a few months ago, i read this quote, and it seemed like good advice so i took it. and i've been taking it, as best i can, ever since:
"Run from what’s comfortable.
Live where you fear to live.
Destroy your reputation.
…I have tried prudent planning long enough.
From now on I shall be mad."
note: don't read too much of this. it is far too much for one pair of eyes. i know. just browse at will.
i'm a bit of a big head: a classic undomesticated brainiac who is sharp enough to know for sure that life is sterile without *heart* and that being "booksmarts" are kinda shabby without a healthy dose of "heartsmarts" to go with it. i have both. and, i can prove it. the brainy thing was luck of the draw--i was born with it. the high EQ was something that i have always had the seeds of, but i have worked my ass off to turn my batshit crazy but super-sensitive ways into deep deep emotional intelligence. more than 40 years of devoted inner work (i started with a self-hypnosis book at age 13) has really paid off. i can probably sustain as much eye contact as you, and am happy to let you see what is behind the pupil (practice, practice, practice. that didn't come naturally, but through effort.) i think my earned/cultivated emotional intelligence may be in the range of exceptional. i invite your deep discernment on this. i would be honored by your examination. i am a bit of a contradiction in that i have a heart that i believe slightly bigger than my ample head. i can be yielding and gracious when i am right, and humble and contrite with self-respecting dignity when i am wrong. in friendship and love, i am a "team-player." cultivated over many bumbling years of loving and striving--being a team player is one of my super-powers now. if you love it, and i love you, i'm going to find something to love about what you love--that's just how i roll.
informed consent: i have ADHD (not the "doesn't everybody" kind, but the "my mind is in 6th gear, cloud 9, planet claire, and "oooh shiny ..., "all at the same time" kind. where are my keys?). everything is interesting to me. everything. sometimes the wrong thing, at the awkward moment. it isn't always easy being me, but i love it and it is ALWAYS interesting. it is like there is a "confetti party" going on in my head almost all the time. it is much mellower than it was 18 years ago when i did home improvement with power tools after midnight, without thinking it would bug the neighbors. after all, i WAS in my own apartment, right? as i grew, i realized i should take my after midnight board-cutting to the alley behind the old berkeley adult school. where it
could bother no one.
i live and love by walt whitman's quote: "i contradict myself? very well then! i contradict myself. i am large. i contain multitudes." i have come to treat this whole confusing life journey as some kind of art project: i want to infuse it with beauty, whimsy, profundity, playfulness, passion and life-giving purpose.
i know i'm not for everybody--not for most women, really. you would have to be enthralled and intoxicated by complexity, aroused or delighted by "scary smart" intelligence, visionary passion, deep somatic awareness, frequent and easy cultural "code-switching" and comfortable with an attentive, doting and devoted friend (it doesn't mean i don't have a life--just that i value yours in its nuances contours and mundane details.).
[kewlness noat: i once shared stage, one on one, with cornel west (points if you know who cornel west is) at the harvard graduate school of education. we chatted on "diversity" for over an hour, before fielding questions from the audience. he ditched on the dinner at the harvard faculty club, but another time i spent a whole evening with him in a private house with just one other person, eating krispy kreme donuts (the donut catering was dr. west's idea) drinking beer. he was cool people to hang out with.]
i have a mind that is very very interdisciplinary, "comprehensivist" buckminster fuller would say. when i was 12, i read the world book encyclopedia, for fun and general knowledge. it wasn't a hard read, since it was written for students, but the breadth of the knowledge that it exposed me to left a lifelong impression. it never occurred to me until i got to college that knowledge should be fragmented into distinct, disparate and irreconcilable disciplines in which there is no contact, let alone inspiration or cross-fertilization among and between thinkers or bodies of knowledge. the "ghettoization" of knowledge has always seemed really stupid to me, btw. i guess that's why i love general systems theory.
after ending a thrilling and rewarding partnership of several years with love and friendship intact (my partner turned BFF is my primary dating consultant.), i am opening my vision to new possibilities in loving and intimacy. while craving love, friendship and sexual connection now, i feel patiently unwilling to seize upon anything hinting of drama, or settling for a connection of questionable overall good.
nothing that i want is compatible with urgency, rushing, or "pushing the river." i am in the stream to let it flow. i seek to trust life, to play, and welcome surprise, grace and the blessed unexpected. i am confident that a patient approach will bring me to the doorstep of .... well, really, i don't know.
