My life began with some vodka and a bottle of champagne. Though a native to the US, my first language was German, although American (as opposed to English) is my dominate one. I still can't translate between the two (without decided effort) but I understand each quite well.
I learned to read by memorizing the books my parents read me, and repeating them to myself as I looked at the words, teaching myself to read.
My family was upper middle class and white. I grew up in white affluent neighborhoods, I went to a private school. I was quite well behaved, I followed all the rules as I grew up, I was religious (Roman Catholic) and an alter boy. Despite going to a Catholic school, I was the only one who actually volunteered.
I began hating the world because I expected too much from it (What sort of world is one that can't even follow its own guidelines). For instance, being more apt at things than others causes them to hate you. When people hate you for your favorite trait, it isn't easy. I found out that in order to survive, you can't be soft. Fight fire, with fire.
I begged my parents to let me out of private school, and I then went to public school. Catholic school, it turned out, was crueler and harsher than public school. I became known for my cool exterior that bellied a seething menace. I became the instigator, a trouble maker who got away with it ("If you do it right, then you don't get caught"). In JHS I became a "goto man". If you wanted something, and didn't want anyone else to know, I would put you into the proper channels. Since no one could attain my standard of honor, I decided that my honor with others need only be as good as theirs.
I moved to another state and HS. I hated everyone but 3 people in my class, and sparingly in the grades above and below. I never adjusted to my new state. I got kicked out of my computer Science class (essentially) for knowing more about computers and BASIC than the instructor. Current alumni inform me that I am still infamous at the school for this. To this day I am lucky I wasn't expelled, and to this day I resent knee jerk reactions to things the "knee jerkers" don't understand. I decided that only people educated in a subject in question should be permitted to make/enforce decisions about it.
I got a MTG rule changed (and wasn't given credit) because I rules lawyered a combination involving the definition of "Sacrifice" as "Bury" and "Consecrate land: Enchanted land cannot be buried or destroyed." This caused "Consecrate land" to be errataed back to it's original form (cannot be destroyed) and a rules revision separating the definitions of Bury and Sacrifice. The former of these unnecessarily invalidated "Consecrate Land", as "Bury" is a specific type of destruction post Alfa. *sigh* This seemed very insulting and frustrating at the time. I decided that you shouldn't share your ideas with people who might share or profit from them, because they will screw you out of them.
I started hating women because I was expecting too much of them. I became hard, bitter, and maybe even a little evil (depending on who you talk to they would say I'm Lawful Evil). I developed the personality of an asshole to cope with the world.
I decided to go to a military college because I thought I was a somewhat violent person, and am a good tactician (thats right, war games). Turns out that I really don't want to hurt anyone ever. I actually cried when I realized that CS (military strength tear gas) had to be specifically formulated for use against humans. Someone had to sit there and deliberately construct it for its sole purpose. Then I applied this stream of thought to all weapons, and that appalled me. Particularly as a smart person with grand weapon ideas (remember, I don't share). I could not have been Einstein. And hopefully the Neurosheath will never exist.
In college I decided to experiment with ruining other people's relationships (like mine had been). With the guideline "Play all you want, but don't fuck with love." I showed couples that "No, in fact, your long distance relationship can't work" and "No, you aren't in love." I had figured that if I ended up in love, I could just play the Ace (truth) and all would be forgiven. Yes, I have seen too many movies. Yes. Yes, I know.... but anyway I found that with the afore mentioned attitude women became trophies. I don't keep trophies, they are meaningless. Cherish the journey, destinations aren't nearly as interesting.
I started classifying my decisions as guidelines (as opposed to rules) for life (emphasis on relationships) with the additions of: (1) Don't date your Coworkers
(2) Don't date directly from your primary circle of friends.
When you're soft and squishy on the inside, it would seem, you remain that way despite any shells or walls you develop. However, my best friend stopped talking to me for a little over a year because, as it turned out, I was too much of an ass. This destroyed me utterly.
(3) Love requires action (so do something about it)
My 21st birthday made me a full fledged citizen with rights! Now every birthday after this is... meaningless... except that I somehow managed to survive another year... hmmmm.
As the years past, my emotional destruction eventually made me a much better person (and she's still my best friend). I realized that from my own pain, I grew and became better. With this thought in my head, I started to do things I thought that maybe I shouldn't do (risks) in order to learn and become a better person.
