Mirror Mirror on the Wall...

I hate small talk. It's basically two people filling up the quiet, and sometimes I feel when I'm asked small talk questions, the other person doesn't really wanna know who I am. Which is fine, just go away. So I tend to ask revealing and hard questions like 'Wassup?' and 'How you doin?''.

Fig. 1: Does it look like I appreciate sarcasm?

Fig. 1: Does it look like I appreciate sarcasm?

I was talking to a friend and threw out a question. "You seein' anyone?"

She smiled and ducked her head into her shoulders, then nodded.

"How long have you two been together?"

She shrugged and said, "I'm not sure we're 'together'."

"So…why don't you ask?"

She looked away and then shrugged. "I don't want to scare him away."

"And what if you do? If he runs away because you asked whether you're his girlfriend or not, then he's not the guy for you."

She hemmed and hawed and shuffled her feet around and adjusted her breasts (see Fig. 1), then promised herself to ask him.

It's been over six months, and she has yet to confirm their relationship, which is coming up to a year now. But her fear of confronting him about this stems from a deep level of insecurity. A part of it comes from whether she thinks she's worthy of a man, her attractiveness to men, and thinking that this is her last chance, given her age.

In other words, all this fear/insecurity was created in her mind, from her thinking. And it's sad because I've seen men approach her, but she doesn't open up because she's in this limbo with this guy that nobody in our circle of friends have ever met. We don't even know his name. We've never even seen a picture!

Now, if she didn't care about their label/status and just enjoys doing the horizontal mamba, then I wouldn't bug her about it. But she told me that it bothers her a lot, and many times she's tried to gather the courage to ask him about their…uh…you know…um…thang…not thang as in junk…but their thingybob. But she couldn't bring herself to do it.

I understand that fear. It's fake. But I get it.

I get into my head too much as well. It happens to all of us. And trying to change your thinking, like looking at yourself in the mirror and telling yourself you're worth this much, doesn't always help.

A better way of approaching life is to realize that happiness doesn't come from a person, from a relationship, from buying a new car, from having the most lavish home in the world. We as humans are just that. We are content. We are at peace. We are healthy.

If we look at the human body, we are born into a thing that is already healthy, that is self-healing. Sure, there are cases where someone is born blind, without a body part, allergic to certain things. Even then, our bodies naturally grow, eats when it needs sustenance, shits when it needs to get rid of crap, heals when it gets injured, all without our intervention.

So it is with our mental health. If your mind is curious about something, then it'll find out. Like my friend. She wants to know if she's in a relationship. She wants a family, so time is of the essence. But her fear/insecurity gets in the way.

What she doesn't need to do is cover it up with daily affirmations.

If I get a cut, I don't need to look myself in the mirror and say, "Good Lawd. Let mah bawdy heal. Please Lawd Geezus Kryst." Then smack my forehead with my own palm and yell, "I am healed!"

You'd think I was crazy if you saw me do that.

But this is what a lot of people do. They look at themselves in the mirror and affirm that they are confident, worthy, and good enough, blah, blah blah...

The only thing you need to do is get out of your own way. How the hell do I do that, you may ask? Try not holding onto thoughts so much. Everyone gets insecure. That's just part of being human. What gets us in trouble is when we believe in those thoughts, then we try to counter that thought with another thought, which only invites more thoughts, then we try to counter those thoughts with even more thoughts, and suddenly we're in a whirlpool of a million thoughts.

Instead, think of a thought as a bubble in a stream. As it merrily comes, you watch it pass you and see it go. Another bubble will come, and you do the same. It's nothing. It's temporary. It doesn't belong to you, nor does it own you. It's just a bubble. Maybe even a dream.

And much like my friend's fear that this guy is her last chance is fake. It's a fear of a situation that doesn't exist. At least, not yet, if it ever will. If she were to drop this guy, who's to say another better man won't come along? 

You Have a Small Penis

Pick an apple. Put it in a barrel. Pick another. Put it in the barrel. Do this enough times and you'll get a bad apple. That's just the nature of life. So it is with friends.

"He's highly insecure," I said, remarking on a friend of ours who had went off on us for a very severe problem. What problem you might ask? Forget about a bear chasing you. Forget about a gunman holding a gun pointed at you. And forget about the terrorism happening in the world. The problem: Halloween party. My girlfriend asked why some of us needed to bring food and drink when other guests would only bring food or drink for the party. I know, first world problems. 

Our gentile friend got really pissed off and berated my girlfriend. So she left our long-running group chat because she didn't want to read his rants. I wanted to attack him (verbally...ok...physically too) but I simply asked for the reasoning behind why the core group needed to contribute more versus others. His answer made complete and total sense: It was his party, he made the rules, if you don't like it, then don't come.

This obviously didn't go over well with us because we were his friends, and none of us would treat each other in that way, let alone go on a tirade about such a small and stupid issue.

Another in the group, I'll call him The Politician, talked to this reasonable fellow, and he professed that we attacked him, that we didn't appreciate his efforts for putting the party together, that he spent a hundred dollars of his own money (your choice bud), so the fact that we wanted clarification upset him. He wanted to disband the group chat, and the Politician said, "This isn't your group. Even if you disband the group, the rest of us will reform it without you." Our former friend shook his fists at the gods and lamented and demanded that this was his group. But eventually he decided to leave the group chat, and several days later unfriended me on Facebook. Oh, the horror!

So when we all came together to discuss this very important issue, I had made the statement, "He's highly insecure."

"Everyone has insecurities," The Politician said. And he's right.

But here's the thing. Our former friend is insecure as a person, a human being, maybe even as a man. Because I'm Chinese, he kept poking fun at me, saying I have a small penis. I guess it would be funny a few times, but he mentioned this to me almost every single time we hung out. I don't know why he was obsessed with my penis, but maybe he's a latent homosexual and has yet had the courage to come out of the closet. And this isn't a sneaky way of calling him a fag. That would be too good for him.

And every chance he had, he'd tell me if he was single, he'd have this girl in the bathroom, or that he's slept with many women, or that it was his girlfriend who had asked him out. Yes, he has a girlfriend. And, no, she didn't ask him out. Her culture is known to be very conservative, so she wouldn't have been the aggressor. Hell. American women rarely find themselves the aggressor. And that's the other thing. He continually makes fun of his girlfriend's culture.

I know. He ain't dat brite. 

His girlfriend tried to help by saying that he has a lot on his plate. Sorry, my lady. But we are all adults. We all have a lot on our plates. And having a lot of plates let alone heavy ones doesn't give anyone the excuse to treat anyone like shit. This is a telltale sign of insecurity. People express it by attacking friends, loved ones, putting down friends, or covering them by drinking, binge eating, doing drugs, or unfriending people on Facebook.

I bring this issue up because insecurities are a norm for all human beings. I feel short sometimes. Other times I feel unsuccessful because I've yet to be published while others younger than me have found huge success in the publishing world. But I don't attack anyone because I feel this way. Eventually, these feelings will go away because that's the nature of being human. Waves ebb and flow. We wake from sleep, and sleep after being awake. Flowers open in sunlight and close after sun fall. Our feelings change, we get over stuff, we move on. Confidence isn't just the absence of doubt. It's the ability to go on while being mired in it.