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2:46 pm - Weds 6/13/07
Radical Honesty

Radical Honesty

Weds 6/13/07 (11:10 a.m.)

From my apartment, I can hear the mailman in the lobby, dropping off today’s bills and junk-mail...

I don’t know why, but I still feel a trace of excitement when the mail comes–like when I was a kid, and getting something in the mail made me feel like an “adult”–even though nine times out of ten, it’s just bills and junk-mail, like I said before (And I got over being excited about bills and junk-mail quite some time ago).

And if I am going to get something good in the mail–a check from JS, a Sopranos tape from Jane, etc.–I typically know it’s coming; it’s the rare occasion where I get a nice surprise in the mail.

(I know what you’re thinking–“Ummm, Jim? You’ve been an adult for how long now...?”)

(And sure enough, this was today’s mail: An advertising circular, two notary-related bills, and a come-on from one of my credit card places, who are afraid I’m planning to drop them cause I recently paid my bill in full. And the truth is, I’m thinking about it.)

I was thinking about the Notary thing recently–I invested a good amount of money (On classes, testing, materials, NNA membership, etc.), on something I clearly wasn’t very emotionally invested in, cause I haven’t done shit to make that into a viable business.

What can I say? It seemed like a smart move at the time.

(Actually, it still seems like a smart move. But something being “a smart move” has never meant shit to me, unless it also means something to me emotionally. But I don’t want to write an entire entry about my failed career as a Notary, so I’m going to move on...)

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Where I get into the most trouble, emotionally, is when I start thinking “there’s no way out of my unhappiness”.

And that’s what I’m wrestling with lately–Not being happy where I am, having nothing to “go back to” that I think would make me any happier, and not being at all convinced I’m moving towards “a happier place”.

I don’t want to suggest/imply that I’m always unhappy. I’m not. But I think it’s fair to say that I’m unhappy a lot of the time.

The great “Unhappy Trinity” of my life has been “I’m tired”, “I’m bored”, and “I’m lonely”.
I’ve been aware of this for years, but looking at my life to date, I have to say I’ve gotten exactly nowhere when it comes to dealing with this evil threesome that drags me down to the depths.

I know that life entails being tired, bored, and lonely...sometimes. I just think the ratio is off–instead of feeling tired, bored, and/or lonely most of the time, with occasional flashes of happiness, I think I should feel good most of the time, with occasional flashes of unhappiness.

I don’t know if that’s a reasonable expectation to have of life or not. Is there a way life “should” go, or is life just whatever you make out of the materials at hand? Is life inherently “difficult”, and you just have to deal, or is life inherently pretty good, and if not, then you’re doing it wrong?

I don’t know (But I act as if I think it’s the latter, that life’s good, and I’m basically fucking it up somehow).

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I was reading Esquire recently, and they had an article about “radical honesty” (The writer met up with Brad Blanton, author of the book Radical Honesty, then wrote about his efforts to make it through the day being “radically honest” in all his personal interactions).

Not sure why a book that’s at least ten or fifteen years old was the subject of an article in the current issue of Esquire, but it did get me to thinking...

(For the record: I’ve never read the book myself, though I knew about it, from my years working in the Self-Help section at Schuler Books, and recall leafing through it at some point.)

It’s impossible to imagine being “radically honest” in my day-to-day life. I don’t see how I’d make it through a work day, or through any social interaction, without either lying outright at some point, feigning interest I don’t feel, or keeping my true thoughts to myself.

But while it really doesn’t seem “workable” to me (Not to mention that I’m basically a “nice guy”, and I want people to like me), there’s a part of it that sounds tremendously appealing; it would be nice to not feel like such a phony all the time, to feel like my true thoughts and feelings are nothing to be ashamed of.

So what would I be saying to people, if I could be “radically honest”?

Here’s a “Top 10" off the top of my head.

1. To Coworkers: I don’t want to listen to you anymore, because I’m really bored by whatever-it-is you’re going on about. And I don’t need to be more bored than I already am, cause I’m ready to kill myself as things stand.
2. To unhappy “Guests”: Flying off the handle like you’re doing is making you look like an asshole (Say it after me–This isn’t life or death. It’s just a fucking movie).
3. To Management: Drop the fucking corporate doublespeak/Scientology bullshit and just talk to us every so often (And stop trying to make it sound like we’re doing something really important, cause it’s bullshit–If you really believed that, you’d be paying us a living wage and offering decent benefits. Let’s just admit this isn’t ER or The West Wing, that we all work in a fucking movie theater, that the employees are expendable cannon fodder, and be done with it).
4. To Casting People (At commercial auditions)–Why don’t you let me do whatever-it-is I’m going to do, then give me direction if you want something else, instead of directing me to do it the same way as everyone else coming through the door?
5. To various People I Like But Am Not Friends With-I wish you liked me and desired my friendship as much as I like you and desire your friendship.
6. To various Women-You have....(beautiful eyes, gorgeous tits, a great ass, etc). I wish I could have sex with you, but I do plan to think about you while masturbating later on, which I hope you’ll take as a compliment.
7. To various People Who Would Be Surprised To Hear It-I love you. I just think you are a tremendously cool person (The platonic version).
8. To Various Women-I love you. I just think you are a tremendously cool person, and while we’re talking, what do you think of me? (The romantic version)
9. To unwanted Invitations–I don’t have anything else going on. I just don’t want to go, so I’m not going to.
10. To Myself-Dress it up any way you want, but you’ve never given up wanting to be a star.

But right now, the big star is falling asleep in his chair (I got about four fitful hours last night, before being woken up this morning by hammering and banging), so I’m going to post this, take a nap, and then get myself out of the house.

See you later...

(11. To Diaryland Readers-It’s embarrassing to admit how much it means to me that you read my journal)

 

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