*intensely romantic, yet not at all possessive.
*deep thinking and reflective, yet relentlessly funny. funny as hell, if given the slightest encouragement.
*rigorous and skeptical, yet mystical/shamanistic.
*fierce and militant in my convictions, yet highly tolerant and often warmly affectionate with people that i hold strong disagreements with. (my best friend from h.s. voted for "W" TWICE. i neither killed nor disowned him. i must be a saint.
*i consider myself fairly AWEsome, sexy, off-beat, on-key (yes, i can sing), brave, generous, wise, tender, sometimes noble, occasionally foolish, deep, , fierce and frequently goofy.
i am extremely confident (even cocky) and outgoing in many ways, yet surprisingly shy and vulnerable in others. i can be seen dancing 3-4 times per week, almost always in bare feet, often in a skirt (the dance floors i choose welcome 'gender fluidity."). i'm definitely "manly" enough for any woman wanting/needing that energy. i have a full on-board compliment of all manly virtues. yet, i am the most androgynous person i know. think addition/multiplication here, rather than subtraction/division. i got all the man stuff AND i like cute things and know how to match colors when i dress.
while i have sought for most of my life to blend, fit in, and appear normal, i have decided, along with rumi, "from now on, i will be mad." i now identify as out and proud, relentlessly, irredeemably, hopelessly (hopeFULLy, really) eccentric. i do not crave to be seen as normal. i CAN, however, comfortably perform a convincing version of ordinary low-key "manly" black guy with dreadlocks--as it suits me, or your parents/children.
i like funk music. i like old timey, roots bluegrass and "newgrass" and deep appalachian hills music. i like conscious hip hop. i like classical. i LUV joni mitchell and peter gabriel. i adore al green, clarence carter, dionne warwick and all kinds of roots pop and r&b from the 60's and 70's. i love led zeppelin, aerosmith, blue oyster cult. and weird bands like magma and captain beefheart, and the mothers of invention. i still have zappa's "shut up and play your guitar" (but no record player) on vinyl. the residents rock my world (som0ebody stole my "eskimo" album on WHITE vinyl. may they rot in hell). i get off on balkan women's choir music. i heart beetoven's sypmhonies. i saw the best orchestra in the world, the cleveland orchestra (according to international critical consensus, not me) conducted by the world's foremost beetoven interpreter, george szell performing the 5th symphony when i was 12. t was a school field trip. my fucking head exploded.
i have strong vegetarian aspirations, faint vegan hopes. love cooking and dining out, esp. on organic/free-range delights. i've prepared feasts "from scratch" for 2 to 200. i play sorry guitar and flute, but sing beautifully. i am an "intermediate" yoga enthusiast who maintains exquisite health and fitness. drawn to green/feminist politics progressive lifestyle artistry. i have a 3000 book library, but only 200 or so novels. i like light carpentry and fixing things. would someday love to build/restore a house. i enjoy light hiking through mountain, redwood and desert landscapes, esp. if there are hot springs for soaking in nearby.
an outgoing introvert (infp/enneagram 4), i require regular solitude, but am gregarious and pro-social at the same time. i'm fiercely independent, yet loyal to a fault and generously affectionate. there is a high likelihood that i will be a delight to your children, parents and pets, because i am pretty darn good at "loving everybody" and that starts with me. in recent years i have become easy-going in contexts where i might have been awkward defended or uncomfortable in the past, because my self-acceptance has magnified so strongly with age. i when i feel worried or out of place, i have a spiritual practice of choosing to be a "love-giver" more than a "love seeker." it has opened my life in beautiful ways.
*sexual preference* note: i am "straight," but i find the sexual/gender identity choices available on OKCupid a little under-inspired. i have recently been read by the grown queer-friendly son of a gay father as "very gay." i am only interested in women sexually, but still identify as queer--"genderqueer," or, gender "non-conforming." i am not willing to limit my life choices to those defined by the "act like a man" box. i can do all the "in the box" stuff--heavy lifting, changing tires, repairing computers and other stuff, hand to hand combat, etc .... i have drawn blood in battle, triumphed and found it exciting. but, i prefer to spew poetic prose and look cute in skinny jeans and/or a skirt.
there is a whole lot more to being human and male than the "man" box can accommodate, so i draw outside the lines of compulsive masculinity with some deliberation, as well as with a spirit of adventure and playfulness, knowing that i can defend myself as well as the people and things that i love--as men are trained to do.