Humility.

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Not a good look, not good at all,

You can’t be this good and then proceed to not be subtle about it.

No, you can’t. Not at the same time.

It’s disrespectful.

 

You can’t bear the inner strength of a Bonsai 

And let towering oaks see the result of your hard work.

Because to them, it can’t be. Oh no, no. It can’t be.

Don’t you understand?

The oaks don’t know how to do, what you do, yet.

So you can’t do it.

Not yet.

 

Like the magic school bus, they expect me to wait.

Googly eyes fiendishly seeking their guidance.

I don’t deny the genie granting you a wish,

But they failed to mention

That I’m completely omitted from the equation.

Face it. You’re no Ms Frizzle stranger, just a duplicate trying to pitch a tent

Forge a path past your skinner box and work on your self.

 

‘Cause try as you might, I won’t accept blame for your imperfections.

Given a chance, I would relocate the Bolivian flats and use them as a mirror

Reflect your sinister expression back at you on a gargantuan scale;

Maybe seeing how desperate you look would dissuade you

From further attempts at withering my flame.

 

  – O.D. ©2019

 

Art by: JoeyJazz

 

My humility does not come at the cost of making you feel comfortable. Only in knowing I’ll never stop learning from the world and others.

And yes, growing up I looooved The Magic School Bus

Something About Fear.

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I made a list of all the people I fear,

Served it as a side dish to my pet dinosaur

– That’s right – they don’t exist.

Just like that list.

 

– O.D. ©2019

 

Art by: JoeyJazz

 

Totally unrelated: 

Contrary to what my words may lead others to believe, I also have good things happen in my life. Of course noticing that would be relatively difficult considering how I always mention the negative. I’m not necessarily a negative person, I just don’t like avoiding the bad to “look” like I’m having a good time. If I’m having a good time, I’m having a good time; If I’m not, I’m not.

The 2nd of August was my birthday and one of my students gave me a cake. I was touched and completely taken off guard. I remember her asking for my birthday last year and thought nothing of it, but it seems she was planning to surprise me. Well, I was certainly surprised.

Her birthday is coming up and I have no idea what to get her. But I’ll think of something.

I’ve never really considered having children. But if what I feel for that student comes remotely close to how it feels to have a daughter? Well, let’s just say I get why some fathers become aggressive when someone inflicts harm to their daughters.

No, Seriously. How was your Day?

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Oh please, what are material pleasures to a creative like me?

What are they but a baseline; a kick-back to remind,

That there is yet a world that exists beyond, well, me.

 

What is a climax to a man who can fit existence

Into one potent and ephemeral verse, a nebula

For you to see from here to wherever on the map your dart hits.

 

Sorry – what was that? Oh, this sounds a little erotic?

Well, why not go the full mile and restrain me

Just don’t awaken a hidden kink in the process;

That was erotic too wasn’t it? Well too bad, I can’t help it.

 

Once I’ve delved this deep into a piece

Every word begins to bleed into the next

Psychedelic, like cursive, the words connect

Fishy how I get hooked. Ecstatic, yet sporadic, in how I receive and relay

The ideas that accumulate and manifest on the page.

 

Okay, enough with the showing off *ahem*

 “Dear reader, how was your day?”

 

– O.D. ©2019

 

Art by:  JoeyJazz

 

If you think I’m only messing around, read the title again.

 

 

 

 

 

Flinch.

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My pride does not take a hit when I apologize…

I do not see it as the balancing of cosmic scales

I do not see it as a win or a loss on a hypothetical scoreboard

I do not see it as the admittance of you being my better

I certainly do not see it as war reparations.

My apology is instead driven by a need to preserve

The nature of my values and the transparency of my soul;

 

What you feel and think as a result of my apology is, quite honestly,

None of my business.

 

– O.D. ©2019

 

Art by:  JoeyJazz

 

My sister said, “You are uncompromising with your identity” and told me she admired that about me. It was sweet.

