Response to reader Alex

I received the following comment the other day (link).

Anthony I usually do not comment, as well, I am on my iPhone. But this struck such a chord with me that I had to express my appreciation.

I often think that I will not be able to fully appreciate my father until he dies because I am so stuck in my ways, and he in his, that to expect that our relationship could evolve is too hopeful and will simply leave me more heartbroken once he passes.

Watching you on video I can tell we are both introverted individuals and if you’re like me I’m guessing you haven’t always found it easy to express deep feelings (I am terrible at this but I need to get better ASAP). So I ask you as someone who I relate to: if you knew what you knew today, how would your relationship with curtis look different were you to have the opportunity to talk to him now?

Were there things you never said to him that you wish you had, appreciation you never expressed because of insecurities, feelings you never shared for fear of the outcome? I feel all these things, in varying degrees, for all close relationships. But the one that really tears me apart is my dad. I am 19, he is 67. Our time together passes with each day and the improvement in our relationship is so gradual – I get paralyzed when wanting to be 100% honest with him.

I feel obligated to ask these questions although after writing all that down Im feeling embarrassed and like I shared too much..similar to how I would feel when trying to express my true feelings for those close to me. I apologize for pushing the subject on such a tender issue, truly I hate to bring others into a place of pain.

For your friend Curtis I am deeply sorry. He must have been truly awesome and I’m glad I get to feel his awesomeness through your writing, your intent in life, and the 21 convention mission. I see you turning a shitty situation into the best one possible – and nothing inspires me more. Also I am sorry for the ramble, I dont write nearly enough and it’s rare I will delve into such an emotional topic, so I’m not very good at it. Am hoping somewhat desperately that you will have some life-changing advice on this topic…no pressure. I understand it is my responsibility 100%…but still I would love some guidance from someone on “the other side.”

Thanks brother..

First, I enjoy getting comments from typically silent readers. While I know there are many on this blog, the confirmation itself is a welcomed reminder. A reminder that my audience is much bigger and much wider than it appears at times — not to mention, of an astounding quality. Your comment being especially vivid per that third point. The fact that you are 19, able to think this clearly, and write that well, from an Iphone, is testament to that.

Per your “too hopeful” comment, maybe this will shed some light. I was asked last night by my girlfriend if there were every anything I wished I could do. I thought about the question and quickly realized that it made no sense to me. It was unintelligible because I almost never think in such terms. In the rare cases that I do, my mind quickly shifts from “wish” to what is required of me to accomplish this? The basic premise I am operating on is that there is nothing possible in reality impossible for me to achieve. In other words, if it’s possible in and of itself, it is achieve-able by me.

“Arrogant” as this may sound to the lay reader, this is actually a cornerstone of self-esteem. One that, for whatever reason, I’ve excelled at more so than others throughout the course of my life thus far. What this meas is that no matter how high a goal I set or difficult a struggle I face, it never occurs to me that I can’t win. The thought literally doesn’t make sense to me, for anything. It occurs to me that I may not, am unlikely to succeed, or it is improbable that I will — but at no point do I take the thought, or suggestion from others, that I can’t.

So long as XYZ is based in reality, such a word has no meaning or worth to me, and it never has.

Taking a few steps back, I do not “wish” for things. I form desires, choose values, set goals, and take action to achieve those goals. Even against the worst of odds, I am never letting the concept of “can’t”, cross my mind. In light of this, I would suggest that “if it’s worth doing, it’s worth over doing”, meaning, if it’s worth being hopeful, it’s worth being “so hopeful” that you are actually convinced you can succeed in your efforts.

Even in the face of a large age gap, rapidly vanishing time, concretized emotional boundaries, etc. Difficult does not mean impossible or even improbable.

