The Real Shawn Robert Lee: Part 1

As the sun forcefully creeps in between the crevices in the blinds, thoughts swirl around like the gusts of winter breeze push along the leaves long since dead and gone, and the steam rises from my tea, I couldn’t help but think about how the conflicting imagery was indicative of myself. In typical fashion, while I am not usually capable of putting these sorts of ideas into verbal communication, I can write it down with some semblance of logic and rationale. So on this chilly winter day, I’ve decided to depart from my normal way of writing, to give people an idea of the bits and pieces I don’t ever share.


I want to make this clear, this is by no means meant to be a negative piece, I am simply sharing my view of the world without a true explanation because in all honesty, I don’t know exactly why I see things the way that I do, although I do have a few ideas. This is, hopefully, a helpful tool to use when attempting to decipher or understand me, as I’ve been told can be difficult at times. I will be answering certain questions to make sure this writing doesn’t veer too far off the path.


Why do I look like something is wrong when I’m thinking?


Almost every single time I am thinking, nothing is wrong, I am just deep in thought. What’s important to understand is not that I am thinking, or deep in thought, it’s where my thoughts and thinking reside. For the most part, the substance of what I’m thinking about, and the speed in which I process the information, lives in the darker depths of thought. There is a violent torrent of thoughts, existential and simple, all spinning around crashing and banging into each other. When I get deep into thought, I am doing what I can to mentally calm myself down, and these moments can occur at any time. Maybe I saw something, heard something or had a moment of déjà vu, whatever the focal point of these rippling thoughts, the epicenter is usually the result of something very tiny and inconsequential. Think about the saying, “light at the end of the tunnel”, but now, take the tunnel and stand it up with the light side up. That’s a better image of what it is actually like for me. While the thoughts, feelings and other tid bits are in a dark place, the resulting conclusions and decisions I arrive to are always made while looking at the light. Nothing, usually, is wrong; I just process things the way that I do because it settles me down, it gives me a brief moment of peace. I have spent various parts of my life struggling with this, struggling with how to be the person I am (the depth thinker), and maintaining the other part (jovial and light-hearted). It is incredibly exhausting at times, and regardless of the situation, I soft reset to be sure I am able to experience the full job that I am in. Trust me when I say, nothing is wrong, it is me just course correcting so that I can be present for everyone.


I think too much, why don’t I do things to alleviate that?


First, there’s nothing to alleviate. In fact, alleviate would mean it’s painful in some manner, and it never has been. It has always been what alleviates me. Also, to address the part about thinking too much, I do not, and at times I feel that I do not do it enough. I know, or at least hope, that those who say it do so from a place of concern. That they feel that way because of the first question, that it appears something is wrong and so they want to see me happy. I hope. This, however, is a misnomer because 99% of the time, it’s my thinking that allows me to calm down, to enjoy every bit of every moment I can. There have been few moments in my life where thinking as much as I do hasn’t helped me. My thoughts are not linear, they do not exist on a two-dimensional plane, therefore I am not thinking to come to a conclusion most of the time, I am thinking about possibilities. How a conversation will go, how someone will react, why a choice was made or a decision was presented, and other things. Within those possibilities, I think about the most likely possible outcomes based on the observations made during my “grumpy thinking mode”, to anticipate and perceive, to be able to react appropriately or at the very least in a timely manner. The reason, as I’m told, that I am liked are the exact things I’ve thought about. At one point in my life, I agreed that I think too much, but as I’ve grown older I’ve began to understand it is why I’ve got so much energy to do what I do, because when you don’t have to think about it in the moment, you can dedicate vastly more energy into the act itself. I think a lot so that I won’t have to later, at least in terms of what I’m thinking about at the moment.

In the past, when I felt that thinking was a “pain”, I searched for ways to alleviate it, but a downside of mine is that once I do manage to turn it off, I don’t like who I am. I become everything I hope not to be, and do so with a veracity that is likely to only lead to harm, to others and myself. A fundamental piece of who I am lies in my ability to make corrections to the mistakes I will inevitably live, to have the wherewithal to not over correct from said mistakes, to remain objective so that it’s about as fair as it can be for all parties, and that is not something that is possible when I drown in the various means of ‘alleviation’.


What is your outlook on life?


Positive, but I am perpetually sad. Through various circumstances in my life, both of my own doing and external sources, I have grown weary of a lot of aspects in life. I don’t particularly trust people, believe that pain and suffering is merely an inevitability, that what most consider happiness is just a delusion – a manufactured materialism – and that it is temporary, that all things are temporary, but mostly that I do not need to be happy to live. I have fought battles of alcoholism, been diagnosed clinically with minor depression, chased desires and failed miserably, and processed a life with far greater emphasis on my feelings that most would ever want to. I have never physically harmed myself, nor would I, but I’m sure there are some emotional and mental scars that I am glad nobody can see. What has allowed me to continue on, for a very long time now, is why my outlook on life is positive. I hope, endlessly. I do not want to believe that all people are what I mostly see and experience. I cannot believe that goodness and kindness are always a means to an end, to satisfy some sort of inner guilt. A large majority of my existence functions on the belief, on some level, in people. That like the internalized thoughts that guide me, corrections are made and the true challenge is preventing a overcorrection. I know that I will always be hurt, that it will likely derive from those close to me (as that’s the nature of being close to someone, pain from them always hurts a bit more), and like light particles, it will come in waves even though it appears to be coming in a straight line. Keanu Reeves once said, “grief changes shape, but never ends” and it is an idea that has always been present in my understanding of the world. Now, with all of this, I don’t take it as a negative, merely one part of myself that exists. What it has done for me, more and more as I’ve grown older, is allowed me be objective about a lot of things, it has given me countless moments where I’ve been pleasantly surprised, it has allowed me to love people for who they are and not what I wish them to be, it has given me some of the best friends, a loving family. I have been able to receive all of that, without question, because I not only understand the other side exists, but I live it – at the same time. Remember, my thoughts and, by association, my understandings, do not function in a place of 2 dimensions, thus nothing is ever merely one thing. This is my balance, and instead of constantly striving for positives or negatives, I love both for what they are and am able to exist in a place of not either/or, simply existence. A life, a world, a universe …of infinite existence. I am gloriously broken, and I love it. That’s why the outlook is positive.


Why write this?


Because why the hell not? I have always claimed to be an open book, willing to answer any question, to share what others will not in the hopes that it at least helps someone else. I have become increasingly tired of whimsical care and interest; it has clouded my enjoyment of this singular life. I say singular because I do not know if reincarnation is real or not, and have found comfort in knowing that enjoyment of a singular life by no means has to be an individual pursuit. I do not need to be happy to live, but I hope to be. I do not need love to get by, but I hope to have it. I do not need another to complete me, but I hope for the luxury. I do not need, but I sure hope. On some level, each person understands what I’ve written and why, and while I’ve tried to disguise this part of me from those close to me, I know that everyone could sense a bit of inherent sadness. This is why I wrote this. For those who are searching for direction, try to know that direction is not the two-dimensional N/S/E/W, but more like in space, any direction is up or down, just depends on how you’re trying to orient yourself. I am never grounded, I am constantly floating and would have it no other way.

Part 2 will consist of 3 questions asked by others, sort of like an interview I suppose. Think of a good one and contact me, I will try to cover the ones I receive!


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