Stuck

Slow-Turtle

You know what I hate?

I hate working my ass off doing everything I think I should do to “get to the next level”. The problem is I never make it to the next level. Whether it’s work or music or writing, I always seem to be stuck in the same place. I just don’t have what it takes to propel myself upward. Some people have it. They post one video on YouTube and within minutes they have a thousand followers, post two more and they have a million followers. I work for years posting videos and I still only have a dozen. I never get there. I never break through whatever wall is holding me back. This is true at work as well. At first I climbed up the ladder getting promoted quickly. I was a rock star and everyone loved me. But then I stalled out. Now I can’t get past it. Somehow I’ve been labeled as mediocre and I can’t peal it off. Is this where I’m going to stay until I retire? I also tried building something with writing but it always flounders. Why is it some people can post shit and it goes viral while my shit goes down the drain? There is no building blocks for me, no blogs that generate interest, no music that causes a sensation, no writing that garners following, no niche I can call my own that makes me special. I am not a leader. Like I said previously. I’m Alfred. I am the loyal dutiful butler that stays invisible to the world with nothing to contribute of my own. No one knows my name. I am the work horse that gets no recognition or glory. So how can I build a future for myself when my future is being a nobody?

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My Place In This World

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I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out where I fit in this world.

Like everyone else on the planet, I’ve daydreamed about being a superhero or a rock star. Whether it’s using a towel like a cape or donning a hairbrush for a microphone, we’ve all fantasized about being in the limelight. And I would say most if not of us have tried it is real life as well. Whether it’s acting in a school play, singing for the talent show, or aiming for the fences in baseball, we’ve all tried to be that amazing actor/ singer/ athlete / comedian/ dancer/ or whatever to secure the attention and adoration from the crowd. Some succeed, and go on to live glory-filled lives, but the rest of us fail to break through the wall of mediocre. Maybe we try something else to see if that’s the hidden jewel, but chances are we are destined to be just another face in the crowd.

I tried to be one of those singer \ songwriters who plays guitar in a coffeehouse with visions of breaking into the music biz. But when I played, people would just stare at me like I was a car accident. My songs may have been decent and my voice acceptable, but I didn’t have the ‘it’ factor is. I was just an eyesore. Fine. I get it. Being a star isn’t me. I’d known it all along anyway. I don’t perform well in front of people. I can’t think straight and get all stupid. But I thought  I would try.

But I didn’t give up. If I can’t be the star, then maybe my place is the sidekick, right? If I’m not Batman, I can be Robin. If I’m not Sherlock, I can be Watson. I can be the trusted / smart / funny half of the hero team. But nope. That’s not me either. Why? Cause every sidekick needs a talent – something to either offset the hero’s weakness or to compliment his style. Otherwise he wouldn’t need a sidekick. Whether it’s being an acrobat like Robin, or smart like Spock, or strong like Chewbacca, a sidekick needs a thing. And I have none. Besides, the sidekick also has to come through in a pinch and save the hero from time to time. And that is definitely not me.

So fine. Skip that. Maybe I’m just a sideman. I’m the supporting character in a movie like the neighbor next door. I may have a few lines but otherwise I’m just part of the plot.  I’m like the bass player in the band. No one notices me or even remembers my name but I’m still important.  The second I stop playing the song sounds weak and empty. So, yes, I’m needed even if I’m stuck in the shadows. In fact, I’ve identified with the bass player most of my life. I even play bass in the band I’m in.  And you know what? And I am okay with that. I’m not the hero, but I’m happy knowing that I am important even though someone else gets all the glory.

But still… something doesn’t feel right. I may play bass in the band, but I still feel like an outsider. When the songs are done and everyone is hanging out having a good time, I feel like a misfit. Oh sure, I put on a happy face trying too hard to fit in. But I still feel awkward. I don’t have the skills to socialize. It’s like a foreign language to me. The more I try to fit in, the more I feel left out. In the end it’s too much work and I’m better off letting them have their fun while I go home alone.

So I guess I’m not the sideman either. So what’s left? Only one thing. I’m like the sound guy. I’m nowhere near the stage. I’m in the back, still contributing but just doing my job and completely ignored. Yes, I make the band sound good but I get no credit for it. I’m not even introduced or acknowledged because I’m just doing my job.

That’s a better fit for me. I’m not the hero like Batman. I’m not the sidekick like Robin. I’m not even a member of the team like Batgirl. In the end, I’m Alfred. I’m the loyal butler who keep things humming along in the background while the hero is out saving the world. It’s a thankless job. Oh sure, he has the respect and perhaps even the love of the hero he is serving, but he has no life and no identity outside of that.  No one else knows he exists. No one cares for Alfred. No one falls in love with Alfred. He never saves the day. He never gets the girl. And he never has his own happy ending.

That’s me. I’m Alfred.

Killing The Moment

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You know what I hate?

I hate when I make a comment that I swear is funny or clever and people look at me like I’m the idiot. Why are you all staring at me? That was funny! It was! Wasn’t it? Is my sense of humor so screwed up that no one else thinks what I think is funny is funny? Does everyone think I’m an idiot? This is why it is so hard to be involved. I try to participate. I sit in the group. I pay attention. I listen to the banter and wait for the perfect opportunity to jump in. It’s hard. I would much rather be alone and not interact with people at all. But that’s not possible, so here I am in the thick of it trying to be social and a normal human being. And finally when the opportunity presents itself, I take my shot. I build up my nerve and say a comment that I think is funny and maybe a little bit clever, but then everyone stares at me like I just screamed cancer into the crowd. I don’t understand. What did I say that was so wrong? Everyone else is being funny and silly and saying weird things, but when I do it, I kill the moment and look like a total fool. Then, once again I feel like the outsider. Why do I even try to belong? Everyone knows I’m a misfit. Can we all just agree that I’m the invisible loser. You can ignore me and I’ll stop trying to fit in and we’ll all be a lot happier, won’t we?

My Glass-Half-Empty Brain

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You know what I hate?

I hate that I am not a positive person. Seriously. I try to be a positive, but my gut reaction is always negative. It’s like negativity is ingrained in my DNA. I am a glass-half-empty guy. When something bad happens, I can’t see it as an opportunity, instead it again reminds me of how unlucky and pathetic my life is. I interpret life as a bad thing even though I know it is just life being life.

Like my previous post, when I’m driving down the road and the light turns yellow forcing me to stop, I feel it’s the universe being mean to me .When I pick a line at the grocery store and it ALWAYS ends up being the slowest line, I blame myself for picking the wrong line. Or how is it now that McDonalds has two drive-through lanes. I try to pick the one I think is faster, but I inevitably get behind the exact same soccer Mom ordering for the whole team while car after car whizzes by in the other lane. It has to be my fault

I understand that other people have the same problems and somehow it doesn’t affect them. I know it’s just life being life but I can’t help it. I see every mistake and every wrong decision as a reflection of the pathetic worthless piece of crap I am.  I know it should not affect me but that’s my point. They do because I am not a positive person. I clearly have this amazing talent of internalizing all the bad things in the universe and taking the blame for it.

Is easy to say it’s not my fault or it’s just life, but I tell myself that had I been smarter or better I would have made a different decisions, so it has to be my fault. And the fact that I know this is all crazy talk and still I believe it anyway is another thing that I hate myself for. Yep. No one’s fault but mine. So cheer’s to me and glass-half-empty brain.