Hi all. I'm new here. Typically when I join a mailing list I spend a pretty decent amount of time "lurking" - IE reading all the correspondence but never saying much if anything. However this time I feel different, so I'm posting the first day! Wow!
Anyway, I'd really like to share some of my background and history with everyone, but I'm very very bad at this sort of thing. I always wind up going off on tangents I don't particularly want to, and skimming over or omitting things I'd like to discuss. So I have this idea - I'll give you a little brief "picture" of who I am, and anyone interested can ask me specifics. For example, "talk about your parents." "Talk about your childhood" is not really a valid request, since it's a HUGE topic. I prefer to expound upon one thing at a time. (I tend to use energy more efficiently and positively that way, too.) If I tried to cover it all myself in one go, the message would kill everyone's email boxes and I'd be up until at least 6 AM. So I implore you, my circadian rhythms implore you - please, if you're curious about something, ask! The worst that could happen is I say "I'm not comfortable talking about that" - but that's unlikely since I'm a pretty open person, and in this group I really do want to share.
So... I'll start with the basics. My online "handle" is Decadence, and since I'm not very comfy with giving out my real name on mailing lists, I'm afraid you're stuck calling me that. However I have been known to answer to "Dec" since it *is* quite easier to type. The handle isn't particularly descriptive so I'll specify that I am indeed a male.
I found the list via the metagifted webiste. In turn, I found the website by searching the web for true accounts of metapsychic empathy. I sifted through TONS of misleading links - most of which had to do with either roleplaying games (a great passion of my teenage years) or a series of novels by Julian May (which I read, no, _devoured_ shortly thereafter). This brought an interesting question to mind - are the novels I read and games I played loosely based on real (but rare) phoenomena, which I actually experience in my daily life? Or, is my perception of my daily life so heavily influenced by the games I played and the novels I read that I'm reaching the wrong conclusions? I'll let you all guess what the psychiatrist I was seeing in twelfth grade thought.
I'm 25, and live in the Baltimore MD suburbs. I'm married and recently found out that we're expecting a child. Pretty much everyone I tell that to says "congratulations!" but my real friends all said *exactly* the same thing: "congratulations, and I'm sorry." And that really sums up my emotions on that topic. More on that in a different epistle. ;) (Quick summary - I was planning on having a child, but not for another 5 years or so, when I'm more financially stable.)
I work for a corporation, in the Information Technology field. I proudly wear the label "geek" and am an avid (or rabid) fan of www.userfriendly.org. However, I despise my job with nearly every fibre of my being. Not the IT part - just the "job" part, and especially the "corporate" part. Working for someone else has never sat right with me unless it's one or two people with faces, not a gaggle of nameless faceless board members in a different state. But I digress.
When not crammed into "business casual" attire, I infinitely prefer gaudy and loud clothing. I like to go to "rave"-style nightclubs and listen to throbbing, pulsing, mind-warping electronic dance music - specifically the psychedelic trance and Nu NRG varieties. It's basically a complete 180 degree flip from the persona my employers would like to believe.
Don't get me wrong - I also listen to other music. Heck, I have every Rush album ever made, along with a fair smattering of Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, and pretty much anything else you could imagine. (For clarification - the John Tesh CD is my wife's, but the Hevia, Steeleye Span, and Lorena Mckennit are mine :)
And, since I dropped the notorious "rave" word, I'll get this out of the way: yes, I've done drugs. Specifically, cannabis (marijuana, weed, pot, whatever the current nom de guerre is) and MDMA (Ecstasy, E, X, etc...). Did I enjoy myself? Hell yes! Do I regret any instance where I've done drugs? No. Do I have any desire to do other drugs? Possibly - under the right circumstances, I can see myself trying speed. Will I do drugs again? Almost certainly. Have drugs ever been, are they now, or will they ever be a way of life for me? No flippin way - all intoxicants and psychedelics have their "coming down" side, and it's usually unpleasant. Have I ever done drugs more than once a month? Nope. Am I an addict? Hell no - with those two substances I don't think that's possible. I'm hundreds of times more addicted to the nicotine injected into my cigarettes than to any "illicit substance." I could literally go on for hours about the "war on drugs" but that's a topic for another missive, I believe. ;)
Besides music, the other great love of my life is comedy. Especially dry British-style sketch comedy ala Monty Python's Flying Circus or the Kids in the Hall. But even more than that I love stand-up comedy, especially with a liberal dash of social commentary. George Carlin is great, Denis Leary is pretty good too. Dennis Miller is exceptional (at times). But my all time favourite - to the extent that he is one of my personal heroes - was the late great Bill Hicks. He pulled out all the stops and never ever toned his message down for fear of alienating his audience, and his comedy carried a distinct and pervasive message. He closed almost all his performances with the following, and I think it fit that I close this message with it as well, since it is probably the one thing which most profoundly changed my life, ever:
"The world is like a ride at an amusement park and when you choose to go on it you think it's real, because that's how powerful our minds are. And the ride goes up and down and around and round, it has thrills and chills, and it's very brightly coloured and it's very loud. And it's fun, for a while. Some people have been on the ride for a long time, and they begin to question 'is this real, or is this just a ride?' And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and they say 'Hey, don't worry, don't be afraid, ever, because - this is just a ride!' And we... _kill_ those people.
'Shut him up! We have a lot invested in this ride. Shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry. Look at my big bank account and my family. This just _has_ to be real.'
Just a ride. But we always kill those good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok. But it doesn't matter because: it's just a ride. And we can change it any time we want. It's only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money - a choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your door, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one.
Here's what we can do to change the world right now to a better ride. Take all that money we spend on weapons and defense each year and instead spend it feeding, clothing and educating the poor of the world -- which it would many times over -- not one human being excluded, and we can explore space together, both inner and outer, forever in peace."
Some thoughts have a certain sound.
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