August 14, 2004

One Good Reason to Watch American Idol Next Season...

His name is Quentin. He's about 19 years old, and he lives here in St. Louis. He's a great kid - a graduate of one of our youth programs, he is a very talented, bright, outgoing individual. Watching he and I interact is interesting, with me "denying" that I'm a "pimp and a playa", and Quentin countering that those are good things, not bad.

(I wasn't insulted, by the way - just wanted to provide a good counterexample).

Anyway, he came to the final day of our conference last weekend. On Friday, he had visited to announce that he was going to camp out to audition for American Idol, and that he would come by Sunday with the results. I have to admit that I wasn't in the most pleasant of moods - a twisted ankle, plus being slightly pushed to do more physically after expressing my inability to do so, left me in a very not-so-pleasant mood. (My supervisor later remarked that I seemed "out of it", and that two of my colleagues - without even checking to see what the problem was - thought I was "uncooperative").

I also have to point out that this is one of my biggest character flaws - the tendency to focus on the negative aspects of my life. It's something that my current friends have never seen full-on, or experienced with me - mostly because I've crashed and burned many previous friendships that way. My mood after the brouhaha over recent Metropolis elections didn't help - when you're the target of someone else's crap tornado, an umbrella just won't cut it.

That Sunday, Quentin came by to announce that he had passed the first round of auditions, and was heading for the next round. Noticing my mood, he asked what was wrong, and I lied, claiming "I'm just tired." Sensing that I was in an unpleasant, down mood, Quentin said one of the most uplifting things I had ever heard:

"You're my third favorite person at the agency, Gordon...if it wasn't for your work, I wouldn't be here. It's a thankless job, dude, but you really helped me see what I could be."

It was a momentary glimpse of hope...but a glimpse nonetheless. I continued with my wallowing for a little bit, had lunch, and then went home, nearly chewing out a parking attendant because...well, I forgot to get a parking pass, and had to pay to park by the hotel.

Yes, please send all flames to me directly.

It's almost a full week after the end of the conference - several days of work, followed by a well-deserved vacation (I have been on the go since about February of this year without a significant break). Today, I was fortunate - after a gathering with some of my friends, I went home, lit some incense, sat in my sun chair (aka, my cat's "throne"), and took a nice power nap.

My mood is much better, thanks to the gift of clarity. I keep forgetting that, in the midst of everything, other people's stuff is theirs, not mine, and that I have worth.

One of my best friends keeps reminding me, "You're a good man, Gordon."

Now, I'm finally starting to believe it.


Anonymous said...

Dude, you Rock!

You've put more into doing the right thing than most people I know.
Don't sweat the assholes.

I just found your blog by checking technorati.

Keep On Truckin,


Anonymous said...

keep your head up, big guy - you're a good man doing good works. be proud of yourself!