New York Sunset - HDR by Jerry Ferguson

Mistakes Were Made: Being Yourself Doesn’t Mean Be An Asshole

You know, when I thought about this theme over a week ago, I had no idea how much of a pain in the ass it was going to be. Writing about Education took me over a week to post and like most rambling epics it was more abandoned than completed… And now I want to apply the theme “Mistakes were made” to relationships? Shoot me now… please. I mean, it’s not for a lack of material to write about, but who the hell would tolerate the litany of relationship errors made by yours truly? Even Woody Allen would find that an insufferable exercise in mental-masturbation. Well, worse than that is that I find myself in the awkward situation of having nothing to complain about as far as relationships, communicating with my girlfriend and the like. Yeah, I know, it feels eerily like that wonderful calm in the center of a hurricane… I have no prior referential points to hang on to, except to just enjoy the experience. And this is not what you, the kind reader, have come to expect from me. I apologize. So, in lieu of my usual relationship rants let me offer one observation.

The long road toward being yourself

Everyone says how important it is to be yourself, but when you’re young you more often than not have no idea who you really are. So for some of us, we turn that advice into permission to be completely self-center and destructively selfish. I was lucky when I went through my selfish phase, post-divorce, that my friends were very tolerant and it did give me enough time to become my own person. So, the admonition to “be yourself” is not an invitation to be an asshole (even if that seems to be your only gift to the world… it isn’t, you just haven’t been at it long enough to know). So, just like anything else, as you are learning who you really are you are going to make mistake after mistake. If being yourself means that you’re not as popular as you’d like to be, maybe that’s not such a bad thing. God knows, the process of fucking up and picking yourself off of the ground will probably make you a more interesting person and that is always better than just being popular. One thing that never gets mentioned when one is told to just be yourself, is that when you get there, when you really get comfortable in your own skin, then you’re finally ready to be a real contribution because you know what you have to offer and it all genuinely comes from your best qualities. So, however long it takes, be yourself and enjoy the journey. See, I don’t always have to be long-wind and pain-inducing with my writing. Who knew? Mistakes were made, but we’re all better for having hung in there long enough to become ourselves and enjoy the journey.


image: New York Sunset HDR by jerryfergusonphotography,


  1. Debbie Patsel

    What can I say, but I agree and well said. Life is a journey and should be lived at at high velocity to fully enjoy all of the ups and downs. Being in love… ahhhh, that’s great. Enjoy!


  2. Leland Kriegh

    You know, Joe, I become quickly bored with those who fear hell. I would much rather spend time with those who have walked through it.


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