Accepting Stories

It no longer surprises me when I meet someone and instantly think “Yep, I want to get to know you better.” It’s also no longer surprising to me how often this happens.

There’s a common saying about luck: luck has to find you before it can bless you. The more chances you give it to find you, the more times it does. The more I actively look for and take chances, the luckier I am.
It doesn’t stop me thinking I’m useless with people and will never get with the sort of people I’m worth.
I’m reading another self-help book, and this one seems decent. It was recommended to me by my counselor. It’s called “The Happiness Trap” and it makes a shit ton of sense.
I won’t go into too much detail – that’s what the book is for – but something that’s resonating with me is the view that our thoughts are just reactions. Our thoughts are just stories and words reacting to the stimulation around us. They are not the truth. They do not predict the future. And they aren’t always helpful.
Because I have the thought that I’m useless with people, I try hard when it comes to people I like. I obsess over their reactions and play with infinite ideas for dates and jokes and sex. It’s all a waste of time and energy.
Because – in all my arrogant humility – I know I’m good. I know I’m worth it. And that’s a helpful thought.
I received a letter from my father the other day. It made me so angry. It took me a while to realise that, actually, it only made me feel so angry. Realising that stole all the energy from my anger and allowed me to look at what was causing it.
This letter is the second time he’s ever told me he’s proud of me.
The first time was at my school’s final ball. At that stage in my life, I didn’t like wearing nice clothes, believed sex was for marriage and thought dancing was stupid. I’d been feeling my then girlfriend’s pussy and arguing with myself whether marriage required a church or not. I was also dressed in the most ludicrously-fitted suit to ever drape a body. I didn’t want to go to the stupid ball and listen to stupid speeches by stupid jocks about the stupid friends they’d made at the stupid school, and I definitely didn’t want to do any stupid dancing: I wanted to stay at the hotel and make out.
My girlfriend decided that sex was only for marriage and vanished herself to the bathroom. My father’s impeccable timing led to him knocking at the door to help me with my tie – school taught me nothing other than how to climb trees.
I was quite distracted. My mind was in a large amount of “what the [non-offensive swear-word]?”. I felt queasy and guilty and lost and horny and my father pulled me into a bear hug and with a tear-filled voice whispered “I’m so proud of you.”
It was about then that I started to realise I didn’t give a fuck.
I didn’t tell him this. I awkwardly hugged him back and said thanks. I noticed he was crying. It was the second time I’d ever seen him cry. The first was when his father died. We’d loaded the wood-shrouded body into the car together. We turned and my gran was stumbling out of the church, her face wrenched into a grimace of grief as the boot door hid her soulmate’s body. I looked at her face through my soaking tears and all I could think was “she looks hilarious.”
I wanted to laugh. I wanted to burst out laughing at the sheer stupidity of it all. Behind me, I heard what sounded like my dad laughing. I turned in horrid wonder, a grin spinning onto my face, but he was crying.
I realise something about my father: to him, family is everything.
It’s not to me.
I hate this seven-page letter. I can’t write anymore.
And that’s not a helpful thought. I wrote everything above five days ago. This post has been sitting on my screen since then, reminding me I need to write. It just hurts so much. So I kept reading the book.
It offered some new ideas.
Driving analogies work best for me.
Taking a corner at speed requires a subliminal balance of traction and angle. The better the angle, the less correction, the less traction needed. The less traction, the less resistance, the higher the speed.
It’s all pointless if you enter the corner backwards.
The state of your car before the corner is vital. It must be steady, balanced, perfectly paced and perfectly lined. The better the entry, the less fiddling in the corner, the faster the exit.
To better myself, I need to accept who I am now. I cannot move through the next corner successfully without being at peace with all the things inside me.
It feels like I came out of the last corner correcting crazily, feet blurring in a panic on unresponsive pedals as I saw at the wheel. I’m still not back in control, I’m still gripless and lost but I have time. The next few corners look simple and unmentionable. I don’t know what comes next, but I have the time to accept me before it comes.

Repulsive Control

“Your emotions are a clue. Witness them, feel them, respond to them; never attach to them.”