She made mention of that based on our experiences together. She noticed that no matter what we may be doing; unless I’m genuinely interested in doing something, I won’t do it (with the exception of responsibilities). I won’t flinch, even when those around me feel like I’m killing the mood.

lol You’re killing the mood, whenever anyone says that I smell a collective that is in desperate need of my evasion. But I digress. 

Authenticity is one of the reasons why apologies are so easy for me. Its the preservation of my own integrity first, then whatever you’re feeling second lol. I won’t pretend, I value authenticity far too much for that. 

In turn, the admittance of a mistake won’t take anything from me, I’m learning like everyone else. 

Another key quote I like to remember when I’m in the midst of a heated situation is “Retreating to keep the peace does not make you a coward”

To the few that may ask “why?” It’s simple. Because I’ve got nothing to prove to anyone.

 

 

 

Something + Not –

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How about I grace the interim with a little poetry?

Nothing wets the creative palette like a fresh barrel of ink

The lines I formulate find their way beyond the comfort of the page

Percolating; escaping; eventually materializing into the real,

So surreal in how they give me the warmest caress;

The warmest reassurance.

 

It is no surprise then

Why I happen to be my own greatest cheerleader,

I am continually astounded, dear reader,

Each time I feel I have scaled the horizon I believe to be the limitations of my mind

I am taken aback time and again when I see the illusion lift like a curtain,

Revealing yet another horizon, yet another step.

…… Yet another platform, to hoist me much higher.

 

– O.D. ©2019

 

Art by: JoeyJazz

 

Shout-out to those that get the title 🙂

I sometimes put hidden clues in my titles pertaining to how I’m feeling. But I’m never sure if anyone sees what I’m going for lol 

Why I choose not to have male friends.

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Want the short version? Check out the TL; DR at the bottom of the post.

To those I (at times) talk to, don’t be hurt, and please don’t make this about you, because it isn’t about (validating) you. It’s about me sharing observations I’ve chosen to ignore for so long. Look at it objectively, making it about you is not the answer. In fact, making it about you may actually be another reason I’m writing this.

For the duration of this post, I won’t call them male friends but just “friends” for the interest of my budding minimalism lol (thanks Mary)

I’ve had quite a few friends. They were great experiences, all because of varying reasons. However, in most friendships I’ve entered, everything seems to go through a similar process.

 

The Process

  1. We meet, talk and realize we have similar interests.
  2. We engage in the same interests or activities (football, games, philosophy e.t.c)
  3. My other talents (poetry, art, story-telling, sports e.t.c) come to light over time, so do theirs.
  4. I’m inspired to seek advice on one of their skills to better understand it, or vice versa (it’s all good so far)
  5. Subtle hints of competition start emerging. What used to be a training ground for similar interests has morphed into a coliseum meant to find the de facto winner.

 

No. 5 is when things just seem to get really annoying. Admittedly not every friendship I’ve had reached such a state; some didn’t last long enough to even get there.

To answer the title I have so blatantly shoved in everyone’s face. I’m not friends with a lot of male friends because the degree to which those friendships end up being unnecessarily competitive is repelling.

Now I hear you whisper, “O.D. maybe your choice in friends really isn’t that great. Maybe you need to work on finding better friends” and to that, I’d agree, perhaps my choice in friends is not the best.

I’ve always liked being friends with people that have similar interests. And maybe that’s the problem, sticking to the same type of friend. I could otherwise be friends with an accounting fiend (given my distaste for numbers in general) but there’s no middle ground there. I simply have no interest in numbers lol I gave up on maths a long time ago.

Perhaps If I were lucky enough to find friends that explore mediums besides my own; are supportive of my creative endeavours; don’t judge and are secure with themselves; this post would be titled differently.

Maybe it would be 10 reasons why having male friends is the best thing ever; but as it stands, I’m not a fan. Just a witness.

