“I’m so sick of hearing people complain.
From my point of view, people (especially from the constant rants I see on particularly your, and the odd time [your partner]’s page), seriously just need to learn to be thankful for what we have as Canadians and exceptionally so as Albertans.
Wake up and take some time to smell the roses every once in awhile. Being so angry and frustrated with everything all the time isn’t good for your health, seriously. I love you guys, I don’t want to see one of you give yourself a heart attack. Focus on the finer things in life for once, not every single thing that is wrong in this world. You are in charge of your happiness.”
This excerpt was penned by an extended family member, part of a comment on Facebook, where a debate over Highway 63 was happening. It sparked a gut reaction in me so severe, that I dare not comment again directly. It has pushed me to write again though, because it touched- nay- grabbed at and twisted a nerve with me.
I have always considered myself to be an active, principled person. I’m not the type to just sit around passively observing the world around me. I’m the (creepy) guy who joins someone else’s conversation on the bus. I interact with my surroundings, offer hugs to nearly anyone I meet in a non-professional setting, love everyone unless they give me a solid reason not to. In the same respect, I find it hard to sit idly by while someone else claims superiority over another, denounces another’s rights as a human being, or boldly attempts to sway people with falsehoods for their personal or organizational gain.
In these respects, I am a decisive, intense, polar person.
The reason why the above commentary irks me so much happens to tie directly into this facet of my ethos. The way I initially read it, is that I’m being told I’m an angry, unhappy, ungrateful person, with a big mouth, who likes to stir up shit, and is at risk of becoming medically compromised. After my instinctive desire to hand out an abusive tongue lashing died down (the family member is of a more conservative, evangelical christian demeanor, likely one of the more antithetical beings that i have to co-exist with), I started to pick apart what was being told.
“Focus on the finer things…”
Obviously, this family member doesn’t know me well enough. Despite my penchant for frugality, borne of my continued existence as a college student not enrolled in classes, I love the finer “things”. I’m an enthusiast of Scotch Whiskey (Speyside preferably), I love wine, and adore cheese. I marvel at the mechanical intricacies of motor vehicles. I get shivers from the right combinations of bass guitar, and Hammond-overdriven Leslie speakers. I am quite well versed (in my opinion) on the “things” side of fine.
When it comes to the “finer things” that aren’t tangible, I am equally immersed in the waters. I have cultivated friendships with some of the most open-minded, accepting people I have ever met. As a card-carrying member (seriously!) of the local kink community, I’m exposed to the satisfaction of deep carnal desires, while roiling in an ever-present atmosphere of love and trust. Heck, I’m in relationships with two fine and wonderful women, and they both know and approve!
“Focus on … not every single thing that is wrong in this world.”
“Being so angry and frustrated … isn’t good for your health…”
I find it odd that someone who peruses my Facebook wouldn’t happen to notice that, while I do end up posting lots of stuff about topics I find to be important, I also end up posting more than my fair share of funny stuff and extreme music (primarily progressive metal), among other things. I find no evidence that my love of extreme music is a portrayal of anger; rather it is an extension of my polar self. It is my escape, my destress. In addition, not speaking about things which concern me lends a feeling of helplessness, exacerbating my depression. I would be more worried about that affecting my heath than a good-nature love for debate.
“…take some time to smell the roses every once in awhile…”
I’ll admit, I have been lacking in this category. Given an employer that cannot have a solid schedule until 2130 the night previous though, I’m sure most people would find achieving the prime work/life balance difficult. This is exactly why I’ve been trying to live my life to the fullest in the 6 weeks I’ve been on Short Term Disability (the battle to actually receive my benefits is another story altogether). New girlfriend, coffee dates, board games, anything and everything my back can handle. Reacquainting myself with a work schedule, and accommodating this will be tough, but having had the longest period of not working, searching for work or learning in my entire life, I know now that I need to focus on this once I am back in the workforce…
“…learn to be thankful…”
I’m extremely thankful. I would list everything, but that went with turkey dinner 3 weeks ago. The one thing that I am most thankful for though, is the freedom to give and receive information freely. This freedom has allowed my worldview to be affected by many, and if I can only affect one person in return, then I have made a difference in the world. Obviously, my ranting has touched someone enough for them to comment back in concern (and quite possibly annoyance as well), shows that I have been doing just this, even if only on a small scale. Doing a 180, I can see all these people who have given me the tools to become who I am, and looking forward, I aspire to give others whatever it is they will need for their journey to become self-actualizing. I don’t care about receiving thanks, but more that they can take inspiration from me.
So with all this said, I can proudly see that I’m on the right path. I will continue to rant my ass off, regardless of who doesn’t like it and who disagrees with my points. I could really care less about a building a legacy in stone. No, I want my legacy to be immortalized in song, in folktale, in bardic right. I want to be seen as an example for others, one who is known to not just settle with “good enough”, but rather pushes himself and rallies others for more, for better.