The idea of deconstruction is not a new one. Taking something apart to see how it works. Studying the smaller parts to better understand the sum and how all the parts work together.
To understand yourself you must deconstruct yourself and understand everything that goes into you being you. What are all the parts that go into the projection of self that is your ego or the idea that is you.
I like to explain things as simply as possible, using the fewest words possible. I like to work under the idea that if you can’t explain it simply in your own words than you don’t get it. That’s my way of saying
“Don’t expect me to quote other people much.”
I began the deconstruction of me when my 3rd wife had told me that her friends didn’t like the way I spoke. I had a habit of sounding authoritative in everything I had to say, leaving little room to question the content based on the delivery in my tone and posture.
I asked myself why I spoke this way all the time.
The beginning of the answer was readily available as the memory of working in a call center for the third time came up in my minds eye.
While I was in training at United Healthcare, I was told I am the expert and to not sound like I am the expert causes the customer to lose confidence in the answers I’m providing to their questions. I later became a supervisor and would coach my representatives on their delivery using this concept. During the 4 years of 40 or more hours a week of speaking to people this way, it became my normal way of speaking.
Our environment does have an effect and sometimes a profound one. My ego had developed this form of communication due to the environment that paid for my life. It also happened to be the environment I spent the most time in during the years I spent there. Answering this one question was just the beginning of the deconstruction of me and why I speak the way I do.
I am a nonconformist by nature. My dedication to myself to be an individual and to never go along with the crowd comes from my Hungarian DNA.
I did some research and I was happy to find out there are millions of people who live life from this rugged individualistic view. However for me, the only Hungarians I had ever met were my mom’s side of the family.
My mother is the youngest of 5 female Hungarians with a Hungarian father. My grandfather was a brilliant man. He was a WWII veteran of the United States Army. A decorated veteran who was a warrior to the core. He was well known before meeting my grandmother to be a bar brawler. If a fight broke out in a bar my grandfather might have started it and even if he didn’t he was going to get in the middle of it.
The first time my grandparents met, they didn’t actually meet. Grandpa had grabbed Grandma’s purse to hit someone with. They met a week or two later and in that first meeting Grandpa told her he was going to marry her. 3 Months later they were married.
My mother and all 4 of my aunts are brilliant minded women. They married very intelligent men, all of them. When I was a kid, I was the kind of kid who read the encyclopedia for fun.
I am that kind of brilliant myself.
At 9 I was reading Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do. At 4 my dad caught me watching an advanced economics class on public access and then I turned around and explained it to him off the lecture portion alone.
There is a legitimate reason I feel comfortable being a teacher and a guide. However it wasn’t until I took this journey started by my 3rd wife’s questions that I learned just how different I really am and how intelligent I am. It’s why I thank her now for the hell it was then to find the reasons why I was such a pain in her ass in simply being me.
Even as a child I spent most of my time alone and liked it that way. In fact the only times I ever felt lonely was around other people. I felt that way because I never really fit in unless I blended into the background. I had to work at not talking in order to be accepted.
In the time I spent by myself I was often engaged in mind feeding exercises or working on the martial arts stuff I read for 3 years from age 9- 12. I was creating my own martial art based on the formless ideas Bruce Lee had opened my mind to at 9. I practiced alone and no one has seen my form accept one time when I was 14. That was the last fight I have ever allowed myself to be in.
I didn’t like what happened later that day after that one fight at lunch. In the physical education class I was in the kid I had fought was in that class also. When his name was called another kid yelled out “YEAH AND THAT SMALL GUY OVER THERE KICKED THE SHIT OUT OF HIM AT LUNCH!”
I felt how humiliated he was and after that I never wanted to make anyone feel that again. I failed for many years at that, however it was never a result from engaging in physical violence to this day.
I am 41 as I write this and I am proud of the fact I have never had to hit somebody or get hit by someone.
I have continued my study of martial arts over my life in various forms and in spending time with martial artists who have studied a variety of forms, never telling them I had my own form I had been working on since I was a kid. I had no interest in showing it to them or in sparring to prove myself. I know I can defend myself if needed and I work at making sure it is not needed.
Unlike my grandfather I chose to become a man of peace. Typical Hungarian choice. However like my grandfather, I did choose military service. I spent 4 years in the United States Air Force. Those 4 years had a lasting impression on my projection of self ever since.
Arrogance speaks from a place of what a human being might do or might be capable of.
