Clue-by-Four: Ramblings of a Jock Dork

A Bizarre Love Triangle: The Man of Action is Back

Posted in Clue x Fours and Other Tools of Sanity, Jock Dork: It's Who I Am by Wingnut on January 17, 2011

 
 
 
 

Guess who’s back
Back again
Shady’s back
Tell a friend
Guess who’s back, guess who’s back, guess who’s back, guess who’s back
guess who’s back, guess who’s back, guess who’s back..

 

                                                                                                                -Eminem

My comeback is way better!

I decided that my birthday gift to myself is finally giving myself permission to write again. [This is, of course, after giving myself the gifts of booze, comedy, booze, women, booze, massage, and booze]

Many wild rumors circulate as to the nature of my absence. Some speculate that I have been living the life of the Sultan of Brunai, relishing in nightly debauches with the many members of my harem.

This accusation is absolutely false [I am not in any way, shape, or form a sultan1]

Others speculate I have grown tired of passive-aggressive Twitter drama and weary of openly being an asshole. Also untrue. I can assure you, I’ll never be uncomfortable being a pretentious, pompous, preening prick [As evidences by my need to alliterate].

There have even been those that even speculate that I am in a re…re…re…relationship [Yeah, not sure I can say it again so don’t ask me to]. My reason for absence is, however, closely related to my reasons for not being available for relationship consideration:

I have dedicated the last five months to being the best teacher and colleague I can possibly be at my new school.

[Please note: This is only one of the reasons in the relationship department. I’ll save those for future writings2]

Being a Man of Action Requires Personal Sacrifice

One of my favorite motivational speakers, Eric Thomas, says you have to want success as much as you want to breathe. Hold your breath for a few moments and think about what that feels like the longer you hold it. Multiply that by the “don’t die” reflex and you have a better idea of what he’s talking about.

It isn’t enough for me to be a “pretty good” teacher. If you know anything about me, pretty good just isn’t enough. I play to win and love winners3. Besides, I’m working at a charter school now. I don’t have tenure; job security is based on personal growth and performance. I am also working with a new student population and have to rapidly adapt everything I do well to meet their specific needs and cultural nuances.

I am not the type of person who can phone it in. My days are long and my free time is dedicated to spending time with my kids, staying fit, and, every now and then, getting out or a little free time with friends4.

I Won’t Do You Halfway

Writing and relationships have a few things in common, the largest of which may be time requirement. When I was in a rhythm at my previous job, I had a lot of free time. My grading was streamlined, teaching a well-oiled machine, and thinking a factory of ideas [or fountain of bullshit, depending on your point of view].  But I wasn’t creating curriculum; I wasn’t reinventing teacher @ClueXFour [Though I did perfect #badteacher].

That was then. I am now in a constant state of reinvention. I demand success from myself. To reach a place where I can be happy with my pedagogy, I have to dedicate an inordinate amount of time to the pursuit of mastery. Outside of that, I have time to engage positive stress release at the gym, eat, and pass out…that is if I’m not behind on planning and grading [Which is almost always].

Care to tickle these keys?

My blog has become the neglected girlfriend. There was a time when it was easy to make time for her because it fit into the natural ebb and flow of daily life. There was a time when our relationship was relatively uncomplicated and I could meet her needs. But, as much as I want to sit down and stroke the keys softly with my fingertips, thoughtfully edit her body repeatedly, and gaze longingly at her in the spent aftermath, I just haven’t had the time.

I know what they say: “If you really want her, you will make the time.” In many cases, that is true. But, in some, including mine, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. I want to write; I ache to write; I need to write. It’s not a matter of want, but matter of priorities.5

Likewise, with relationships, I know what my time demands are and what I have available. It isn’t much. Being a textbook Capricorn [I reject the notion your “new” Zodiac], I have an innate drive to succeed. I play to win and, theoretically, I hope my next relationship will have the key ingredients to win.

However, one of those ingredients has to be the mental and physical availability to successfully navigate the natural ebb and flow of any relationship. With my job continuing to evolve, I don’t have either and I refuse to half-ass a relationship. If I can’t dedicate the time and energy required to participate in a relationship, I’m not going to pretend that I can. I would only be fooling someone else and myself.

Does this mean I don’t go out from time to time? No. It just means I am up front with this with any prospective evening companion. [This undoubtedly attracts the label “player”. So be it. Such labels are a semantics argument for another time].

Personal Fulfillment is All That Matters

I know this is not a choice some people can make, but it is the choice that I make. I do not judge those who need that other person to make them feel whole and complete. All I am saying is that I am OK on my own because there are other things that drive me:

  • Watching my girls develop and mature into fine young women fulfills me.
  • Thinking and planning to open the pathways to learning for my students fulfill me.
  • Being the kind of friend who people in need can truly rely on to be there in times of crisis fulfills me.

