Never stop learning.
Be willing to leave your comfort zone.
Easier read than done.
And when did we decide that “read” can be pronounced as reed or red?
Anyway, today I dive deep into personality traits in order to move past them and grow into my future self.
Although these topics are covered elsewhere, in popular media for instance, I have rarely written about them here.
I am male by birth, heterosexual by primary gender preference. Which often means that I find myself desiring a female of my species without realising it. To the women whom I have ogled absent-mindedly, I give you my apologies — I most often discover myself eyeing a female when there is something going on in my thoughts that scares me, thus driving me to want to procreate in case an imaginary monster is about to kill me.
So what scares me?
Not being liked by at least one person.
Having no wooded land I can walk through alone.
Memories of separation by death.
Being maimed, in agonising pain, and no way to end the pain.
Leaving this world without leaving progeny behind.
On that last fear I stand and meditate for a moment…
I have lived billions of lives, wandered this planet for millions of years, experienced the body of a human and the birth/death of stars.
I want pain, I want discomfort, I want happiness and joy.
I also want a child of my own, a human being who has my genetic material and is influenced by me in one way or another as it grows from infancy to adulthood.
If I do not father a child, I will die with these words as my offspring, pebbles tossed into the pond of life, causing small ripples to spread out and combine with or subtract from other waves.
Not a bad thing.
But I know that I am incomplete. I am at the age where many of my schoolmates are parents, grandparents, even great-grandparents.
I am an uncle and a great-uncle. I am a son. I am a brother. I am a husband.
I am fatherless.
Therefore, I am missing part of the pain, discomfort, happiness and joy that comes with being a parent.
When my girlfriend, Renée Dobbs, died at age 10 when we were in 5th grade together, I promised my dead 10-year friend I would not forget her, imagining that one day I would have a daughter of my own and could nurture her past the age of 10, healing myself of the stunted emotions I locked away when Renée died.
I don’t even need to have a child.
I just want the hope [that in the future I could possibly have a child] to keep me going.
I can mentally live on ideas for generations.
Sometimes that hope in my thoughts gets mixed with my sexual desires and even I get confused about what it is I want rationally versus what I want in a more primal manner.
I am getting older so I have grown to understand in part that having a child of my own can be substituted with encouraging younger adults as a proxy for being a parent.
If some of these people see me as a father figure, I cannot say, because I have never been a father. My only interpersonal relationships have been as a son, brother, boyfriend, friend, husband and [great]uncle.
Today I give myself permission to ask who I really am, and who I want to be in the future.
I cannot control what others think of me but I can change the person I project.
I choose to look in the mirror and see the 54-year old man who looks back.
I don’t have to pretend to be sexually attractive to get others to like me. In fact, such an image may be a turnoff at my age and it’s not what I really want.
What I really want is for our species to live on a planet[oid] other than Earth.
And by species, I mean a self-aware being that recognises itself as progressing out of the lifeforms on Earth, regardless of its set of states of energy, its chemical composition that differs greatly from Homo sapiens.
Amongst many roles we play, we are messengers for our genetic code.
I don’t have to be afraid that I will die fatherless. I don’t have to maintain the semblance of some sexually attractive aura.
I can be the me I am in my thoughts when no other human is around.
I can live on Mars and wander the woods at the same time, imagining woodland creatures many an ancestor believed lived in the forest in anthropomorphic form and creating adventures for us to enjoy together.
That’s who I’ve always been, interrupted occasionally by the need to communicate with other humans and navigate my way through the eddies and swirls of the river of life with them.
The time arrived last night when I decided to let go of thought patterns that were making me uncomfortable with myself, telling me to sleep on the idea of me as an ugly ogre.
I woke up this morning and felt refreshed but a little tired.
Yes, there is a beast or two in my thoughts — what’s a forest without them? — but they don’t own my thoughts. They are just a couple of the billions of characters in a mental narrative, the story of my life.
With that said, I move on.