Cut-offs

Cut-offs: (n) blue jeans cut off and turned into shorts.

There is certainly the possibility that if you’re willing to speak your fears out loud, you can save a lot of money on therapy.

So I will tell you bluntly that for the first twenty-one years of my life, I was frightened to death to go without a shirt or even think about wearing shorts.

When I was a teenager, I went to the swimming pool and waited until it was either empty or everyone had gone over to the snack bar before I would feverishly remove my shirt and jump in the water, hoping nobody noticed the recently submerged whale.

It was worse with my legs. They were bare.

For some reason, my genetics gave me absolutely no hair.

When I was sixteen, I took a magnifying glass, examined them, and found that there were follicles, but for some reason the little hairs became discouraged upon reaching the top of my skin—too frightened to make a public appearance.

So I was fat.

Very white because I got no sun.

And had no hair on my legs.

Not a great teenage turn-on.

So it was the summer of my twenty-first year that I found myself traveling, landing with my music group in Miami, Florida—still scared shitless to go shirtless, and completely unwilling to drop my pants.

Then, one beautiful hot day when the ladies in the group were anxious to go to the beach—tired of magnanimously staying behind with me—I grabbed an old pair of jeans, took scissors and snipped them off the best I could. I slid them on and walked outside with my two comrades.

At first, I held onto their arms, hiding and hoping nobody noticed me.

Apparently, I got my wish. Nobody noticed me.

It was Miami. There were oddly shaped people of every color, everywhere.

For the rest of that two-week trip, I did nothing but walk around shirtless, wearing my ugly cut-off jeans, walking the beach.

By the time I flew back to Nashville, Tennessee, to meet up with my producer, I was gloriously toasted brown and my confidence was at an all-time high.

I have never and will never feel the relaxation to walk into a room believing that everyone will accept my obesity or my hairless legs.

But I’m happy to report that the comfort of being comfortable in cut-offs finally comforted me.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Crisscross

Crisscross: (v) to move back and forth over

If you live long enough that you can transform your stupidities into learning experiences, and then implement fresh ideas, by the end it looks like you were really ingenious and had a great plan.

That statement truly sums up my life.

Graduating from high school, I decided I wanted to be a musician, writer and artist.

No one else agreed. Especially no one who was willing to lay down the money so that I could continue my quest.

Rather than perching in my hometown, where everybody knew me and had already drawn an opinion that I needed to “get a job and be normal,” I climbed into my not-so-worthy van with two comrades, and we began to crisscross the country.

I could probably boast that I had formulated an outline in my mind.

But basically, after a few months it all boiled down to money.

As far as I know, our little group became the first people in America to be involved in crowdfunding.

At least three or four nights a week, we stood in front of neutral, if not hostile, audiences, and made our case for our music and mission.

And then we passed the plate.

If a plate was not available, we were certainly willing to use a hat.

Through this we learned three things:

  1. It doesn’t do any good to crisscross the country if you’re going into areas that are resistant
  2. You should go back to receptive areas, continuing your work, as long as they remain open.
  3. After you crisscross the country to an area that is open, when you get in front of those people, remember the two most important factors necessary for drawing others:

Be endearing and be enduring

Make it clear that you realize you’re a human being—susceptible to the same shit they are.

But also let them know that you’ve been traveling for a good while, and you have no intention of giving up on the idea that we all can do better

When an audience is convinced of these two things, they open up their wallets. It has to be real and it has to have some proof—other than just your assertion.

I have crisscrossed this country forty or fifty times over my journey.

Through that experience, I really did learn to love America—whether it’s red, blue or sometimes even when it’s colorless.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

 


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Behind

Behind: (prep) to the far side of something so as to be hidden by it.

Dictionary B

“Behind times.”

It’s the accusation that alleged progressive individuals make about those who have chosen to be not quite so energetic in their leaping.

Here’s what I’ve found: progress is not linear.

It is not a row starting at Point A with a destination somewhere in the future at Point Z.

It’s actually a series of circles.

We roll along forward, and suddenly we dip back, creating a sphere to a former time, attempting to balance our present progress with a little nostalgia and common sense.

So when that circle is completed and we’re back to where we started, then we wiggle ahead a bit.

There are those who prefer to always be pressing on, and certainly there are souls who favor retreating to the rear, to campfires and Kum Bah Yah.

So what is behind us we will once again soon revisit and then grow tired of the repetition, to inch our way forward again.

It may be the accurate definition of the “strait and narrow”–where progress forward is so constricted that occasionally we fall back to remember simpler times.

Some people are frightened that the present technology will take us away from being close to one another and fellowshipping one on one.

Pure foolishness.

We are humans and will always need the sense of closeness … to hear the breathing of our comrades.

 

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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix