We are what we repeatedly do.
We are nothing because repeatedly we never do anything.
-Someone less successful than Aristotle
Who we are, in simple terms, boils down to what we do. In other words our actions, not our dialogue, define us. And our actions are, mostly, made up by what has become known as our habits. Most of the things that we do—brushing our teeth, wiping our butts, flinging our boogers at random women’s faces on the bus, other activities that aren’t examples of our wonderful personal hygiene—are things that we do over and over and over again, every day, every time we are in a certain situation (going to bed, pooping, riding the bus, etc.).
We all know how hard a habit can be to break. Some habits are super-physically addicting, as in the “if I don’t do heroin right now I will go through heavy withdrawal and probably discover a way to chew off my own face” habit. Some habits are less physically addicting, but still effect our body, such as the “if I don’t have a bump of coke, or at least a drag of a Pal-Ma, right now then I am going to start shaking uncontrollably and fall to the ground like a malfunctioning Japanese robot who also is addicted to crack” habit. And some aren’t really physically addicting at all, but are so engrained in our brains that when the situation arises, we have to take advantage of it. These habits include the “anytime I am the only person home and the Internet isn’t out I will masturbate continuously until someone else shows up” habit and “it’s 2:49 P.M. and I am suppose to be doing something else, so I need to find a place where I am alone with Internet access to masturbate” habit. We will not die, or physically shake, if we do not fulfill these needs or follow through on these opportunities, but in our mind—we might as well be.
Now-a-days it seems that most people do not take the time to analyze their habits. Sure they might notice something if they are a crack addict or are hypnotized to get naked every time someone quotes Ace Ventura and says “Alrighty then,” but most of the things we constantly do are far more subtle than that. They are so engrained into our being, so entrenched into our lives, that we do them without ever really understanding why. We bite our nails, repeat words like “sick” or “ballin” to describe cool things, and jerk off every afternoon without taking the time to truly realize what we are doing and why we are doing it.
Habits exist for all of us. We all have certain ones that impact the way we see the world, as well as how the world sees us. For instance, I have a habit of looking over the wall of the urinal when I am pissing in public restrooms and, if I like what I see, telling my broom mate that he has a "nice dick bro." Often this is not a completely conscious decision. I am tall enough to see over the wall, curious enough to want to learn what my fellow man is packing, and compassionate enough to let him know that I may be impressed. Those are facets of my character and personality that are revealed through my actions. So in a way that one particular habit shows the world something about me; that I use my height to satisfy my curiosity about other men’s penises.
Habits, as opposed to actions that are irregular or abnormal, have a way of doing that. For example, let's say that you are someone who sees a baby who somehow got trapped under a Monster Truck and, in a moment of inhuman adrenaline, lifted the truck up to save the small infant’s life. That is a great feat. You would forever be labeled a “hero” and deservedly so. But, unless you are John Claude Van Damme, or some other action hero with four names, this is not a “habit” or a regular action for you in any way. The world will forever see you as a hero, even though you will likely never do anything that heroic again. You will forever exist as an icon of courage, even though you will never even be considered as a possible cast member for the next Expendables movie.
My point here is that heroic actions, while fine and good and certainly badass, do not define us as people. Brief moments of Stallone type strength do not show the world who we are. But our habits, the regular, monotonous, self-destructive things we do day after day after day, they are the truest demonstration of who we are as people and what we stand for. They show everyone around us that we may, or may not, be what they thought we were.
We are what we do. And we do what we are.
Now successful people, and the best-selling book I am not so subtly mocking here that was written about them, they have habits too. There are things they do often, things that help make them productive and efficient members of society. They, the successful, are different than we, the almost complete failures, are so they must be doing different things. Based on the last two sentences I wrote in the section above—there’s really no arguing that.
The problem is that, while our habits remain harmless and unchanged, the successful don’t see themselves as people who are now and always will stay set in their ways. Basically this means that successful, efficient and productive people have bad habits engrained into their consciousness the same as we do, but instead of embracing them and using their height advantage to check out other guys’ dongs, they try to transform themselves and break the bad habits that come along with their existence.
