Poor Outcomes in Life

If you are unaware or don’t believe in statistics then you are likely to become one. I grew up with the same group of guys and continued the friendship well into adulthood. I know enough about every stage of their lives to make sense of them.

In the beginning you all appear to be at the same level mostly because grade school and the legalities of age confine you. Sure, Mike might have all the swimming badges but who cares. John is an honour roll student but his grades aren’t doing anything for him right now. Dave’s grades suck and he’s good at nothing except thievery but he’s still in the same grade as Mike and John. Everyone’s future is still speculative.

Once you’re out of high school you’re free to fly as much as you are free to do nothing. From there it’s a slow rise or descent which makes being able to see the future vast disparities of inevitable outcomes difficult especially with the large dose of ego of a 20 -something-year-old.

Once time has somewhat settled the dust it all starts to make sense. It may have always made sense but to make sense you need knowledge and rationality. Broken homes and poverty is a killer combination. If you have one or the other you can get by at least with the appearance anyway. If you have both you’re a coin toss. You’re either in trouble or at best on the low-end of average. If you become the latter they’ll say, “you turned out okay.” What they really mean is that you could be a lot worse.

The few guys in the group from disadvantaged upbringings show the same thing in common. None of us had that strong enough desire or the capability to become successful or even that average guy in society. Perhaps it’s having no one to disappoint or to impress, having less fear of failure or some kind of brain wiring. Maybe if you don’t get what you need when you were young you can’t move on. I think the pitfall was using average as the barometer for success and competency.

Everyone else is living that typical life of marriage and a career. Even if they are miserable doing it or will be that’s considered normal. For them the want is there and strong. You don’t have to be happy to be considered a functional and competent adult in society.

Your early upbringing can retard your development or point it in a different direction. It might not necessarily be a bad thing but it’s not like most people. If you want to function well with society though you have to be like most people.

 

 

 

The Last Day at Work

It was the last day of my 2 week resignation notice and I was hoping to get away without many colleagues knowing about my departure. There’s a morning meeting every day when management announce what they think needs to be said and I guess people quitting fits into that category.

“It’s his last day today so wish him good luck.”

You could hear some gasps within the circle of people. A few of them rushed to my vicinity eager to hear what was waiting for me but hoping to hear I wasn’t going on to something better. People can cope with their dreadful existence if they believe no else around them can do better.

“It’s either quit or stay here forever,” I said.

Perhaps no greater words have been spoken before but it wasn’t promising enough to spark widespread envy. Having perceived to have opened myself to life’s fury soothed their souls. To many there that job was a godsend for the unambitious. “Put in your years and you’re golden.” That way of thinking should have expired at least 30 years ago.

Some people probably had the idea that I thought I was too good for the job and would be sorry once I realized how “life really works.” Company nerds can take offence that someone would leave for what they perceive as nothing.

“You just have to accept it,” one said.

“Sometimes acceptance is the same as giving up.” 

 

The words people will say to you depend greatly on the actions that have transpired. When the damage has already been done, thoughts on what you should have done go unspoken. As stupid as they might think you are all that’s left to be said are well wishes.

“Good luck, nice working with you.”

 

 

 

 

Jumping off a Bridge

Yesterday’s newspaper had an article about the possible suicide prevention strategies for a local bridge where police respond to potential jumpers on average of once a week. This reminded me of an episode from a radio show about people who jumped off bridges and the popular bridges they jump from. This then got me reading about it on the internet.

It’s quite the fascinating topic if you’re interested in that sort of thing. Jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco will statistically give you a 98% success rate of killing yourself. If you’ve done your homework though you should be able to up your chances to 99.9%. Apparently, hitting the water feet first at a certain angle will decrease your chances of dying. The small percentage that survive the impact will often die from hypothermia.

I can see how the bridge method for suicide is desirable. It’s fairly quick and as a bonus you get the thrill of a lifetime just before it’s all over. Suicide by firearm, car exhaust fumes or pills requires one to attain the proper tools. A bridge is accessible 24/7 for free.

One fellow who jumped off of the Golden Gate Bridge immediately regretted it while in free fall. He ended up surviving, garnered some publicity, wrote a best selling book about it and may have found his calling advocating for mental health and bridge suicide prevention. Again the mantra stays true…bigger the risk, bigger the reward.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicides_at_the_Golden_Gate_Bridge

 

 

 

 

Imaginary Unreality

To accept a life that you dislike could mean that you’ve decided that there isn’t anything better for you. There’s peace when there is no one to fight. It may be true that this is as good as it gets but a lack of an imagination can take you to the end of the line prematurely. If you can imagine the reality of an idea then it’s likely to be realistic especially if it’s been done before. To not be at peace with the life you have may indicate that you believe there is something better for you. You don’t ever hate yourself for what you do not think is possible or expected of you.

