Friday, October 26, 2012

The art of being me.

      Some folks have never mastered the fine art of just being themselves. They have no foundation of core beliefs to rely on for a sense of who they are as they live their daily lives. Worst yet, some are driven to achieve something which gives them a sense of self worth. I've seen this in the Marines, when I worked for the State Police and when I was writing books. These people don't take pride in the things they have accomplished on their own....they only take pride in what others think they've accomplished. How sad...how very sad that we define ourselves by the way folks see us and not in how we see ourselves.
     Anyone who was in the Marines longer than the time it takes to step on the first yellow foot print has seen this phenomena play itself out in a thousand different ways. The most common ways are claims for tours in combat zones they didn't have and of course their entire service was spent on the forward edge of the battle area. All of this nonsense would be followed by claims for medals and the honors that others have earned...and they haven't. These people (and the other services have their fair share...ask any Navy Seal) never once consider the fact that they served to be an honor. No...to anyone who will listen, they paint themselves in the light of hardships, so others can see they've achieved a status they've felt cheated out of. 
      Why is it that folks like that couldn't take pride in being a cook or motor transport driver?  I know a cook who received the bronze star for his part in hand to hand combat  at Hue and more than one motor transport driver who received the Purple Heart for delivering the groceries. Yet if you ask them, the very first thing they'll tell tell you is they were a cook or MT driver in the Marines...the rest you have to drag out of them
       In my time with the State Police I observed the exact same behavior. For some of these folks, if you weren't a "Road Dog" you were less than a full fledged police officer. I've listened to tales of  arrest, car chases and any number of dangerous situations these folks seemed to be constantly involved in. Yet I knew that for the most part they wrote traffic violations and handled the occasional domestic dispute. They seemed determined to convince people they deserved the uniform they'd earned.
      I had one friend when I was with the State Police who worked in Latent Prints, rarely carried his weapon and who in his career helped convict more law breakers than the arrest records of any ten average "Road Dogs". I've never heard him or the officers from Ballistics brag...they just did their job well and took a quiet pride in their work.
      I've had several folks tell me I have to get my work republished...no I don't. I've had two publishers of e-books offer to look at my work and that is an ego boost in and of itself. Several of the folks I know have offered to help me search for a new publisher....this is a badge of honor I've done nothing to deserve. I was contacted by old friends, several new ones and of course my family who've offered encouragement.
      I'll also add that I've been contacted by two neanderthals from my past whose sole purpose was to offer me a ration of BS. Of course when you consider the fact that between the two of them they lack the ability to walk, talk and gargle Ten High at the same time...well consider the source. It would have been nice if three of them had harassed me, but that won't happen now. 
      My point in this trip through the mine field of life is simple. I set out to write a book and have it published.....I wrote eight and had five published. I told someone in one of the interviews I did, that if you finished a book you started...you are an author. If the book is published, then you are a published author. I finished with the notion that if someone (family doesn't count here) bought the beast...you were a successful author. 
     I also just finished working one very small B&E for a friend this week. Old stupid habits die hard, but I proved to myself I'm still a forensic (be it somewhat rusty) analyst. Linda is right about one thing, I would work myself to death in a hurry if I went back to that type of fun. That or she'd catch me and I'd be a dead man....any way you looked at it, that is out.
    If I keep looking for a publisher, I'll write about what I encountered on this thing. But I think my next hobby just may be collecting tobacco pipes. If you think about it...there are more than a few who would say this is a good thing for the world of literature.
    Collecting tobacco pipes has a certain attraction for me. I like smoking(it freaks certain types of people out) and it's something Linda wouldn't kill me for me doing.
    You see...I know who I am...I've always known that little tidbit of information. I define myself by what makes me laugh and what I enjoy. I've also known for sometime now, that some things are to be enjoyed and others endured. Folks...if you define yourself by a title....what are you going to do when someone awards you the title 'perfect asshole?"

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