The recording of my conversation with Stanley Holmes last night is below. Here’s a link. Put it in your browser, then hit the play button. First time using. Takes a minute before you can hear us talking. If you have problems playing it, hit me on FB messenger.
Here are the four things that really stuck out to me:
- Stan’s smart, engaging, and articulate. All that said, talking to him just makes you feel good. I miss listening to Stanley giggle.
- The conversation left me feeling very superficial. I get hassled by cops in one town and don’t like it. Motivates me to move. Still agitates me thinking about it. What would it be like to endure that for a lifetime? To know that there is no town where you aren’t at risk for being harassed?
- I love that Stanley’s been reading court transcripts. He’s invested.
- We found a lot of common ground. I enjoyed his take on UH football. What was most valuable, though, is his ability to disagree in an agreeable way. He’s a guy who can discuss thorny topics, be on the opposing side, without leaving someone feeling judged or threatened. In other words, I can learn from him.
Someone had posted fake news articles about dinosaurs and saving football. Feeling depressed…I knew that blogging wasn’t for the faint of heart, but I was completely naive to the idea that some party might try to muscle into my blog.
In other discomforting news, I’m also learning some life lessons about reconnecting with people from your past. Not everyone wants to reconnect. Not everyone has an appetite discussing / learning / understand for current events, politics, and thorny topics. Here’s what I suspect is going on:
- I haven’t seen or spoken to most of the people to whom I’ve reached out in many years
- Not everyone wants to reconnect
- I am pretty trusting and open and act as though others share those tendencies; crazy for me to assume, because I know consciously that not to be the case, even in my own family
- The election and it’s fallout have many people leaning out rather than leaning in on these topics…I mean, who wants to take the risk of saying something that others may construe as racist?
- I come on too aggressive and too strong at times
- While I hope most of these people remember me as honest and good intentioned, the reality is that I wasn’t close with most of the people to whom I’ve reached out. Many people viewed me as self-righteous and judgmental. Probably fair. By failing to maintain a connection, who can see the person I am today?
If granted the wish for a super power today, I would wish for superhuman emotional intelligence. Until then, I’ll have to rely on repeated bouts of trial and error efforts and their subsequent feedback loops to evolve myself.
Surround yourself with people strong enough to change your mind. – John Wooden
A series of 2016 events led me to establish this blog…
- The return of my son, Camden. He had been been in Texas for a year and a half. My life has been full of many blessings, but I can’t remember feeling the kind of gratitude that makes a man’s eyes fill with tears just thinking about it.
- Jimmy Nalepa’s funeral. Miss the man. Had a chance to reflect on his life and how much Jimmy’s influence had on my life and perspective. Saw old friends and teammates. Proud to know them. Desire to know them better.
- My own father’s death. I only really ever knew him as my Dad. Never knew him much as a man or as a friend. I was grateful for the time I spent with him over the last months of his life and for the stories shared by family and friends. Revived in me a sense of connection to my home. Also left me in the mood to take risks. As Andy Dufresne said, “get busy living, or get busy dying”.
- The election of 2016. Historically, I don’t identify as Republican or Democrat – I vote candidate and what I think the country needs. The American public’s choice of Donald Trump has been disconcerting for me and left me feeling out of touch. How could this happen?
This blog will document my midlife search for connection, understanding, and wisdom. That journey starts, of course, where my life began.