ODE TO THE BREAKFAST CLUB

So, interestingly enough, I was asked to write a presentation regarding my position in this company. I like my job. Aspects of it anyways. It presents constant challenges, forcing me to be creative in my problem solving skills, to consistently think ahead, and to think outside of the box.

I get to be boss and make critical calls.

Things I dislike? Allow me to borrow from above..

It presents constant challenges, forcing me to be creative in my problem solving skills, to consistently think ahead, and to think outside of the box.

That and the amount of travel required to do my job, has left my personal life, my mental and emotional well being in a state that, well, let’s just say, it is being questioned.

Now, I have already wrote up a job description, general duties, and requirements for this position. I was the first person hired for this job. I walked into a VERY vague, and interesting role within this organization 5 years ago when I signed on. And let me tell you, there was a lot of confusion in the beginning. And five years later, we are about to need another 1-2 or two more to keep up with product demand and delivery. Exciting times.

That means there will be a team of me. Watch out world, this may not be a good thing!

Enter a new Vice President of Operations. He is a very smart person, well schooled and a type “A” personality. He is a facts man. Cut and dried, black and white. There is no gray area in his book.

He has stated we are all overpaid in this organization. His justifacation? He could hire college grads to do the work we do for 2/3 our wages. While that is true, he doesn’t consider the following:

1. The amount of experience that this team brings to the table.

2. Each person in the position they hold were selected for their:

A. Knowledge possessed

B. The contacts they have

C. Reputation

D. Personal fit

3. Hire the college grad and once they master this, they move on for more money with a bigger company.

4. They will fall on their faces within the first 3-6 months

Anyways, back to my presentation I am supposed to give. The Quarter two meeting is canceled. I’m fine with that. I haven’t even started it. When asked to do it, I realized there was a motive behind it…

I am usually on the road, in the field and running my ass off. That little assignment has left a foul taste in my mouth. Last week, I didn’t really feel like showing up. Which lead to:

I don’t know how I got to the point of, “What….ever, gah!!!!”. It is completely unlike me.

I lie when I say I didn’t do the report, I had mine done for weeks. I have to admit, I employed a little plagiarism. But it was heartfelt, and I did intend to deliver it. And I had envisioned what I would look like upon the completion of my presentation delivery.

(SO DAMN COOL)

And as I walked out….?

(MY INNER BENDER)

Fortunately, the meeting was cancelled. I won’t be delivering my scripted “spit-in-your-face” presentation now. Probably for the best. I will however give you readers a peek into my comedic rebellion. I did feel like a brain once I finished the piece, though not mine, still brilliant all the same.

BIG BRI “THE BRAIN” JOHNSTON

Dear Mr (Name Omitted),
We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Thursday in Q2 meeting for whatever it is that we were supposed to learn. But we think you are crazy to make us write a presentation telling you what we think our job roles and responsibilities are. You see us as you want to see us: in the most simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But, what we have found out is that each one of us is:
An overpaid purchasing manager…

an overpaid project manager…

an overpaid assistant project manager…

an overpaid shop manager…

an overpaid deployment manager.

DOES THAT ANSWER YOUR QUESTION?

Sincerely yours,

THE (COMPANY NAME OMITTED) CLUB

So, I may still deliver this in a one-on-one setting with said V.P. regarding my personal concerns with the direction I see this company going. But it was fun to imagine my inner Jonny Bender emerging in the conference room.

Delusional?

Not much…

No One, Quite Like You

So here I am, sitting and waiting to board a plane. Glistening with a fresh coat of “OMG, will I make my gate!?” sheen. In need of a shower and change of clothes…. 10 minutes past boarding time, the plane is just starting to “de-plane” as they call it in the trade. Immediately my thoughts run to writing a VERY STERNLY WORDED LETTER to their headquarters.

Dear unnamed airline,

Listen, you hear!! I have your android app, why was I not notified that the plane was delayed 10 more minutes….. !?!

Then when I stop to think about it, I realize I would only use that to my advantage, to handle more issues, stop and get that drink, those shoes, that hat….what ever my selfish mind tells me “If only I had just a few more minutes to…..” as nauseum.

I can be a selfish prick.
I steal time
I steal moments
Thoughts….
Inspiration…

There is very little originality in this world, with exceptions in the areas of new tech…. and even that has been rumored to have been given to us from some superior race outside of our galaxy. Whatever.
No thought, no assembly of word, can truly bear the stamp of originality.

But yet we hear it all around us all the time.

I don’t want to be like everybody else…. I want to be, “Original”.

I am not status quo… I am “One of a kind”.

Oh no, you won’t find anybody that dresses like me, I create my own styles, my own flare… I am “Unique”.

Oh the hell you are. That shirt you’re wearing? The manufacturer made hundreds and thousands more, just like it. That hat you have on? Quite possibly hundreds if not hundreds of thousands. And those shoes, mass-produced, dummy! So there is really nothing unique about the way you dress yourself. Sure maybe there’s certain accoutrement, maybe that bracelet that your friend made you. I will guarantee you that someone else has had that same ensemble thrown together at one point or another. Sure there might be subtle differences that aren’t immediately noticeable to the eye.

Oh. Wait. The small, subtle variances.

Everybody has this incessant need to feel different. Are we really all so different? It makes me quite literally, sick to my stomach.

That problem you’re going through? Hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people, have experienced it, and lived through it.

For those of you who really need to feel unique, worry not. We are all our:

1. DNA

2. EYES

3. FINGERPRINTS

4. SOULS

5. MIXTURE

of

life’s

experiences……….

You’ve heard the saying, “walk a mile in a man’s shoes”? That is what truly sets us apart.

From the moment we are conceived, our individual journey’s and experiences creates who we are. The type of food we take from our mother’s bodies, the sets of emotions we experience through them, the things we hear within the womb. I imagine even phases of the moon when we were conceived.. the season we are born into, even what was happening in the media during our development in the womb. The possibilities are endless.

Were we full term or premature? What was our birthing like? What were the sounds inside the birthing room? What were the first sounds we heard upon delivery? Was everything normal and calm? Was there high stress?

Bottle or breast fed? Stress in the home? Siblings? City or country? Pets? Colors in the home. Lead paint on our cribs. How many head injuries we sustained during our formative years. Our friendships…

There are literally so many variables that have even the smallest impact upon each and every one of us. Imagine the idea of the butterfly effect and the impact it has on each individual’s life. Especially the early on experiences.

Relax there Cupcake, you are an individual.

Hey Daddy Warbucks! As you’re walking by that homeless person, judging him, thinking even though you had a tough life, you pulled through… did you have the exact same experiences, to the finest detail, as the homeless man you’re judging had? How then can you judge?

Christian woman? All Pius and holier-than-thou, snubbing others outside of your income class and church group. Looking down on that woman you refer to as whore, slut, or hooker. That woman you judge is single with three kids. First one was a result of rape. You see her going from man to man. She is not whoring around. She is only trying to fill the void, left by her father who abandoned her at 6 years old, only seeking to be truly loved and cared for. Yeah she may have a bit of a foul mouth, but you will always get honesty from her. She is accepting of all the kids in her neighborhood. And she will go out of her way to help another person. What about that log in your own eye? Ironically, she never had a good example of love to learn from as she grew up. Yet she is more capable of showing love than you.

We are all individual, and unique. None of us are cut from the same cloth so to speak. Everyone has strengths in some areas that others do not. Likewise weaknesses. No one is the same. So the subtle differences give us our individuality. I don’t know what yours were… so I can’t judge.

Still, unintentionally, subconsciously, regrettably, and shamefully, I do. One day, I will shed this skin of imperfection, this flawed tapestry. I will be able to walk amongst my fellow human beings, seeing them not for their flaws, but the beauty of their individuality.

No thought original.

No trial unique.

No not one.

But each person is different. Whether its is the canvas, the paint, the strokes of the brush, the subtle difference in hues, or crazy belts of vivid colors from all across this wildly diverse, broad spectrum…

None two alike. And don’t even get me started on genetics.

The Big….Meh

We require human interaction.

Or do we? Could isolation be a cure? Can we completely shut ourselves off from the constant dredge of having to validate one another? Incessant desire for emotional fulfillment? Being open to hurt, pain, heartbreak.

What if it were just me, and a canine companion? Nothing to rely on, or to have to measure up to?

Just cut the rope.

Isolate.

Recoil.

Society is draining, as are relationships. Cumbersome. Burdensome. Exhausting. Hopeless, full of demands without yielding. How, then, would one achieve self-fulfillment? How did the mountain men survive without companionship? What about the physical aspects? Touch, embraces, affection… SEX?ķ

Are we merely being told we need those things to survive, in efforts to create another dependance?

Having once been a lover of people, a self described poet, philosopher, comedian, and gregarious humanitarian, I find myself growing tired of the effort to maintain interpersonal relationships. Tired of lies, let-downs, and questioning my worth to others… I find I don’t really like people. Wasting time and energy to sustain bonds and allegiance to others to have them eventually dissipated to a disappointing nothing is just that. A waste.

I’ve realized for years I have this overwhelming capacity for empathy. I see someone get physically hurt, from a small paper cut to breaking bones, every last nerve ending in my body sends out wave after wave of electric signals. Almost like walking directly into a wall, in pitch darkness. Emotional pain in others causes sadness, in such an overwhelming manner, that I feel it as well. When people say “You can’t possibly understand”, I actually do.

I can’t tune it out either. I see someone that is in emotional duress, I instantly sink down to their level emotionally. My average day is a constant rollercoaster on this Carnival of Feelers.

And my pain, my pain is overwhelmingly debilitating. It is soul crushing. And each cut seems deeper. So to cut all ties seems like the ideal remedy. Hurt, pain and the like all are imminent. It is lurking around every corner.

Can one survive without interpersonal relationships?

I shall see.

However.. I know this is impossible.

Greet another day. Fake another smile.

How’s that for “Getting Real With Myself”?FUCK YOU AND YOUR DR. PHIL WANNA BE TEXT MESSAGE! Best of luck in your new marriage.

CARRY ON MY WAYWARD Son…..OF A BITCH!!!

Be careful when you give in to your curiosity….. even though that wasn’t perhaps the nature of accidentally seeing something you really wish you hadn’t.

When you pull the wool off your eyes, get ready to accept what you most likely didn’t want to. Things were as you hoped they weren’t, which can be both good and bad, or indifferent, a new beginning or that closure you have been needing. What ever it turns out to be… it is what it is and you can’t change it, you can’t go back in time and pull the blinders off sooner.

What you can do is accept things for what they are. You can choose to not let it affect you in a negative manner. You can chose to just be ok with things. “You”, meaning I, or him, or her of course. Change action, behavior, …..expectations.

And I can also laugh at my Male Pattern Retardation.

(The Ringer folks)

At 48, almost 49 years of age, the level of my naivety is astounding. There is a saying that goes as follows:

THE DEFINITION OF INSANITY IS DOING THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER AND EXPECTING DIFFERENT RESULTS.

Why do I have this fucking bump on my head?

Quit hitting your head with that big damn board, asshole. That would be a good start.

I keep saying, every .. fucking .. time .. “NEVER AGAIN!”

Dear God, your irony is not lost on me.

Pastor Dan, youth minister. 

My life has been a folly. 

(but not a Matt Foley)
Recently, on a Saturday afternoon, post Thanksgiving, on a long drive, alone again, I began considering things spiritual. My spirituality, other peoples  spirituality,  and how that all intermingled. I stumbled into one of my favorite coffee shops in the Ashburn area. As I order my coffee, the Barista smiles and said this is going to be an odd question. I told her to fire away, and then she asked me if I was a youth pastor. She said you seem cool, like a youth pastor, lots of energy ..like a youth pastor and, well, just the face of a youth pastor.

What does a youth pastor look like?

Maybe she is just into youth pastors.

I chuckled a little bit, as I thought to myself how far away I was from a youth pastor. The first thought in my head was the Apostle Paul. He once stated, and I paraphrase, that I am the sinner of sinners. I thought of that, as I totally relate. As far away as I am from the youth pastor, her guess was not that far off.

Not to say that I am Pious like a youth pastor, or deeply rooted in Scripture. But she spoke to my heart. Or maybe she saw my heart. When I was an “on fire Christian”….. I wanted to become involved in Ministry. And the two areas were youth pastor, or marriage ministry. On both fronts, I completely failed in my personal life. Many of my frequent prayers have been, stated in a minimalist manner, “Lord, show me my greatest weakness.”

3 agnostic children and 2 failed marriages later, here I sit.

Those are glaring side effects of the underlying causes. 

Trust. Follow-through. Compromise. Greed. Lust. Weakness. This list could go on and on and I could rip myself to shreds. I could write a riveting tell-all of How Not To….. well you can fill in the blanks of subjects ad nauseum .

Why today? Why after my thoughts drifted off to God? Why Me? And why has that conversation ran through my mind over and over. Dear God, it’s me, Daniel….

Two and a half years on the “Boom-Boom” wagon, schlepping my way from bed to bed and lying my way from woman to woman… whiskey stiffled my conscience enough to feel ok about it (only till the drink or feeling faded away) so that i could keep up my game of “port bingo”. It all stiffled my spirituality as well. Kinked the God conduit if you will. 

I used to hear Him.. not so much in the audible sense, but in murmurs to my soul, a gentle guiding hand. Answers to questions.  Those lines have gone silent. Not so much as busy signal or dial tone. Matters of the flesh has overtaken that. Concerns of worldy clammerings have superseded my spiritual pursuits. And man, it’s fucking loud in my head.

https://youtu.be/yV21TcbeAfY

I still talk to God however. and I no longer play Beach Blanket Bingo. Meaningless sex has lost its luster. It’s difficult to pretend you’re somebody else for long periods of time. It becomes exhausting and even more so, expensive as hell.  It took its toll on me physically, mentally, financially and spiritually. 

It was something I had done to hide the pain. I used to keep track of the numbers as a badge of honor. It was a joke amongst my circles of friends. A bragging right for myself, and endless locker room stories. 

The numbers have faded away. I really have to sit down and think it through to come up with an approximate number. I have a lot of shame regarding those conquests I used to relay to my colleagues and friends in lewd graphic detail. 

Youth pastor…. I think not. Fallen angel, wayward wanderer. Maybe. Think I’ll go to church today. Well on second thought I have a lot of driving to do. I’ll do it later

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