who I am…who am I?

 Who or what I am is the result of my decisions in life. Well, mostly, but I’ll save that until later(or another post). From a strictly materialistic viewpoint, all my choices have been(mostly) good ones. Dumb luck may have played a role in this but I’ve never depended on it. Preparation for the long haul was always the goal. I’ve come to realize certain desirable necessities in the here-and-now were either forgotten or missed in the process of securing the future.

My father died from cancer at age 60 when I was 28. This had some immediate impact in that it caused me to wake-up and pursue some previously long-held dreams. The deeper impact was admitted many years later during a discussion with a financial advisor I’d known since my mid 20’s. Never one to talk about my specific long term(material) wishes for retirement, one day we got around to discussing my father. It was then the advisor understood and challenged me on my belief that I never expected to live beyond age 60, regardless of my(still good at this point) health history.

When I compare myself to my father(apart from what he did/saw in World War 2 plus as a parent) I’ve exceeded his life experiences in most areas, exactly as he(+mom) wished and worked so that I could achieve. First the finances- unlike my parents I’ve never had to live on a budget nor paid for anything except vehicles over time. (mom owned her first new car only after dad died) Both parents never went beyond high school but they drilled into me that education was everything and the sole key to success. Heads down focus on obtaining an engineering degree(which admittedly has served me well on my resume-as is still the case in the business world), in hindsight now causes me to wish I had taken the time to explore the “humanities” in some depth.

Unlike many kids today, all the way thru high school I didn’t have a clue nor was engaged by counselors at any time about possible areas of study or just to discuss my future.(my parents were no exception-never having been themselves they didn’t understand the decisions required for higher education- they just wanted me to attend) It was only after I learned that nearby St. Johns River Junior College would award me a scholarship based on academic performance that I got around to choosing something to study.(luck or serendipity?) Based on nothing more than my infatuation with electronics, I decided to give that a try. Four years later, one week after receiving my bachelor’s degree diploma from Florida Technological University (now known as UCF), after attending just one job interview, I was employed in the telecommunication industry.(more luck) The first 19 years were in “data” communications, the last 9 have been in telephony(voice systems) but over time they have become intertwined.

I’ve posted criticisms and rants on LJ detailing my increasing frustration and disappointment with certain aspects of the industry that overall has allowed me to enjoy a very comfortable life. To summarize – telecommunication used to be about the transfer of information (data, voice, etc.) from one point(person) to another. Somewhere along the way it became more focused on “lifestyle” where the end user’s image was more important than the delivered content. Also, the ability to instantly reach anyone anywhere has worked to lessen our need to interact or depend on whoever we might encounter in time of need. Face-to-face, interpersonal relationships and the need to have them have suffered. I believe this has weakened whatever bonds hold us together as a society.

(yes, I get the irony of posting this on LJ knowing what I just typed)

I am not a natural or born leader. I could cite many examples starting in my youth but just know there have been numerous instances where I chose(or was elected) to lead, said “let’s go” and after a while looked around to find no one was following. I’m not always self motivated unless I can see an end result of my actions. I do enjoy observing and learning from others if they are truly sharing their knowledge and not forcing it on me.

I remember a conversation with a co-worker over two decades ago about charity in which I freely admitted performing charitable acts because it made “me” feel good. His understanding and total lack of condemnation helped me realize and accept just how self centered I was. After achieving a certain degree of comfort and security in life I find myself focusing increasingly inward. Primarily feeding my mind with many things I’d missed (literature, arts, etc.) and moving more into introspection or self examination. Over time I’ve come to believe that contributing to the overall well being of society, the environment, would be a more (I hate to use this word) spiritually rewarding experience versus the stress I feel doing whatever it is now that (sometimes) occupies my time. I hold an ‘absurdist’ view in that I don’t think life or my life has a higher purpose or meaning. It’s the here and now that matters.

I feel the need to seek out others for guidance, advice, direction and to work thru possible internal conflicts.

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About Marcus

Who me? Introverted, neurotic, self-absorbed, increasingly cynical observer of human nature and part time social critic in hiding. Most of my life spent avoiding growing up. The naive idealistic passions of youth have evolved into the eclectic eccentricities of adulthood. Northeast Florida small-town native, related to people I can't relate to. Simultaneously my own best friend and worst enemy. Politically and spiritually unaffiliated, my personal ideologies put me all over the map or off it completely.
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13 Responses to who I am…who am I?

  1. Your thoughts are compelling and I hope to discuss this further with you later on, when I’ve had enough sleep to be lucid.