Confidence speaks from experience of what a human being has done or is doing.
I never want to be a man who sold it because it sounded good at the time or because I was trying to provide a new way or some crazy ego driven shit such as that. I don’t see myself as anything other than a human being who just happened to be born with this intellect and the life to maximize it’s potential, however in true Hungarian fashion, I did it my way and not in any traditional fashion.
My self dedication to being an individual is what led me here and understanding why I always felt this way from the core of my being was a journey I wasn’t even close to ready to take until I was 36.
The answer to the question who am I and what can I realistically do about it led me on quite the journey indeed and I doubt even I can sum it up in a few words. As you can see already it’s a complex answer with many facets to examine. You’re not that different from me in that regard. We are the same. The sum total of our life experience and what we have decided to do with and about it and is who we are right now.
As simple as we would like life to be, we are complex creatures who take refuge in simplicity. Life is complicated at times and often it’s a complexity of our own design that serves a purpose we may or may not understand until we take the journey to know ourselves to understand why it is so complex. Your web of complexity is certain to be different than mine, even if we share the same types of experiences that taught us who to become now and why.
Our identity and sense of self is never set and always in a state of refinement and never has a set definition.
One of my earliest memories was when my mom took me to see Star Wars in 1977.
While many day dreamed of becoming Luke Skywalker or Han Solo, I had picked out Obi Wan Kenobi as my favorite. He let Vader kill him. He could have won the fight, but decided to sacrifice his life for something bigger than himself.
Most 3 year old’s would not have keyed in on that, I get that, I’m odd. This film also solidified my love for this medium of storytelling and I have seen over 5,000 movies. I have dyslexia and ADHD, making reading a chore instead of the pleasure so many others find it to be. If there’s a film version, I’ll skip the book every time.
As a child I was watching post apocalyptic films such as The Planet of Apes series and Logan’s Run and was understanding the concepts buried within. I watched cartoons as well and it was the exposure to Anime in the form of a cartoon called Star Blazers that I found a cartoon I got in the deeper concepts and ideas being explored. I was also a big fan of Robotech for the same reason when it hit the USA when I was a kid. I’m still a big fan of Tom & Jerry and the Looney Toons. My tastes are as eclectic as I am.
What I always found fascinating in Merry Melodies, as it is also known, is that the characters such as Yosemite Sam, Marvin the Martian, Elmer Fudd and any “antagonist” character were often not that smart and easily defeated by their over confidence in every circumstance. Just as Tom was often outsmarted by Jerry, Bugs and crew had a way of making the opposition look stupid.
What does any of this have to do with deconstructing the human condition?
Each of us is a make up of everything we have been exposed to whether we like it or not.
Think of it like this. I was learning at an early age that to hunt for sport was stupid. I was learning at an early age to be a bully was stupid. I was learning at an early age the only weapon you need is your mind and that it’s better to out smart them then try to beat them at their own game.
It’s why I always say “I play the player not the game.”
In studying the oppositions tendencies, they show you how to beat them while you sit back and watch. The opposition is often confident in it’s strategy and rarely uses much imagination as it believes itself to be superior or it would not have engaged in the activity to begin with. This is often due to a history of getting away with it.
I have noticed frequently in my life that when facing a bully, standing up to them screws with their heads. Refusing to play the part of the willing prey for them seems to make them stop in their tracks. It confuses them.
While not always, I have found many who take the bully approach are not that smart. I have also noticed that it typically stems from feelings of inadequacy and insecurity. The activity of putting others down or pushing them around or emotionally abusing them is often done to make the abuser or bully feel superior and reinforce their ego projection.
I have often found myself in the right place at the right time to teach the bully a lesson. I use my mind and I never engage in violence and refuse to do so. I live life by one rule.
Stay out of jail and if you like it, do it again, if you don’t then don’t do it again.
A simple rule that makes some complex situations easy to walk away from. If I continue on this track what is the likelihood I could end up in jail?
Anytime violence is involved or the threat of it, the chances you will end up in jail go up. This to me is a good deterrent. I have heard enough stories from those who have gone to know I will not enjoy the experience.
The understood possible consequence is enough for me. Some people have no problem thinking it will never happen to them or have no issues with going to jail or prison. I am not one of them. Here is why.
