Bro, Do You Even Self-Analyze??!!
A realization occurred to me recently: I'm not all that likable of a person. Now, I know you're saying to yourself: THERE'S NO FUCKING WAY, STU!! YOU'RE A PEACH!! Stay with me, y'all- you will be soon be picking up what I'm throwing down. Hopefully it makes you think about your true outlook on life.
Self Analysis is defined as "the analysis of oneself, in particular one's motives and character". I've thought about that quite a bit lately. I never gave stuff like that a second thought as a younger man, but aging has a way of making you realize that there IS an endgame and the least you can do is be honest with yourself (even if you are bullshitting nearly everyone else). Am I bullshitting everyone? That's up to you to decide.
My beloved wife of 19 years and I were having a discussion recently and I told her that she amazed me; that she was either the finest human being on Earth or a real idiot. Naturally (after a statement like that) she asked me what I meant. "It's simple", I told her, "you know the real me as no one else on this planet does and you still love me. It's kind of astounding."
She tells me that I don't give myself enough credit. She tells me that I'm a much better person than I give myself credit for (while granting some of my shortcomings as legit). I like the sound of that, but sometimes I wonder........so I self-analyze. The shrinks tell us that shit is healthy, right?
For the longest time I didn't EVER look inside for a trio of very valid reasons:
- I felt that too much self-reflection was narcissistic.
- I preferred to live in that very moment, therefore I didn't have time for it.
- What I did find when I looked in was dark as fuck and, in many cases, criminal.
A little age and wisdom is a good thing, though. I've learned that it's really not very narcissistic to dwell on your own shit. It's actually quite necessary for your own mental health and safety (and, in my case, the safety of others). I've also grown largely out of "living in the moment". That shit is overrated in most normal situations. Spontaneity has a time and place, but it's not as common in your late 30's as it is when you're 20 and don't have 2 fucks to rub together as it pertains to consequences.
As for the darkness, well........most of us have that. I thought that my darkness was exceptional, that I was the world's most fucked up individual. While I am definitely still on the right side of the needle when it comes to being a sick little puppy I've certainly seen enough crazy shit / met enough whackjobs to know I'm no Jeffrey Dahmer. You can trust me with your kids and I'm not going to drug you and chop you up in my bathtub....unless you really piss me off.
And I'd never hurt a kid, so there's that. Some things are pure and should stay that way.
Still, even my wife will tell you that I am a very selfish person. My first thought will almost always be "how does this affect me?". I'd like to placate my ego and say that's the result of an upbringing where I had to fend for myself and survive by any means necessary from a pretty early age (I was homeless as a teenager, after all), but it's also my nature. I'm looking out for number one far more deeply than the average person.
I don't have a bleeding heart. I'm not built that way. There's a coldness in me that just doesn't give a flying fuck. I don't mean that if I saw a lady being attacked I would just walk on by. I'm not a total savage, but I don't lose sleep over all of the causes that drive all of the Social Justice Warriors crazy. I don't "pray for (insert city here)". I may stop and genuinely think of how fucked up that is, but the next second I'm back to my own concerns. Frankly I think a lot of people are like this, but they just don't have the fucking balls to admit it. It's so easy to hashtag something today and look like you give a fuck. I don't hashtag. It's a point of pride. I tried it one time and it felt unnatural, like oral defecation.
I don't judge others for their lifestyle choices, be it who you fuck or what you eat or your God / lack thereof. Do you know what I do judge people for? Stupidity. I'm pretty damn judgmental on that score. Poor driving is another I'll take you to task for. Come to think of it, my wife and daughter say I have a million "pet peeves". They're probably right.
Kind of funny, ain't it? I don't judge on the big shit, but I'll nitpick the bleeding shit out of the little stuff. I'm the ultimate Grammar Nazi, but I'm too polite to correct you. That would be rude. I'm not rude. My Mom raised me better than that.
Still, despite all of my shortcomings, my state of mental health is as pink and ruddy as a newborn babe. Can you guess why?
It's simple: I'm okay with who I am. I have to be. Self analysis has taught me that. I realize that I'm not all bad, even though my bads can be pretty damn ugly. I'm not sucking my own dick, but I can also see and celebrate the goods.
I'm hilarious. I tell a mean story (even the bullshit ones). I'm the spirit of cheerful vulgarity. I cook an alright steak. I'm a human encyclopedia of useless facts and thus very entertaining. As a leader I am always striving to make others around me better and make them feel better about themselves (even if I am lying to them and they actually suck). I work harder than anyone you know. My dick is huge in Japan.
I'm my own goddamn man win, lose or draw. I may rub you the wrong way, but you'll damn sure remember me. I'm unapologetic, but you wouldn't want me any other way. Admit it.
My hope for you is that you can self-analyze and be comfortable with what you find. Do it frequently. Reevaluate and change up shit as needed, but don't ever try to be what they want you to be. Don't conform.
If you were to do that I might get upset and actually lose some sleep over it.