Saturday, March 24, 2012

March 24th, 2012

TEXT TO YA LATER! (If The Tubes wrote "Talk To Ya Later" in 2012)

I must be some genius or something to come up with that headline. It's a grand statement isn't it? And those of you who know me by now (or at least know me via this blog) realize that I may or may not be full of shit.

The jury is still out on that. Some days I feel like an incredibly honest person who tells it like it is when it comes to people and behavior and what not.

The truth is... no one knows anything - we're all just doing what we can to make it through the day. Whether it's professionally or personally, we are just doing the best we can in a world where the rules are constantly changing.

I mean, think about it - look at something as simple as texting. It is now an accepted form of communication. I've gone out with girls where I could count the number of phone conversations on one hand - it was either in-person or via text. Now, I'm not hating on texting. In fact, I love it. The fact that I prefer writing lends itself to the texting landscape.

However, I will digress and say that booze, texting, and me are not a good match. I regret many o thangs thanks to a bottle of Jameson and my blackberry. But aside from that, I think texting is a great form of communication which I gladly embrace.

Think about it. It's no different than writing a letter to someone, dropping it in the mail, and awaiting a response. Only now the process is more immediate. But the good stuff remains. With the writing process comes the ability to carve out our words - be they funny, romantic, profound, depressing... and yes, even shitfaced drunk. Texting allows us to say things that might sound less than desirable if they were said aloud. But, for whatever reason, in text form it works.

Texting allows us to use our words more carefully - and in my opinion that's the most important thing. Let's say you're out with some people and you're all having a grand conversation. Everything you say is basically a first draft. For some people that's no problem. They're good speakers, so the first draft sounds like a final draft. But for others their first draft sounds...well... like a first draft - they may sound like a lunatic even. You know that thing you say to yourself after you've said something - "Oh, man I could have said XYZ instead and that would have been so much better!" But with texting you get to take your time, you get to choose your words... and that can make all the difference.

Obviously, I'm not saying we shouldn't go out and have live conversations, but if you're someone who isn't good in that forum, texting at least gives you another option (especially when it comes to dating). Texting could even improve your live convo skills if approached the right way.

I embrace this process and I think my texting skills have gotten better (not necessarily when booze is involved). For the longest time the biggest downside to email and texting was that the receiver had no emotional context when it came to reading the message you sent. How many times have you had to clarify "No, that's not what I meant!" And for the longest time BOLD type was thought of as yelling and exclamation points are used to such a degree, I couldn't even begin to tell you what they meant.

The absolute WORST are the common errors - like writing "did" instead of "didn't" - THAT completely changes the meaning. Fortunately, we're not idiots so we're able to work around such errors.

And let's not even get into Auto-Correct right now!

I think one of the most helpful tools is the emoticon - be it :) or ;) or :o or :\ - these faces actually help us convey the emotional context of what we're writing. I think this is an area that can be greatly expanded on to even further help convey our message. We need more emoticons!

I think the world should embrace texting because it can teach us to me more responsible with our words. I can't say enough how important words are. It's what I love about Obama. He gets it. He uses precisely the right words to convey an idea - simple concept, right? Well, I think there is a reason I feel for the first time that I understand the President of our country. but enough about my politics!

The words we choose represent us and I'm always careful with how I say something. However, I still can be the worst culprit when it comes to the wrong choice of words.

There is also something more intimate about texting. When you're on the phone and talking it's easy to get distracted by everything going on around you, but when you're texting you are focusing on what you're writing. If something distracts you, you stop and then go back to it when the distraction is gone. So, if I'm texting with a girl - even if I'm at one bar and she's at another - I have her attention for that moment. She may respond immediately, in ten minutes, an hour, or the next morning... but the fact is, when she does, I will have her attention in that moment. There is obviously more to all this, but I think there is something here at its core.

I'm no licensed therapist (SHOCKER!), but my guess is as this is researched more there will be some interesting discoveries about texting and human interaction. It may seem impersonal now because it's still so new, but if you stop and think about it texting is punk rock to hip hop as far communication goes. It's still evolving. When I was a kid, I would write a note to a girl I liked asking her "to go" with me, and the girl would send me a note saying she didn't want "to go"....texting is no different than passing notes in class.

Even as I write this, I am more convinced that texting is a good thing.

I'm not saying it should replace the live human experience - it should simply add to it.