If anything it means the effort is worthwhile.

~~~

Regarding the introverted comment, you are correct on both accounts. If you recognize it in me it sounds like you are recognizing the same or similar attributes in yourself, and I have long since confirmed and accepted that I am an introvert, if not outright “anti-social” by conventional standards.

Per the expression of deep emotions comment, you are correct there as well, at least on a face to face basis. This is less so however in abstract thought chiseled away at via writing though. For a long while now I have felt very open in expressing myself in all regards via text, hand written or typed. So far as I can tell this is because I enjoy and excel at thinking in and writing in wide abstracts, significantly wider than most people care to think in with any sort of consistency, and dramatically wider than most people are willing to openly write in.

… if you knew what you knew today, how would your relationship with curtis look different were you to have the opportunity to talk to him now?

If my knowledge were what it is now — and the wisdom to apply it were also present — back when Curtis was alive, I would be more of myself — I would be who I am now, then — and the relationship would undoubtedly be different. It would be more mature, because I would be more mature.

In what specific ways this would look is a difficult question to answer however, in large part I think because Curtis in memory and in concept is so close to me, my own self-concept, and my fundamental view of life, existence, and man. Grasping the question is like trying to grasp everything I know to be true all at once and holding it in the palm of my hand.

Even so, my basic and immediate answer is that in being more mature, it would be more conscious, and more courageous. I would be more aware of the elements of the friendship, what made it so unique, and what made it a once in a lifetime opportunity. I would be more courageous, honest, and open in my responses to and around Curtis — in an attempt to equal or even best those traits that he expressed around me that are exceedingly rare to find in any relationship.

Per your question, and assuming I am still aware of what it is like for Curtis to be “absent” in this scenario where he is now alive, I would cherish every second I spent with him to the degree appropriate in the given context — meaning to the degree that his knowledge and wisdom permitted him to reciprocate the experience of our friendship back at me in ways (and to the degree) that it made sense to him.

The same can be said of any relationship. Context and individual respects must be taken into account, otherwise you end up blurting out a bunch of emotions and thoughts that make no sense to a person. Even with the best of intentions, you are damaging the relationship and confusing the individual on the receiving end of that. This is the difference between effective communication and over communication. It is the rare individual on earth who can “keep up” with someone possessing astronomically greater amounts of knowledge and wisdom without becoming confused, offended, and alienated

Were there things you never said to him that you wish you had, appreciation you never expressed because of insecurities, feelings you never shared for fear of the outcome?

The only regret I carry is not saying “I” in the fragmented last sentence to him “… love you man”. Given the depth and significance of the friendship however this is a small regret though and one I do not think of often. On the flip side, and in a more general sense, I think we both would have benefited if I were more consistent in this sentiment throughout the latter years of his life. I do not view this as a regret though because I was so young and still in the midst of maturing into an adult, let alone the relationship maturing in and of itself. I don’t know of any insecurities I experienced while friends and in the context of the friendship, with Curtis.

That was the great thing about being friends with Curtis. You always felt secure around him and you never felt threatened — he was too focused on himself to bother with threatening anyone. Such a thing, I think, did not make sense to him, consciously or sub-consciously.

I feel all these things, in varying degrees, for all close relationships. But the one that really tears me apart is my dad. I am 19, he is 67. Our time together passes with each day and the improvement in our relationship is so gradual – I get paralyzed when wanting to be 100% honest with him.

The first part of this comment I think answers the rest. The answer is that it’s not about the other person it’s about you. The fact that you experience this across a broad range of close relationships is evidence to this. So, short and simple as this is, I would say focus more on yourself and less on your father. It’ not about him — your life is about you.

I feel obligated to ask these questions although after writing all that down Im feeling embarrassed and like I shared too much..similar to how I would feel when trying to express my true feelings for those close to me. I apologize for pushing the subject on such a tender issue, truly I hate to bring others into a place of pain.

I believe you are correct in that the feeling of embarrassment you get from writing about this is stemming from the same place and the same source. I would say you are not obligated to do anything you do not choose to obligate yourself to, so the feeling of obligation is without reason. I also see no reason for you to be embarrassed, so, blunt as this question may be, do you?

