I recently canceled my internet subscription. I didn’t want it anymore. I felt like the internet was constantly competing for my time, and the vast majority of it is garbage anyway. I also felt that I needed to seek validation through my various forms of social media. People 20 years ago didn’t need that, so why in the hell do we?
Then I had this radical thought. What if I simply just canceled my internet, and just used it when I needed it, at like a coffee shop? What would happen? What if I treated the internet like a utility instead of some form of escapism. Just a place where I did my online banking and sent the occasional email and written blog content. That was 2 months ago. 2 months in, here’s the results folks.
Yep, this indeed is a picture of me holding my $79.99 Dr. Moody hand puppet out the window of my apartment during the 2nd Annual Women’s March in Downtown Seattle. I’m trying to go for that Jim Henson look…if he looked like a pedophile.
My friend Chris snapped these photos. I actually got a couple of people to stop on the street and wave back at Dr. Moody from below. People loved Dr. Moody. I also blew kisses to some folks with the puppet. It was awesome to brighten people’s day with this ridiculous toy. I think I’ll keep it up for all future parades in Seattle.
Here’s an obligatory hiking photo too from earlier that day on Rattlesnake Ledge. Quite frosty. Mustache is also staying, sorry haters.
I’m not a good dancer. Whenever I start dancing it reminds me of what would happen if you put shoes on Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer from the Rankin and Bass animated 70’s film. Do you remember how clumsy Rudolph is? He awkwardly runs and falls all over the place. There is a specific scene where he charges across the ice, only to slip on all 4 legs and spin himself into a dizzy mess.
I’m quite grateful I only have 2 legs to do that. I can’t imagine what 4 legs would feel like. I tend to do the same thing, except there is no ice.
So like I said, I’m not a good dancer, and as result I’m afraid to do it. But deep down…I desperately want to dance. I often times find myself dancing in my apartment to whatever I’ve added to my Spotify playlist, whether it be Eric Church, Kanye West, or Fifth Harmony. I find myself spinning in my apartment. Dancing like no one is watching…and that’s the way I like it.
I wish I could feel the same feeling in public and not care. And tonight….I finally did just that. How? Well, with a bit of help from a “life theory” known as “Radical Implosion”.
No, it’s not a theory on how to collapse a star. It’s rather, a theory on how to DESTROY your insecurities about anything. Literally, anything. It was coined by Albert Ellis, notable psychologist from the 1930’s. I don’t know much else about him, but I don’t think it’s important. What is important, is this concept itself.
Ellis called it, “a shame attacking exercise.” A method for developing a thicker skin and reducing fear in anxiety producing situations, such as talking to women, public speaking, and…dancing.
So, how does this “exercise work”. How do you reduce fear in anxiety producing situations such as these? Well, it’s quite simple. Here’s how it works.
Imagine, you are like me….and you are ALSO afraid of dancing in the public. The sheer thought of it makes you cringe. You think if you dance in public, everyone will hate you. Not only will everyone hate you, but you will also hate yourself for how much people hate you. It’s ridiculous right? It’s an irrational thought. Of course people aren’t going to hate you, well most people won’t! At worst, they probably won’t want to fuck you.
So then why is it so hard to dance though? What’s stopping you? Well it’s anxiety, it’s your brain telling you, “Don’t dance, otherwise you’ll die.”
To combat this silly thought, people who are afraid will either:
A. Skip Dancing
B. Self medicate to dance
Historically, I had chosen route B. But since I’ve stopped drinking that was no longer an option.
But I don’t want to skip dancing because I can’t drink. I still want to do dance, which is why I tried out option C, which is, “Radical Implosion.”
Radical Implosion is the idea that overcoming a challenge much more difficult than the one you’re actually afraid of makes your fear dissipate.
Albert Ellis was afraid of talking to girls, So to get over this fear he approached every women he saw sitting alone at the park one day. He approached over 100 girls that day, and tried asking them out. What happened? Well, 90% of the women rejected him. Yes, indeed. This man faced rejection 90 times. However, 10 girls did say yes. What happened to Ellis? Well, he was never afraid to talk to women again
That’s what I did tonight. Except, instead of girls, it was bars with dancing.
I walked into “Kangaroo and Kiwi” and stood in the middle of the dance floor. I was terrified. And then I started spinning in a circle, like I did when I was a kid. People started staring at me, and then most of the people on the dance floor walked out. It was only me. So then I started hopping on one foot and clapping. I was intentionally embarrassing myself. I looked like a clown. Then I started dancing out of tune, because at this point, I didn’t’ care anymore.
