Day Two: Nine things about Myself

Day One: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now.
Day Two: Nine things about yourself.
Day Three: Eight ways to win your heart.
Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.
Day Five: Six things you wish you’d never done.
Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever)
Day Seven: Four turn-offs.
Day Eight: Three turn-ons.
Day Nine: Two images that describe your life right now, and why.
Day Ten: One confession

Fact One is that I’m a very tall man. As people so love to point out. I guess it’s the easiest way to initiate a conversation; comment on the thing most obvious…Without being insulting, of course! I try to take it in stride, but on my off-days I get annoyed by this trend. For no real reason other than because I hear it all the time. But this hardly justifies my annoyance as I AM tall, so what’s the big deal?

Fact Two should be that I’m an African-American. Obviously. I try to be careful with attaching myself too closely to any label, and racial labels are especially troublesome here in America. Because in my own recent past, I have plenty of white ancestors; just because I take after my African ones is no reason to exclude the other (and really, compared to Black Africans, I take after my White ones – in Africa I’d be considered WHITE. I say this as a statement of fact taken from both American visitors and Black Africans, showing the truly arbitrary and shallow nature of our racial labels).

Fact Three is that I’m a steam pot with a tight lid. I’m bubbling with energy and commentary and really am a lot like my brother, who has quite possibly the most outgoing personality in existence. However, I have a mental cage of adamantium keeping it all behind my lips. I’m not really sure how it got there. But the steam exists in profusion and when I get really loud and talk super-quick, I’ll usually pick up on it and clam up again and keep myself under strict control. This often throws off people I just met because I come across as just a touch bipolar. Perhaps I am…I guess I naturally tend towards mental discipline but it’s all really a thin veneer for the sputtering cauldron of innate hyperactive energy I never really grew out of. 

Fact Four ties into three because I’m a man divided. I don’t know whether I prefer the steam or the kettle sides of my personality. Sometimes I wish I were that uninhibited, chill guy I know I can be sometimes…And other times I wish my emotion didn’t run rampant in my thoughts and I had more of the iron control I can show when things really go to shit. Perhaps I should just be happy I pull off both reasonably well, rather than fret that I don’t have a distinct personality trait in this regard.

Fact Five is that I value knowledge more than nearly anything else. I read, I write, I listen, I question, I travel…I just have to KNOW about this world and what it means to be here. I’ve come to the conclusion that ultimately, there’s no such thing as true knowledge since everything can only be verified subjectively; how well it applies in your life to your own observations, however I feel that the search is just as important as the results. Having an informed opinion is paramount to me and I loathe looking stupid. I try way too hard to sound like I know what I’m talking about sometimes, and while I’m pretty good at catching myself before I do it, sometimes I come across as a know-it-all.

Fact Six is that I’m a spiritualist at heart. Despite my strong inclination towards knowledge I think there are things mankind will never know, but the hints of "there is more to this existence than this" drives me towards meditation and religious study. Where does my idea of "more than this" come from? Well, to suggest that only our flawed perceptions of reality exist…Only on our scales of space and time seem a bit absurd and with the discoveries continually being made by science, willfully ignorant. To ignore the fact that we find signs of life down to the molecular level in prion conglomerations…Why should this not work in reverse? If there is a God, it would almost certainly be the totality of existence working as a divine mind, linked by the complexity of this great universe, from atoms to galaxies. Life is an expression of material complexity, much how a computer’s abilities derive from its constituent components (and thus, I do think computers are very much "alive" in a sense). The most basic life arises from complex organic molecular conglomerations; and sentient life from the assemblage of simpler organisms. Why can’t the actions and inter-linkage of sentient beings, of minds and the matter we shape bring about greater expressions? In this case, I don’t think the word "life" would truly apply to this next stage, any more than it does to the stage below life, which is "chemistry" – the seemingly miraculous interactions of molecules in given situations, but "God" just might fit, if we could truly see the larger picture. But even the previous levels of material expression are wondrous beyond a doubt. Why SHOULD an atom of sodium react violently with water? Why can’t there just be sodium and not even water but hydrogen and oxygen? This is equally as miraculous as life in my opinion one reason why science and spirituality CAN co-exist if you don’t limit your questions to "because chemistry relies on the interactions between the molecular electron clouds."

Fact Seven is that I’m a gay man. It took until age 25 to get to the point where I could consider myself "out." It was…Difficult, because I was raised thinking such a state was unacceptable. Like my parents before me, I was raised Christian, and was quite devout actually, contrary to the beliefs of my family. I recall actually crying while listening to an Evangelical preacher on TV because I was SURE I was going to Hell. I was maybe 10 years old, but that’s how the indoctrination works. Really, I’m thankful for being gay, as I’d be a very different, and probably far less interesting person otherwise! So, going through puberty and into my college years…Thinking back, as I began to feel sexual interest, I actually didn’t think much about it at first. I felt nothing for girls, and while I did fantasize about guys, it was usually guys having sex with girls, so I figured I was still straight. (they should really write a manual for this sort of thing and save a lot of teens mental anguish and/or suicide – but we don’t want our kids thinking this sort of thing is okay or normal, so never mind..) The guys never looked like me, even then I had a type of guy, but the guys were having sex with women, so yea, I was straight. But eventually, I came to suspect, then realization struck, and then despair because I had to reconcile this with Christianity. And I could not.