A life of torment is referred to as an unimaginable hell not because it wasn’t a possibility but because it was a life one hoped would never happen to them. One who dreams for better possibilities than status quo is considered to have a good imagination but it’s not meant to be a compliment.

There’s a life we imagine for ourselves but we often set limits based on our environment and cultural conditioning. It’s like writing science fiction fantasy novels but not allowing the stories to ever leave Earth…you can only go so far.
Daily Prompt: Imaginary

 

Assessing Risk

“I learned how to win a little at a time. But finally I’ve learned this: if you’re too careful, your whole life can become a fuckin’ grind.”

-Rounders(film)

One of the laws of life is “no risk no reward.” Sometimes we hold out hoping for an option that carries no risk and only reward. That doesn’t usually exist except for the ones who run the show and make the rules. The more you feel you have to lose the more risk that is involved. When a situation seems so dire though risk might not even seem like an issue.

I don’t believe risk is the same as sacrifice. With the latter you’re giving up something for something else. With risk you’re giving up something and you might get nothing or worse. In a long enough time line though the difference between risk and sacrifice can become blurred.

Since nothing is 100%, risk is involved all the time. You might think that supposed safe job is risk free but what happens when you’re at the age of 45 and it gets taken away from you all of a sudden or you’re stuck in a cycle of 9-5 misery. Some choices don’t seem risky only because they’re more widely accepted as standard practice. Half the time risk is just the possibility of feeling left out from society. What if you’re at the end of your life and wished you took that potentially life changing risk when you were 25? Can not taking a risk be considered risking your life?

Life rewards those who take risks because most people aren’t willing to take them. The fear of losing overpowers the desire to win. We’re a very risk adverse species when comfortable options are available.

The ones that took a risk and failed will tell you, “just work a job.” The ones that succeeded or who didn’t take a risk will say, “you don’t want to work for somebody for all of your life.” Most people will have a bias.


“I took a risk, I took a risk, you see all the angles, and never have the fucking stones to play one”

-Rounders(film)

 

 

Emaciated Spirit

It’s a weird time we’re living in but then again that has probably been said in every era dating back to when they first discovered rubbing sticks together to create fire. Other than what goes on in my head my life isn’t a whole lot different but there’s a lot less to be excited about for the short and long term. When you feel that you have plateaued and are not overly hopeful of any potential catalysts the spirit within you starves. I’m not saying life is hopeless but the strong reason isn’t always there to fuel the positive beliefs.

Many people live life based on fears and an attachment to beliefs that are necessary for their current reasons to live. If you’re doing something you really don’t want to do then it’s rooted in the belief that you have to. “Have to” takes on different definitions depending on the game. I have beliefs but most of them don’t cater to my happiness.

Most of us get rolled out of the assembly line programmed to want the same thing but what life doesn’t tell many of us is that you never really had a chance. Some succeed, some fail but most just barely fit in. By the time you have any of it figured it out you’re the sum total of your regrets and fond memories that gives a bias to the positives so that you can live with yourself.

 

Windstorm and Skinny Cokes

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The other night there was a minor windstorm that knocked down tree branches and electricity. I didn’t mind it at all except someone took the opportunity to steal our recycling bin but left the contents on the lawn. At first I thought maybe the wind blew it away but highly unlikely. This gives me an excuse to stop recycling.

Coincidentally, I picked up a candle holder for free just 2 days before. If a power outage isn’t a sign to use your new candle holder then I don’t know what is.

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I should “pin” this

A bad windstorm is no joke. Last time trees fell on houses, cars and people. It’s a shitty way to go. You don’t want to get hugged by a tree.

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These new Coca-cola cans are looking attractive but just like a fat person in slim fitting clothing it’s all a sham. They made them taller but skinnier to not take away the appearance of quantity. The contents are now 310 ml instead of 355 ml. It’s the Virginia Slims of soda cans. The price has remained the same though. The entire food industry has been shrinking everything and raising the prices only when they enlarge the package so it looks more justifiable. Luckily for junk food manufacturers there’s a health movement rising.  They can claim they are giving us less because it’s good for us and say they are raising the prices because they are trying to deter us from consuming too much of their bad products.