In closing, and as with everything, we need to be responsible -- with the power of texting comes great responsibility and it's just as easy to misuse texting. Remember that there is a human being on the other end of that text reading what you've written and your words will impact them. But it's no different than having a verbal conversation, the same responsibility applies.

Remember, we're all fragile, even if we don't show it. In fact, the ones who don't, tend to be the most fragile. So please... take care and be nice.

We only go around once.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

March 10th, 2012

The line between you and me....

I think a lot about the human experience... more specifically human interaction. I'm observant. I watch people - I listen to the things they say and do. But I'm getting ahead of myself. I'm not sure when or how it started - it's sort of like one of those chicken and egg sort of deals. Did I become this way because of my life experience or have I always been this way and thus my life has been what's it's been?

Regardless, I am who I am.

And who is that you ask?

To my detriment, I am someone who is hyper-aware for better or worse... mostly worse - you see being hyper-aware makes you susceptible to analyzing everything around you. Rather than living in the moment I'm forced to observe the moment. Even as I type this, I can already decipher the code of why I'm this way and most likely it's a result of my upbringing (wow, does that make me the chicken or the egg - I think I'm the egg but it's the chicken that sat on me and made me the way I am). There is no such thing as perfect parenting and I'm sure one day I will deal with my kids calling me out on my shit.

But, if there is one thing I can hope for is that I displayed some sort of consistency to the way in which I raised them, because that's the thing I DIDN'T have, which in turn is the reason I believe I'm the way I am.

You see, in the house I was raised there was no way to know what you were going to catch wreck for. There was no rhyme or reason. Something that wasn't an issue one day would suddenly be one the next. Now, granted we all have our childhood experiences and we all have our stories. And who knows, maybe we were all raised in environments where we didn't know what we'd get in trouble for... all I can say is this is how it defined who I am.

The goal in my house was to avoid getting in trouble. Being the youngest male, a poor student, a runty immature kid this meant I was getting the full onslaught from all directions be it home or school. Whether getting in trouble for God knows what at home or being bullied at school, it forced me to be on alert at all times (analyzing a situation, making choices, and trying to shape a desired outcome) -- needless to say it was emotionally grueling. Additionally, on the home front I was raised to believe that every action/choice had some sort of meaning behind it - everything was an ISSUE.

Now some of you reading this may already understand what I'm getting at. Rather than living in the moment, I was forced to analyze the moment and attribute some sort of meaning to it. This has followed me throughout my life and today I sit here typing this -- owning up to it. Fuck - this is confusing...

Bottom line is, I subjected my ex-wife to this and even some of my post divorce relationships.... Christ, how annoying! I wouldn't even want to spend time with someone like that. Now, I'm not saying it's the reason my marriage didn't work nor my relationships, but I do know it's a major turn off and I'm doing my best to change things. Sure there is some analyzing that's healthy to some degree, but I take it to a whole new level. Actually, the only analyzing I should be doing is on myself.

OK - I think I've got it figured out a little...I think self reflection and some analyzing is healthy, but what happend to me is different. As a kid, I forced to come up with meanings behind what I did, which meant it didn't have to be true, it simply had to get my mom and step dad off my back -- AND -- they would even analyze me and tell me why I did something (even if it wasn't the case) -- but I was a kid... what else could I do but just say "yeah, that must be the reason I did that."

So, there you have it. My reason for being annoying. Throughout my childhood my mom and step dad would psycho analyze my behavior and tell me why I did things and this in turn drove me to do the same. I think I've done a good job to NOT do that with my kids... BUT, I don't think I've been as successful in other aspects of my life... and I regret it -- I don't regret much, but I DO regret that.

This all goes deeper with lots of mom and trust issues, but there is only so far I can go with this posting.

To the parents out there raising their kids, I offer this in closing (for now):

On a positive note, I will say that it's a talent that has helped me in my work. To be successful in PR one needs to be able to anticipate crisis in order to avoid it. I feel one of the strongest skills I have is the ability to grasp a situation and take hold before the undesired outcome occurs. I can point to a few situations in the field where I could determine what was going to happen before it did - not quite ESP, but in the realm of it. Because of that skill I was able to avert a "disaster" (PR disasters aren't usually that big of a deal, but hey, it's my gig).

I feel like I'm just going off on tangents here. I'm tackling two issues that are related but ultimately different. I think simply stated I've been unsuccessful in relationships for a few reasons, but this is definitely one of them.