I love my freedom. I love that as long as I am out of prison my life can take really interesting turns at any given moment in time that can lead to some fun. I have explored the concept of the possible turns my life could take behind bars and I did not like any of them in just the idea of the possibilities.
Why take chances if you are not willing to face the consequences for your choices?
It’s why one of my favorite questions is why do we get mad at the cop for catching us?
What was it that made us think we didn’t deserve to get caught?
What made us think we were above the law?
What does that say about the psychological make up of the career criminal?
What does that say about the individual who only occasionally breaks a law here or there?
What does that say about you if you decide to break a law and think you should get away with it regardless of your reasoning?
I learned at an early age that if you didn’t caught you wouldn’t get in trouble. However I also learned that a falsely accused man can still serve the time.
I was going to a Baptist school for 1st through 3rd grade. During that time in the United States beating a kids ass with
a big wooden paddle was not considered child abuse, it was called correcting the child.
At this school whenever somebody just said I did something wrong, that was all it took for me to get paddled. On many occasions I had done nothing wrong and was not believed. I was beaten anyway. At times sent home with a letter to be signed by my parents to make sure I got spanked there too.
At one point after listening to me, my mother told me to tell the principal that they were not allowed to spank me any more.
The next time some one made something up to get me in trouble, I told this to the principal who called my mother. She verified what I was saying was true and then he asked her to come down to the school to spank me herself. To this day my mother feels guilty that it ever happened, any of it. I’m over it. It showed me at an early age that it was OK to stand up for myself even if the results ended in a beating anyway.
I switched schools and went to a public school starting in the 4th grade. The physical abuse had stopped and I was about to get a lesson in emotional abuse that set the course for the rest of my life where sarcasm became my trademark for too many years.
For the next 3 years of elementary school the other kids liked to a play game called “how long will it take to make him cry?” I heard every kind of insult and was happy to be going to a different junior high than the rest of my class.
I never had that problem again and those who tried met a razor sharp wit that still has yet to get my ass handed to me, though I came close a time or two.
It was my childhood that heavily influenced the father I became and continue to refine.
By today’s standards thankfully this behavior by the Baptist school is considered child abuse. I used to spank my son. Not hard, just enough to get his attention. I stopped as he got older and we could talk it out. His nick name is The Dude and no it is not because of the film THE BIG LEBOWSKI. At the time I had not yet seen the film. I got it from a friend whose children my 2nd wife and I provided day care for while I was going back to school online to get an Associates Degree in business management using my G.I. Bill from my time in the Air Force.
I use the nick name as a form of behavioral identity management. I attached behaviors to what it means to be The Dude. It includes things such as saying please and thank you and being a friend to everyone.
It means not being rude and other things we have all agreed are proper behavior for getting along with other people and obeying the rules.
Since my son was 4 instead of punishing him, I spend roughly 90 seconds reminding him what it means to be The Dude and he auto corrects and seldom acts up or out. He’s 11 now and is one the most well behaved and well adjusted kids you would ever want to meet.
I have yet to have other people complain to me about his behavior for any reason.
In fact when we were going through the terrible toddler stage and I was a single dad at the time, I would pick him up at daycare and see the behavior of the other children his age and realized he was easy in comparison. He has had his moments, however they have been few and far between and nothing any other kid including myself didn’t do from time to time.
He needs his reminder on occasion and he goes right back to being him. I look at who he is becoming and feel good about applying behavioral psychology the way I have with him.
He is taking his 3rd musical instrument and is in wrestling in school with his mom. It’s why I feel good about where he is as I write this. He has 2 half sisters that are older. When he lived with me he missed them a lot. I know they missed him too. His step dad is a decent man and fellow veteran. Army instead of Air Force and a decent human being. I am happy she married him. I don’t miss her. She is a decent mother.
As you can see giving my sons ego the concept of being The Dude gave him parameters to use in behavior that leaves him with plenty of room to explore who he can become. My son and I have few shared interests and I never played a musical instrument or got involved in athletics. I am proud him.
I love seeing him being his own person instead of trying to be what he thinks I would want him to be or what I would have been. I can’t help but to feel this is also a result of being the rugged individualism embracing idealist I am. I want to him to find his own identity and be his own individual as much as I want to be mine.
It is a distinct difference to the relationship I had with my father. For years my dad was upset that I never went into his business as a contractor. I have heard many stories from many sons whose dads wanted them to be the replacement version of them in society once they were gone.
Their idea whether they knew it or not was of having some sense of immorality. I carry on through my seed. In some ways I am doing the same thing with my son only instead of being a carbon copy of me I hope he does stuff because he really wants to or likes it and not just because he thinks it will make me happy. As long as he faces the consequences for his actions honestly, I will always be a proud father.
Now I have never wanted to be the “do as I say not as I do” kind of dad. My own dad was like that and I still call it the Hypocrites Oath. Since becoming a father I have made a lot of changes in my own behavior to be a better example of walking the talk to my son and his sisters, my stepdaughters, who had chosen of their own free will to call me dad. I am not saying I have been perfect at it, however it is at the front of my mind.
Would I want my kids to see this or do this?
If the answer is no, I either don’t do it or make sure they never find out. I am still human and have my things I like to do that are for adults only.
However I make sure those activities are never witnessed by them. If they decide to do some of this stuff once they turn 18, cool, I can’t say shit. That is the exact attitude I took once I turned 18.
I was in the Air Force and there was no way I was ever letting my parents tell me what to do ever again. I had been looking forward to that moment once I realized legally they could never tell me what to do again.
Most of this behavior is stuff we have agreed we shouldn’t do in front of anyone much less kids.
The biggest change for me in becoming a father was giving up drinking and realizing I had been an alcoholic. I had an easy time giving up booze.
The military had taught me the value of self discipline while at the same time creating the alcoholic I became. I still have yet to receive any addiction counseling nor have I ever gone to any meetings for any type of addiction. I found once I had fully committed to the decision it was easy. However there have been rare occasions when in troubled times the idea of a drink has crossed my mind.
Understanding why you do the things you do gives you the opportunity to be prepared when someone starts to question the intent behind anything you do or say.
The only thing I truly know is myself and I work hard to understand why it is I might be doing or saying anything. This exercise in self awareness and understanding oneself before responding to anything can be very revealing about the rest of you as well.
I say to know and understand thyself is to understand the rest as well.
Even in my stubborn as any mule individualism, I must still accept the universal truth that I’m as human as you are and that means there are some basic things we all share in common.
I am not that special in my humanness, even though I have found myself to be uncommon in the way I have embraced it and the decisions I make about what to do with it. I shy away from adoration. It makes me uncomfortable. I am not any better than anyone and I dislike being elevated by other people in the view they sometimes take of me.
While I acknowledge that my chosen representation of who I am is not typical by a long shot, I do hold that it is an absolute truth that any has the potential to be as I choose to be.
It is all about the choices we make in our every word and thought and action. The beauty of it is that you don’t have to become as I am. There is a lot of work that goes into being this guy that some might not want to do and that is quite OK. Having free will means having the gift and the right to choose what kind of existence you have.
There are things that are beyond our control that will happen at times. However it’s in how we view looking back that tells us about who we are right now. The emotion we attach to the memory and the rationalization we give for choosing that is our choice and that choice can be changed at any time.
I have often been known to say “There’s only one thing for sure about me, and that’s nothing’s for sure about me.”
The most beautiful gift each of us has as a human being is the ability to grow and learn and become something more than the sum of our experience based on what we choose to do about and with it.
The only true constant in existence is change. Change is the basis for existence. If there was no change there would be no existence.
Evolve in your thinking, evolve physically or die out. Evolution is life, life is evolution. The Universe is in a constant state of evolution and becoming and so are we not just in life but as a species.
While attending the private school they gave us tests. My reading comprehension and other comprehension scores were at the PhD level as it was the highest score they had. If it doesn’t make sense to me it doesn’t make sense.
I was left in the same grade and when I moved to public school they refused my mother’s request to have me tested for advance classes then known as the G.A.T.E. Program. I never did well in school and while the other kids were still trying to figure out the concepts we had just learned, I already had them down and was using them as a springboard in my internal thinking of what I could do with these concepts that was far beyond anything going on in the class.
I was already doing probability figures in my head.
I was 7 when I first started these self guided mental exercises.
The thought never occurred to me that I was that different and I thought everyone did it and kept it to themselves. To me I was normal. To my teachers I was lazy.
My mother also asked I be tested for ADHD and was again denied and I was labeled lazy. I was bored and could never see the value in doing homework the way it was prescribed. In junior high I failed math classes because I was trying to rewrite the math. In high school I nearly flunked out my junior year and went to a continuation high school for kids with behavioral issues and pregnant teens.
