Washington DC

Washington DC.

I came here for the weekend to visit a childhood friend. We weren’t the closest friends growing up in our blue collar south jersey small town, but when there are one hundred students per class, you get to know just about everyone fairly well. My senior year I moved to Florida, for a variety of reasons I’ve mentioned before. I reconnected with this friend about 3 or 4 years ago, and he’s been asking me to come visit ever since. Not many people make it out of our hometown, so you notice when someone does. This particular friend has had a very successful career in the federal government for his age. He’s been the direct assistant to senators, worked in the secret service, for the homeland security council, the nuclear security council, for the secretary of state, and a variety of other high profile politicians and government officials.

Many of my Vanderbilt peers also moved to DC. The concentration of energy and ambition here is overwhelmingly evident. Everyone works for a high powered company or the federal government, and makes very good money for their age.

I’ve noticed, though, that there aren’t very many “cool” or “attractive” people in DC, compared to popular mainstream definitions of the word. It seems like all the intellectual or smart kids are recruited here. All the geeks that had to work and study hard, cause that was all they had going for them. Not looks. Not brawn. Just smarts. Which is fine.

This brings me to another revelation I often have from time to time. I’ve found that many people don’t know what to do with me when they meet me. Before we exchange words, they peg me for a douche bag or a meat head. I’m very muscular and fit, and I can objectively say I’m attractive by most standards. I curate my appearance, making sure I appear clean cut, put together, hygienic, and fashionable. But I’m intelligent, and I value ideas, and hard work, and intellectual activities and pursuits, dichotomies that almost seem inherently incompatible. (I think I relish in paradox)

People occupying positions or jobs and careers requiring a higher level of intelligence and smarts usually were, generally speaking, never the most popular, charismatic, attractive, or athletic. They don’t care about these things, and I think that’s awesome. But I find that they bind together. Scientists hire scientists that share similar qualities they themselves admire. They are attracted to people who possess qualities they possess.

When I enter the picture, it’s almost like they don’t know what do to with me. There is an initial level of intimidation. An almost, you can’t be apart of this group because you’re too “attractive” or “charismatic”. Or “you’re not one of us”.

I’ve actually even heard this in job interviews. I’ve applied for positions otherwise reserved for geeks and intellectuals, and the interviewer would say, “you have an impressive resume, a great education and good work experience, and I have no doubt you would do well in this position, but you have great charisma and people skills. I think you should be applying for jobs in sales or project management. Something client facing, where you work with people.” I have heard this more than a couple times, and I find it almost offensive. It reminds me that when applying for certain technical jobs, I should probably tone down my charm and charisma, and embody the qualities of a person they might be looking for: quiet, reflective, calculated, reserved, and the like.

But it’s the very fact that they assume that because I can smile, and generate conversation, and build instant rapport, that someone I wouldn’t be a good fit for the position of a data architect, or an implementation specialist, or a financial analyst.

Anyway. What I’m highlighting is that people are tribal, and it’s like the geeks keep to themselves. They stereotype, like we all do, and unconsciously maintain an insular working group.

I’m probably completely wrong, and other thinking things, of course. Probably being incredibly egotistical, or egocentric, and these people could care less.

But I don’t think I am. It’d be different if people (girls I date, colleagues I meet, potential employers, friends of friends) didn’t constantly tell me how surprised they were that I was intelligent and thoughtful and cultured and well read, and how they thought I was a douchebag until they started talking to me. And it’s like… really? I probably need to wear more argyle, corduroy blazers, and loser fitting clothes, and grow a beard out.

But why the hell wouldn’t I leverage what I’ve been blessed with? We are visual creatures. We are drawn to ideals that typify health and success and beauty, all of which are synonymous with goodness. In this culture anyway.

Why not be a whole human, if possible?


A new year

This is a new year. 2015. The dawn of an awakening.

I will make a commitment to write at least once a week, with the hope of writing daily, like I once habitualized myself to do.

I’m currently in DC, visiting a highschool friend whom I was never very close with, but always held in dear regard. Our relationship the past several years has developed via text message as we exchange books, and I offer fitness advice, and we discuss occasional political or economic news. I’m in his guest room, typing away these nascent agitations that have been festering the past few years of my sabbatical from writing.

I need to awaken my stream of consciousness again, read and provide myself tinder for new thought. I must never grow complacent, never be content with the sensual pleasures I’m so apt to embrace.

I’ve been a serial dater, and fucker. I plan to end this season of my life, and turn my energies toward building something, a business perhaps, or cultivating a new trajectory or paradigm for myself. I’m 28. I need to invest in myself, become more conscientious of my wealth accumulation, or lack thereof.

I’m working out, and doing a photoshoot in about four weeks time. I’ve hired a trainer and have achieved fairly remarkable progress from seven weeks ago.

I’m seeing several therapists and life coaches and psychiatrists, all in some weird effort to right myself, and find some footing. It’s my symbolic way of reaching out to myself, that is, by reaching out to others whose job it is to help me. In theory anyway. My hope is that they will act as a catalyst, to shake myself from this stupor I’ve developed by way of overindulging in my sexual appetites.

I’m capable of dating a woman every night of the week. For many weeks, and sometimes months, I’m in a continued frenzy of dating. I work, workout, shower, and visit these women. I’ve decided to stop dating new women, and just enjoy a handful that are easy enough to manage, whose company I can stand, and whose expectations are low enough where my minimal efforts pose no threat to sustaining the relationship.

I’ve had my fill of sex. Or maybe not. But I recognize that its impact on my future probably produces a net loss. Not the best time of my resources, my time and energy, when I could be focusing my efforts on scheming, on building wealth, creating businesses, networking, seeking new employment or career opportunities, or simply cultivating myself and my character, identifying my strengths and shortcomings, leveraging my strengths, and doing whatever necessary to make up for my shortfalls.

I must write.

I’m reading an anthology on Carl Jung’s work on Active Imagination. I realized that writing was one of the most powerful outlets of my subconscious, and one of the best ways to materialize these latent anxieties so they can be dealt with constructively, rather than running from them and diving into more inane activities and sex and dating and superficial relationships to allay to discomfort of  existential confusion. I must redirect, and refocus, not treat the symptoms with more symptoms.

I have so many thoughts that cross my mind that I don’t hash out anymore. So many profound insights I fail to capture, that appear in flashes and leave, without any medium to capture the exposure. Writing is this medium, and was the most effective way of delineating these inspirational epiphanies.

I want to become a better thinker, as always, but I always want to become a better doer.

I have so many opinions.

My friends think I should start writing short stories of my dating experiences, or my sexual experiences. Perhaps one day. I’m sure there will be times I’ll have the urge to recapture these stories when I’m reliving them in all their glory. My hope is that this year, with my renewed commitment to writing, I’ll do just that.

I want to read more, and date less.

I am a master seducer. I should write about my thoughts on influence. I have many, and I feel I have almost perfected the art. Specifically with women, but also with men, and my peers.

“Have more than you show; speak less than you know,” said Shakespeare in King Lear. That is my unspoken motto, now spoken.

I will write. I will be honest. I will be transparent. This is my anonymous outlet where my imagination can become active, where experience can gain meaning, where subliminal drives and desires can manifest and I can consciously make proper use of them.

Reflection is necessary for understanding. Writing forces one to relive experiences, recite knowledge, and reformulate meaning by giving it our own direction. It is essential for developing ones opinion. If one doesn’t write, we’re left to day dream, or converse with like minds, and hope that these minds care as much as we do about the topics that cross our mind.

Goodnight, moon.