When he was 4 we were all in the back of my mom’s station wagon and we were asking him to explain something… and he said, “It’s kinda cool, kinda groovy… you know? it’s kinda cosssssssmic”. We all cracked up so hard we couldn’t breathe. Who WAS this kid, son of eccentric oil painter father and hippy mother turned PPG business icon?
He was my cousin and he never stopped amazing us because we could NOT figure this guy out for the life of us.
Fast forward 24 years. He’s about 28 and a computer programmer, doing C++ and whatnot. He is still baffling us with his personality which is a blend of Bill Gates, a subdued David Letterman and Steven Wright (deadpan comedian).
We love him though. He’s our cousin.
He visited me one time in Florida and he kind of opened up a bit for the first time (EVER)… he wanted to know about me and what I’m doing – and what’s in the works… and how I manage to survive anywhere I go, doing anything and everything.
And I just laughed. Thinking him not serious. But yeah, he was very serious in his joking way… he was intent on knowing what the secret of living a stress free life was…
And still, I was laughing because he couldn’t be serious.
I’ve been through some SHITE in my lifetime… and yeah, nothing much affected me for a while… even until 35 or so, but then, after that – and after I had a child by a girl that I thought was a really good girl, just confused a bit… I realized that life is really sucking azz and what the hell am I so cheery about all the time?
I think I never realized the seriousness of life before 35. I was just blowing through it – doing almost anything I felt like, because I could.
I quit jobs on a whim because I could. I knew with my skills I’d get a job within a day or so. It was a fact… I knew facts. My life is based on being able to look at the reality of the situation – ANY situation and making it work based on likely outcomes.
I don’t attach to outcomes much. I have probably analyzed what the % liklihood of outcome is for any major situation in my life and so I’m non-plussed when it turns out that way, or turns out like one of the top 3 ways I figured was likely. I don’t usually WANT another way, because I’ve even thrown THAT into the equation – I know what I want, and how much I want it and then when it’s added to the equation I see if it could have the possibility of changing the reality of the situation. Sometimes yes, but really – I don’t want things much – whatever they are – and so it doesn’t usually change things. I’m very aware that for things I want I can change the reality of ANYTHING though.
So – what did I say to my cousin…
I can’t remember… but what i’m thinking about now as I recall it is that I guess I’ve never really taken anything seriously before. I had an uncle that told me once, whatever you do – sometimes you’ve gotta make yourself happy because there is NOBODY else that’s looking out for you. He said I was responsible for my own happiness. I was 14 and yet I realized quickly that he was right. That talk put me on a path in life where I was always trying my best to make others happy, but ultimately, I answered to myself… and if I was happy, then life couldn’t really be all that bad, could it?
Now as I look toward the 41st birthday… I’m asking myself, what makes me happy anymore? I have done so much in my life that not many new things spring to mind. Virtually nothing sexually related. I’ve done what I wanted to do and the rest seems like wasting time – and in Thailand – like risking too much with AIDS and other things.
Moneywise I’ve made enough in the USA to be happy. Spent it all and that was that. I kind of put aside the insane drive to make more money over these couple years in Thailand.
Religionwise, I’ve already found exactly what it is that makes the world go round… I’ve seen it… felt it… and it was phenomenal, unlike anything EVER… and yet I was able to turn from it and leave it where it is still – in the back of my mind waiting for me to meditate again and reach the state I had 11 years ago.
What else is there really?
Noveltywise there are still some things that get me revved up. Travel sometimes does it. Creating something does it. This blog does it sometimes as I realize something about Thai culture or foreigners here and our relationship with Thais’ that makes sense and explains some things.
Exercisewise, yeah, still got that demon inside – I can see me starting to run and bike again on a serious bent for world domination at 50 yrs old.
Other stuff that gets me cranked are things like making kids happy… giving them toys and stuff while we’re out traveling to a new place… talking to them in English and watching them blush and go into shock because the farang talked to them. In Ubon and Isaan this is common and a really cool thing to see.
Eatingwise, I think I’ve eaten everything I’ve wanted to – nothing much left to try except scorpions and tarantulas in Isaan.
What else is there?
Not sure, I guess the key to my attitude so far has been: try everything and see what it’s about, don’t worry about what others think – just make yourself happy because nobody is looking out for me except me. Once I took that to heart I paved the way for a rather stress-free life, even though filled with tragedy, rarely got me out of the game for long.