I was allowed to work at my own pace and no homework. I graduated 6 months early and hung around to cross the stage with my friends at the end of the year. During that time I got involved with student government and became the student representative for my school at the board of education meetings. That early lesson I got about standing up for myself was about to piss off the entire school board in one fatal shot.
During one of the meetings, we were going over the teacher’s policy for the district. It was the rules the teachers were supposed to be following. I noticed several things that I had witnessed being ignored and led to my failing classes and said so.
I spoke my mind and called out the schools where I had attended that I saw this happen before my very eyes and I suggested that the board be more concerned with enforcing this policy than the policy itself from the student perspective. They were not amused to be hearing this from my 17 year old
Did I mention I am infamous for calling it like I see it regardless who it might upset?
It’s a behavioral trait I still embrace today. Here’s why.
It is my belief that right makes might not the other way around. I also truly believe that nothing can stand against the truth. I take my stands based on careful consideration of what is the right thing to do in this situation and why?
I had an ex girlfriend tell me once she only argued if she knew she was right. She was studying to become an attorney and I won maybe 2 arguments during the year and a half we were together. It is guidance I have been using for more then 15 years as I have picked my battles knowing I had already won before I ever started.
Why set yourself up for a loss if you can help it?
People have wished me dead for this more times than I can count. I am intelligent and capable of explaining my point in a way that it can not be denied other than you don’t like it. It’s a skill I’ve worked my entire life to master.
I got early training with my mother’s Hungarian sisters and their husbands and my cousins. Let me see if I can explain a typical family get together for this group of Hungarians.
In this family when we get together we share what we’ve learned about the world and how we think it could be done better in the craziest, yet most intelligent fashion I have ever seen.
If you were going to run at the mouth you had to be prepared to explain where your view came from. You had to be able to show how you came to it through experience and your own choice or you were summarily dismissed an no longer allowed to talk.
It was explained that unless you take the time to examine it and have some basis tied to it in experience that led you to think this way you were a slave to whatever anyone might try to sell you. It’s a thought process I used to listen to when I was 5 and they thought I was sleeping.
The education behind the arguments I overheard and eventually joined in included the following areas, philosophy, real estate, psychology, economics, political science, being debated by college graduates in these areas and a school teacher turned text book salesman, brassy broad, Air Force Vietnam war officer, housewife, contractor, 2 of them and whatever the rest of us were into at that time.
I had a lot of really intelligent and well educated by school and life human beings to mold and shape who I became before I entered the United States Air Force at age 17.
Hungarians at the genetic level have a predisposition to be in the never ending quest to quench the never ending thirst to learn and still be an individual. The military was going to be a test of that. Over the next 4 years I did find a way to fit in and stand out at the same time.
At the core of my being I am a protector. This happened due to a traumatic experience I had at age 5 where I was unable to protect someone. The trauma set the course for everything I studied in martial arts to be able to protect. Because the individual I could not protect then was a female child, I am protective of women and children.
Something I have to check myself on even to this day. If I see a woman in trouble I dawn my cape as Captain Save a Ho or put on my armor and mount my horse to save the damsel in distress.
I have gotten better about it over the years, however it is still known to add a complication to my life here and there.
Most of my friends are women and most of them have endured some form of abuse physical and/or emotional at some point.
I went to basic training at age 17 after my parents signed a waiver to let me go 2 and a half months before my 18th birthday. I had never really been away from home and never on my own before this experience.
When I think back to the day I swore my oath, I can almost hear it as if I was there again. I remember thinking about the words I spoke. I understood what I was saying and the commitment I was making and who I was making it to.
In my own words I would say that I swore an oath to the land and the people of this country to defend them against all enemies both foreign and domestic and that I would only follow lawful orders and I would be expected to know the difference and act accordingly.
My oath wasn’t to the government, it was to the land and the people.
Long story short, there was a time in basic training my mom had been calling the base to check on me. When the instructors called me in the office and told me to go call her, I asked them if the others were going to be able to go too. They said no. I asked why should I be allowed if we aren’t all going.
I had shown I understood that in being there, I was a part of the flight not to be singled out for any special treatment regardless of whether or not my mom thought so. I showed my ability to put myself at the same level as the other young men around me going through the experience with me. To be fair to my mom, I had just spent a week transitioning to a new flight after spending a few days in the hospital with strep throat.
