Context is...
A Caliper


TL;DR: That's hot!

  • Originally Written: 27-Nov-2020

  • Word Count: ### / ## minutes


The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Actually, the definition of insanity is the state of being seriously mentally ill; madness.

Also known as extreme foolishness or irrationality.

This last line I find to be of particular enjoyment. To be foolish is to be anything but stubborn to the cause of being right in a matter, just to show pride.

Legacy is what we entreat when we are seeking to keep in time with our family traditions, havings, and belongings just to save face.

However, legacy is something we don't realize we are creating and leaving for ourselves as we seek to uphold the legacies we have been born under.

When children grow up, what distinguishes them becomes of particular note to each other and to our caregivers.

One thing of particular note for me growing up was my waistline. I was a fat kid.

It wasn't all my fault though, I had asthma.

Asthma is one of the most debilitating things to have for a kid growing up in the 90s in the SF East Bay.

Every attempt at trying to play was met with having to come barreling back into the house wheezing for my nebulizer.

Going out to play hide-and-seek was met with its own trauma to recover from afterwards. Every time.

After coming down from an exacerbated asthma attack, I would feel nothing but tired and useless.

What more could I do with my time than pick up a controller to play a video game to pass the time alone while my brothers and neighbors were outside playing.

Over time, though, this pathway became more and more solidified as a means for me to turn to in order to cope with the stresses and dealings of life.

Which is to say, I was addicted to video games growing up.

Not how parents exagerate their kids to be. I knew I was full-on addicted and knew it was controlling my life.

There were multiple times I would pack everything into boxes, wrap them with tape, and store it all in my closet so I could focus on something else, but I knew I had a problem with it.

We'll save that discussion for a different essay, but back to the fat thing.

In family gatherings, the one thing I wanted to avoid most was being put on display.

When you put your children on display, you're essentially showing other people what you think they're worth when you're not appreciating them yourself. Otherwise, you wouldn't feel the need to puppet the things that stand out about them to somehow prove your success as a parent.

You would let them just be.

People feel the need to do such things in order to compensate for feeling inadequate as parents, but they mean no harm in doing them.

It's just what parents do sometimes. I guess.

The impact on the kids, however, is they take away what were the highlights and lowlights of those discussions and make decisions about how they will be based on those moments.

An obvious highlight for me, always, was school. I naturally excelled in anything I attempted and had great focus to boot. In time, I developed pride in that ability.

An unapparent low-light was my waistline. I was always compared with my little brother because of my apparent size. Even my brother would say I was fat.

It hurt my feelings. Every time.

In time, this pressure contributed to what is called body dysmorphia.

I craved having abs to be like the cool guys in school.

I mean, shit, it was plastered all over magazines and the Internet. I don't know how a guy doesn't feel the pressure for even a minute.

Regardless, until my asthma was fixed in high school, I was unable to really aspire to be like the kinds of athletes I'd look at in magazines.

Once I had the ability, however, I was incapable of seeing myself as accomplishing what I had set out to do once I had achieved my initial goals.

Suddenly I was getting a kind of attention I wasn't really expecting or used to getting.

The kind of attention I was getting was more positive with respect to how I looked and became less about what I did.

When you receive attention in ways you aren't used to getting, it's hard to say no to such feelings of joy that come with such validation.

However, this too can become addictive.

When you acquiesce to the feeling of having some kind of aura around people, wherever you go, you become blind to the privileges you entreat.

Suffice to say, you become a narcissist. Fawning over the affections of what others can bring you over what you're actually doing for them, which isn't much.

When you're young and trying to fit in, it's one thing to aspire to look like a standard. It's another thing to look like the standard.

But when you're older and trying to stand out, one thing I detest is the praise I get over how I look to others instead of what I'm doing for others.

Given that, I'm definitely one for my moments and I definitely have my share of drama.

Frankly it's difficult to be able to make everyone happy.

When I was a kid I just wanted to help people.

I wanted to help people who couldn't help themselves because I knew what it was like to feel trapped and powerless, especially to a strong man.

Growing out of such an experience pushed me to be strong, like my dad, so I could defend myself if a situation like that were to ever occur in life.

However, where it landed me was gay heaven. By the time I moved to SF, I embodied everything a typical gay guy would want.

I was funny, charming, handsome, fit, and making decent money.

I started dating a guy who was in the scene with the intent of finding my own community.

We had a lot of fun together. A lot of fucking fun.

Life felt like I was on fire and everybody was watching. And it felt good.

It felt really good to be witnessed as happy for the first time in my life. Happy to be alive and without a care in the world.

Or so it seemed.

For what comes with burning so brightly is the branding you leave behind. The marks left in the wake of the party.

What I found on the other side of that was dark. Darker than the dark side of the moon dark.

The biggest shock to me in moving to the city was that most of the guys who looked like me in body type had probably done steroids.

I have not and will continue to refuse doing steroids as a means for achieving any type of body image.

No matter how much pressure there is to look good, it's not worth it guys.

It's not even about whether or not it's safe, it's about the fact you're looking for something external of yourself to feel happy.

Everything you need is within and, unfortunately for many men, sex is the primary avenue through which they deal with their emotions.

I myself am no different. Sex was what drove my intentions as I did drugs, stayed up late, and partied with increasing frequency.

So much so that I found myself calling out sick from work because I had thrown up too much the night before from doing too much.

I had a problem.

When you get caught up in trying to live life according to a standard, you will find you'll do anything but standard ways of achieving them.

Over time, however, this becomes your brand.

One where you aspire for whatever is considered 'the standard' with nothing else being able to compare.

When what you expect is nothing but the best of things in life, you have become entitled and narcissistic.

Entitled, firstly, for expecting life to treat you handsomely just because of something you did before.

Narcissistic, secondly, for becoming a self-absorbed twat focused on nothing but achieving the best in life for themselves. No matter the cost.

Cousin's birthday? Sorry, can't make that.

Haven't talked to your brother in months? What's another few days.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

When we become too focused on what causes us to stand out, we show ourselves as insane to the cause of being authentic.

Perhaps, since my standard is insanity, everything else appears insane.

But what is standard is insane. There is no standard. There is no way to be.

There's just you and you're fucking up concept of legacy.

Focus more on the one you're leaving instead of the one you're trying to live up to in your mind.

You might see your ideas for the flatulence they can be at times.

Clouding up the room with gas.

Open a window and get a fresh perspective.

One outside what you would consider standard.

They may just make your day.

Or they may just make your mind go for a jog.

Leave the inhalers at home.