  2. cynjja_galt says:

    Perhaps we can chat about this later on Gizmo if you like. Something I always keep in mind is that “society” as a mass entity has a knack for showing you, more often than not, how thankless it can be. So in the end the basis for your altruistic endeavors needs to be that you are gaining something from the experience and that the benefit is merely a collateral benefit.
    If you have been successful in your endeavors, if you have always been fair, logical and courteous with your fellow man, if you have only taken what you have earned, and if you have not expected another human to live for your sake, you have benefited society and society has been improved vicariously through you.
    “To live, man must hold three things as the supreme and ruling values of his life: Reason, Purpose, Self-Esteem.” Ayn Rand

  3. mmmmgreen says:

    I feel like I have learned so much about you in this one post. With all the therapy sessions I have had and with multiple therapists (all within the last few years)… I still don’t know myself that well.
    Thank you for sharing this.

  4. dearest_b says:

    Well, at least i can be rest assured that the advice you seek won’t be the sort to talk you out of something, rather more the kind that helps you in or up.
    I don’t believe you have to be a leader to make people listen nor to make a difference, you’ve had four people take notice already. Not bad going, really.
    Don’t you think?

  5. This is quite an interesting post, and, I’m guessing from what you’ve shared in the past, rather brave as well.
    It sounds to me like what you’re doing (brace yourself, this may be hard to hear) is “maturing”; when you take stock of everything, your past, your upbringing, your choices, your life experiences, your relationships…. everything, and decide where to go from here.
    Many people never, ever do this in their whole entire lifetime.
    I think it’s a critical task that should be done at regular intervals. Looking at your past when you’re 20 is not the same as viewing it when you’re 30, or again when you’re 40. It all needs to be viewed and reviewed so you can update your mental database.
    That’s just my 2 cents’ worth.

  6. I feel the need to seek out others for guidance, advice, direction and to work thru possible internal conflicts. I should think your wife would be the #1 sounding board for such as this, seeing that any sweeping lifestyle changes you made would have to include her.
    Of course, it helps to have an inkling of what it is you really want before you begin the discussion…
    There’re radical ideas such as selling all your possessions and living a minimalist lifestyle in the mountains, or simple changes such as devoting more time to recycling and organic gardening. Maybe you wish you could spend 20 hours a week teaching inner city kids how to read, or maybe you wish you could join the Peace Corps.
    What is it exactly that you really want?

    • marcsuttle says:

      I want to be happy. (reference something said by the Douglas Adams character Slartibartfast in HHGTTG)
      Finished ‘The Gospel According to Larry’ today. Enjoyed it very much, thank you. Several times while reading ‘Larry’, Richard Bach’s ‘Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah’ came to mind. (Found out there is a sequel – ‘Vote For Larry’)

  7. I have a question that relates to you noting that sometimes you post and don’t get feedback. This wasn’t where you said that, but I’m thinking I don’t need to search for the exact post. You have less than half the number of people listed as ljfriends as those who have you listed as an ljfriend, and this made me curious. Did you do a friend purge for some reason? Logic tells me that if you’re not reading and posting in other people’s journals, they might be less likely to read and post in yours, but I can’t say that’s true for certain.
    LJ is all pretty new for me. A ton of people added me when I did that post in “hi, I’m over 40, wanna be friends?” and there are some whose journal posts I don’t enjoy reading all that much, but I’m hesitant to delete them because they were so nice and some of them get all MAD when somebody de-friends them. Have you dealt with this sort of thing before?
    Also, does it bother you when people post things that are full of misspellings and bad punctuation? I’m trying to look past it, I know it’s not important to everyone, but It’s been making me a little crazy. I want to get out a red pen and circle things and send the post back. How obnoxious is that?
    I’m interested in your thoughts….I hope you don’t mind that I just tagged this onto a randomly chosen post of yours.

