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A fist full of padlocks

tcr! · Jun 4, 2019 at 10:10 am

A fist full of padlocks

I knew this guy once. Well, I still kinda sorta know him now but we’re not really friends. I’ll call him Tim even though his name wasn’t Tim.

Why am I thinking about Tim on this 4th of June? Because these awful hostilities would come out of his mouth. And sometimes they were directed at me and sometimes they weren’t. Sometimes I could tell their direction and sometimes I couldn’t.

Sometimes his words felt like a water balloon to the back that left your shirt soaking wet and other times they felt like a full on slap to the face that left even his hand stinging.

Sometimes his words applied to me but weren’t directed at me. In those times I could only think, “dude I’m standing right here.”

One time I blurted out in sheer frustration, “you can’t just say whatever you want!”

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The direct communication formula

tcr! · Apr 26, 2019 at 9:00 am

Driving to work this morning I was letting my minder wander, just absentmindedly thinking about stuff. As I do. And today I was thinking that I used to drop a lot of hints. Boxes of styrofoam peanuts without anything tangible inside.

I’m going to go out on a limb here: dropping hints doesn’t work. After decades of experimentation I finally gave up. Believe me, I tried and tried to get people to read between the lines. And then more often than not I was only left wrongfully hurt because they couldn’t figure out what I was saying or what I was after.

Me with poofy hair, circa December 2000
Me with poofy hair, circa December 2000

I’m going to go out on another limb: being clear, concise, and direct in asking for what I want does work. Doing that removes any ambiguity. The other person just knows what I’m saying without having to do any guesswork.

And that’s how you both win. ❀️

Because people love candidness. People love confidence. People love honesty.

I’m not saying that being direct is easy for someone like me. I’m not naturally assertive. But when I walk a spiritual path it all becomes easier. Because I do deserve nice things regardless of what my dysfunctional parts tell me. The hardest part is just figuring out what I do actually want.

Wait. There’s more.

The real beauty of this direct communication formula is that when other people clearly tell me what they want I, too, can listen and give them those very things. I don’t have to solve any riddles.

And that’s how you both win again. ❀️

It does take some legwork on my end to figure out how I’m going to give someone what their heart desires but really it’s not that hard. I just pay attention to what people say and then let the cosmos show me how. Let the heavens guide my words, my hands, and my heart.

And all of this coming from a non-talking, non-feeling, non-trusting nutcase. πŸ˜‰

#relationships #nicethings

3 comments

Mitchell · Apr 26, 2019 at 11:00 pm

I’m laughing cuz it’s an old photo

tcr! tcr! · Apr 27, 2019 at 8:45 am

All good 😊

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Dano · Apr 29, 2019 at 8:40 pm

Couldn’t agree more. πŸ™πŸ»

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Back to regular life

tcr! · Apr 19, 2019 at 9:56 am

Do you know what I really hate?

When somebody is being over-the-top nice after they’ve fucked something up.

Do you know what I really like?

When someone offers up a sincere apology and then gets on with the day.

Own it. Regret it. Forget it.

Take five minutes, have a real conversation, and then go back to regular life.

If I don’t acknowledge I can come across like an unsympathetic magician. Trying to trick you into paying attention to my magic rabbit and hat. All the while my other hand is holding a bloody knife. I’m not fooling anyone.

And then if I’m dancing around like an out-of-the-ordinary, out-of-control ballerina with an obviously fabricated sugary song and dance, it only makes whatever transgression worse. It prolongs the distress.

Human alien hybrid riding pegasus

Elaine said to me seven years ago, “…and don’t grovel.”

I get “wanting to make it better” with flowers from up my sleeve and I’m sure I’ve tried to pull rosy ruses myself. But keep it to a minimum. Otherwise it’s a black reminder. The fuck up lingers like a red rubber band, stretching the hurt out for way longer than it needs to.

Humility. Brevity. Authenticity. I won’t go wrong with these.

#relationships #advancedsoul

3 comments

Momma J Momma J · Apr 19, 2019 at 11:08 am

Great philosophy

tcr! tcr! · Apr 20, 2019 at 12:47 pm

Learned the hard way πŸ˜‰

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jimi hindrance experience jimi hindrance experience · Apr 19, 2019 at 4:21 pm

😎

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He was a nervous, jittery guy

tcr! · Oct 10, 2018 at 12:30 pm

Audio (MP3): 20181010 - He was a nervous, jittery guy

Teen Paranormal Romance

Years ago I used to work with this client, aliased Jack, who would continually get on my nerves. He wasn’t a bad guy but every now and then he would email[1] me a question, looking for an answer to something we’d been over and over again.

