I Don't Have the Proper Credentials: a Guest Post by brother bynx
|Photo Credit: brother bynx|
The following is a guest post and does not necessarily reflect the views of this website. If you would like to be a guest contributor, please submit your idea or completed essay to email@example.com. All worldviews and locations along the spectrum of faith are welcome and encouraged to submit.
I’m about to write a blog (this one) about my life. I don’t have the proper credentials, either. I didn’t go to journalism school or attend a blog weekend blog seminar. I did, however, go to law school by mistake, and then I graduated somehow, and then I moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico and passed the bar (just because), which technically makes me an attorney. I worked as an attorney for 3 years. I’ve decided to do something else, though, and that’s what I want to talk about.
This blog, the one I’m still writing, will be fairly short, because the internet told me that blogs should be at least 300 words, but probably less than 1000. My friend Ryan, the holy apostate, told me something about either 800 words or 1200 words, I think.
Honestly, I don’t remember. My mind doesn’t really work that way. I’m realizing that I’m not really able to think in terms of long and short, as strange as that may sound. Or a better way to say it might be that if I start to think about how long or short something should be, I’m dead in the water. In that scenario, I just won’t write anything. I end up living (or not living) in this state of paralysis because I’m afraid that whatever I write, no matter how quality, could be just as easily dismissed by some 24 year old blog aficionado with a refined blog pallette because it was 248 words long, which makes it about 52 short of being anything at all.
In other words, traditionally, I haven’t been able to do much of anything I actually care about, because I’ve been waiting for a day to come when I’ll suddenly, as if by magic, know exactly how to do the thing I want to do, and to do it well right out of the gate, and to tuck and roll and stick the landing, and to have some guy in the bleachers sort of go,
“Hey. Yeah, honey, I don’t know how he did it, but he wrote a blog just this one time, and I’ll be damned if he didn’t do it as well, nay, better than anyone I’ve seen, and I’ve seen ‘em all.”
I lived my whole life, up until now, with the burden of a ridiculously unrealistic expectation that I put on myself. I know that anyone I’ve ever cared about from history or literature or cartoons or rap music all had a moment when they were doing it for nobody.
Nobody came, because nobody cared, because they weren’t anybody yet.
Over time, they became more and more vulnerable, then they started to actually believe in what they were doing, then they’re suddenly doing it for a few people, and then more people than they thought they ever would, and then maybe they even do it for people they lived their whole lives thinking they could never even meet.
That’s the pattern. I tried to live outside of it, and it didn’t work. Now, I’m going to try daily to set aside my ego and all of the self-deceiving ways that it has separated me from the joy of being alive. I’m going to try, instead, to join in the cosmic dance, as my mystically inclined brothers and sisters might say.
Genuinely joining in the dance means admitting and apologizing for the fact that I have been the worst. I’ve always tried to do the right thing, whatever that means, but over and over and over again I have also hurt people, and often those I’m closest to, just by feeling sorry for myself and how bad my life was and not wanting to give them the satisfaction of thinking that I actually enjoyed being here, because I didn’t. Now, I do want to be here, and I’m really sorry to anyone who suffered because of my insecurity, fear, selfishness, or bitterness. I hope we can start over the next time I see you.
After a lot of thought and a couple of nights searching my soul in the woods, I’ve decided to make a few big changes. Today, I’ll share what they are, and I plan on writing more on them eventually, if not very soon, and forever.
1. From now on, my primary function in life is to write, make music, make art, connect with people, go for walks, watch documentaries about whales, listen to a stranger’s story, laugh with friends, enjoy my family, never stop learning, get counsel from smart and compassionate mentors, explore nature, and basically do all the things I love about being alive. And I’m going to do many of these things artistically under the banner of “brother bynx”. I’ve always played a character in my life. Usually a few at a time, or 10, or 20. Now, I would like to play the character of brother bynx, a monastic jack of all trades, who I hope will be known mostly for his kindness, grace, and dopeness (among other things).
2. I believe all of us, by which I mean every person on earth, has more in common than I previously realized. In fact, we have more in common than we are taught to believe. I’m 32 years old, and people in my generation and younger talk about being “woke”, but the reality is that people my age and younger were raised in a society that was and is now more than ever obsessed with celebrating the things that make us different. We keep dividing into smaller and smaller groups that fight with each other and we keep building more and more walls around each of us. And nothing I just said is intended to be political, because it isn’t. Focusing primarily on the things that make us different, rather than our commonalities, is just the nature of the world now, and it’s killing us.
3. I will change the way that I think about money and resolve to live a simpler life. I plan to talk on this more in the future, but for now what it means to me is that I won’t let the love or pursuit of money or the fear of a lack of it determine the way in which I live my life. When I was an attorney, many of my clients lived on roughly $700 per month, plus food stamps. Again, this is not political. You can have an opinion as to whether those people need or don’t need the government assistance they receive. My point is that a huge segment of our population lives on $12,000 per year or less, and yet we act as if what we need is much, much more than that. I don’t think that it is, and I’m committing not to let money influence my sense of self or whether I’m at peace.
Going forward, I’m going to write more about my life. I’m going to write as if I don’t have an audience, which should be easy, because I don’t. Ryan was gracious enough to publish this for me, and if you like it, I would love to share more with you on my own blog in the future.
If you’d like for me to let you know when my blog is up, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also follow me on instagram and twitter @brotherbynx , and I’ll be posting things there eventually.