I Am Speaking Up And Spitting Like Eminem: I Am Whatever You Say I Am (In Your Head)

"I am whatever you say I am. If I wasn't, then why would you say I am?" ~Eminem

I have learned that one of the most futile exercises I can undertake in life is trying to convince someone of something different when their mind is already made up. This is especially true if the person has made up their mind in a negative way about me. I have come to learn and accept, just as Terri Cole Whittaker’s book title says, “What You Think of Me is None of My Business.” Everyone has their own world view and perspective based on their experiences and opinions. I cannot control what is outside of me; in someone else's head. I can control what is within me and the best way to do that is to leave what others have to say out of the mix, especially when it comes to my own self-esteem, worth, and value.

People will talk and sometimes I will be the topic of their conversations. I know, because some have not qualms telling me, the talk ain’t always positive. Regardless, it doesn’t matter. There might be a rare constructive criticism from those I trust that I’ll pick up for myself, yet overwhelmingly the value of my own opinion for myself is what I am more concerned about. So I let them talk, because they will. And, yes, in their minds, I will be everything that they think of me which is none of my concern.

While it may seem like it at times in this age of social media, I am extremely grateful that my life is not like a surreal episode of the Netflix’s series Black Mirror where I must live my life constantly chasing an approval rating from others. Again, my self-worth is totally dependent upon me. Regardless of how long someone has been in my life, they are not in my head, so they will never know my full journey, and they will never know the path that I will ultimately choose to take for my life. That being said, I don’t worry about or try to please others because I learned very early in life that is impossible. I must do what will help me to reach my goals and keep me on the path that I want to travel.

Week's End Update

My people/my friends are amazing. It's difficult to share struggle; to say that sometimes I get frustrated and have doubts in myself and others. The want is to show that I have it all together and I'm impervious to things like a lack of confidence in myself or that I have completely overcome anything that could cause anxiety or fears to rise within. Well, my happiness is found in not only accepting that I'm not perfect, but admitting it too. I'll never be perfect, but I will be better as long as I keep practicing/doing the things that need to be done to fully embrace myself and my humanity.

Life changes, like relocation of a residence and changing jobs (even when staying in the same career field), do cause stress. Having the opportunity to express that through this medium showed me that I have support from all who care for me. I'm grateful. Many have reached out publicly and privately to let my know that they were willing to provide support in any way that they could. Wow! Just that very act of kindness was enough to help me get through. 

So most of what I was concerned about has resolved and I'm still heading in the direction that I've set myself to go. There are still details that, in my mind, are still flapping in the breeze, but I have faith that everything will work how I desire--in the best interest of me.

Making big changes, even positive, will stir things up emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. But I know that I'll get through it all and come out on the other side of it all much better off than I was going into the fray. Knowing that I have support helps immensely. 

Yeah I do this, writing about myself, things happening in my life and things that I learn, because I know that it will not only help me, it will help someone else. I promise that I will continue to speak up because I know that there are those who need to hear what I have to say.

I'm Struggling

At a time in my life where it looks like things are going well for me, I am struggling. Anxiety has overwhelmed me and all I can see are the hurdles and blocks that are in the path to where I want to be. I've grown tired of repeating the same old mantra of, "everything will be alright/work out." I don't have the energy to even think that way.

When one goal is accomplished; obstacle surpassed, more show up and even threaten the good thingsthat were just done. "Well, that's life," you may say. "Stay positive and keep going," you still quip. I know these platitudes. I've said them to you and to myself. And therein lies the conundrum. These platitudes hold some grains of truth, yet my energy is faltering and my grip is slipping. 

I've been doing this new chapter/life change mostly on my own because it's, ultimately, for no one else but me. I've reached out for some help, but I've found that the help is lacking, or comes with strings, or I'm not bad off enough to receive it. So, that leaves me to keep plugging along as I walk the tightrope strung between barely doing better and complete and utter failure. I'm exhausted. My brain screams at me, "Where is your help? You've helped others, even when you could barely help yourself! Yet, you're on your own now. Why didn't you take care of yourself? This shit about karma and what you put out to the universe...blah, blah, blah, it's all a fucking farce!" It goes on to say, "Just give up. You've gone this long, and shit still is fucked. What's the point?"

Why am I putting this out for the world to see? Why am I putting this into the universe? It totally flies in the face of what I preach and say I believe. I'm human. I struggle. I am struggling. Maybe it'll help me. Maybe it'll help someone else. Maybe it's a fruitless exercise and these words will just float away never to be seen. Whatever. At least for a small period of time they are not in my head and that's at least a small about of relief from the anxiety that is threatening to cripple and possibly kill me.

Be A Real (hu)Man

I used to cringe every time I heard someone say, "Be a real man," or launch into a verbal attack about what they saw in me that they felt was not manly enough for their standards. In my 40 plus years on this planet, I've had the phrase directed towards me more times than I care to count or remember. For a time it became something that I'd consciously say to myself, and unconsciously allow to direct my actions and appearance. Life, was pretty confusing, frustrating, and dark at times and I certainly was not happy.

One day while in my misery, I exclaimed both inside and out loud, "I am so tired of this shit; I'm done with my being happy!" And that was the moment that I started to just be. There was no need to figure it out. I knew exactly who I was and to get back to me it took shedding off everything that I'd taken on from outside influence.

It wasn't easy at first. I was used to wearing the mall of being tough, strong, and "manly." Theses things became a source of comfort and power for me. Yet the more I started to leave those masks behind the more I began to realize that hiding who I truly am to fit what the world said I should be, was killing me. So I chose life and living. And I learned that being a man was what I was. I didn't need to put on a facade. Being the kind, loving, empathetic, intuitive, quirky human being that I naturally am was All I needed to be.

Do yourself a solid, drop the masks, quit trying to be a man and just be the man that you really are. I can guarantee you that the man you want to be is the human that you already have been since you were born.

My Thoughts: The Little #MeToo Book For Men

Mark Greene (author of Remaking Manhood and Good Men Project Senior Editor) wrote a book for men on the #metoo movement. It is a powerfully empathetic non-judgmental call for men to break out of "the man box" and free ourselves from participating in our toxic culture of masculinity and the burden it has become. It's a compassionate call to be better human beings. I'm my opinion this is a must read for everyone.