This worked quite well for quite a while...
(4) People are stupid. They will believe what they want to believe, or are afraid is true. (-Wizard's first rule by Terry Goodkind)
(5) Don't date anyone with more, or greater addictions then yourself.
Number five is also interesting because I learned that you can use people without intending to. In this case, I unwittingly used someone to get over a past love. It couldn't be any sort of guideline, but it's also in the spirit of #5 in my head.
It worked so well in fact, that I became a bit of a masochist over the years. But soon I had experienced enough risks by taking them regularly to realize a difference in those worth taking. And I had also learned that not taking a risk is, many times, a greater risk to one's happiness then the original risk appeared to be.
Sometimes, you just do something a little insane. You don't know why, and it might not quite be in your current nature, but for some reason you do it. The following is from an entire line of drama, I'm sure you can piece it together. It was quite informative to me:
(6) Spell it out for your partner. Boys are dumb. So are girls. (Especially in relationships) They don't get it unless you tell them in no uncertain terms.
- Don't have sex with anyone a friend is under the impression they are dating.
- If an ass hole (but other wise honorable) friend of yours asks you if its OK for him to pursue the person you like/are pursuing, be honest.
- If instead of going with your gut, and saying "No", you say: "Well I can't stop her. She's going to do whatever she wants, and you are going to do whatever you want." And if your asshole friend persists telling you: All you have to do is say: "I don't want you to pursue girl X" and I'll leave it alone. And then you say, "I want her to be with me, but if she doesn't want that, well there's nothing I can do." Don't be upset when he
steals her from youusurps your position. You should also fail to hold it against him for the rest of his life.
- Don't try and figure out how to rules lawyer a rules lawyer if you aren't one, because people are going to get fucked. Probably in more ways then one. And probably in ways you don't want.
Soon after I came upon that guideline, I gambled on emotional destruction, I had to. If I didn't I knew I would regret it. I lost. I had what I perceived to be the worst day of my life, and it probably still is. I have felt physical pain so great that thoughts of suicide fluttered through my mind, just to end the pain. This was more tortuous. I felt victimized, betrayed, and some sort of bizarre and deep sadness the likes of which I had never felt before or since.
And so I came to believe: Life is pain, embrace it. A Pain that "hurts so good" you don't want it to stop.While suicide never flashed through my mind, I decided that since I was so bad at the relationship game that I shouldn't follow my instincts anymore. I considered becoming a man whore, because it's totally against my nature and probably couldn't be worse.
Instead, I almost got married. I entered into a relationship with someone I probably wouldn't have normally, and though we were almost diametrically opposed on many issues we were very solidly similar on 3. Apparently this was enough for me to believe that I could have a decent enough home life with someone who could never hurt me and get everything else I needed from outside the relationship. Glazing over the ugly parts wouldn't be too hard, I figured. In a word, I was going to settle. Until I remembered . . .
(7a)Love requires full disclosure. Any questions asked should be plainly answered. Unasked questions should also be answered.
My previous relationship, despite the fact that it failed horribly, had chalked the image of "7a" into my mind. And I found that I didn't want a long term relationship without it. That and a minority of other issues randomly brought into my head one day an exclamation, "WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE?". I knew just then that I had to end it. The next day when she called me, she broke up with me (possibly for karmic reasons) before I had a chance to see her and break up with her in person (the only way I would have felt right about it). 7a could also be rephrased as, "If you can't tell me everything, then you don't belong with me."
(8) Marriage is a governmentally enforced religious and social binding. The only valid reasons to get married are the same now as when the marriage laws were created. Improved, or having the potential to improve: Financial disposition, Social Position, & Treaties (to secure peace or alliances). If your marriage does not fall under one of the three, you should not be married. Love is fleeting and almost insignificant by comparison.
If you are below the age of 25, you do not sufficiently understand your life enough to make a decision with such long term consequences as Marriage. If you doubt this and plan on being together forever simply live together until you reach the age of 25, in the end you will have not lost anything if you find I am in error. The fact that the emotion of romantic love evaporates after 2 to 6 years notwithstanding, by the age of 25 your youthful idiocy should have escaped you or be making its way to the door. Assuming you haven't decided to enter a free form delusion, which though it may seem appealing is ultimately unfulfilling.
(9) Despite everything else sometimes you must leave someone you are in love with because you would be measurably better off.