The Presets “If I Know You”
 Alexander O’Neal “Criticize”
 Daft Punk “Human After All”
How well do we know the people in our lives? It’s a human failing to presume that we have others all figured out, when often we haven’t the faintest idea what really makes them tick. We can tend to base our opinions on assumption, listen a little too intently to the opinions of others, and end up with a skewed viewpoint that is so far from accurate it’s positively frightening. I know of this only too well as my own family had to make some fairly extreme adjustments in comprehension three years ago when my life spun 180 on a nickel pretty much overnight. Moreover, I was just as much a passenger as my identity was torn asunder by events out of my control, leaving me very much in the dark myself. If I had no idea of who I was, then how could anyone else be expected to get a handle on it? After all, there is nothing more intimate than the body and mind you inhabit and nobody can ever dream of accessing such exclusive coordinates. It then becomes a guessing game and good luck with that.
My character has been called into question on occasions too numerous to recount and I have long since accepted that it comes with the territory when writing in the manner that I do. By electing to be as honest with your readership as you are with yourself (often more so), you leave yourself open for criticism and, worse still, the dreaded judgement. In the past I have had a tendency to shy away from such conflict and, even now, some still believe this was cowardice. Actually it was nothing of the sort, merely self-preservation, and I’ve stated as much prior to this particular reflection. I was simply too compromised to possess anything like the tools required to fight for my honor and thus, removed myself from the firing line out of a sense of damage limitation. At the time, I was carrying the weight of the world plus change on my shoulders, and have had a tendency to punish myself already, without others slipping on the boxing gloves and beating me up some more.
However I have said all along that I have to keep learning or else be prepared never to truly find myself in all this hoo-ha. Constantly falling into the same trap disinterested me entirely and every last mistake I’ve made (which have been plentiful) has offered some form of tuition, whether welcomed or otherwise. As a result, I can now choose to stand my ground, should that become necessitated. Here’s the thing though, while this may be the case, I’ll still back off from a brawl. When this happens, the other party may suspect they have hit the relevent nerve and provided me food for thought, when really this couldn’t be farther from accurate. You see, I’m perceptive enough to be aware of my failings, and no longer require others to point them out. Besides, when every last venomous outburst reeks of inaccuracy, it’s too tiresome an endeavor to fritter valuable life time correcting. Therefore I opt to cease communication, not out of the yellowness in my belly, but because I have nothing left to justify.
It’s all here within everything I scribe, a million answers to a million posers I’ve been forced to entertain. I conceal nothing but I also only share what I’m comfortable with as certain aspects of my life I am fully endorsed in holding back for myself. But I will always write with frankness and don’t feel obliged to defend that statement as I know of such in my own mind and don’t lose a wink of sleep over supplying a falsified account of myself as it just isn’t true. Yet still question marks are raised and hurtful words spewed in frustration. Anyone reading this who can hold their hand up on such counts may believe this piece is for their sole benefit and intended to needle when, once again, this couldn’t be further from accurate. While I never approach my work in a reactionary manner, I do always provide further understanding where possible and prefer this to depressing and exhausting slanging matches. Not my style, never been my style, more than happy for others to make it their style, but won’t be partaking in such damaging endeavors.
It’s no fun being informed of the kind of person you are through gritted teeth and lashing tongue by someone who thinks that have you well licked and home truths don’t even come into it. When the assumption is so far from on-the-money that you haven’t the vaguest idea where to begin, there comes a point when you simply have to shrug your shoulders and accept that each word is falling on deaf ears. In the heat of the moment, we overlook the fact that others may well have shit going on in their lives also, and it’s futile looking beyond your self-erected defense mechanisms in these moments. I have touched before on how I loathe judgement and the reason for this is that it’s all too easy to dish out these bitter pills without the full facts at our disposal. I’ve swallowed enough to give me gut rot since stepping beneath the spotlight and the time has now come to focus on my own diet as charity cannot possibly be expected without first beginning at home. The more work we do on ourselves, the more we can donate to other causes, and I’m not speaking monetary either.
