Confusing humility with conceit.

When I heard Charles Bukowski proclaim that he’d “never met a man he’d rather be” I was struck with a moment of clarity I don’t get to often. For all the time I’ve spent in bouts of self-loathing, self-criticism, self-doubt, or just plain old self-pity, I had realized the moment the “bar fly” uttered these words, I had never met anyone I’d rather be either.  

This was several years ago. Today I still go through all the same bouts of confidence issues. Still, there is not one other person I’d rather be. One time I said this out loud to someone. The response I got was a bit of scathing criticism that I might be a bit conceited. Self-absorbed for sure, self-centered at times but, far from conceited. Especially if their definition of conceit was of a person overvaluing them self in their comparison of other’s. For me, hardly. 

I don’t think I’m better than anyone. I do, however, think everyone is just as fucked up as me; just in their own way, at their own level to their own degree. I think everyone has bouts of depression, regression, and self-depreciation but, I know how I work. I know what to do to lift my spirits and feel good. I know what makes me tick, what or who I should avoid so that I don’t regress or get depressed. If I were you, I’d have no clue.   

I think everyone has days when they look in the mirror and think “ugh”. Maybe it’s not for the same reason as me. Maybe it is. But I know why I think it. I also know that if I take care of myself, eat healthfully and pay no attention to the pimples that have managed to stick around long enough to meet my fine lines and wrinkles I don’ think “ugh!”. Not that often anyway. But if I were you, I wouldn’t know what to do.

Everyone has their cross to bare. I just don’t know what theirs are made of. Everyone has luggage or bagage packed full of bullshit. But I got my bull shit packed just so, I can handle it that way. We all have scars, and blocked memories or moments of nightmarish reality we want to forget. Whether we do or not, block them out, doesn’t matter because in some way or another our scars manifest them selves into issues we need to work on or, not.   

I’ve never met another person I’d rather be, not because I’m better than anyone, but because I’d be terrified of having to figure out again, how to walk in new shoes. Your shoes. I don’t look at anyone as being better than me. I’m not fooled into judging the outside of you against how I feel on a particular day. I may see someone younger and prettier, talk to someone smarter or laugh at the jokes of someone who’s funnier. But, is that the official representative of them self? 

How do I know if the comic laughs to keep him self from crying? How do I know if the young beautiful girl thinks no one values her for more than her looks? How do I know if the smart person I just met feels lonely because they just can’t connect with people the way others do? I don’t. And neither do you. 

What I do know is this. The ideal person, family, life, girl friend, boy friend, husband, wife, boss, job, personality, look, status, style, self and econimic station is a manifestation of our societies’ collective mind’s highest, unattainable, ideals. Ideals to which no one will ever measure up to in every catagory. Not me and not you. And whether “this is a delusion or not” (which happens to be the rest of Bukowski’s quote) It’s the very delution that makes me glad I’m me and not you.    



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