Acting natural is a strength. Pushing on as though nothing happened suits him. A toxic mix of self deprecation and low self esteem means never drawing attention, never asking for help, never acknowledging that, in life, from time to time, shit does, in fact, hit the fan.
Of course, without the distraction of fan-hitting shit to contend with, there’s ample time to take on the world. To imagine the people and circumstances and obstacles and opportunities - that is to say, all the tiny bits and pieces that mash together to make up a life - stacked up against him, egging and begging him to pick a fight. To take a stand. To have the conversation with himself in which he discusses the wickedness of others. The lack of consideration. The selfishness. The inability to carry out their responsibilities with care and competence and conviviality.
He makes excellent use of that time, always happy to oblige the entreaties of his imagination. It’s easier to craft the context of life than it is to live it. To accept the uncertainties and vulnerabilities and risks that living - actually living - life requires. Better to label and categorize…to assume. Or so it seems to him. Though he often wonders (more so lately) if he might be wrong about that.
He’s reminded of a quote by spiritual teacher Ram Dass, “Your problem is you’re afraid to acknowledge your own beauty. You’re too busy holding on to your own unworthiness. You’d rather be a schnook sitting before some great man. That fits in more with who you think you are. Well, enough already”.
There are moments when this quote skitters around the edges of his truth. Anecdotal, nothing more. But mostly it’s spot-on. Direct hit. Bullseye. True. Not one he’s proud of or happy with, but a truth he has, sadly, grown accustomed to. So familiar with it, in fact, that he’s content to ignore it most of the time. To leave it alone. To act natural. Perhaps pick an imaginary fight instead.
Beats dancing with his shortcomings. His perceived unworthiness. His lack of beauty.