I had been technically recycled to a new flight and from day one of training they programmed it into us that this was our biggest fear. I had not failed at anything, however I had spent one day too long in the hospital and had missed too much in the way of training to stay with my original flight.
My instructor who had to send me out of his flight was not happy to be doing this. I’d been a good airman and I wasn’t being disciplined. The only thing I had done close to wrong was get sick. I would like to say it softened the blow and didn’t bother me. It did bother me.
Psychologically speaking I had been in a traumatic situation forming bonds with the people around me for mutual support. I say traumatic due to finding it traumatic to have people screaming in your face on occasion. If you enjoy being on the other end of having yourself, your family and the family pets insulted in creative ways at high volume a few inches away from your face, seek help.
To maintain ones military discipline and learn to let it roll on by as if it was nothing was one way of preparing us to stay level headed in the midst of chaos. I knew it was a game of psychological breakdown and restructuring and played their game their way because I had sworn an oath to do so.
I understood what was happening around me was exactly what I signed up for and there was no sense in complaining. Logic said, I signed on the line and my ass was no longer mine. I could plainly see I was not being singled out unless I made the mistake of sticking out.
Everyone was getting yelled at from time to time. There were no blanket parties and I did not hear about it happening while I was in the Air Force. We were never threatened with physical violence and every instructor I had was a decent human being with an incredibly difficult job to do in a short period of time.
The men and women who I spent time with at Lackland AFB from June 16th to August 7th of 1992 were absolute professionals. From the instructors to the staff at the hospital and every enlisted person and officer I dealt with. I unknowingly at the time could sense the dedication it took and the time lost with family to make sure these 50 guys who never met, turned into a cohesive unit able to manage their own morale and support each other to ensure every one made it and do it in 6 weeks.
The men and women of every service branch who serve as basic training instructors have one of the most demanding jobs I have ever seen and one of the most important jobs in the United States military. When the veil dropped on graduation day and they could let up, we saw the more human side of the Godzilla’s that had been breathing fire down our necks and in our faces. I knew it had been a game of sorts and these were master level players I was honored and privileged to learn from.
I started smoking cigarettes at age 13. The first time I lit up it was as if I had taken my first real breath. I didn’t cough or get queasy, I had just found the only best friend and life long addiction I need. In basic training I was not allowed to touch a cigarette much less smoke one.
I left Lackland on August 7th and arrived at Keesler AFB in Biloxi Mississippi and by the end of the day I bought a carton and a zippo. I was there to spend the next 6 months learning to become a Wideband Equipment Systems Specialist. I didn’t know what that meant at the time either. It’s why I was at Technical school until February 13th 1993.
Don’t worry at some point this abstract journey will make sense. I am left handed and right brained and live in the abstract. These were the things I had to revisit to understand who I became later and why.
I found out after coming back to school after taking a couple weeks of leave to go home that sometimes it’s better to shut up than tell the truth. The entire student population at Keesler was given two weeks off around the Christmas holiday. I flew home for the first time in six months. It was fun seeing people and at the same time, I saw why I left this small college town to begin with. I was happy with the decision I’d made and was happy to go back to school.
Before I left I had folded a pair of pants over the back of my chair and draped the shirt for my uniform over the back as well. When I returned I found out they were going to give me a letter of counseling for this. I challenged it with my training manager who referred me up to the chief training manager. He had told me that none of his managers would have written me up for that, if that was indeed all that was wrong with my room.
He asked if I was calling his managers liars. I said “No sir, you are.”
He was not amused. About 15 minutes later I had moved to the commanding officers office and had been upgraded to a letter of reprimand. I lost off base privileges and the ability to wear civilian clothes for the next 6 weeks. I was also assigned R.M.T. which technically stands for Remedial Military Training and was known by the students as Rakes, Mowers and Trash. My mouth cost me good on that one.
I fought the law and the law won that time.
When it came to my studies I was put through 3 months of accelerated advanced electronic theory and then 3 months of learning the equipment I might see out on the job. It was there I learned what Boolean algebra is and how to convert digital to analog and back using conversion math, using Binary, Oct, and Hexadecimal.
I learned the design of the modern day signal that is used for every form of communication there is and how to manipulate it in a myriad of ways. It was my job to know how to do it and they trained me well.
Everything I was learning was just more conditioning of this human to be what the Air Force needed me to be. We often condition ourselves for events in the future with no real understanding of what our life is leading us to. We do this so that we are prepared in the moment for what ever that moment turns into.
