Archive for February, 2012

Kids and Heroes

My favorite part of any movie is when a character breaks out into a monologue. I’m not an actor, but I admire those who have the ability to talk for however long straight to drive a point home, even if the movie can be pretty bad. They’re always done with so much heart and emotion, that both the good and bad monologues suck you in and you’re ready to believe Tom Robinson, or get on your boat and go upriver.

Whenever I find myself either in deep thought or in cynical despair, I like to play out the entire scene and day as one constant monologue in my head. I don’t choose a particular voice as I’m more concerned with what I want to say to clear everything up. Too often do I catch myself mentally monologing during this time of the year that it’s almost working like clockwork. It still puzzles me why February is one of my least favorite months overall. Maybe it’s the length, maybe it’s because of Feb 14, I wish I knew. What matters right now is that for the past 11 days (or 12, depending on when this goes up), it’s been more of bad and good for me. And when it does go into “bad territory,” monologing evolves into something different. Something a bit more….real.

In pro wrestling, monologues are better known as promos, and the ability to “cut a promo” is what made many of them successful. In order for fans to become interested in an upcoming match, wrestlers get on the microphone and do their spiels for however long they need to. They promote their matches by saying how they’ll make their opponent pay or that he’ll experience an ass kicking like they wouldn’t believe. All those moments where you’ve heard Randy Savage go “Ohhhh yeeeeeah!” or been asked what The Rock is cookin’, those are from promos.   I would wager that it’s the promos that non-wrestling fans know most about professional wrestling. They may not remember significance of Hulk Hogan bodyslamming Andre The Giant, but they sure remember all of Hogan’s catchphrases, coupled with his signature shirt tear and ring vamping.

Promos are often known for their brutal honesty about a character. So this whole entry really is me cutting a short promo on myself.

I don’t like myself much. Well that’s not exactly true, but I need to say that sometimes because there really are moments I do feel that way. Maybe it’s the long time movie fan in me to blame, but I often set crazy goals and expectations for myself which, I have to admit, do have a pretty below average success rate. I try my best to tell myself that it’ll happen for me, or that I can be an exception to a rule, but as of late, nothing’s really gone my way. And that’s a real killer right there. You ask yourself a ton of questions and all of your insecurities come out in an almost fell swoop. “I think I think too much” is an oft heard line that I never fully considered until a few years ago, but it’s something that just happens. Part of my geekish nature has always been to overanalyze the things I love, and that overanalysis can trickle down to other aspects of my life.

Regardless of all that, I’m more than aware that I lucked out in life. I’ve got a good job, hell of a place to live in, a great family and a pretty neat collection of games at my disposal to bring up a few. There’s a lot to like there. And while it isn’t evident here, I get a lot of my kicks by just talking and telling stories. For the kid who was bullied constantly and often dubbed as “that quiet one,” having fun just by talking does seem a bit crazy, all things considered. I can hold court in a room and not feel that bad about myself. It’s one of my own personal ironies. I can be the most cautiously optimistic individual you know, but that evil hand of cynicism is always creeping about somewhere in me.

I guess I’m not ever fully “myself” during certain times of the year. I still have plenty of hang ups and because it bears repeating, the stars in my eyes often aren’t what they seem to be. And in those times, not liking myself sounds like a fair analysis to me. Yes, I know that greatest enemy in the world will always be cynicism, and I have to confess that it is kicking my ass right now. But of course, it’s a matter of perspective in the end. I tweeted some 24 hours ago that this slump felt like being checked into the boards so hard, that “player me” in this scene could be suffering from a concussion. The severity of which is still unknown right now, but as a spectator, you really wish that it was that: a hard hit. Not a concussive, season ending hit. Just one of the many hits we’ll be taking that you should shake off so you can skate on.

On that end, I know that I need to bounce back from whatever slump I’m currently in. It’s not depression per se, but a quick reality check does make things seem discouraging at times. Can’t say yet if I’m inside or outside The Matrix right now, but I know I’m down and there are ways to better myself. I know it’s an obvious thing to say, but there are some of us that just need to hear it from ourselves. We have our coping mechanisms in the same way we have our own way of firing ourselves up again. I’m not satisfied with a few things in life, the reality of being pretty lonely (but never alone) hit me again and there are certain hopes that I want to come full circle already. When you realize that “this isn’t you” and that you’re thinking too much, maybe it’s time to stop for awhile and get your bearings. Tie your shoes, straighten out your legs a little, then jump right in again.

It’s so weird I’m using so much athletic metaphors when I am the least likely person that looks athletic.

Thanks for your time. I thought it would be a good change of pace for me to be a bit more serious, especially now. But after I began making the pro wrestling references, I knew I may have lost whoever’s reading. I don’t blame you, but I hope you got far at least.  I know I’m a big believer in “head up stick down,” but I also tend to forget it sometimes. I’m sure I may have missed a few points here but I just had to get all this out there for the time being.

That being said, 2012 shouldn’t be too shabby barring any major events. I’ve got some big mid year plans I don’t want to indulge in just yet but it’s one of the things that’s getting me through this wretched month. I know we’re all entitled to our own bad days and off-character moments and the best anyone one can hope is that they’re few and far between.  Not saying I feel absolved of everything right now, but it’s a start to the climb back up. My hope is that this doesn’t happen for a long time, nor should it ever happen to you.

Next time: Cartoons and redheads!