I would read his email and think, “Why the fuck are you asking me this? We’ve already talked about it. More than once. I got better shit to do than repeat myself. For the third time.”

I saw the email conversations as nothing but ridiculous.

No, the world’s not gonna blow up if you click that button. If it could blow up, my annoying little friend, you wouldn’t be able to see the button, let alone click the fucking button.

Obviously customer service doesn’t run in my blood. I like talking with my friends and family but I’m not a big fan of talking to people when I “have to.” By and large there’s little interest in me to hand out warm fuzzies to the clients. I like to write code at work, not give hugs.

So back to Jack.

I was thinking about him this morning because thoughts come and go, as they do. He was a nervous, jittery guy. Anxious pretty much every time I spoke with him. He would often get five steps ahead of me when we were reviewing his projects and I’d be like, “dude, slow down.” I would actually call him “dude” which is my polite way of saying “you moron.”

But time equals clarity and so I tend to think with those calls and emails what he was after was reassurance. He was looking to be comforted in someway if you will. Don’t make that weird because it’s not. But maybe he was homosexual, I don’t know.[2]

I doubt if him wanting a professional “hug” was a front-burner thought. It’s not unusual for people to create little messes in their mind, get themselves all worked up and bent out of shape, and then lean on somebody they trust. Someone who’ll tell them it’s okay, that everything’s fine. Someone who’ll offer solutions to their problems.

And then life can be right for a moment.

I don’t know for sure that’s what was up with Jack but it’s what I’m inclined to think.

Being in touch with what other people are feeling or needing is not something that comes naturally to me. I’m a man, not an empath. I have to consciously pay attention to those around me or else I’ll be content in my own imaginary land of Hobbitses and/or Synthetics.

That will sometimes get me in trouble, too.

Here’s a quote by David F. Swink:

Having poor empathy skills can lead to serious consequences. It can lead to conflict born of misunderstanding. Without it we can feel lonely within a relationship. Lack of empathy can cause companies to make catastrophic blunders that alienate their customers or employees and it can even incite violence.[3]

Hopefully I’ve never incited violence. I do have the occasion thought of hitting someone on the head with a hammer though.[4]

Thinking about Jack in the here and now it’s easier to see where his antics were coming from, hindsight being 20/20 and all that. There’s nothing I can do about that relationship now but I can maybe carry a little extra empathy into my present day interactions with Jill, aliased of course.

Last paragraph: sometimes we make amends to someone by being a little bit nicer to the next guy.


  1. He stopped calling me once he figured out I always sent him to voicemail.

  2. I was being silly just then.

  3. Source: I Don’t Feel Your Pain: Overcoming Roadblocks to Empathy.

  4. Again, I was being silly.

#advancedsoul #relationships #diariespodcast

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Quite possibly hungover

tcr! · Oct 2, 2018 at 7:23 pm

Audio (MP3): 20181002 - Quite possibly hungover

The scene was once again my truck.

I was sitting at a stoplight and a minivan pulled up in the lane next to me.

The wife appeared to be driving and, who I assume to be the husband, was slumped over in the passenger seat. Quite possibly hungover. Renounced pathetic in his silence and downward, saddened gaze.

The engrossing part of this travel tale was that she was scolding him with both hands and all that. Arms flailing. Eyes furious. Teeth gnashing. Murderously chewing his ass upside and down there behind their minivan windows.

This would be a day I would not ever forget if I were him. The guy looked defeated as he sat there frumpily slumped. Acceptive of whatever verbal beating his wife was handing down.

I don’t know if he fucked the dog last night or what, but guys, this dude was in trouble. 😯

#trafficnews #relationships #diariespodcast

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Sep 29th, 2018 at 2:15:14 pm

tcr! · Sep 29, 2018 at 2:15 pm

Me: Would you drive to Itasca every day for work?

Sara: I would. It would probably take you 45 minutes to an hour. Did you map it?

Me: I have a general idea of where the city is. Personal experience is always better though. 😊

Me: “Would you do this?” trumps all maps, jobs, restaurants, etc

Sara: Yep. I would totally drive an hour for a good job but I’m not you. Traffic would probably be the worst when you got on the highway, which would be the last 15 minutes or so.

Me: Are you saying I have a hard time behind the wheel?

Sara: “Commuting to West Chicago wouldn’t be bad.”

Me: Hahahaaa! Oh yeah.

