Every now and then I have these moments during which I catch a glimpse of honesty, like when you’re in a cab racing through the city and you see a flash of something that flips a switch in your mind and you cling, cling, cling for a moment to the desire to take a closer look until you realize that it’s already fifteen blocks later and there’s no way to go back.
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My entire life, I’ve had one ambition under (or over?) all of the others, and that was to someday arrive at a place in which I was honest and knew what I thought and, in fact, said what I thought without a heavy filter. I’ve known people like this and each one of them has been brilliant.
The converse problem is that each one of them has also been terribly, terribly, terribly alone and misunderstood.
I don’t know how to reconcile the fact that I want to be honest with the fact that I don’t want to be alone, and the result is the lack of one kind of courage (with respect to honesty) that leads to a lot of half-attempts and a lot of windbagging, along with the presence of another kind of courage that is effectively the sacrificing of the self in order to have some measure of connection.
But there are times when it’s hard, when I feel as though I’m letting myself down by not producing or contributing what I was destined to produce and contribute. At the same time, I tell myself that I am not letting myself down if I make these compromises in order to have a life and to be connected to other people.
I end up running these equations over and over again in times of trouble and in dark hours.
I have stuff to say and do. I really do. And there have been moments when I have done so. The problem is that while a decade down the road the productivity that results tends to be amongst the things I’m most proud of, in the moment it almost always hurts, isolates me, leads me to face rejection, and so on. I still don’t know how to square the circle.
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And then people say, “Gosh, you’re not being honest? You’re not being yourself? Then I want you out of my life.”
They say this, of course, not quite getting that it’s a Hobson’s choice, that in fact you’re better off for having had them in your life for a little while and that if you walked around like the insane oracle all day they’d never have given you the time of day to begin with.
Either way you can’t have had them forever. This way, at least you get to love and be loved for a time.
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Point being that if you see this place or some other place as being a bunch of “windbaggishness” just keep in mind that it’s standing in for the great things that would be said and produced if only people (perhaps you?) weren’t so closed-minded and willing to let other people twist in the wind the moment they have something off the wall to say or do that might not resonate with you just now (and if fact might make you want to hit them) but that later—years later one—will seem to be years ahead of its time and very interesting.
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Props to people like Jorge, Noah, Lennox, and others that I’ve met over the years that have made the supreme sacrifice: to be the lonely pariah in exchange for being able to fill the world with more truth. Truth is the most precious commodity known and without self-sacrificing truth-tellers, life would not be what it is.