It feels good. And I also got to make out with a women who hated her kids, which was interesting. Thanks Ellis.
I did a bit of tidying up in my apartment. I cleaned out my entire closet, kind of like Eminem did in that music video, except I actually love my Momma. My friend Tyrone inspired me to do it. He was talking to me about a book called, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Hatsune Miku. This books stipulates that you should only keep things in your house “that bring joy”, everything else either needs to be donated or burned.
Since it’s been raining in Seattle, I went with donating. I started with my clothes. I learned I had dozens of shirts that I purchased within the past year that I have worn less than a dozen times. The price of shirts are anywhere from $65 – $80. That’s about a $1K of clothes that I never wear. And the pants..well…those range from $150-$200, and I tossed about 3 of those. One of those was a pair of perfectly fine sandstone colored khakis.
Why did I toss these pants? I despise them! The last time I wore my khaki’s is when I was hungover getting a haircut last year, after a night of heavy drinking and waking up in front of my apartment door with no keys. A war story for another day…. After sitting in the salon chair for 1.5 hours in late June, I stood discovered I had been sweating through my underwear and into my pants. I had a giant wet spot right where my asshole is. I was so embarrassed that when I stood up I begged my hairdresser for some paper towels.
After frantically patting my ass for 2 minutes I realized this was not working. I then asked her if she had anything else. She motioned to the blow dryer that minutes ago was pointing at my head. So, at this moment, my hairdresser, Sarah, blow dried my ass in front of all the other clients who were getting their haircut. I think I heard someone say, “I’ll have what he’s having.” among the whispers. The stained seemed to dissipate, but within 3 minutes it was back. I was having some serious ass seepage and the culprit was unknown.
Unfortunately, I had to walk home after that too, with this huge wet spot on my ass walking down 1st Avenue in Seattle. To cover the stain I started stretching my slim fit black T-shirt past my knees, so it would droop down like a Moo-Moo worn by Kylie Jenner or Justin Bieber. Every couple blocks or so I would try and check my ass out in a shop window to see if the stain was still there. It was tricky due to heavy foot traffic, so I stepped into a Taco Del Mar to do a closer examination in the bathroom.
They said I had to buy something to use the bathroom so I purchased a children’s bean and cheese burrito and proceeded to throw it into the garbage can and run into the bathroom. Things looked ok…but I wasted $5.67 so I was kind of pissed off.
I eventually made it home, but was still locked out of my apartment. It was the worst day of my life.
I haven’t written on here in awhile. I was going through some rough times. To cut a long story short…I finally found out…after the course of 10 years…that I indeed have an alcohol problem.
Some folks might be surprised. Other’s not. I’m not sure what to say to either camp. But for me, alcohol has been problematic. I can’t handle my liquor, like some people can’t handle cigarettes. One drink, and I’m already at 6.
I’m going to save the war stories too. As in, I’m not going to talk about everything I’ve done with liquor. It’s not important, maybe I’ll throw it into a book on day. But for now, I want to move on.
I found a good program besides AA, and found a good accountability buddy from High School. He’s been through something similar and he’s been looking out for me. Thanks and you know who you are. The program is called Smart Recovery. It’s tenets are to take a logical approach to eliminating addictive behaviors. It has nothing to do with finding a higher power or repeating a credo. It’s based on psychology, where you logically look at your addiction to understand its triggers. You learn about what’s chemically going on in your body during addiction.
It’s a scientific approach to eliminating addiction, and I highly recommend it to anyone who finds the spiritual dogma of AA annoying.
I’m trying to craft a life where alcohol is unnecessary for me. A life where it’s involvement only complicates it. As for coffee, it hasn’t generated any war stories. I’m keeping that addiction.
Stories are interesting. Here is my theory. When something sad is happening you bring the audience down only to bring them back up again and to do something unexpected. Make them go on a roller coaster ride. Make them happy. Then make them sad…and happy again….and bring them down to the lowest point and pull them all the way back up. Bring them to the depths of hell, you need to show them how bad things can really be, to show then how good things can really be. It’s all about pacing and timing. You don’t want to serve the nicest dessert first, no no no. You want to save the very best for last. You want to serve them the worst dish in the world, Jell-O Salad, and then serve them the molten chocolate fudge cake. They’ll forget all the bad things that happened along the way, and they will appreciate and savor the reward. It’s a lot of life. The bad will make you appreciate the good.