I understand that regardless, this is how you felt upon writing this comment, and maybe so now, but the question remains independent of that feeling. Do you see a valid reason to feel embarrassed?

Again, I certainly don’t. If anything, you have quite the pair of coconut sized nuts for posting a comment like this on TDL.

Per pushing the tender issue, you are correct that it is “tender” to me, but it is only painful on occasion, such as when I visit physical locations he and I used to visit together. Visiting such locations with someone else I care very much about naturally makes the experience more intense and reminiscent of the depth of friendship I held with Curtis.

So, don’t sweat it =). I enjoy writing about Curtis as much as anything or anyone else I highly value.

For your friend Curtis I am deeply sorry. He must have been truly awesome and I’m glad I get to feel his awesomeness through your writing, your intent in life, and the 21 convention mission. I see you turning a shitty situation into the best one possible – and nothing inspires me more. Also I am sorry for the ramble, I dont write nearly enough and it’s rare I will delve into such an emotional topic, so I’m not very good at it. Am hoping somewhat desperately that you will have some life-changing advice on this topic…no pressure. I understand it is my responsibility 100%…but still I would love some guidance from someone on “the other side.”

I’m glad to see how clearly you understand most or all of my writing. This is a great reward for running this blog and expressing myself on a consistent basis and I thank you for that. No sweat on the ramble, your comment was well written. It probably only felt long because you typed it on your phone.

Per the life changing advice, I have no idea how much or in what way my advice will help, but I hope it does to a significant degree. In all cases, I suggest reading the work of Nathaniel Branden.

— Anthony Dream Johnson

About Anthony Dream Johnson

CEO, founder, and architect of The 21 Convention, Anthony Dream Johnson is the leading force behind the world's first and only "panorama event for life on earth". He has been featured on WGN Chicago, and in the NY Times #1 best seller The Four Hour Work Week.    His stated purpose for the work he does is "the actualization of the ideal man", a purpose that has led him to found and host The 21 Convention across 3 continents and for 6 years in a row. Anthony blogs vigorously at TheDreamLounge.net and Declarationism.com.

One Response to Response to reader Alex

  1. Alex September 30, 2011 at 7:21 am #

    { [ ( I had to create a legend to read the following. It is as follows ) ] }

    { { { } } } {{{Anthony’s response to original comment}}} { { { } } }

    ( ( ( ) ) ) (((Alex’s OLD quotes from original comment))) ( ( ( ) ) )

    [ [ [ ] ] ] [[[Alex’s NEW response to Anthony’s response]]] [ [ [ ] ] ]

    [[[Sorry if this is hard to read, I wrote it in Word using different colored text, didn’t transfer over so tried to make it work]]]

    {{{First, I enjoy getting comments from typically silent readers. While I know there are many on this blog, the confirmation itself is a welcomed reminder. A reminder that my audience is much bigger and much wider than it appears at times — not to mention, of an astounding quality. Your comment being especially vivid per that third point. The fact that you are 19, able to think this clearly, and write that well, from an Iphone, is testament to that.}}}

    [[[Thanks man. Yeah I tend to stay silent… I don’t know how you came to the conclusion that I am of “astounding quality” – regardless, it means a lot coming from someone I look up to and I appreciate it… I can honestly say a big part of my growth is because of you and the convention, and people like you. (Many of whom I was privileged to learn from because of the convention.)

    This is why I can say with conviction that I feel Curtis through you and the convention; in particular I feel his awesomeness. Even though I will never meet him, ever – I know his awesomeness very dearly as if it were my own – he has indirectly changed my life and continues to still to this day. Which is incredible. Truly a testament to the depth of power and sphere of influence one can have, even after death, when diligently applying certain principles to his or her life.]]]

    {{{Per your “too hopeful” comment, maybe this will shed some light. I was asked last night by my girlfriend if there were every anything I wished I could do. I thought about the question and quickly realized that it made no sense to me. It was unintelligible because I almost never think in such terms. In the rare cases that I do, my mind quickly shifts from “wish” to what is required of me to accomplish this? The basic premise I am operating on is that there is nothing possible in reality impossible for me to achieve. In other words, if it’s possible in
    and of itself, it is achieve-able by me.}}}

    [[[I don’t know when I adopted this belief as my own, it was somewhere along my self-development journey… I will say with certainty that adopting this belief has changed the course of my life in the best way possible. It has opened up my future in very inspiring ways. But I don’t pretend I can achieve anything, anytime, with ease. I cannot. (I’m not saying you think this either, I don’t think you do).]]]