While I’m sure I would enjoy some aspects of a relationship, the extra burden and pressure of being a successful boyfriend would pull too much away from other areas and I would no longer find fulfillment in any facet of my life because I would be spread too thin. Sure, a relationship isn’t supposed to be a burden or pressure. But, let’s be honest. It requires time and if you have none, it is a constant battle to tread water. I’m not good at treading water6.

That Bizarre Love Triangle that is Blogging

This is not to say that it will be that way forever. Just for now. At least I’ve begun writing again, just not at the torrid pace that defined the beginning of Blog-Year  One.

Thus, I reinitiate the love triangle that is writer-blog-reader.

I’ve missed you.

Welcome back.

.

.

.

.

.

Footnotes:

  1. Though lately I’ve bore a striking resemblance to Charlie Sheen, minus the three-ton liver]
  2. Every now and again, it is me and not you.
  3. See https://cluexfour.wordpress.com/2010/07/23/winning-the-yankees-way-life-lessons-learned-from-george-steinbrenner/ for an example of what I think of winning.
  4. In the words of robot on The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson, “Is that code?”
  5. Like I said, sometimes it is me and not you.
  6. Apparently I’m good at the dog paddle.
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12 Responses

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  1. Klz said, on January 17, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Treading water is my specialty but also explains why I often feel I’m on the brink of drowning

  2. stineybean said, on January 17, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Welcome home.

    It’s amazing how delicate a balance it can be. Awareness is so important. As is humor.

  3. Jenni said, on January 17, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Well, welcome back from a new reader.

    First of all: I wish all teachers had the mindset you do. It would make for a better education system in general.

    Also, I refuse to acknowledge these changes in Zodiac signs. I’m an Aries, and always will be!

    Relationships are work. However, not every woman is going to expect you to the be the “perfect boyfriend.” There’s no such thing. A relationship should be give-and-take.

    I started seeing some big business guy, who traveled a lot and his work took up a lot of his time. We’d go weeks without seeing each other. He ran away because he couldn’t believe I was being so understanding. He expected me to finally get tired of it, so he walked away first. Too bad for him, is how I see it. To me a man putting his work at the top of his priority list is hot.. just as long as I get to see him from time-to-time.

    • Theteacher174 said, on January 17, 2011 at 6:26 pm

      New readers are always welcome. It takes a special person to be willing to adapt their own needs the way you did. Too bad he had poor communication skills and lacked the ability to trust.

      Let me rephrase, too bad for him. 🙂

      Welcome

  4. TurnJacson said, on January 17, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    Welcome back… looks like you’ve taken some quality time for yourself. Something I think is super important.

    • Theteacher174 said, on January 17, 2011 at 7:05 pm

      Thanks my friend. It has been a while. I need to catch up on reading too. I’ve only read sparingly here and there. Do you know any good blog reading apps?

  5. Beth said, on January 17, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Welcome back right back atcha and bravo to you for knowing what you want and being man enough to back up your words with your actions. Priorities matter. So, the blog had to languish a little… big deal. She’ll never leave you. She’s too codependent. 😉 And, my bet is that you are a better man for your time away and she will appreciate you all the more.

    P.S. Why is it a man who dates a lot while trying to find “the one” is a “player” and the woman who dates a lot trying to find “the one” is simply a woman looking for “the one”?

    P.P.S. I adore you a little more for the Craig Ferguson reference.

  6. singlegirlie said, on January 17, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    I hear you. I feel like I haven’t had time to blog lately – largely in part due to my relationship. And I HATE writing half-assed posts. Sometimes I do, just to get something up, and I always wind up loathing it. These people who post every day – I just don’t know how they do it.

    • Theteacher174 said, on January 17, 2011 at 7:52 pm

      I have a couple friends who blog everyday. My hat is off to them. I used to write professionally and know how hard it is to produce context daily.

  7. Beth said, on January 17, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    Welcome back yourself! Bravo to you for knowing the man you want to be and acting on it. Priorities matter. So, the blog had to languish for a bit. She won’t leave you. Her codependency issues are too strong. Not to mention, staying true to yourself will make you a better lover to her.

    P.S. How come men who date a lot in trying to find “the one” are considered “players” and women who date a lot in trying to find “the one” are simply seen as looking for “the one”? That’s always bothered me.

    P.P.S I adore you a little more for the Craig Ferguson reference. 😉

    • Theteacher174 said, on January 25, 2011 at 7:31 am

      For some reason, it put them in my spam folder. I have no idea why.

  8. Dr. Lisa said, on January 18, 2011 at 12:01 am

    Welcome back to the blogosphere!


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