As in, “when” did the fuckup happen?
If you’re like most people (and in most ways, I am), your fuck ups tend to be those times when you were not thinking, or you were thinking but you weren’t paying attention. Or you were thinking, but your heart was making more sense, at a better clip, than your head was.
Regardless, it’s understandable that you fucked up. Others will try to soothe you or ameliorate the negative situation. That’s what friends and the wholesale-decent people do.
But suddenly I have hit upon a different kind of fuck-up. No, no grand new discoveries here. What I mean is that I’ve noticed something about a certain class of fuck-ups that deserve/warrant/klaxon-sound their own category: when you know better.
I’m not talking about premeditation. I’ll leave verbiage like that to lawyers and to others who are so in love with the Letter they have no respect for the Spirit.
No, I mean when you know you’re in a bad situation, when you’ve “been here before” and yet you continue to fuck up. AFTER the big, initial fuckup, you continue fucking up. There’s that moment of choice when, while it’s easier to continue fucking up, you know better. You simply do. Apply your own criteria for right and wrong. It’s not about preaching Good and Bad here. It’s about not only sensing that internal nudge your truthsense is giving you, but LISTENING to it as well. And then setting out to change the external world appropriately.
I have felt like a total fuck up many times, in both the Beforetime and Aftertime.
But I only beat myself up when it happens in the aftertimes.
In the beforetimes, you fuck up because you take a chance, a risk. You put your heart out there. Or your reputation. Your career. Whatever. It’s just a chance you take. Your heart gets broken and you feel like a fuckup. Your reputation—such as it is, in my case—gets dented. Your career ends up in the mailroom because you don’t know How To Succeed in Business. Life is life and Fair sometimes isn’t.
In the aftertimes, though, you’re just a shrew, or a prick, or a timid little rodent.
In the aftertimes, you know the guy’s a fuckhead, incapable of the things you need from him, and you continue. You abnegate, you rationalize, you learn silence, you learn sanctimoniousness, you do everything but the right thing because you’re a fuckup because you want the wrong thing: to remain with him. Ohh, have I been there. I was a fuckup.
You tie your reputation and your personal-brand to your career, and you elevate yourself relative to others not because you’re genuinely better, but but because you’ve dehumanized THEM, made THEM to feel or appear less, categorized them into a group because you don’t want to give any one person anything to call you out on. You don’t want challenge, because only peers can challenge and you’ve just set out to convince the world you have no equal. I did this just a few weeks ago with my experiences at Lazybear. Round ‘em up into a group so you can categorically dismiss them. And I learned my lesson in the same weekend. I learned that a group of people is not a Group of People, necessarily. A haughty pose set me up above the rest, and I was a fuckup. To my credit, I hope I have gotten it across that I know I fucked up and set the external world aright for myself.
“Face the universe with good intentions and your efforts will be rewarded.” I heard that in the unlikeliest of places, on a sci-fi show (Babylon 5), by a former fuckup of a character, G’Kar.
Hello, my name is Jeff and I have been a fuckup. And so have you.
Pat yourself on the back if you’re a fuckup in the beforetimes because you have been contributing positively to the universe and to yourself. And find a friend to kick your ass hard if you’re a fuckup in the aftertimes, before it’s too late.