Fact Eight is that I loathe the current incarnation of Christianity. I don’t hate the idea of a Creator God, despite what my father and stepfather seems to think, or even Christianity itself. I hate what it’s been in the past and what it’s become once more here in America. Oddly specific a factoid, but an easy fact-point to score for this meme and a great continuation from fact seven! My father was the first to know I was gay when he read through my internet history and saw that I’d been visiting porn sites online. So he confronted me on it, I cried, he cried and said that he didn’t know what to do, but it would be alright. So he decided to out me in front of his pastor, whom I did not know, and when the pastor tried to question me…I lapsed into a stony silence, completely vacant from my mind and senses. Do I blame my father for his reaction? No. Do I hate all Christians? No. But try listening to people preach about the wrong choice of homosexuality…Listen to them foam at the mouth over two consenting adults wanting to get married and have the same privileges in the Land of the Free, just like anyone else, simply wanting to not be harassed, not trying to "force their ways" on anyone, not expecting you to hold hands at their wedding. Listening to the vitriol in the name of God, the Word of Jesus and somehow these same people can also "Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself?" Frankly, your ideas of "love" and "God" are absurd. There, I said it. Besides the personal struggle of being gay and having reconcile the Bible with myself, even at 16 there was the notion of the Creator of the Universe demanding my subservience and devotion…Are we merely baubles for the satisfaction of a Divine-sized ego? People seem satisfied with "God is God; who are we to fathom his plans? God has a plan…Faith." I say, if we’re made in his image, our inquisitive spirits weren’t meant to be quenched, otherwise we’d have never come as far as we have as a species. In short, your idea of god is petty, patriarchal, an archaic relic of a bygone era and just plain DUMB, pffhhhhbbbbbtttt!!!

I hate evangelical Christians and they are the one branch of humanity I have NO patience for. I’m sure there’s worse branches; fundamentalist terrorists spring to mind, but seeing as I’ve no personal experience with those, I’ve little opinion there. I don’t shy away from religious debates and will gladly strip apart their moral foundations just as they do to me if things get heated enough because they don’t have enough respect for me to lay off of what I consider sacred principles. Want to see me angry and genuinely cruel? Start telling me how immoral and naturally sinful I am for being what I am. I fully admit I use this as an excuse to work through my own stress and anger and inflate my own ego at the expense of another every time I engage in a debate. People have issues they take to with a passion and this happens to be mine. Deal.

Fact Nine is that I’m a really nice guy! Despite the last few rage-posts, I am! I try hard to be diplomatic and tactful..Probably too hard but I think I’m fairly empathetic and a good judge of emotional states in other people. I don’t really care to expound on fact nine because if you meet me you can decide for yourself. And if you’re reading this Livejournal we probably already know each other, so not going to further illustrate my AMAZINGLY GREAT QUALITIES AS A PERSON! Because you already know! (c;

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11 thoughts on “Day Two: Nine things about Myself

  1. I have to say, whenever I talk to people about you, most of the obvious things are the last things I tell them, LOL. Maybe it’s because Matt gets the same stuff.

    I usually say “Yeah my friend Earl (whom I still consider one of my great friends, you might think it weird, but there it is) he’s probably one of the coolest guys I’ve met” and them I tell them all the cool shit you’ve done (New Zealand and Americorp and our Ren Faire Adventure – amazing how much of an impression one weekend can leave huh)

    Anyway, for what it’s worth, I am enjoying this so far. I may have to do one myself, but I wanna see how yours goes first šŸ™‚

    1. Thanks for all the kind words Adele! I strongly recommend giving this particular LJ Meme a go; it’s interesting because I’m not really going into it with a plan. But rather just writing and seeing what comes out of it.

    2. Yep, same carrot

      I have always been able to describe what interests me about the people I’m close to, except for Earl. Not meaning to inflate you’re ego but fact is when I talk about my amazing friends back home and try to sum you up I find a lack of applicable descriptors and end up laughing my ass off instead. Miss you like all he’ll man.

      1. Re: Yep, same carrot

        How did I miss this comment? Ari, you remain in my thoughts and I know you know as much, despite our distance. And you know I’m not good with squishy thoughts so I’ll just leave it at that. All the best, buddy!

  2. Number two… Oh and this is ari

    You’re statement about heritage had me laughing so hard. It has been strange as growing up in buffalo there was so little segregation to be seen and I never thought much of it but my time in the army was the negative exposure of a lifetime. A lot of people I have met have REALLY never thought about black Americans in those terms before. I’m presently enjoying a mental image of there consternation on attempting to assimilate that entire paragraph. Minds blown and jaws on the floor.

  3. In closing

    The large issue I take with christianty and its paradoxical dichotomy is that it shouldn’t exist. Plainly if you take the bible at face value, even without reading deeply into it, the horrific and awe inspiring acts are committed by jaweh, god, original OG, or smelled by any other name. Clemency and understanding are the purview of Jesus. Nowhere that I know of does the scripture say to lead a life aspiring to be as god, actually I seem to recall a spherical gaseous ball seen at early hours in the firmament being cast down for such aspirations thus becoming fodder for televangelists and miltonion authors. His son on the other hand, the turn the other cheek judge not type, was supposed to be a perfect example of what is expected from Christian behavior. Sadly this is not often seen.
    -condemnations of a carrot

    1. Re: In closing

      Yeah, this all seems well and dandy until you introduce the idea of Christ’s divinity into the mix. Now, the two become somewhat muddied. Christ is no longer anything we can aspire to be like, being the literal Son of God, and the judgment begins.

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