    {{{“Arrogant” as this may sound to the lay reader; this is actually a cornerstone of self-esteem. One that, for whatever reason, I’ve excelled at moreso than others throughout the course of my life thus far. What this means is that no matter how high a goal I set or difficult a struggle I face, it never occurs to me that I can’t win. The thought literally doesn’t make sense to me, for anything. It occurs to me that I may not, am unlikely to succeed, or it is improbable that I will — but at no point do I take the thought, or suggestion from others, that I can’t.
    So long as XYZ is based in reality, such a word has no meaning or worth to me, and it never has.}}}

    [[[Occasionally I say things to my parents, alluding to the direction and magnitude of the plans I have for the future. I tell them I’m going to change the world (and I mean it!), I shamelessly compare myself to Bill Gates and Martin Luther King to get certain points across, and they laugh. My mom even got mad at me (“Stop saying you’re Bill Gates, Alex! You’re not Bill Gates!”)

    Honestly these days I find it hilarious because when I say these things to them, I’m only informing them of my personal plans. I’m not asking their opinion on whether it can be done, or how hard it will be – I have already decided it can be, and will be done – and yet they are telling me it cannot be done and to “be realistic.”

    In the past I have gotten mad at them and others for this- but then I realized- that to accept the challenge of reaching such a position demands the endurance of skepticism – as Bill Gates and MLK undoubtedly endured when introducing radical ideas to the world, life changing ideas. If these ideas were accepted easily across the board and without skepticism, I realized, there’d be no point in trying to spread them in the first place.

    Their skepticism reinforced to me that I was thinking in the right ways- I was triggering a part of their brain that hadn’t been triggered before, resulting naturally in skepticism at something “unknown” (ie MLK “I have a dream” speech/idea – lots of people were skeptical because whites and blacks had never been on the “same team” before. Skepticism is natural in such a situation and therefore necessary to accept beforehand. If nobody was skeptical there’d be no need to give the speech, everyone would simply agree that he was on to something. But since they didn’t make it easy for him, he had to summon all his resources to become one of Life’s greatest and most inspirational heroes).

    Sometimes my parents would offer words of encouragement, but typically they leave the conversation thinking I have my “head in the clouds” – they find it hard to believe that I as a single entity can stretch my own sphere of influence to a grand scale.]]]

    {{{Taking a few steps back, I do not “wish” for things. I form desires, choose values, set goals, and take action to achieve those goals. Even against the worst of odds, I am never letting the concept of “can’t”, cross my mind. In light of this, I would suggest that “if it’s worth doing, it’s worth over doing”, meaning, if it’s worth being hopeful, it’s worth being “so hopeful” that you are actually convinced you can succeed in your efforts.
    Even in the face of a large age gap, rapidly vanishing time, concretized emotional boundaries, etc. Difficult does not mean impossible or even improbable.
    If anything it means the effort is worthwhile.}}}

    [[[Powerful words. Thank you.]]]

    ~~~

    {{{Regarding the introverted comment, you are correct on both accounts. If you recognize it in me it sounds like you are recognizing the same or similar attributes in yourself, and I have long since confirmed and accepted that I am an introvert, if not outright “anti-social” by conventional standards.}}}

    [[[Yes, certain key traits I recognize in both myself and in you. The anti-social comment sounds like it could describe me too, but I’m working hard to change that one.]]]

    {{{Per the expression of deep emotions comment, you are correct there as well, at least on a face to face basis. This is less so however in abstract thought chiseled away at via writing though. For a long while now I have felt very open in expressing myself in all regards via text, hand written or typed. So far as I can tell this is because I enjoy and excel at thinking in and writing in wide abstracts, significantly wider than most people care to think in with any sort of consistency, and dramatically wider than most people are willing to openly write in.}}}

    [[[This is interesting because I never realized this about myself until you wrote that, but I have a much harder time face-to-face as well, and most times when I have expressed something from the depths of my being, has been through writing. I, too feel much more comfortable expressing my truest and deepest thoughts and ideas through text. For me I don’t know why this is. All I know is I have always been able to write… however my speaking skills need to catch up.]]]

    (((… if you knew what you knew today, how would your relationship with curtis look different were you to have the opportunity to talk to him now?)))

    {{{If my knowledge were what it is now — and the wisdom to apply it were also present — back when Curtis was alive, I would be more of myself — I would be who I am now, then — and the relationship would undoubtedly be different. It would be more mature, because I would be more mature.}}}

    [[[This is helpful.]]]

    {{{In what specific ways this would look is a difficult question to answer however, in large part I think because Curtis in memory and in concept is so close to me, my own self-concept, and my fundamental view of life, existence, and man. Grasping the question is like trying to grasp everything I know to be true all at once and holding it in the palm of my hand.}}}

