A Hopeful Introduction

Let’s hope this doesn’t SUCK! 🙂

See what I did there? That was a defense mechanism. With self-deprecating humor, I attempted to lower expectations for what you may/may not be about to read. So in case someone gets through this and says, “Well, that sucked!” they will promptly add, “Oh wait, he did warn everybody, right at the top. How considerate of him.” You’re welcome, Hypothetical Reader.

As stupid as it sounds, this type of thinking makes up a sizable part of my brain. Nothing freaks me out more than criticism, and I’ll do pretty much anything possible to avoid it. Sure, there are things that I fundamentally need to say. And yes, I can’t please everybody. But if I attack MYSELF while I still have the Talking Stick, people will feel less obligated to throw attacks AT me when it’s their turn, right? Yes, because that’s how life works.

It’s important that I start off by mentioning this slightly twisted side of myself, because this post will (hopefully) act as a prelude to a series of posts that stay away from it. Everybody hides from time to time, but behind anyone’s fear of honest expression is a shit-ton of things that want to be honestly expressed… I think that’s a Confucius line, but don’t quote me on that. I’ve been wrong before.

Believe me, I do want to be honest. And I do want to stop hiding. The trick is just getting past a few specific defense mechanisms, which fall into a category that I’ve lovingly titled “Hidden Agendas.” (“Wow, David, what a terrific title! Do explain what you mean!”) Will do, Hypothetical Ego Inflator.

For several years, Hidden Agendas have pretty much dominated my life- and it wasn’t until recently that I even realized it. Whether it’s self-deprecating humor (like the very first sentence up at the top), forced humility, or just a vague choice of words, I am constantly using them to influence the opinions of other people.

For example, there’s a reason that I’m not saying all this in a vlog. As much as I love making videos, there is absolutely no way that I could get through one without getting distracted by “Man, I hope my hair is on point!” or “Man, I hope my voice inflection appeals to Scottish people!” or “Man, I hope Hypothetical Hater doesn’t see my Coldplay albums in the background and blame me for their lack of appreciation towards music that touches the soul!” But I digress.

The point is that Hidden Agendas make me dishonest. And as much as I’d love to completely get rid of them in my life, the idea is pretty unrealistic. So I hope to do the next best thing. My goal for these posts is to create something to challenge myself; something as truthful, fair, and straightforward as possible. These posts will NOT be flawless. I will probably edit/censor the crap out of them (as I’ve already done with this one), and my “artsy” instincts will probably kick in way more often than they should. My apologies in advance.

I should also apologize to anyone that has made it this far and is thinking, “I’ve read through a toddler-sized Facebook rant that apparently has to do with homicide, but there hasn’t been a single mention of murder or even a relevant point.” Truthfully, I don’t know the whole point yet. I’m sure that part of me just likes talking. Another part might secretly think that if I write something this long, it’s bound to get attention and throw all sorts of loving approval and self-worth doses in my direction. (Watch out, cat videos!)

There’s a ton of things about myself that I don’t know or, so far, am unwilling to explore. I’m sure that by the end of this week, I’ll have identified a whole new mess of my Hidden Agendas.

Unfortunately, I can’t speak for the end of this week, or even for the end of today. I can only speak for this moment and the moments leading up to it. So here is what I can say with complete honesty and certainty:

  1. I am writing this stuff because I want to.
  2. I don’t know what all I am going to say, but I am excited to say it.
  3. I really do hope that it doesn’t suck.

Whoever you are and whatever you come from, thank you for reading this. I truly hope that you are able to take something away from it.