    • marcsuttle says:

      I have 11 “friends” chosen and there are 27 who have chosen me. Of my 11 friends I comment on two-thirds(+/-) regularly (if and when they post-and a couple rarely do) The same 11 have friended me-I get about the same or a little better in terms of comments from them-so removing them leaves 16 additional who “read” my LJ. Of those, fewer than 6 ever comment and even that is highly sporadic. (this last part I find frustrating-why include me as a friend if we never communicate?)
      Having said all that, only a very small number 2-3(?) (including you) engage in what I would describe as true two-way discussions with some amount of thought put into comments/replies.
      I have “purged” my friends list more than once. I tend not to want to read journals filled with grandkids, sports or someone’s latest knitting project. No one has ever complained to me if I removed them and though some have removed me, other than short-term curiosity, I haven’t lost any sleep about it.
      I’m far more critical of my own grammar/spelling than of others. When leaving a comment and realize later I misspelled a word I kick myself thinking I look ignorant.
      My theory is due to the small number of LJers in our “age” range we tend to friend each other too quickly based on age alone assuming our life experience and interests run the same only to discover that they don’t.
      This next part may not make sense but here goes- I see my blog as an attempt to explore myself and the universe around me. Not that I consider myself the center of ANY universe, I’m just looking for a better appreciation/understanding of how the pieces fit together. I don’t claim depth in my search because I’m too easily distracted with the breadth of possibilities. I try to leave everything open to everyone with hopes that someone is interested in helping or sharing. What I’ve frequently found is a lot of what I consider interesting people living in their own self contained universes (as presented via LJ). Some of these universes are very deep and quite large but unless I want to explore their version within their boundries there is nothing for me in terms of two-way conversation. They don’t seem willing to step outside their universe, while I’m still defining mine.
      Speaking of tagging on randomly; several weeks ago felix was went away and returned without any explanation I can recall.

      • Thanks for replying. I take my lj time fairly seriously. Not that my posts or replies are “serious” but that I want to read and write what I think is worth pondering. If a journal post makes me laugh, or think, or remember, or say, “Huh!” or feel anything at all, I like the post-er to know it. And if I take the time to write something, that means it’s been rattling around in my head and I needed to see it in front of me. I really, really enjoy it here.
        Sometimes I refrain from commenting because I know I can be over-exuberant about things; I don’t want to wear people out, so I tether myself periodically.
        And you’re right. I thought the age thing would help find some common ground, but I’ve discovered that quality is more the factor I’m looking for. There are a few “youngsters” I frequently share verbal volleys with that I enjoy immensely, and some oldsters I think I could do without.
        When I see dialog (53 comments) in a journal that looks like this:
        “What’s for dinner?”
        “Lasagna.”
        “Yum. I love lasagna.”
        “Yeah, me too. LOL.”
        I want to kick myself for not having the balls to delete the “friend.” That’s SO not like me either. So there’s some head-exploring that needs to be done.
        Grammar and spelling….I HATE when I miss something before I hit “post.” And I can overlook errors in other posts if the content is compelling enough. But if it’s boring blather AND it’s full of misspelled words, mismatched tenses, and grammatical errors…..yikes. It really grates on my nerves, and I know that’s my problem, not theirs, to deal with.
        Felixwas is a close, personal friend. (He was a childhood friend of my husband, his wife was a roommate of mine, and we introduced them. They are godparents to our 15 yr. old. Talk about history!) He deleted his journal in a moment of self-doubt and perhaps some disillusionment with lj. But he’s a writer to the core, and now he’s back.
        Thanks again for your feedback. It helped.

      • P.S.S. (or is it P.P.S.?) Thought you’d enjoy this….
        I just have to tell you; I finally got up the nerve to remove one of the people I recently added from that “hi I’m 40 add me” site, and she went ballistic! Her site is mostly posts of her erotic pin up art and her own poetry, and while I have no issues with either, I simply wasn’t enjoying her journal, so I quietly and without fanfare just checked the “delete” box on my “edit friends” section. Here’s what she posted on her site:
        “I flip off the asshole who just added me (and removed me) because I posted erotic art. I warn people when I request new readers that the art is adult. if you don’t read the fucking introduction don’t add me. Stupidity grates on my fucking nerves and their fuse is mighty short these days.”
        Thanks a lot, subtlecynic, for bolstering me with a false sense of security that people here are grownups and do this sort of thing all the time. It’ll be a while before I get THAT brave again!

      • marcsuttle says:

        just rolling my eyes
        I worked with a woman who would brush off someone she didn’t think well of in conversation by saying “they have issues”. I came to dislike that phrase because of the tone in which it was uttered, but sometimes think I could use it myself in cases like this. I’ve lurked in various LJs where the type of “drama” you described was the norm for a particular type of user. They are the center of attention and won’t let their readers forget. They aren’t blogging to actually share anything, but to gain an audience which is required to feed their ego.

      • Re: just rolling my eyes
        Hmmmm. I’m thinking perhaps you hit the nail on the head with your assessment. So I’m going with, “It’s her, not me.” and leaving it at that. Thanks for the wisdom sharing.

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