    [[[As intangible as that is, it resonates very deeply with me.]]]

    {{{Even so, my basic and immediate answer is that in being more mature, it would be more conscious, and more courageous. I would be more aware of the elements of the friendship, what made it so unique, and what made it a once in a lifetime opportunity. I would be more courageous, honest, and open in my responses to and around Curtis — in an attempt to equal or even best those traits that he expressed around me that are exceedingly rare to find in any relationship.}}}

    [[[The idea of equaling or besting the positive traits of those around you… I like that. Very empowering frame.]]]

    {{{Per your question, and assuming I am still aware of what it is like for Curtis to be “absent” in this scenario where he is now alive, I would cherish every second I spent with him to the degree appropriate in the given context — meaning to the degree that his knowledge and wisdom permitted him to reciprocate the experience of our friendship back at me in ways (and to the degree) that it made sense to him.}}}

    [[[I love that you added “to the degree appropriate in the given context — meaning to the degree that his knowledge and wisdom permitted him to reciprocate the experience of our friendship back at me in ways (and to the degree) that it made sense to him” – this is the part I have not been able to figure out. I obviously knew I had to cherish every second with my dad…that’s the easy part. The detail you added here has been the missing link in that area for me. When I read it, it just clicked. Thank you.]]]

    {{{The same can be said of any relationship. Context and individual respects must be taken into account, otherwise you end up blurting out a bunch of emotions and thoughts that make no sense to a person. Even with the best of intentions, you are damaging the relationship and confusing the individual on the receiving end of that. This is the difference between effective communication and over communication. It is the rare individual on earth who can “keep up” with someone possessing astronomically greater amounts of knowledge and wisdom without becoming confused, offended, and alienated.}}}

    [[[I’m guilty of this, big time. When I started to express myself more to close friends and family, I did a lot of “blurting.” Indeed, oftentimes it made little sense to the other person. Certainly with good intentions I have sabotaged relationships by doing this. With my dad in particular this happens, and he is the most important person I be absolutely clear with. There’s little room for confusion on his end, and that’s up to me to ensure that.

    Effective communication vs. over communication. Great distinction. I used to under communicate, so my tendency then I think was to over communicate.

    Not sure what you mean by this (although I agree)… What’s the context- “It is the rare individual on earth who can “keep up” with someone possessing astronomically greater amounts of knowledge and wisdom without becoming confused, offended, and alienated.”]]]

    (((Were there things you never said to him that you wish you had, appreciation you never expressed because of insecurities, feelings you never shared for fear of the outcome?)))

    {{{The only regret I carry is not saying “I” in the fragmented last sentence to him “… love you man”. Given the depth and significance of the friendship however this is a small regret though and one I do not think of often. On the flip side, and in a more general sense, I think we both would have benefited if I were more consistent in this sentiment throughout the latter years of his life. I do not view this as a regret though because I was so young and still in the midst of maturing into an adult, let alone the relationship maturing in and of itself. I don’t know of any insecurities I experienced while friends and in the context of the friendship, with Curtis.}}}

    [[[That’s fantastically inspiring and something I haven’t experienced yet, even with my closest friends. Although I have come close, and I get closer every day.]]]

    {{{That was the great thing about being friends with Curtis. You always felt secure around him and you never felt threatened — he was too focused on himself to bother with threatening anyone. Such a thing, I think, did not make sense to him, consciously or sub-consciously.}}}

    (((I feel all these things, in varying degrees, for all close relationships. But the one that really tears me apart is my dad. I am 19, he is 67. Our time together passes with each day and the improvement in our relationship is so gradual – I get paralyzed when wanting to be 100% honest with him.)))

    {{{The first part of this comment I think answers the rest. The answer is that it’s not about the other person it’s about you. The fact that you experience this across a broad range of close relationships is evidence to this. So, short and simple as this is, I would say focus more on yourself and less on your father. It’ not about him — your life is about you.}}}

    [[[Although this may be the crux of the advice right here, and I think it is – I am having a hard time accepting it in my brain. I don’t know how to make it click. I feel once it does I will be unstoppable.]]]

    (((I feel obligated to ask these questions although after writing all that down Im feeling embarrassed and like I shared too much..similar to how I would feel when trying to express my true feelings for those close to me. I apologize for pushing the subject on such a tender issue, truly I hate to bring others into a place of pain.)))

