Undefined Feelings

What I want to do is describe why exactly I feel the way I do about a particular situation.  But I have been having difficulty defining the reason for the emotions I have.  It’s probably not appropriate to divulge specifics in this space either, but I do need an outlet, and that is the main reason this blog exists.

The situation involves people I have known for over a year.  It involves agreements, and money.  It involves time and planning.  Somewhere – and I’m pretty sure I know the place – there was a miscommunication.  And that was probably my fault.  When it comes to discussing money, in particular money that someone will pay me for some kind of service I will provide, I have a block.

That block prevents me from being clear.  It stops me from saying exactly what I think I am owed.  I take into consideration other peoples opinions of me.  Like, am I worth that amount of money?  Do I need to provide the best of that particular service for them to appreciate me?  What if they are not satisfied?  These questions are a result of a lack of confidence in myself.  It is a dismissal of the core values that I believe I hold close.  It is a subconscious refusal to believe that I am worth what I expect.

It is only within the last year or so that I have even begun to question my own paradigms.  It had taken me close to 40 years(!) to realize that I am worth exactly how much I define myself to be worth. Until recent years, I chronically undervalued myself.  I would feel ashamed, embarrassed, or unworthy to accept money for a service that I provided.  My worldview in relation to money was in large part formed by my penny-pinching parents, especially my father (RIP).  It was framed in such a way that I viewed cheap things as valuable: the cheaper the better.  So when I began to provide services for clients, that ‘cheaper is better’ worldview shaped my expectations of how much money I should receive.

And that led to uncomfortable situations that occurred when I needed to discuss with a client the price of my services.  I used phrases like, ‘If it’s OK…….’, or I know it’s a little expensive, but….’. Discussing money with people has always been a challenge.

Now I look at receiving money as an exchange for my time.  And my time has become increasingly more important.  My son requires my time.  So does my wife.  I need my own time.  When it comes allocating time to people I love, I never seem to have enough.

Anyways, long story short, I recently had a problem with an exchange of services for money.  What I expected was vastly different from what the other person’s expectations were.  And now, with the time coming closer to the requirement of my services, there is an uncomfortable feeling within me.

I think it is a battle of the past me with the new me, and the resulting emotions playing out within.  The old me says to suck it up, and accept what has been offered.  The new me says Fuck that!  Have some pride!  Don’t settle!  I wish it were that easy, as the situation is slightly complicated and involves other people who are depending on me, and really are not involved in the financial aspect of the situation.

If anything, I have learned a huge lesson from this.

And that is something to be thankful for.  Part of growth and development is making mistakes.  I definitely made a mistake in not defining exactly how much I expected, and that is something I can grow from.  My undefined feelings then are a mix of dissatisfaction, annoyance, uselessness, etc.

Gotta change. Grow. Learn.


Just Walk Away


Sometimes I encounter little tests.  How I react to these tests takes me a step closer, or a step farther away from the kind of person I want to be.

I have changed in the past few years.  I used to let my emotions take control of my ability to rationalize, so that I would simply respond to such ‘tests’ with anger, jealousy and spite.  My late father provided the earliest examples of how NOT to deal with situations that had the potential to evoke such negative feelings.   I was not immune to the rage that flowed through his blood and infected mine.  I didn’t have the strength to resist my own urges.  There were times I cowered in fear of his reactions, and in turn, I have laid bare  the raw reactions that come from anger, irritation, annoyance.  In doing so, I have also instilled fear in those I love.  Afterwards, I saw clearly the consequences of letting emotions drive my reactions, and I regretted them to no end.

But like I said, I have changed.  I no longer succumb to the dark side of emotions.  I do not let myself engage.  It takes an enormous amount of restraint to not let my feelings wash over me.  In those moments, I breathe deeply.  I concentrate my breaths, allowing the rhythmic motion of my chest to calm me down.  I keep my mouth shut, or I lower my voice to low whisper, evoking in myself a feeling of calm, rationality.  I examine the person I am arguing with.  I tell myself, I cannot control what they do or think.  I can only control myself.  I force myself remain quiet, in control.  Yes, I tuck my balls between my legs, and run away from myself, because it is myself that I fear:  The irrational child within me who cannot see beyond his own desire to win, the desire not to lose, the desire to hurt.

I can only control me.  Sometimes that is difficult, but the consequences of not doing so are at best unpleasant, and at worst, harmful.  So I step back, look at myself, feel the swell of emotion rising up, and I bat it back.  I resist the urge to confront.  Because in the end, I have only myself to confront, and that is challenging enough.

I just walk away.


Sharing Laughs and Ideas

Geoff came from Kobe to visit for a couple of days while I had time and space to myself.  We had ambitious plans to create 4 different short videos for the brand he represents.  It involved a cafe, a dog, and a bag.  We had a complete shot list, ways of shooting, angles and locations all scoped out.  It was to be a project of considerable planning and cooperation.  We succeeded in getting one quarter of what we had arranged to do.

While that may not be considered a glowing success rate, what we shared in the process of success and failure was just as important, if not more.  We realized that despite the geographic distance between us, our philosophical distance was almost negligible.  We share many similar approaches to creation and organisation.  However, where we differ may be in how we react to situations and people.

We did a lot of cycling.  The weather was perfect: not oppressively humid, breezy, and sunny and not excessively hot.  We drank and ate perhaps a little excessively – but we good food.  Watermelons, pineapples, apples, grapes, leafy greens, strawberries.  We did not limit ourselves.  We chose exactly what we wanted and proceeded to indulge.

Appreciating what we have in our lives; being happy in the moment; not stressing about the future; nor dwelling on the past; laughing; exploring…

These principles are foundational in the creation of a good life.  Best for me to remember  that….