Sara: I wouldn’t use commute and West Chicago in the same sentence 😊

Me: Gotcha. I regularly commute to my bedroom and boy, lemme tell ya…

Sara: If it was a job you’d like, then I’d at least apply. You can always judge the commute when you go for the interview

Me: Yep. I just applied for it. It’s another with that same company that pulled the one job listing down two months after I went to apply.

Me: I’m slow but effective.

Me: Or something.

Sara: Thoughtful and reflective 😊

Me: 😊

Me: I’m gonna run my errands

Sara: Have fun!

Me: Desperately awaiting our next rendezvous 😘

Sara: 😘

Sara: 😍

#relationships #goals

2 comments

JPJ · Sep 29, 2018 at 4:58 pm

I used to drive to Itasca every day for work. Not horrible..

tcr! tcr! · Sep 29, 2018 at 6:49 pm

Not horrible is doable

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Stop looking for proof

tcr! · Sep 21, 2018 at 11:23 am

Audio (MP3): 20180921 - Stop looking for proof

Stop looking for proof

Looking for reasons why things would fail used to be a big part of my day.

I devoted hours to it. Always poking around under the hood for clues to prove that whoever I’d gotten close to was up to no good. That I was going to get hurt. That people were evil.

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7 comments

tism tism · Sep 21, 2018 at 11:43 am

That is a very hard thing to do. Congrats to you sir. :-)

tcr! tcr! · Sep 21, 2018 at 12:05 pm

Yep. Dealing with my insecurities was the hard part for me. After that then the search for clues wasn’t important. 😊

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jimi hindrance experience jimi hindrance experience · Sep 21, 2018 at 12:16 pm

You deserve this. Unreasonable Happiness is your birthright. Claim it.

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jimi hindrance experience jimi hindrance experience · Sep 21, 2018 at 12:17 pm

Who’s the critter in the frame?

tcr! tcr! · Sep 21, 2018 at 1:06 pm

I believe it to be a praying mantis but usually I don’t know what I’m talking about.

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sprout · Sep 21, 2018 at 1:55 pm

This rings very true for me, as it most likely does for many. Especially those of us who come from a world of using and abusing, there is often more hurt, abuse, betrayal than not. But growing older and learning to trust your partner… that’s actually a way of trusting yourself. And that has been the hardest part for me. Thank you for sharing this, Travis. It gives me some things to reflect upon and appreciate today.

tcr! tcr! · Sep 21, 2018 at 2:44 pm

> there is often more hurt, abuse, betrayal than not
For sure. There’s a reason why we are the way we are. I also believe that you can trust yoruself. There’s nothing but good inside you. 😊

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Is he bonafide? I have my suspicions.

tcr! · Sep 19, 2018 at 12:24 pm

Audio (MP3): 20180919 - Is he bonafide?

narcissistic | ˌnärsΙ™Λˆsistik

adj. having an excessive or erotic interest in oneself and one’s physical appearance


20180919 Is he bonafide

Everybody knows the definition but I don’t think one really knows until experiencing daily life. With one. Up close. For years.

They can be tricky because we want them to like us. We crave their approval yet they seldom offer any. And then if they hug us we can breathe again. They’re malicious and berating yet adorable and charming.

Walking in a sea of flowers with landmines buried underneath. Be even more wary when the vain are parading around town in a love bus.

#relationships #diariespodcast

1 comment

Momma J Momma J · Sep 19, 2018 at 1:28 pm

Very true!

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Stop keeping score

tcr! · Aug 28, 2018 at 9:48 am

Audio (MP3): 20180828 - Stop keeping score

Marks on the blackboard

What I mean by this is something along the lines of:

Last time I came home you didn’t look up from the TV so the next time you walk in I’m not going to stop watching it either.

Scorekeeping is a way for me to exert control in a situation where I feel like I have none. When I feel helpless, putting marks on the blackboard helps me claim some power.

I will punish you when you hurt me, give you the silent treatment when you don’t pay attention to me. Won’t fold your laundry because you were more interested in your phone at dinner than talking to me.

That kinda bullshit.

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Do you wanna know what will really suck?

tcr! · Jul 28, 2018 at 5:50 pm

Audio (MP3): 20180728 - Do you wanna know what will really suck?

Empty bird bath

It’ll be when you notice that the someone who you’ve spent years of your life with is now gone. You’ve already grieved in the months since they left and now it’s been a few years and then you realize again, for no apparent reason, that they no longer live in the home you once shared.

And you’ll think about all those moments you let slip away when you could’ve held her hand but instead chose to be grumpy because he didn’t do the laundry that one time.

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