On Weakness

Culturally, we like to discourage people from acknowledging their own weaknesses.

This makes sense; nobody wants to draw attention to their own say, social awkwardness, in a world where so many are visibly suffering, marginalized, etc.

That said, it’s crucial that we acknowledge our shortcomings, all along the spectrum, and aim for greater things in our lives.

I’ve never been particularly open about my dad’s passing; if you ask me where my parents live, I’ll lie and tell you “they live in Colorado”.

I have since perceived his disappearance as a hole in the fabric of my life — a weakness. What’s oddly notable about this is that the contrary is not the case — in other words, I never perceived his presence as strength (something I merely took for granted, as we generally do).

Today, I actively seek out the development of what I perceive as his most valuable character traits, areas where I myself am lacking. My nebulous, perceived “weakness” of being fatherless has provided me a breakdown of hard, tractable personal goals which have greatly improved my life (and thus I feel I have carried on his legacy).

Amongst his most unique traits, I have focussed energy on things like improving my work ethic, thinking more analytically and (an obvious one for those who knew him) not giving a fuck what anybody else thinks about me.

Try the same thing; next time you’re having trouble socializing at a cocktail party, take a moment to assess why. It’s probably not because you’re boring or just generally socially inept. Maybe you’re held back by the feeling that you have something to prove to others or maybe you just really have to use the restroom. Who knows, but try to nail it down to something actionable.

In short, strive to objectively evaluate your feelings. Meditate/perform a mental retrospective/eat a sandwich next time you feel like shit. Always ask why, then ask why again.