply can’t, and shouldn’t, ignore it.  Because should anyone attack your thing, they need to go.

Any attack on your very special thing is a deal-breaker. The ultimate deal-breaker.

Make this rule and always stick to it. Make it an unbreakable rule, true to yourself, regarding anyone you encounter:

If you, or anyone, who mocks, teases, abuses, ridicules, demands, threatens, cajoles, wheedles, cons, irritates, jostles, molests, bothers, pokes at, dismisses, insults, my thing?

Leave now. And consider keeping one eye open for the rest of your life.

End of story, that’s all she wrote.

It’s really that simple. It’s that personal and it’s that simple. The one moat that can’t be crossed. An impenetrable protection for ourselves, forever and always. It’s what we all deserve.

Always protect your thing, dear readers.

Me? I’m now wearing a cup.