May 23, 2005
is it born, or learned?
What makes you what you are? I've ponderd this question for a long time and I still don't have a clear answer. I know that a lot of what I believe and the way I think was taught to me by my parents and my family, but that doesn't explain everything.
Why have I always WANTED to write? Nobody else in my family has that same restless urge. Why me? My brother could probably be better at this crap than I am, but he just doesn't care to do it. He has other interests that motivate him.
Why am I so fascinated with music? My daddy couldn't carry a tune in a bucket and he always thought that I was pissing my life away during my musician days. But I've always dreamed of being able to make music, as far back as I can remember. I LIKE doing it and I'd rather buy a new guitar than eat when I'm hungry. Why?
Considering the fairly hard-scrabble family I came from, why do I care so little about money? I know a lot of people who use money to measure their scorecard of success. Money is the most important thing in their lives. It's never been that way for me.
All I ever wanted was NOT to be broke. That's why I don't understand these professional athletes who go free agent and jump ship because they can make $27 million in New York while Atlanta is willing to pay "only" $25 million. Got-dam! How much is enough?
I think one of the first things that started breaking me and Jennifer apart was when I turned down a big promotion at work. I was flattered to be offered the job, but I didn't want it. I worked a hell of a lot of hours the way things were, without piling on MORE responsibility and the raise in pay would mostly go for taxes, and I was happy doing what I was doing at the time. I didn't see that much to gain, and I saw a lot to lose.
Jennifer never forgave me for doing that. She's a climber, very money-oriented, and she cannot understand anyone who would refuse that next step on the ladder. "If you turn this down, they'll never offer it to you again," she said, more than once. I had always been a climber, too, but I finally hit my "comfort zone." I HAD everything I ever wanted.
I didn't want the job then and I couldn't see myself wanting it ten years later, either. I said, "Thanks, but no thanks." I think that's when Jennifer stopped being proud of me, especially after her star started rising and mine stayed put. She started making more money than I did. The marriage didn't last long after that.
Why do I like the woods better than I like the bustle of party-town? Why do I like guns better than I like fancy clothes and a hot-shot car? Why am I nervous (VERY NERVOUS) before doing any public speaking (although I'm good at it and I done it hundreds of times) when I've never had a problem playing guitar and telling jokes in front of 5,000 people?
Why do I love dogs and hate cats?
Why can't I learn to keep my fucking mouth shut sometimes?
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