In case you haven’t figured it out or have just been wondering, my audio blog “Gut Loss” is effectively dead. Sucks, huh? C’mon, be honest. You didn’t even know it existed.
I guess a few people did, and they sure did complain about the infrequency of episodes. That’s the thing. I’ve been wanting to do a little something more for my blog in either/both audio and video formats, and I figured talking about my struggles with my shitty weight problems might be the right thing. Frankly, I don’t feel the same way anymore. I do still want to add at least an audio element to this site, but maybe that should just be a weekly wrap-up or some shit like that. I don’t know… there’ll be something in 2012, I’m just not sure what.
I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this already (like every other post), but I’ve been doing a lot of working on “me” over the past few years. As 2011 comes to a close, I’ve been starting to see my efforts pay dividends. I’m certainly not “there” yet, but it’s good to see that I’ve stopped doing some of the shitty things I used to. It’s even better when I realize that I’ve done something good, something I didn’t used to do, and did it without a second thought. We should all strive to be better people, and that doesn’t have to suck. Sometimes being and doing good are their own rewards. Gettin’ all warm and fuzzy on ya’… sorry. Fuck shit bitch. Better?
That whole “Gut Loss” audio blog ended for two reasons. First, I couldn’t keep up with the demand that I had placed on myself for content. I just didn’t want to rehash the same shit about hating my man-tits and what stupid new gimmick I was going to try to shed a few pounds and how this things calories are better than that things and how I’m going to state a thing without citing where I had heard/read/seen it and blah blah bliggity-blah… which leads nicely into the second reason. The blog itself was practically a manifestation of one my least favorite traits, one which I find in myself all too often. Being self centered. That’s something I’ve been working on, too, and it’s not hard to noticed where that shitty attribute wriggles itself into your daily life when you actually pay attention to your shitty self.
I’m not going to get all the way into it today, but I’ll say that I started to work on it in myself because I started noticing it in other people. That’s not true. I started because other people had mentioned my being that way. I really started because I noticed it in others – often those that mentioned my being that way. When I saw these things, I first realized how much I couldn’t stand them. It’s so fucking annoying. Then I realized that I had done some of the exact same shitty things. Had done? Was actively doing some of the exact same shitty things. Hell, even the act of having a blog is self centered… but I think I’ll let this one slide. This is more of a journal at this point anyway (given how few people read it… tell your friends!). I’ve also noticed when people are hyper-aware of self centered or flat-out selfish (not the same thing) behavior. You know, when someone accuses another of being selfish, self centered, or thoughtless when they really haven’t been? Well, maybe you don’t know. Maybe you don’t hang out with people like that or just never notice it. I wonder if most people even pay attention. Hmm. But that is, also, for another time.
One of the things that I really can’t stand about myself is my recent lack of punctuality. A lack of punctuality is, at least I think, an act of selfishness. And by “recent”, I mean “the past few years”. I do have an excuse – which I will give upfront as excuses suck and are usually just attempts to evade responsibility. This will be no different. Here’s my excuse: Other people are late all the time. ALL OF THE FUCKING TIME!!!
I didn’t used to be all that bothered by this. A few years ago, it started to really piss me off. I had just left the military where being five minutes early meant being on time. Being on time meant being late. Being ten minutes early meant you actually gave a shit. Being late meant… well, yeah, you really shouldn’t be late. When I left the military and came home, I tried to apply the same rule. I would consider every meeting an equally important appointment, just like I used to. It didn’t matter if it was work, health, auto, or just meeting some friends at a bar. I was going to be there on time – a.k.a. five minutes early. But noone else would be, and by that time I had developed a pretty strong social anxiety.
We would plan to meet at 6:00 PM – a pretty busy time for restaurants. I would plan out a route and arrive no later than 5:58 PM. Then I’d wait. And wait. And fucking wait, until I started to feel like everyone there was staring at me and thinking that I’d been stood-up or was some kind of pathetic loser. Of course, they weren’t thinking that. Nobody really gives a shit about what anyone else is doing at a restaurant or bar unless they’re trying to pick them up. After what would feel like ages, it would finally be about 6:15 and I’d be wondering if I was in the wrong place or there at the wrong time. I might even fire off a text or two to make sure that everything was cool. Then, finally, around 6:20, one of the friends or family members that I was supposed to meet would waltz in as if he or she was actually early. I would be pissed, though usually wouldn’t say anything.
