Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Voices

I had an exercise in which voice to listen to today.

I wish it were as simple as one of those trite motivational “Which voice in your head do you pay attention to?” speeches. Are you gonna listen to the nagging voices of self-doubt that plague your thoughts (and that I can be especially prone to)? Or are you gonna listen to the positive voice that you have to force into your own thoughts?

But no, this was a literal decision of which real, audible voice to listen to.

I read somewhere once that every man has several pivotal points in his development where an older man in his life overrules a cautious female and casts a vote of confidence for the younger man.

For example, a five-year old boy asks if he can take the training wheels off his bike. His mother, full of well-meaning concern, says absolutely not. His father says no…he’s ready. He can do this. Or a boy offers to use the string trimmer on his grandmother’s lawn in addition to mowing the grass. Grandma says he’s not big enough yet. But Grandpa says no…he can handle it.

These events serve as a transition for boys. A step toward manhood. A vote of confidence from a man of authority can mean the world to a boy or young man and can make all the difference in the world.

On Saturday, my family went for a ride in my dad’s brand-new three-quarter ton diesel pick-up. For city people without much need for a truck of any kind, much less a big ol’ beast like that, this machine was HUGE. I rode in the backseat with my wife and daughter while we went to look at my dad’s muscle car, which was kept a few miles away in storage.

After taking my daughter for a test drive in the muscle car (a restored and souped up Mustang – I don’t remember specifically which year), Dad motioned to me to get in the driver’s seat. I’ve never even driven a “full sized” pick-up before – only little S-10’s. I’ve never driven anything with a diesel engine. I’ve never driven anything that big, wide, long, or powerful before.

But I didn’t give it a second thought. I popped right into the driver’s seat. If my Dad thinks I can do it, I can do it.

My wife expressed concern. And I realized how right she was to do so. I drive a tiny little ’99 Hyundai Elantra. Before that I drove an Escort. Prior to that a Geo Metro. I’m used to personally outweighing the cars I drive. I’m not used to anything big or fancy in any way.

But my Dad knew that about me. My dad, who restores classic cars and drag races as often as he can, and lives to hear and feel the rumble of an engine he’s rebuilt, thought I could drive that big ol’ pickup truck. And if he thought I could…I wouldn’t argue. I’d just drive. So I did. Through the narrow streets of his tightly-packed-in subdivision.

I'll be the first to tell you I'm not a "manly" man. I'm not handy. I'm not mechanically inclined. I'm an artsy, intellectual guy.

But I did just fine driving that truck. And I stood tall that day. Because my dad told my wife, “No…he can do this.”

Then today came. With a different voice.

I won’t go into detail, but it was a situation where I’ve all but given up. Because things don’t matter. It doesn’t help to care. It’s not worth arguing. I’m not heard. And I just don’t have it in me to fight anymore.

So I do what I have to. I do what I’m told. I get by.

While it’s always this way, this particular project has been two days full of back-stabbing, back-biting, subtle insults, back-handed compliments, throwing under buses. And it won’t be right and won’t please a damn one of ‘em when it’s done.

I know I have talent, skills, and value. As in, I know it somewhere down inside. But I don't actually "believe it”. I question it continually. I question it when I know I shouldn't, I question it when I know people mean well, and I question it when I know the other people's issues and sickness are to blame.

I’m tired of it.

PINEAPPLES!!!! I wanna go home…

No comments:

Post a Comment