The reality is this.... you meet someone, you enjoy being with them, you see what happens... trying to anticipate the outcome (internally or externally) will just lead to failure. That's what I used to do and am trying to avoid as I move ahead. I am trying to be in the moment - it's not easy, but I'm giving it my best. Ignorance is bliss some of the time.

I think self reflection is an important quality to have, but notice the word "self", meaning it's not my place to analyze you. Sure, your actions/behaviors will lead me to draw my own conclusions about you (that's the normal human experience). But, it's not my job to attribute meaning or even tell you what I think it means (unless you ask me of course). And, if you can, just turn off your brain and live a little. Get outside of your head and enjoy life.

I really could keep going on and on about this... but you know what? I'm going to go outside and play.

See you around, suckers! I'm sure I'll have more to say on this later.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

March 8th, 2012

LIKE LOTTO... gotta be in it to win it.

So, I'm back - with what? I don't know. I do know I'm not interested in blogging about my love life on a daily basis. That's not to say I won't discuss it at all - after all, it continues to be quite the interesting experience with all the trimmings! What's amazing is that I'm no further along then I was when I left you back in May 2011 -- everyday I'm shufflin', trying to find a balance that works. And just to be clear, it's not me being a player - it's me trying to find something that works.

As always, I remain hopeful - and, as always, I remain the same - a scared romantic (don't ask - that's another conversation)

I've learned a lot in the past year -- while I'm driven by the continuing pursuit of the opposite sex, I'm also discouraged beyond belief. The push and pull. The I'm too into you or the you're too into me... it's madness I tell you.

The ability to find two people who can be on the same wavelength is a challenging one. Probably more so at my age. At 42 I've seen and done a lot and I'm caught in the middle of wanting to be irresponsible and sensible. It's hard to explain, but I see it and I live it.

I'm not interested in naming names or speaking ill of anyone -- as I've maintained, all is fair in love -- I'm allowed to reject you just like you're allowed to reject me. It's not personal because we're all allowed to find what it is we want that will make us happy.

So enough of that for now. The last year has brought much change and I'm very excited about what the next chapter has in store. My goals are simple - transition into a new phase of my PR career and move into a bigger apartment so I can have more room for my kids :) -- I like those goals - tangible... not emotional.

There is so much on the horizon to look forward to like an upcoming Vegas bachelor party (it should be noted this will be my first Vegas bachelor party post marriage -- you do the math!) -- I bring attention to this because my bachelor party was kind of lame. It was a poker game... and that's it. I was a bit on the wimpy side back then and the idea of letting loose with strippers and such was bit outside my comfort zone. I don't apologize for it - it's who I was back then. This go round? Who knows! I mean, I'm not the one getting married, so I look forward to acting stupid (safe, but stupid) even if others are not.

My bachelor party was very representative of who I was as a person... I lived life in fear a lot - I didn't trust myself... If you think I've got issues now.... well, brother, go back and visit me circa 1996. And it's not like I'm cured - I still continue to struggle with the demons of my childhood. I think overall I'm doing good, but the one thing I've learned is that it takes effort to try and go against a lifetime of experience (especially those childhood ones that really do seem to stick with you a looooooong time).

As we go through adulthood we continue to rationalize our actions and stay within our comfort zones. I'm doing the best I can to not do that, but it's tough. It's far easier to take the road I'm used to traveling versus taking a different route.... it's not to say you have to do one over the other, but I do think it's important to try new things (try living differently, even if you ultimately decide it's not a direction you want to take again).

With all that said, I'm not going to make some grand statement that I will blog on a daily basis - I think the pressure of that was too much last year. Rather, I will blog when I feel I have something to say. Fair enough?

- Punchy

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

One more thing...

It's important to note that The Year of Loving Dangerously is almost a year old and I'm a much different person than I was then.... if you choose to read those entries keep in mind the time that's passed from May 2011 to now...


Where have you been?

Hey there!  Where have you been?  Me?  I've been here!

So, here is the deal - I've merged my old Year Of Loving Dangerously blog (a valiant 5 month attempt at a tell all blog that ultimately was impossible to maintain) with the OG A Punch In The Face blog.

It's all here -- hopefully in order, but I have to comb through it all.  While I gear up to write new entries, feel free to check out my mental floss and all the ramblings therein.

I love you all who have read me in the past and I will love all of you who choose to get on-board the crazy train!

Going off the rails!