My least favorite part: introducing myself. My name is William Parker. I'm technically the third (III) but as our world becomes more and more faceless, most computer systems recognize me as William Parker Iii. I know it is a small, minor detail, but it's very aggravating, (albeit not as bad as ParkerIii or Parkeriii) and over the years I've started to walk away from using it. When I was younger I got the numerals tattooed on my forearm which introduced its own problems years later. So for clarification, I am not a famous jazz musician, or a filmmaker/actor, or anyone else listed here for that matter. What I am, is a tax-paying, blue-collar nobody.
Television is not something I spend too much of my time involving myself with. Perhaps it is because I latch onto things really hard and become fixated on them. It's one of the few things I know about myself and can control. I'm so far removed from television and movies that my search history on my phone is often filled with actors and actresses names because I'm constantly looking up names I heard people talking about. Don't get the story twisted tho, it's not like I'm reading 150 books a year and biking 500 miles a month or something incredible like that. I guess I would just rather be on the computer. But there is this quote from a show called Sons of Anarchy which was about "a motorcycle club" but it was actually one of the most gripping dramas I've ever seen in my life (which isn't saying much).
The older I get the more I realize that age doesn’t bring wisdom. It only brings weary. I’m not any smarter than I was thirty years ago, I’ve just grown too tired to juggle the lies and hide the fears. Self-awareness doesn’t reveal my indiscretions. Exhaustion does.
It is safe to say that I have reached a point in my life where I've grown too tired to juggle the lies and hide the fears. I'm a professional personal procrastinator. Black Belt Underachiever. Super avoidant about almost everything. Emotions that change quicker than the direction of the wind during a storm. It's bonkers. Unfuck Yourself, Four Thousand Weeks, The Power of Now, 12 Rules for Life, Stop Doing That Shit, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, The Four Agreements, Beyond Order, hell even Meditations by Marcus Aurelius — all of these seemed so profound and life-shattering when I read them. Some of them even made me cry (shoutout Gary John Bishop & Oliver Burkman) but over a long enough timeline none of it sticks. There are some super crazy wires all knotted up deep down in my basement and it has been too many years to go down there and try and figure any of these things out.
Having a conversation with ChatGPT about the quote from Sons of Anarchy and self-awareness in general and one of the first things Chat gave back was a list of the "key aspects" of self-awareness and when overview this list I am at a loss of words. Half the things on this list are things I would like to thing I have down. The other half on the other hand are words that I don't even like reading because I know how guilty I am of them.
- Emotional Awareness
- Goal Setting
Ouch! Personal Growth could arguably also be added to this list but sometimes I like to daydream and thing that there are flickers of improvement in that arena. The few things mentioned on this list that remained were:
- Strengths and Weaknesses
- Behavioral Patterns
Empathy is like a problematic element of my life. It is beyond terrible. There is no such thing as me having any type of control over this. I can feel peoples feelings through the dumbest shit on earth. Working behind a counter in retail in a grocery store - you see the grimiest interactions between couples from all walks of life. Married ones are the worst. They feel justified in being the total assholes they are in the heat of the moment. I've watched the other half try to keep it together while they engage with me from behind the service case. I'm sitting marinading in their emotions for hours after the fact. It sucks. I can feel negative energy when I'm walking thru a public space and cross paths with some dark souls.
Daydreaming about the flickers of improvement in Personal Growth seems possible to me because two years ago I was still pretty much holding down the title for being ignorant of my Strengths and Weaknesses and Behavioral Patterns. Those were tough pills to swallow. It is more than likely possible that had I not read the books 12 Rules for Life and Unfuck Yourself I would not have been able to get to that point.
Perhaps people higher up the social food chain than myself don't like using cliches in their texts but the straw that broke the camels back for me was David Goggins' book "Can't Hurt Me". I am not trying to take anything intellectual away from David Goggins, but there wasn't anything neccessarily ground-breaking about the information in his book. It was entirely the delivery. Gary John Bishop comes very close in this regard as well, and I know his excessive swearing is probably a little too much for some people, but it doesn't bother me at all. I believe the entire first couple page of both of the first two books he released were basically encouraging you not to read the book because it had a very "gloves off" approach. And he does. But Goggins takes it to a whole different level. Saying things like "It was until I started reading my own book about how pathetic I was a human being" that really got my attention. His concept of the accountability mirror also fascinates the hell out of me. But knowing (most) of my strengths and weaknesses I know that I couldn't even be able to keep up the commitment of an accountability mirror. When it's just me holding myself accountable, I can find almost any reason in the world to justify why I can give up on something. It's an art form and I'm fucking Michelangelo.
So my goal here is to put myself on my blast in a public space. I would like to point out very specific things about myself that are flawed and how long I have known them to be that way and then perhaps there will be enough racked up guilt where I become truly motivated to make some hard decisions in my life and real changes that people can see with their eyes and hear with their ears.
Oh and there are some terribly dark topics I would like to delve into about my past that would more than likely help. I was raised in that generation where having feelings in public and in most cases feelings in general were frowned up and looked as a bad character traits. Walk off, rub some dirt on it, stop being a bitch and get back to work! If that doesn't solve every problem you might have, there is clearly something wrong with you. Well, I've been down rabbit holes to know that this line of thinking was the wrong path to be following (confirming every thought I had growing up!). This is only relevant because there are things that happened over thirty years ago that I've never really taken the quality time to sit down and deal with or even talk to anyone in depth about. Things you can't push under the rug because their too big of topics to ignore. But they have been ignored for a generation worth of time and parts have hardened and so much stuff have been built on top that sometimes I think it is part of my identity.
My first deep analysis probably needs to be about alcohol. How it's probably the worst invention on earth. How it had no impact on my life whatsoever growing up and even late into my twenties and then became the most important things in my life years into my first and only marriage. Two 750ml bottles of Jack Daniels a day for almost two and half years. I am not kidding. I am from Wisconsin. You might not think it's possible, but I'm here to tell you that it very much is. I want to describe the long-term side-effects that still haunt me, my speech and my text to this day. How it also had me under this spell that it was actually bringing me great benefit and happiness-gain in my life.
That should be enough for now. Do not be alarmed by the text you see here now and moving forward. The underlying goal here is a steady path upward. The avenues I've found myself on to get to this point in my life requires the discussion of some pretty dark topics. It doesn't seem to be getting any easier for the generations that are picking up the torch after mine so I feel like there is benefit to me blowing this horn in this way. I know from experience that kids "aint trying to hear it". But it might stick to someone if they happened to stumble upon a blog post from someone who "has been there" and "done that" and can relate to their story.