It seems that, when i write my blogs, I quickly forget what I put in them. I put that quote in my blog a month ago and completely forgot about it.
I reread my last few posts a little while ago. I’d noticed so much about myself – things that could make a difference – and then I went and forgot it.
It reopened wounds and pains I’d forgotten. And so, when I got really drunk and found my knives, I decided to add to the scars I have there.
Except, that’s not entirely true. It is a lie to say I cut because I got drunk; I’d been looking for the knives for over a week. I knew exactly why I wanted them. And it had nothing to do with what I’d read in my blog.
Since the 21st of January until now, I’ve had sex a grand total of once. Someone had a million reasons why She no longer wanted to have sex with me: Her sex drive had disappeared, She had no time, I cried when things upset me, but the ultimate reason was quite simple: I repulsed her.
The one person I’ve slept with since was quite adamant she isn’t attracted to me. To the point where I want to duct tape her mouth shut and say “I get it. Now shut up and do some squats; your ass is getting fat.”
The German bought me a bottle of Shiraz bottled by “Arrogant Frog”. She told me the image (of a well-dressed french frog) reminded her of me, which I liked. I told another friend. He agreed, but said I reminded him of a bullfrog: not many people want to touch them.
I love driving. I love being in a car. I love high speeds and sharp corners. I could drive for ages, happy with an engine and four wheels.
I love – in particular – being on the edge. I love that small margin between a fast turn and crashing in a ball of fiery regret. I love driving faster than the norm, but not so fast that I can’t react, that I can’t stop myself from crashing. I love being in control.
I detest myself when I’m not in control. I get angry when I drive too fast to react, when I take a corner too fast, when I don’t put the car exactly where I want it.
When i woke and saw my bleeding arms and drunken texts, I realised something: i haven’t been in control for a long time.
It needs to change. I need to change. I need to take back control of my life. Of my health, my emotions, my drinking, my thoughts – everything.
It’s easier said than done. And what I need to remember is that I can’t do it all at once: one area at a time – the rest will follow.

Sexy Sales

I have come to the obvious conclusion that sex and sales are identical.

Today, I lost my sales-pitching virginity.

It was a bit odd. The door opened and I was greeted with “I’m not buying anything from you!”

That’s kind of like getting naked and being told “I’m not getting wet for you!”

You just know it’s going to hurt.

So I took a deep breath, tried to stick to the pitch and you know what?

I walked out without a sale.

To be fair to myself, I changed her opinion drastically. But the whole way home I was plagued with two conflicting emotions.

The first was confusion. Why hadn’t the sale gone through? What had I done wrong? Should I have said something differently? Should I have forced this issue a little bit more?

The second emotion was utter elation. I had enjoyed delivering the pitch.

As I was driving  – and bemoaning the auto gearbox in the silly, expensive Nissan rental -, I didn’t time to have a flash of insight. But, once I got home and stuffed down a few mouthfuls of the weirdest salad I’ve ever had (pear, spinach, cheese, slices of smoked ham and balsamic vinaigrette) it suddenly hit me.

My issue with sales is exactly the same as my issue with picking up partners.

Objections are opportunities. I’m too quick to take things personally. “I don’t want you” and “I’m not buying anything from you” to me sound like “You’re wasting your time, go away.”

I pretend to not give up. I follow the motions. I have the “training” – for both pick-ups and sales – and I follow it almost diligently. This is the pitch, go through the motions.

I am not saying I do it dully. I do not use tired pick-up lines and questions with little thought – part of the motions are to inject enthusiasm and be smart with your questioning. But by simply ignoring their objection, I don’t deal with it. I don’t overcome it. It just sits there, like a big ugly chastity belt, and I don’t even look for the key.

It’s like choosing the road that’s had a wash out. I know I won’t reach my destination if I follow this route. There are hundreds of alternative routes that aren’t washed out. I could choose any of them. I could bring tools to rebuild the washed out route – or to build a bridge over it. I could bring a different car. I could choose a different destination.

I could do so many things. Instead, I drive right up to the edge and go “Ah. Fuck. Now what?”

This is the one thing I need to change: I need to deal with objections when they arrive.

Part of me thinks that I’m forcing them: if they tell me they don’t want me/the product but I then convince them that they do, I wonder if I’ve done the right thing.

Yes, I’ll get the sale or get laid, but I feel as if they’re just doing what I want.

And so whilst I’ll say I will deal with their objections, I’ll also bear something in mind: Do they need what I’m offering? Will I add to their life?

Sometimes, I meet someone and all I want is them. But I’m not going to add anything good to their lives. Perhaps they need a friend. Perhaps they have a partner and I’ll complicate that. Perhaps they don’t need to be involved with another human being right now.

It’s so easy to say – and believe – “If I don’t get them, I’ll never get with someone like that!”

Which is true. Everyone is unique. But that means that somewhere, there’ll be someone with all their qualities – all the things I love and desire – who’ll benefit from having me in their lives.

And the same is true of sales. I will not get everyone. And there’ll be sales I don’t get which I’ll really want. But that’s ok. Not getting one now doesn’t mean I can’t get one later – no matter how much I wanted it. It just means I simply try again.