It was called A Barbaric Yawp, a name I can’t say is particularly original, but the tagline was all mine.
I was and I still am that Barbarian.
I was given that particular moniker by the best friend of an ex-girlfriend.
I made her so angry she punched the wall and consequently that made me An Uncivilized Barbarian.
Don’t ask why the 16-year-old girl who punched the wall wasn’t gifted with such a cool name or question why I liked it then and still like it now.
Just know that once upon a time I used it as inspiration for a blog that no longer exists because WordPress took it down because someone said it violated their TOS.
Write about politics and you might piss people off enough to come after you, especially if you are motivated, relentless and don’t fear conflict.
You Will Enter Through The Back Door
Got Hole playing Violet on the old headphones now, not entirely sure why I picked it but it reminds me of an apartment that no longer exists.
My first place, the one that was mine and mine alone, no roommates, first job and the place I hung my hat at nights.
A bit of a dump but a place with character.
Crazy neighbors that worked in the music and entertainment industry.
The guy at the end of the hall would blast this song day and night, door and windows wide open, fans blowing smoke out into the courtyard so that passerbys had a shot at a contact high.
Seven years older than I, he once invited me to go to a party at Stevie Nick’s house. She wasn’t there, but one of her backup singers was house sitting and she said we could hang out.
I didn’t believe she was who she said she was and then I saw her on television backing up Stevie.
Somewhere in the mists of memory I can hear them both speaking to me, see them beckoning me to come down the hall and hang out with them.
“Jack, it is cool. You should come with us, it will be fun. Don’t be nervous, think of it as networking, sometimes you get where you want to be by going in through the back door.”
I see them laughing, don’t tell them I got the reference, I am almost 25, old enough to know what they are talking about.
Confident But Unsure
Sometimes I watch my kids and remember the days of being confident but unsure. Watch them and see so much of me as I was but more of who they are.
Can’t tell them about the real reasons I didn’t go to Stevie’s place, how I wanted to but was unsure about what I would do.
Wasn’t afraid of drinking or getting high, but some of the harder stuff made me nervous, wouldn’t touch it and avoided being around it.
Never saw my neighbor do it and didn’t think it was his thing, but didn’t want to find out. Didn’t want to drive myself and have to leave my car there because I was too messed up to drive home.
Did that enough times in college to pray for forgiveness now.
I was lucky but so VERY STUPID.
These days I don’t hit the confident and unsure crossroads with much frequency because I have lived and loved a little bit.
Life experience goes along, long way.
Today I look around at the things around me, take inventory and then ask myself if I am surrounded by people and things that will help or hurt me.
Not because I want to be a taker and user but because I hear a clock ticking and don’t have time to waste.
Give Back & Receive
That is what I tell the kids, give back and you’ll receive more than a few gifts that you can’t get without giving of yourself.
I believe it and do my best to live it.
But I also know there is a clock ticking and that even if I live another 80 or 90 years as I suspect I might I need to focus my energy and push in a certain direction.
I look at the multiple projects I have going on, the work I am doing and the people I am with and ask if this is the right path.
Will these people and these things help me move from dreaming my life to living my dreams.
If the answer is yes they stay and if the answer is no, well I have to make an adjustment. Â Have to refocus and adjust so that I can get where I need to be.
It is how life is, how it goes.
Some will be there for the entire journey and others for a part or portion of it.
Readers Come & Go
This is why readers come and go.
Some of you will always find value in my words. Some of you can hear the song I am singing and will chose to sing it with me and others…won’t.
Maybe for a time you’ll be a part of the chorus, perhaps you’ll even take the lead or just harmonize with me.
But not all of you will stay.
Some of you will leave and all that will remain are echoes of what was and maybe we’ll meet again.
You never know if you’ll find them again in the echoes of the future or if you’ll round that been and see a fossilized footprint where you expected to find a fresh trail.
I tell the kids to remember it is a giant adventure and to have fun. My daughter finds an old letter and asks me why someone would call me an uncivilized barbarian.
“Daddy, were you eating with your hands, or just pissing girls off?”
“You are not quite 12, why would you say that?”
“Daddy, you know that sometimes you can be the greatest, but you also know how to make people crazy”
I wink and smile, “not everyone is meant to walk the whole way with you. I want you to remember that when you feel like you are trying your hardest to get somewhere and you don’t make any progress you might have to try something different.
Sometimes you have to go in through the back door.”