Too Much Introspection or Me, Me, Me


It is not often that I can have an instant epiphany while reading a blog post. It is even less likely for me to have one when reading a Freshly Pressed post.

I had one this morning though.

I won’t mention the  post by name or even by subject. You may be able to guess by the general tone of my post. If you can, I can only apologise to the person who wrote it, this isn’t personal. It’s not even a criticism.

It’s just an epiphany.

We all write blogs for similar reasons and they run the gamut from practicing to write to reviews on film.

A lot of people though, use their blog as a sort of public diary. Their posts deal with introspective ideas, realizations, or perspectives. There are an awful lot of introspective blogs out there.

My blog, for instance, does quite a bit of introspective wool gathering and then goes on to air it, as they say, in public.

I try very hard though to keep it from being all about me and my introspective study of personal belly-button lint. I hope I’m able to walk the fine line between Zen-like self discovery and the public “whinging” and whining about my  poor pitiful life.

When I write a blog that isn’t dealing with my own lifelong fascination of cinema and the acting profession I try to write about things that have happened to me or those around me. Not in a news sense, but in a sense of “I learned something today, I’ll just pass it on in case someone is interested.” I also like to put in print things I’ve done or seen or tried for the same reason.

I even like to put up introspective pieces if I feel that someone might identify with the issue and if not find an answer at least be compelled to look for one. I much prefer to post a “reflective” piece though. If you look at the tags for this post you’ll see reflective is one of them.

I was a young adult in the days of the “I’m okay, you’re okay” generation. A couple of decades when a few enterprising authors made a fortune on self help, self actualization, self promotion and even self love books, courses, and public seminars.

I'm okay, you're... well, maybe not
I’m okay, you’re… well, maybe not (Photo credit: pdxjmorris)

Do I sound cynical? If you answer yes, then you my dear friend and neighbor have been paying attention.  I am indeed cynical. I’ve had 54 years of learning, that despite the teachings of  a few self help books, people primarily look out for number one first and foremost.

Society has moved on from the “I’m okay, you’re okay” days and has moved into the “me” generation. The me generation started in the 90’s (I might be wrong here, but I became aware of it in the 90’s) and this has been morphed into the “I’m special” generation.

Father George Carlin spoke eloquently about the Special generation.

*contains adult language*

Now Father George refers to the “self esteem movement” aka the “I’m okay, you’re okay” days. It’s so nice to be vindicated. I just thought I’d point that out.

I guess the point I’m struggling to make is this, I don’t care about how well you can navigate the social network system. If you have discovered what a lot of folks already know about Facebook, Twitter, MySpace (I know they’ve changed their logo, but I can’t replicate it nor do I care to try), Bebo, et al; great!

I’m pleased for you. I might even go on to say I’m proud of you. There are not many who have gone this long and not realised that the new improved social network system is just another way for those in control to keep an eye on the populace.

Actually, the above paragraph is a slight exaggeration. I like the social network system or the SNS as I like to call it. It’s helping to make the world a smaller place. It’s also proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that trolls do exist.

I’m guessing that the amount of introspection blogs on offer has an awful lot to do with the creation of the “special’ movement. I never experienced that movement. When I grew up the pressure was on to be better at something and, if at all possible, to be the best.

I was taught that if you tried your best, that sometimes you would be better at something and you might even be the best…for a while. It’s called competition people, it’s healthy and very non-introspective.

We need to have goals and sometimes the goal is to be a better nailer than George or Mildred and not over internalize it or even to write about it. I may be overthinking this whole epiphany thing and that’s okay. At least I’m not over introspecting it.


Last Words (book)
Last Words (book) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


When I was a lad I had the best friend in the world. He was short, a little hairy, and had a banana addiction. He was also a snappy dresser, if a little incomplete.  He wore plaid trousers with little red braces with metal buckles, but no shirt or shoes. He went everywhere with me. When our family went on vacation he was there. When we went to the store or to visit relatives, my friend was always there to keep me company. He even slept with me.

I know that your best friend sleeping with you might sound a little strange, but really it’s okay. My best friend was a stuffed monkey. He held a plastic banana in his right hand and his mouth was frozen in a half open smile. His name was Sam. We were inseparable for years.

I couldn’t tell you now when I first got Sam or even how I got him. He might have been a Christmas gift or a birthday present. I can only really remember him being there from the age of about five. My age not his. I wonder why I can’t remember getting him. I still remember vividly the first special Christmas present I ever got. It was a tank that was “remote” controlled. Of course remote in those days meant a primitive  controller attached to the tank by a wire. It shot missiles and went forward, backward and could turn in circles. It also (I think) made a cool tank noise. I must have been about four or five years old. I also remember finally losing the last of the missiles when I was about six. I still think it classes as the best Christmas gift I ever received.

Sam however was the most lasting gift. I had him for years. Like I said, we were inseparable. Right up until he turned on me.

As I mentioned, Sam slept with me every night. I don’t mean “cuddled-up-together” sleeping. I mean Sam had his side of the bed and his own people sized pillow. Sam needed his own space you see. Because to me Sam was real. He had his own side of the car. His own chair at the dinner table. His own space on the sofa. And my mother, bless her, treated Sam as if he were real as well.

Every night, she would tuck us both into bed. We would each get a kiss – I’d get upset if Sam didn’t get his – and checking the see that the closet door was closed, leave my room and turn out the light. This ritual was repeated without fail until I was seven. That was when everything changed.

Literally seconds after Mom closed the door, Sam sat up in bed and growled at me. My reaction was instantaneous and final. I screamed bloody murder and knocked him out of bed. Mom came rushing back in to find me in a hysterical heap. With tears streaming I told what Sam had done and that I NEVER wanted to see him again. Sam was then relegated to the attic, where to the best of  my knowledge, he still resides.

Years later my mother told me that my sub-concious seven year old mind was just telling me that I had out-grown my childhood friend. That it was telling me I couldn’t have my imaginary best friend any more. It was time to move on

Now I don’t know what this whole episode from my childhood means. I know that I think it is a little odd that I had a stuffed monkey for an imaginary friend until I was seven. That is, I’m sure, way past the age of imaginary friends. I also don’t know if I was going through a stage of arrested development or if I was just lonely or if I was just over imaginative.

I do know one thing though. Sam really did set up in bed and growl at me. I just don’t know why. I wonder if I was “hogging” the covers?

Note: I have to thank Jordan Michael Lopez for jolting this memory from my ageing noggin. His stuffed toy story brought it rushing back. Thanks Jordan!