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Dean Whitbread 2013

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Written on September 30, 2009, and categorized as Flip side.
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Now that I have expertly masterminded the diminishing of my own public presence – an 18 month process of careful non-action, locked accounts, moved blogs, paused podcasts and private conversations – I feel once again able to relax into a non-aggressive, celebratory mode of being, which I recognise as much truer to myself.

leonardo_da_vinci_helicopter_and_lifting_wing_thumb1It has been a strange and sometimes tortuous process, like the shedding of a skin. I didn’t know what I would be left with, and in fact, I’m still not quite sure. Sometimes I have felt more exposed than ever, but I simply had to answer the call of my inner self and let go of it all.

At some point, a moment of clarity showed me that the oppression I was experiencing was causing me to become cynical and unforgiving, and this manifested in occasionally amusing but foulmouthed outbursts, mostly to nobody in particular but sometimes to real people, which to me is regrettable, even though lesser mortals would probably just let rip to shore up their wounded ego, gaining comfort from friends, and then drowning their sorrows, self-righteously repeating the mantra: “they deserved every word because they are [insert disparaging epithet here]” – whether that was entirely true or not.

Like Job, I was cursing God for putting me here, complaining about the problems of being alive, but unlike Job, I have the benefit of modern psychology and I know that whatever curses I heap upon other people are actually a clear and definite signal that these are in fact aspects of myself which I am judging.

So, after waiting for 40 minutes for the bus last week to take me to Highgate, when the bus driver went straight past the mandatory stop despite my obvious and clear visibility, spurring the fastest and most determined sprint which I have achieved in over a decade to the next bus stop, where aided and abetted by two Somali mothers with prams who held up the bus just long enough for me to catch it, when I stepped onto the bus, swiping my Oyster card and then articulately berating the bus driver long and loud, shaming him in front of his passengers, a part of me knew that the words I used referred to myself.

Yes, he was lazy, he wasn’t doing his job properly, he was abusing his position, he was stupid and part of him was indeed an arsehole, but my dislike of these aspects of myself are the reasons I picked those particular words.

When he told me to get off the bus, I ignored him, and continued to heap scorn on him, all the way up the stairs. He didn’t have the moral energy or aggression to confront me further. I glowered until I saw him get off as the bus changed drivers – just as well as I was already composing my parting shot which happily I did not deliver.

Curses can be a healthy outlet, sure, but more often than not they are simply a barometer of oneself. Thankfully I didn’t call him a middle-aged blogger with a tendency to insult people based on his own negative feelings, periods of depression, an adamant refusal to be bullied, and arrogant presumptions of his own elevated intelligence, but I might do next time such a situation arises.


Wouldn’t that be much more fun?

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This thing has 3 Comments

  1. Leisl
    Posted 1 October, 2009 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    I've had moments/days like that where I let loose without the filter between the brain & the mouth working properly. Sadly, it cost me the friendship not only of those I ripped on, but the person I was defending in so doing. Lesson learned – I hope.

  2. Posted 1 October, 2009 at 12:50 am | Permalink

    Then again, such behaviour is the product of passion, and I have more respect for people who speak honestly but clumsily than those who speak skillfully but lie – which is why I'm not a politician!

  3. Leisl
    Posted 1 October, 2009 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    I agree (and also why I despise politicians). I've had a lot of time to think about the incident to which I referred – going on a 1-1/2 years now. This distance has allowed me to see that I was going through (still am, to a degree) a “cleansing” time and the Powers That Be were seeing to it that certain toxic relationships would be removed from my life – and boy, were there a lot of them. I experienced a lot of the “letting go of that which no longer serves” and, painful as it was, it has been for the best. Of course, in the process, a lot people have discovered just how colorful my language can be.

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