If there is anything about you that is consistent, is that you love consistency.
About a week ago I was at a local dive bar with Drew Olanoff and his fiancee (who after I had some choice words about his usage of ‘fuck’ in a Techcrunch article decided to refer to me only as “that fucking dude, fucking micah, fucker.” It made our conversation a bit longer than I expected, but much more heart warming.).
I was telling Drew about how a couple of friends met every Saturday morning at a local donut shop. About how I loved the fact that if you tried, you couldn’t spend more than five dollars on great donuts and bad coffee. That by eliminating everything interesting–other than the people–we had a ton of fun that seemed to be missing from the larger, flashier meetups in the Bay Area.
“You should come,” I said. “It’s totally mellow. Every Saturday at 10am. No pressure. Come, don’t come, doesn’t matter, there will be one the next Saturday.”
“You sure love consistency.” Drew, in his way of making a point not only with words but both arms, his head and a bit of smirk, commented.
“Of course you do. Look at Follow Friday.”
For some reason, for the last several days, this conversation has stuck in my brain. I started to review everything I do to see if consistency was something that truly was a hallmark of my behavior. I mean, as unfocused as everyone seems to think I am, how could consistency fit?
Yet, here I am at 1 a.m. standing at my treadmill desk in nothing but my boxers (sorry ladies, I know it will take a minute for you to be able to continue on. And yes, if I was there I would totally be holding back your hair.) writing. Clearly, it has rattled me.
There is much written about how President Obama limits the choices he has to make each day so he can apply himself to the decisions that matter.
“Cool. I must be presidential.”
I mean, I eat the same breakfast every morning. I own only three pairs of shorts, one pair of flip flops, a half dozen Threadless tshirts, and a rotation of seven boxers (which I tend to replace monthly, and wash more often.). My eating and clothing choices are minimal. You could say they are consistent.
I have other routines that I follow–I have friends that I send a joke to every day around 6p, others that get a quick ‘hello’ IM in the morning. still others get a song every couple of days.–I do the same types of exercise, and I think if you ask my team at Graphicly, they will tell you that I use the same jokes over and over (but they still rock! Right guys? guys?)
Before I moved back to California, I had been seeing a therapist for about six years weekly. He was one of those therapists that liked to talk about feelings and other things that I have a hard time understanding, so most of our sessions went like this:
Therapist: “Anger is really fear, hidden.”
Me: “Shut up. That’s stupid. I am just angry. For example, I am not fearful of this check I am about to write you. It just pisses me off.”
Therapist: “Feelings live on a spectrum from pain to happiness. If you never feel pain, you will never feel happiness.”
Me: “That one I believe, because if I punch you in the face, my hand will hurt, but I will be happy.”
But, he did say something that has stuck with me, and as I have put it into practice have found some deep truth in the concept.
Relationships, in order to work, must be consistent and reliable.
Consistency and reliability breed trust.
And, for me, trust matters most, so consistency reigns.
And, maybe more importantly, I continue to learn to have a relationship (not relations. Fuck you, Drew) with myself, I am realizing that my ability to be consistent and reliable to myself leads to the reality that I trust in myself more often. I trust my decisions and actions. I learn that being me is ok.
After all, if I am going to learn how to trust people, shouldn’t I start with me?