Personal Development

I was afraid and I kissed her

She looked out the window and I was scared. We had flirted good and well but she doesn’t date co-workers. Here we were in her apartment, the pot smoke thick, the small talk thin.

She was stoned but she knew what she was doing. Come see the view on the porch. Winter in Minneapolis. Balconies aren’t for winter, they’re for summer and trapping boys.

So the question: do I kiss her and how? Every man knows this moment. She did her part and led you somewhere you can make a move, because she’s into you. Or maybe she’s not into you, so why are you on her porch? Because she actually shows guests the view in winter.

What if you kiss her and you weren’t supposed to? Then are you a rapist? Rapists are the worst! Or will it be like a sitcom and you’ll both make an excuse to get out of there and then you’re friends for two seasons and then you elope.

There is no one to tell you what to do and the clues are a joke. You just have to move.

So I moved.

We ran out of conversation and I pushed her against the wall and looked her in the eyes and our lips were together. It probably seemed very romantic and confident because I moved slow. But I moved slow because I was afraid.

She moved with me. She kissed back. Then we were kissing, we worked together on that kiss.

“Fulfilment,” Gustav Klimt

Balconies aren’t for winter and I was already caught, so we moved inside. There was a couch, the floor, some other furniture. I told her in advance that I didn’t want a relationship, because I’m a gentleman and that’s what gentlemen do in the age of liberation. She might have stopped, but I was no longer afraid. The chemistry was proven, she was in it just like I was.

(Fun fact: There are three types of women who don’t date coworkers, and all three of them will date a coworker.)

That time it worked out. Other times I failed. I went for the kiss once in Mexico and she jumped away like I had teeth mites. It’s not the rejection, it’s the uncertainty—the sense that you should know.

Most men hate this moment. I used to hate it. Because no one is going to tell you what to do, and it’s safer just to be be lonely and sad. Lonely is free. No one fails at lonely.

I don’t know if women have this same moment. Actually that’s not true—I know lesbians sometimes do, because I sort of lived with one and he had game. (He later transitioned to being male.) He had way better game than me. People don’t exactly go to bed at night wishing they’ll wake up as a trans boy—most trans boys don’t wish that—but if it came with game like that I would consider the offer.

But woman, man, trans, any human being has these moments. It might not be the kiss. It might be demanding a promotion or some respect. It might be anything.

You want to make a move and you’re scared as hell. You don’t know which choice will rip your heart out and eat it faster. No one can tell you what to do because they’re scared too.

Everybody wants to know how they can adventure without leaving their home town. There are a million ways to adventure and it starts with moments like this. Adventure doesn’t come knocking, the wizard doesn’t put a mark on your door, I’m sorry. It starts when you say it starts.

Here is the good news.

Every single time you move it gets easier.

That’s what I’ve learned. Any given time you make a move you might fail. But every time you make a move, the next move is easier.

Ask for a promotion and it’s easier to be the only one dancing. Whisper “Do you want to fuck?” and it’s easier to ask for a promotion. Sometimes you’ll fail but soon you’ll fail with grace. People dig grace. They come back to the graceful.

(What happened with the Mexican woman? We became friends. She wrote me a really nice note during the holidays last month. I tried to respond in Spanish. She once apologized for being “so rude” that night, which is very Mexicana of her. You don’t have to apologize for not kissing people.)

Good things don’t come to those who wait, good things come to those who tear through stacks of bad things like it’s a box of Cap’n Crunch looking for the prize at the bottom.

Push someone against the wall and kiss them.

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Personal Development

To Seek the Force of Youth

There’s a force that permeates the time of our youth. A feeling that colors the world.

I’m not sure if we feel it in the moment, or if we add it to our youthful memories much later. Does it matter? The decline or absence of this force in present life strikes the soul like hammer. There is something that fades, and we miss it horribly.

Breaking Meditation

I’ve practiced awareness meditation for a decade. In time, that meditation has branched and evolved. It’s allowed me to experience the amazing heights and depths of the human heart. It became possible to look candidly at what I am, and make effective changes to my being.

Recently I asked myself the question: what laws of my reality are actually circumstances I’ve chosen?

It’s amazing what parts of the world you can change with your mind when you have the huevos to call Reality a big fucking liar.

The answer, for me, is my concept of age and purpose. I “lost” six years by not pursuing my dream. Part of me resents it bitterly. Sometimes I think: I missed my chance. I mourn for a twentysomething who never was, but whom my 14 year old self was convinced he could create.

How sad would it be if I spent the next 10 years grieving for how I spent the last 10 years? A wasted life. Avoiding that fate requires a choice.

Do I do what I’d always dreamed of then, now? “Better later than never”?

Or settle upon different goals for a different stage of my life—leave behind youthful endeavors as the stuff of a different age?

It’s a question of fatal struggle versus stoic peace. I always side with fatal struggle, and there I find my serenity. To me, struggling against the odds represents knowledge: it’s the only way to know your true potential. Stoic peace seems like fake peace, an artifice to comfort us in our defeat.

Rekindling

So this is the project I put before myself: cultivate youthfulness.

Today I began to meditate on fond youthful memories. I paid attention to that force that colors them. What is this force? Where does it come from? What about then-me is so admirable?

How do you feel when you feel young?

And can you sow that feeling?

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Adventure Prep, Business, Travel

Goals for Mexico City

Just as I did when I went to Thailand, I have some goals here in Mexico. I’ll be here for about 10 weeks total, or 2.5 months. One week is already down, and time’s not slowing.

So what do I need to get done here? Well…

Goals for Mexico City, 2012

  • Learn Spanish. This is the most important. I want to be functionally fluent when I sail away March 10. Immersion is a key part of this strategy, which means I need to stop speaking in English with my generous host and his friends. This week I’ll ask for an hour a day of English embargos. Eventually it will be whole days. Aside from immersion, I’m working on online Spanish lessons and arranging a tutor.
  • Bolster & expand my SEO income. Through Location Rebel I learned to write SEO articles and make good money doing it. I’ve made enough since September to get by, but I would like a higher income so I can develop a nest egg & buy gear for my Adventure. I plan on writing a longer post about finances & income soon, but for now I’ll keep it simple: the plan is to build up a stronger portfolio of clients. Prospecting is in my future.
  • Start my own business. A blog is not a business. Separate from Rogue Priest I will be launching my own lifestyle business over January and February. The purpose of my business is to share one of the most influential and life-changing forces in my own life: magic. I have unique views on the practice of traditional magic and I want to share and explore those views with like-minded people, while hand-making scrolls to embody this ancient art.

There are many other things I want to accomplish while I’m here. I want to keep practicing my jujutsu so my Sensei can be proud. I want to lose 15 pounds. I want to see my graphic novel move forward. I want to write more fiction. I want to redecorate Rogue Priest.

I could go on all day.

I’m a dreamer with endless ideas. Like many dreamers, I sometimes need to shut my idea-hole and get to work. Accomplishing one or two big things has lasting value; imagining fifty is just cheap therapy.

So, I’ve chosen these three things to focus on for January, February and half of March. If I can accomplish this much I’ll feel good about the time I spent here. I’ll know that I’m working hard even with no boss to push me, and that I’m being responsible toward making a living and contributing something to the world. And that’s a big deal.

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