Suck It Simon Travaglia

Time to get real y’all. No fictitious mumbo jumbo tonight. Busted out the old 712 things to write about book, and shit got real and quickly.

“What’s the biggest misconception about you? Write the truth of the matter.”

The pool of self reflection is muddied by the atrocities of self fulfillment. We see what we want, negating what we are and forging ahead. It is in the truth of self that we find not only the disparaging realities of ourselves but the inadequacies we see in other people. If we are honest with our inner being we forget how to focus on the value we hold to ourselves and the bustling world around us, rather, we focus on the visceral decay, the stench by which we deprecate our existence. And that is why man created the existential crisis, the need to purge the thoughts of mortality and short comings as well as the formulas needed to proceed, without caution. If for instance, we want a certain house or a certain car or a certain lifestyle, we more often than not, forget to ask the proverbial questions relating to our character. We so quickly judge the other piles of skin walking around this planet and project disdain and I don’t think anybody really knows the root of this cyclical pattern. This, coming from a gal who does not know how to take a compliment and is very self aware, much to the dismay of loved ones. Some would call me a realist, others a cynic and many a pessimist. I don’t consider myself any of those things and all of those things because my path has justified my mode of transportation.

Misconceptions are bountiful when this old hen is brought in for questioning. Assumptions include uneducated, ghetto, oblivious and hardened to a point of no return. The translation for uneducated is unintelligent or even, as some people have so eloquently put it, “dumb as dirt.” Now, I don’t know about the intelligence of dirt, doesn’t seem like a fair comparison, granted I have been known to get stepped on from time to time. Those who have perceived me as ghetto do so based on my clothes, my ethnicity, my impoverished upbringing and some acquired street smarts which aren’t really smarts so much as they are survival instincts. Oblivious to what I don’t know, but there have been times when people will say something smart or witty and reference a period before my time and brush me off assuming I haven’t the foggiest. Hardened I may be, but do people not know what a defense mechanism is? And I’m the dumb one.

There are those who think I’m some heathenish street rat because I don’t believe in their God or hold their values or because I choose vernacular and behaviors that aren’t classy or “normal.” I say cunt on a regular basis, if I was in England or Australia, this would not be out of said norm. I listen to rap music on occasion but to fortify the ghetto facade, I rap along with no problems. I have had one night stands and I sleep with men and women, how unsavory. I smoke cigarettes, I’ve tried hard drugs and I enjoy marijuana. I’ll tell you what though, I am extraordinarily premeditated in choosing certain aspects of how I present myself. Why would someone consciously downgrade their persona? It’s really quite simple, people don’t expect much from a punk ass like me. I like to keep it that way. I don’t let people down, ever, I mean it’s pretty hard to disappoint when your measure of success is basically zero. My feelings would best be described in a line from the 90s horror film “Scream 2.” David Arquette’s character Dewey said,

How do you know that my dimwitted inexperience isn’t merely a subtle form of manipulation, used to lower people’s expectations, thereby enhancing my ability to effectively maneuver within any given situation?

This all brings me what I consider to be the biggest misconception about myself. Potential. If I had a quarter for every fucking time I heard, “You have so much potential but…” or “You have such potential if you would just…” I would be wealthy and I wouldn’t need to exude energy into anything or aim to fulfill any such potential, I could live out my days watching telly and getting high. My point is this, I have dug deep into my psyche and my inner sanctum. Potential simply isn’t something that is cohabited with the array of distinctive attributes I possess. I appreciate that people see something that isn’t there, it truly is a nice sentiment. This is not a woe is me type of rambling. This is not a fishing expedition. It is what is true for me. To me, by seeing potential and telling me that I’m not reaching it, that to me, sounds like I’m failing at yet another thing. Add it to the laundry list and pick up some detergent on your way home.  I’m not a victim of anything but the choices I have made and will make in the future. I accept that I am who and where I am because of me. My feelings would best be expressed using a line from the 90s dramatic feature “Dangerous Minds.”

No, you ain’t choosin’ to die, but you can choose to die without screaming, right? I mean you could always choose somethin’.

I suppose I’m the Judd Nelson a.k.a. John Bender in any group I find myself. What do people mean when they say you have potential? Potential for what? To do what exactly? Everybody has potential. Some people have the potential to become serial killers whilst other have the potential to make a difference in the world and then there are those who have the potential to live a mundane life with the picket fence and are content to do so. You wanna know what I think? I think when people say to someone, “you have potential” what they really mean is, “I see that you can do something that perhaps I can’t and I am glorifying this trait and putting it on a pedestal which sits out of the realm of my own reality.” If, let’s say, someone is a better driver than you, this does not mean they have the potential to be a race car driving champion. If someone has a slight artistic advantage as you see it, this does not mean have the potential to surpass the greats in history. If you like someone’s cooking better than your own, this does not me they have the potential to have a cooking show on the Food Network. I guess what I mean is that what people who say, “you have potential” fail to realize is that they are seeing a void in themselves and potential really is just putting in the practice and becoming knowledgeable due to having a desire to achieve a goal. For instance, the poor schmuck that may not necessarily have the potential to win the Indy 500, actually does, if he has the desire to do so. That nobody without a cooking show, in fact, could have a cooking show, if they have the aspiration. My feelings would best be described using a line from the 2007 Robert Rodriguez film “Planet Terror” wherein Freddy Rodriguez as Wray says:

I’m nobody. It’s the easiest thing to remember. So remember it.

I echo that with a line from the Disney underdog sports film, “The Big Green.”

We aren’t the nothings from nowhere. We’re the Alma nothings.

In summation. It’s not that I don’t have potential, it’s not that I do. It’s just that I don’t have the desire to let people down or to fail. I don’t have a strong enough protective shield. Have I kind of given up on life? No. Well, sometimes. What I have given up on for sure is the life I envisioned as a naive little outcast. I gave up the notion that I am any more deserving of a picturesque life than any other person a while ago. I have given up on fighting the good fight against the forces that know better than I. I don’t know what I want and I don’t know that I’ll be deserving of whatever that is when I figure it out. Tomorrow I may feel differently. Tonight I simply feel small and fractured. My inner sanctum is cruel but not unusual. If I’m honest with myself, I know that what lies within the rough externalized persona only comes out through the projections I display to the world and thusly is free game to be judged. The confinements of my awareness are the restrictions and limitations I enforce. I don’t over extend my own dreams further than my brain can reach for logic and plausibility.

You only see the turn. You don’t see the road ahead

Edward James Olmos as Jaime Escalante in “Stand and Deliver.”


♥ To anyone who has ever seen or vocalized having seen “potential” in me, turn that shit inward, because what you really mean is, there’s something you want to do or attain and don’t feel confident in your ability. And that’s what I see in you, not potential because I don’t know what choices you’re about to make, I see ability. Do you. ♥


*Note: Simon Travaglia said, “The greatest barrier to someone achieving their potential is their denial of it.”

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