Harmful words can hurt deeply and, the moment they don’t smart, is the one where you’re clearly believing your own hype a little too much or perhaps a cyborg sent back from the future to engage in absolutely no further learning. We all have feelings and certain sensitive souls like myself have more than we know what to do with. However, there are only so many times that we will leave ourselves open to having them set upon, and over time we learn where to entrust their safekeeping and where they’re in habitual peril. Grudges are for drudges, bitterness for the terminally bitter, hate for the haters, and spite for the spiteful. I choose not to hang onto ill-feeling because it equates to additional travel luggage and it’s taken this long to master the art of travelling light. I wish no harm or foul on anyone, flat refuse to base my opinions of others on general consensus, befriend who I wish to befriend, and see no reason to vindicate myself for doing so. Know me as well as you claim and you should already know as much.
It matters not whether I have 99 problems as I’m fairly assured that every last person reading this can match that tally and that places us all on an even keel. Mine are no worse than the next person, just mine, and the moment I suspect that someone up there has it in for me in particular is one far too presumptuous for me to entertain. The best I can do with others is to endeavor to understand but that has to be a two-way deal or the whole system swiftly breaks down and friendships can’t be expected to flourish under such malfunctioning conditions. I’m currently perched on the very cusp of forty-two-years-old and know now how I wish to spend my remaining time, however long that may be. True friendship is vital, never setting out to intentionally hurt or maim, accepting that certain developments are purely out of our control, and always seeking to grasp others as we wish to be grasped ourselves. I feel truly blessed knowing that certain souls actually can claim to get me and gravitate towards them with that much more ease as a result.
When all is said and done, I’m only human, one of over seven billion models with the same inbuilt imperfections. While I accept that graciously, I’m all for a spot of reprogramming if such is required of me. Even when it appears I am static, I’m anything but, and have grown more than adept at patching myself up. Should my deductions be accurate, then I’m currently on Richard Ver. 999 and that pretty much translates to one upgrade for every day of the three years since my new self dropped off the production line. However, I’m not striving for perfection and, heaven forbid, I ever reach a point where I assume I can figure every last thing out as that would mean my firewall is kaput and I have no great desire to revisit factory settings a second time. In the words of everyone’s favorite artificial human, Bishop – “I may be synthetic, but I’m not stupid”. I’m also not a glutton for punishment, despite any suggestion to the contrary, and have far more important things to do than continually approach the bench when the verdict is already pre-ordained.
I worry about what I can change as that falls under my sole administration and simply cannot download every last predicament that I can’t. If somebody requests my assistance then, rest assured, the only time I won’t come through is for reasons out of my control and will entail the very heaviest of hearts. I wish I could do more, solve world poverty, cure every ailment, and help all of those who really need it but the past ten days have been torrid and my hands are tied when I can barely even hold my own head above water. I plead for comprehension in these moments and, should that be too much of a stretch, then I’ll take not being held in contempt over something that has been bred purely from presumption and “he says, she says”.
Indeed, it is the grapevine which dumbfounds me most, as everyone has a right to believe whatever the hell they want to believe and Chinese whispers are commonplace in this particular environment. Last time I checked, there are two sides to every coin, and I’m in no position to call tails when heads isn’t even present to state its case. The rumour mill can continue to harvest its spoiled crops but I certainly won’t be getting my oatmeal from there. Neither will I be cornered into switching allegiances, boycotting others, or forming judgements that simply aren’t mine to make. I really cannot be any clearer than that and, should my words be misconstrued yet again, then I’d recommend topping up that kettle and giving this another crack as it seems pretty crystal to me. If you’re looking for bottom lines then how do this little lot grab you? I will never be culpable of setting out to cause distress, will exercise a smile over grimace any day of the calendar year, and have come way too far to ever contemplate doubling back. Regretfully, that’s the very best I can offer and, let’s be fair, I’m only human after all.