Believe it or not this is still answering the question as to why I speak to people the way I do regardless of venue or who they think they are in the moment.
How we say it is often more important then what we say. How we speak says a lot about us to the audience and their view is out of our control.
At 18 years old the Air Force shipped me to Patrick AFB in Cocoa Beach Florida. I took advantage of the fact that from my second floor dorm room, it took me 5 minutes to walk to the beach. I fell in love with being this close to the ocean. I have never slept better than I did those months with my window open hearing the waves crashing on the beach. The nights I had trouble sleeping I walked along the beach working out whatever it was that was keeping me up.
I’ve always used self cognitive therapy to understand what was going on in my life. I’ve always found time to talk to myself and see if I could get and keep my head on straight as the most valuable time alone anyone could ever take. It is in these self therapy sessions I adjusted the behavior seen by the rest so that I could better fit in and be accepted by the crowd I found myself in.
While I like being alone, I like getting along when my life does require I be around people.
I’ve always been something of a chameleon in viewing life like this. Though one place I didn’t really blend in and my sticking out worked in my favor was at the Inner Room.
It was a strip club a few miles from the base and a couple blocks off the beach. I’d never been to strip club before and with my Christian up bringing I felt like I was getting away with doing something wrong, which of course made it even better in my opinion at the time.
If you think I’m about to tell some wild tales, wrong answer, please try again. The experience I had as I look back is typically Hungarian in my interactions with these women, many of whom adopted me as a kid brother.
Hungarians are known for both respecting and lusting after women. What this created in me is a man who feels guilty about finding women physically desirable. What that looked like was an 18 year old maintaining eye contact with half naked women a few nights a week for a few months.
I always notice the physical attributes that I find visually pleasing, however I still respect those attributes belong to a complex human being. I feel bad about the idea of fantasizing about a woman.
I did a lot of asking questions and listening with the women of the Inner Room. Many of these women would shoot you in a dark alley and never ask a single question if they didn’t know you. It was a dark side of the life they led doing the job they did at the time. I met veterans, college students working towards a PhD is psychology, single mothers doing the best they could and others. In fact some of them were doing exactly what they enjoyed doing for a living.
During the many hours of education I was getting the lessons they were teaching became some of the most valuable things I ever learned. They taught me how to be a man women would want. They told me all the behavior that made women want to walk away. As the Air Force had just got done teaching me what it meant to be an Airman, these women were teaching me what to took to be a man.
I remember the one recurring theme in these many hours of education was confidence. As human beings we respond to confident people. Whether or not people think you are confident begins with how you speak and your body language as you do so.
A lesson introduced by family by example.
Explained by women in a strip club.
A reminder in the form of a job and a lifetime of just doing it without ever stopping to remember where I even got the idea, much less how it became the way I talked for the most part for most of my life.
I wear a Nike shirt for a night shirt and have a Nike hat I wear on occasion to remind me to just do it, whatever it is.
It was a lot of things over time that when my 3rd wife asked the question when I was 36 that started a journey that had me wondering why I do all of the things I do, the deconstruction of myself had begun.
In answering one “why” I had answered several others and being me it was something new to learn. The challenge of learning who I had become and why in the totality of who I am became an obsession. I can honestly say I had become obsessed with who I was and why I was they way I was and why so many people for the first time seemed to really have a problem with it. I learned it was basically my 3rd wife who had the biggest problem with it.
Had she never had the problem with who I was, I never would’ve taken this journey and I will always be grateful for the time we had for what it was, regardless of some of the things that happened that made ending it the healthiest thing either of us could do for ourselves and each other.
I still tend to speak with confidence and come off authoritative at times. I’ve noticed how people react to it and work diligently at toning it down to better fit the moment and the context of the surroundings and who I am engaged with and why.
I have learned to adjust my projection to get the reflections I desire to notice and turn around. I adjusted my projection to allow the room of mirrors that is my current life to rarely have a distorted view. The reflections these days are clear. I had to drop certain people from my life and noticed it was my unclear projection of self that is what they were reflecting back at me.
I had finally unlocked my myself and became my key to the door that led to my authentic representation of self and freed me from the prison of attempting to be anything less. In order to find acceptance we often create a prison that is the image of self we project that is not who we truly are.
It’s why so many say “No one gets me.”