Therefore instead of embracing who they are as people the successful and efficient men and women of society will always, in some way or another, be trying to change. Instead of getting drunk every Friday, as is the almost complete failure’s one objective during this holy time that commemorates the end of a work week that we probably did not participate in, successful people may, against their own intuition, stay home so they aren’t hung over for their child’s little league game the next morning. Is it admirable that a father or mother may want their child to know that they are capable of showing them sober affection? I guess it could be seen as such. But it’s also disgusting that people would put their own “success” either with their family, their business, or their God, ahead of what makes them the unique human being that they are. And, if you aren’t getting hammed face on a Friday night—then that’s exactly what you are doing. You are saying success is more important than humaness. And that is something we will never agree with.
Which brings us back to well us—the almost complete failures. Our habits, like the habits of the productive or efficient, are clear-cut and in many ways obvious. The difference is both 1-what are habits are, and 2-How we prioritize our life to form them. While the successful try to change themselves and their habits, putting their own success in one aspect of life or another ahead of their human nature, we do the opposite. Our successes and failures are not our concerns; that’s for the outside world and their perceptions. Because we will not change. We will not chew Handz Off Anti-Masturbation gum in order to curb our favorite afternoon activity and enhance our chances of getting more work done or finally making it into the Nights of Columbus.
And we shouldn't. This series will never encourage you to change who you are because that’s not the point. The point is for the world around us to learn that almost complete failures have a voice. That we understand who we are. That we will try our damndest to party our dicks (or vaginas) off and laugh in the faces of those who judge us for it. That we are loud and we are proud and we believe that our priorities are what make the world go round. That we can semi-intentionally rhyme stuff in a shittily written blog post.
The point is that our habits define us. We are not Stallone’s. We are not Van Damme’s. We cannot stop looking over the wall of the urinal and telling our fellow man that they have a “nice dick bro.” And even if we could, we would choose not to.
Our habits—alcoholism, drug abuse, unabashed masturbation, misspelling words, not being able to afford Arby’s, constantly Tweeting the word “penis” even though our mothers beg us to stop as if it is not the anatomically correct word for someone’s wiener—and our inability to care about changing them is what makes us almost complete failures. Earlier I told you who we were. Now I am beginning to tell you why.
Because, once again, this is an anthropological study into almost complete failurehood and what makes it. And what makes us who we are is not the one moment of love and compassion we show our child when they are getting picked on by a bully or crack their head open because they have a learning disability and think they are Spider Man, but the trips, one after another, to the strip club where we drop our kid back stage and hit up the Champagne Room to try and pull a strippers digits (see YouTube video below). What makes us who we are is not the one instance where we see a squirrel in the middle of the road, swerve to avoid killing it and end up crashing into a tree and giving ourselves whiplash, but the million other instances where we realize that a squirrel is a rodent and our necks are part of a human body and therefore get our priorities straightened out by not swerving or slowing down to avoid the critter in the road and harm it, instead of ourselves, in the process. What makes us who we are is not the time we worked hard, saved up to buy a new sports jacket from JC Penny and aced the job interview at Lowe's Hardware, but the time we bought a ballin suit on our parent’s credit card and wore it on the train for no other reason than the fact that we wanted to sport it in front of as many gold digging babes who might confuse us for Investment Bankers as possible.
What matters is not what we do one time, but what we do over and over again. That, and our reaction to the world’s perception of it, is what makes us who we are.
That’s why we are almost complete failures. Not because we choose to be once in a while, but because almost every thing we've ever done made that choice for us.
Text Updates and Big Ups
My current text messaging score since July 13th is a healthy +548 (512-inbox, 488-sent, 22 from females), which is pretty much a technological orgy for me at this point. Also my Twitter popularity score has reached an all-time high of 303 followers so...I am pretty much 3 points more popular than Gerard Butler was when he was all jacked up in that movie about Greek homosexual warriors or whatever.
As for Big Ups this week, I have one special one to send out to my dude Ace for his love, support, tenderness and finding the YouTube video below and putting it on my wall. Unreal.
Back next week with maybe some sort of creative subject matter.
Sachary L. Poelker
"The Sack Artist: Jack of All Trades"