I remember the breaking point. I was supposed to meet some friends for drinks at a local bar that I rarely attend. Nice enough place, just not quite my vibe. We were going to meet up at 8:00 PM. I got there at 7:50, thinking I’d be a little bit early and would have some time to set up a tab and maybe secure a table. By 8:30 PM, none of my friends had bothered to show, and other patrons actually were staring at me. To be fair, they weren’t judging my lack of friends, but rather my single-person occupation of an eight-person table. A few minutes later, I gave up the table and grabbed a stool at the bar. I refreshed the pint that I’d been nursing for the past 45 minutes and sent a few texts. By 9:00 PM, I had not received a single reply. Not a single one of my friends had even thought that I might be weighting for them. It sucked, and it sucked hard.
I didn’t receive any replies that night. The next day I found out that they didn’t even make it to the bar until around midnight. They had all been hanging out at one of their apartments, having drinks and playing Rock Band (actually… it might have been Guitar Hero… it was a while ago). It was at that point that I basically said, “Fuck it”. It was real “if you can’t beat ’em…” kind of moment. I was done trying to show up on time for people who clearly didn’t give a fuck about my time.
To be completely fair, it was really just that one bar-meetup exception where not even one person was on time or even close to it. There are a few people that I know who are vigilantly punctual – a trait that I truly admire. But that event really scorned me, and my fragile state simply could not risk a repeat.
In retrospect, that was a shitty way to be. It goes completely against my whole “do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do” philosophy. If that counts as a philosophy. But now I’m in kind of a rut. It’s less that I don’t want to be there on time or early – I do. It’s more that I can’t seem to judge the correct time frames. I definitely don’t want to be really early. If I end up in another several-hour waiting session, I really will give up on being on time. However, I’ve become okay with being alone on a bar stool for a little while. I’m (mostly) over that hump.
You see, it’s all about respect. Being punctual is being respectful to everyone else who is involved and thus bound to that time. If you give me a “soft time”, I may still not fully respect it. “Yeah, it starts around 9:30ish” tells me “Come whenever the fuck you want, ’cause we’re going to be here for a while”. But if it’s a hard time, “Let’s meet at noon”, that tells me that I have a deadline that I need to respect. When I meet that deadline of having my body in that place at that time, I am being respectful. This has become especially important to me over the past year as I have come to notice the people who have no respect at all for my time. Family is often the worst… I suppose my brother’s been pretty good about it for a long time, but he’s about the only one. Other family members just expect me to be ready at the drop of a hat, as if I couldn’t possibly have anything planned and I’m on permanent vacation. Or as if my schedule perfectly matches theirs, and they can just go, “Hey, I’m gunna be in Baltimore in five minutes” and I’ll be there.
No. I’m not. I won’t be there. I’m busy. Even if I’m not, I am. I’m too busy being an adult with responsibilities of my own to drop everything I am doing just because you showed up unannounced.
That being said, I do appreciate spontaneity, and I’m sorry to admit that I’ve brushed off a few too many spontaneous-fun invitations. But back to my point.
Respecting a “hard time” is important. Not the times that you are ABFing whilst MFCing. That’s different. I mean a set time for an appointment, meet up, or rally. “The show starts at 9” means that 9 is the absolute latest you should be at the show, so plan accordingly. Respecting that hard time shows that you respect your time and the time of others. When you show a lack of respect for time by your lack of punctuality, you are showing a lack of respect for the people you are meeting. That is a shitty way to be, even if you don’t mean it that way. I have been that way for too long, and I would like to stop it. Sadly, it’s easier said than done. It shouldn’t be, but my years-long lack of respect for time has left me ill equipped to judge the time I need to arrive at my destination on time and not super-early. That being said, early truly is better than late. I guess I’m just going to have to start everything earlier until I can get a handle on this.
tl;dr – hell of a long post to talk about the fact that I can’t seem to get anywhere no time
I mean, shit… I don’t even wear a watch anymore.
By the by – if you are one of the people that I’ve done this to, I’m sorry. I have probably apologized in person already. Probably at the time of the incident, but I can’t imagine that having any real impact. Actions speak louder than words, and the best way to make amends for this or any other shitty way you’ve been is just to not do it anymore. Be a better person. Do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do. Don’t fuck it up for everyone else. Those are my three biggest things right now. I hope you’ve enjoyed this extremely self centered post. Now go suck a satchel of dicks.