If you’re in a clique, and you’re happy, that’s great. If your friends support you and don’t sabotage your attempts at bettering yourself, even better. If you shared your value system and none of your friends tried to test it; I can quite honestly say I’m envious of the friends you have. Up till now, I have only shared my value system with people I knew I would never meet again. I simply don’t trust anyone with it.

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Before this post sounds like a crucifixion of my brethren, I’ll let you know that I’m not entirely free of fault in this matter either. In my early to mid-twenties I had the habit of being really, really confident in my skills; so confident in fact, that my friends would assume I was seeing myself as their better (I wasn’t). I just felt like I was in a safe space; safe enough to express how good I am at something without being judged. And maybe my mistake was assuming they would be just as happy for me, but that’s not how all relationship dynamics work.

I can admit that I probably came across as arrogant, and maybe deep down I was. I say probably because how could I have known how I looked in peoples’ eyes; even then I didn’t care what they thought of me, only my friends. That habit has since gone somber, I’ve only seen it pop-up time to time through my work or in front of people I trust wholeheartedly.

This confidence did not come from nowhere though. I grew up around a mother who constantly told me how great I was and helped me nurture my specific talents. Thus, I grew up feeling I was good at what I did. But she always told me to value others because I never knew what I could learn from them. “Do everything with love” she said.

 

Now, here’s my theory about all this:

I believe my confidence was so overbearing or even annoying that all my friends were eventually driven to madness lol. A madness they sought to drive out by taming my inner beast. How best do you tame a man who you think sees himself as unstoppable? You show him that he is, I guess. And in the process, they started competing with me at every turn to show me that I wasn’t “that good” and that they were either better than me or that we were the same lol.

Look, guys, I don’t blame any of you for trying to prove a point to me; it’s sweet really. And maybe I come across as an over-ambitious messiah at times. But listen… 

“I’m not out here to be the best because there will always be someone better at something than I am” <===And maybe they wanted me to always say this to them, Every. Single. day, so that they know I’m not getting a big head. But hey, I’m not here to make you happy.

You’d be surprised how many times I’ve heard the same echo, “You think you know everything” “Hey Mike, you’re not better than everyone” Yeah. No s***. Of course, I’m not! But I also happen to be my greatest cheerleader. I’d sooner eat lasagne with a dirty sock firmly planted in the middle than bank on anyone cheering me on.

Unless you’ve actually been paying attention to the things I write you would know that’s not how I see the world and the people in it. I get tired of having to explain myself over and over again to people that think I see myself as some god from a different plane. News flash, if I had the chance to be a god I would flat out deny it. Not out of the goodness of my heart but because governing humanity has to be the most tedious and agonizing thing ever. I deal with people on a daily, and from those few, I am left so drained. Now to imagine myself catering to the interests of a whole planet…. ….. ….

I would rather be stranded by an unnamed beach sampling batches of saltwater than take the reigns of giving everyone salvation.

The truth is, few men have the emotional intelligence to talk things out with their friends with a sense of vulnerability. All whilst avoiding the fear of being judged. Few men are secure enough in their own skin to not take offense at the slightest dent to their ego; even if the dent was self-inflicted. Few men genuinely encourage each other to do better; and if they do, it can sometimes come through veiled insults. The do good, but not better than me philosophy, essentially.

Few men are great, and most of those men are spiritually fulfilled and not out to prove anything to anyone. Perhaps this is why I get along so well with men twice my age. What would they have to prove in my presence? Absolutely nothing. Nor I to them. Just two gentlemen discussing current affairs in depth; such as the brewing Area 51 raid lol that meme went off track way too fast.

It’s like by admitting to another man that they’re good at something; you’re inadvertently admitting weakness. And by putting others down, you feel better about yourself. These are classic habits of insecurity.

Which is why I mentioned earlier in this post that if I happen to be lucky to meet friends that are secure, not prone to judge, carry a solid value system and are not entitled to our friendship. That would be great. (They don’t even need to be supportive of my work, that’s always a bonus though)

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“But O.D. your pre-requisites for friendships are far too specific. The world does not work that way. If you keep it like that, you may never have any friends”

And honestly, I’m willing to accept that. It wouldn’t be the first time I cut myself from a toxic branch of friends. I would rather live my life and not have friends than settle for the same process. Or worse, change a part of myself that is not intended to bring harm in the interest of being friends with someone else. But hey, that’s why I have lady friends instead.

“One more thing O.D. Do you believe you deserve such impeccable friends? The ones you have so specifically described”

Lol Oh hell no! They’d be too perfect for me! But show me someone who does and I’ll be their friend instead!

 

TL; DR (Too Long, Didn’t Read): My confidence can sometimes come across as arrogance. Many male friends start to assume I’m putting them down. And as a result, they take it upon themselves to try and humble me, compete or give me veiled insults.

Perhaps I’m bad at choosing friends. Perhaps I’m hoping to find those with a healthier mindset. But if I don’t, I’m fine with it.

I’m better off with good friends than settling for, well ….the other stuff.

Art by: JoeyJazz

Not Special.

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You would stop parading your self-importance in everyone’s face

If you, perhaps, took the time to realize;

You are no exception.

You may mark yourself as chosen

All because you drink from a lavish wine glass

But your inconsequential display really makes no difference

When you’re just another passenger quenching their thirst

To the cadaver making itself at home upstream.

 

– O.D. ©2019

 

Art by: JoeyJazz

 

The “You’re” in the title is silent.

No one is exempt.

 

Retcon.

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See, when you build a false narrative for everyone to believe

You better be good. Oh, you better be good.

You better make doubly sure you revise,

Re-write and give concise adjustments to all future drafts.

 

Deception is a hungry beast; what you offer is never enough,

Don’t rest when you know there’s no way to account for future encounters

Crunch time on a daily, nursing crippling anxiety from getting through

Yet another day with a well-crafted lie;

Why complain about mental decline

When its a chosen struggle hitched to your ride? 

 

What I say may mean little to you,

And that’s okay. After-all,

You’re the expert.

 

– O.D. ©2019

 

Art by: JoeyJazz

 

 

 

Unsolicited.

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From the bottom of my heart, thank you,

No, seriously,

Thank you for thinking I am in dire need of your wisdom;

And that I just so happen to be afraid to ask for it.

 

Now what I say next,  I will try and say politely;

I make timeless bids to avoid the mischaracterization of my words.

 

“Friend. When I’m in need of your advice;

Make no mistake, I’ll ask you for it”

 

– O.D. ©2019

 

Art by: JoeyJazz

 

This is just one of the many ways I’ve lost friends believe it or not. I relay a concern to a listening ear and out of nowhere I’m being told what to do about it. I appreciate the effort, I truly do, but I prefer handling things on my own first before relying on others.

Quite a few people take it personally when you tell them this. They start to think you don’t value their input when you actually do.

I believe in not being a burden, and as a result, many people tell me that they are willing to share my burden. To which I tell them it’s not up to them to decide whether they can shoulder my burden or not.

Maybe it comes across as dismissive or rude, hard to say. All I know is that I mean it in the best possible way. The last thing I need is someone to pin the blame on when things go south. I would rather fail on my own and blame myself than someone else. But at the same time, if advice truly is sound and resonates with what I have in mind I see no qualms in following through.

 

 

*Gasp*

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The relentlessness of the spirit that beckons me to write

Often pushes me in all manner of directions; with a likeness

Similar to that of a wisp blown into the air by a cool breeze.

Telltale signs indicative of how my insatiable talent

Rarely allows me a chance to breathe.

 

– O.D. ©2019

 

Art by: JoeyJazz

 

Hello everyone 🙂

 

I have been away from my blog for the longest time. There were a few changes at work I had to adapt to, and that meant directing all my attention there. I am hoping to go back to my usual routine of one or more posts/poems each week. 

I hope everyone has been okay. There is a lot that has happened and I look forward to updating you with each post 🙂