    {{{I believe you are correct in that the feeling of embarrassment you get from writing about this is stemming from the same place and the same source. I would say you are not obligated to do anything you do not choose to obligate yourself to, so the feeling of obligation is without reason. I also see no reason for you to be embarrassed, so, blunt as this question may be, do you?}}}

    [[[I say I feel obligated because although some part of me (the child in me) would rather put off feeling pain for a little while, another part (the old man in me) knows I have to take certain steps forward regardless of how I feel at this moment. If I had not asked these questions I would have felt like I was allowing these bad habits to continue – something I’m not willing to accept.

    Regarding the embarrassment, I have to be honest- I still feel it a little. It is because in some way wish I wasn’t in a position where I had to ask these questions… I’m not living up to my own standards by having to ask these questions in the first place.

    Definitely I felt a little embarrassed while writing it, but it also felt good to get it out – like a burst of fireworks – I couldn’t help but write it. When I really felt the embarrassment was after writing and posting it.

    For two days after posting, I checked back a few times a day. No response… I began to feel incredibly embarrassed. I figured you had ignored it since you hadn’t commented on it, and its weird even though I like you I pictured you looking upon the comment as a hassle or something. I don’t know. Definitely an insecurity with myself I will have to check out deeper. Logging on again to find an entire blog post dedicated to me made me embarrassed to have misjudged you. Lots of embarrassment……hmm…

    As an exercise in honesty, Ill reveal more. I thought about deleting it the next day when there was no response yet. But alas, no delete button. If there had been one, I think I would have deleted it. I’m glad there was no delete option for a few reasons – the primary being there are no delete buttons in life. If I posted it in the first place, I had better believed what I had said- why do things in life if you’re going to regret it the next day. Which means there is no VALID need to feel embarrassed.

    Ill be even more honest. I even thought about (as weird as this sounds) posting as a different poster replying to myself saying something like ^this guy, nobody cares bro. I don’t know why this is. Honestly I don’t, it’s a weird instinct. Almost a way to relieve the pressure of getting no response to something that is such a big deal in my life, I don’t know. I didn’t end up doing it so no need to think too deeply into that one, but an interesting side note I thought I should share nonetheless.

    …I think I look at my thoughts as burdensome… I just realized it as I was typing right now. I was thinking as I was typing, man, Anthony doesn’t give a shit about any of this, why am I writing so much – very similar to how I felt in my initial post. The reason I’m responding now despite this limiting belief is because you wrote such a fantastic personal response back and I owe it to you, and myself. On top of that what you wrote was loaded with encouragement. Even then though my brain tries to make it into “Anthony is just being politely nice to me so that Ill leave him alone” (…you can imagine the issues I have with girls.)]]]

    {{{I understand that regardless, this is how you felt upon writing this comment, and maybe so now, but the question remains independent of that feeling. Do you see a valid reason to feel embarrassed?

    Again, I certainly don’t. If anything, you have quite the pair of coconut sized nuts for posting a comment like this on TDL.}}}

    [[[Again, I appreciate this, a lot. And I don’t really have a valid reason to be embarrassed. But I have trouble seeing it as having coconut-sized nuts. That, I don’t get – although I do like your view better than mine.]]]

    {{{Per pushing the tender issue, you are correct that it is “tender” to me, but it is only painful on occasion, such as when I visit physical locations he and I used to visit together. Visiting such locations with someone else I care very much about naturally makes the experience more intense and reminiscent of the depth of friendship I held with Curtis.

    So, don’t sweat it =). I enjoy writing about Curtis as much as anything or anyone else I highly value.}}}

    [[[It’s very comforting to know that you can find enjoyment in writing about him and not just pain. It gives me confidence that I will be able to take on a similar attitude once my dad passes.]]]

    (((For your friend Curtis I am deeply sorry. He must have been truly awesome and I’m glad I get to feel his awesomeness through your writing, your intent in life, and the 21 convention mission. I see you turning a shitty situation into the best one possible – and nothing inspires me more. Also I am sorry for the ramble, I dont write nearly enough and it’s rare I will delve into such an emotional topic, so I’m not very good at it. Am hoping somewhat desperately that you will have some life-changing advice on this topic…no pressure. I understand it is my responsibility 100%…but still I would love some guidance from someone on “the other side.”)))

    {{{I’m glad to see how clearly you understand most or all of my writing. This is a great reward for running this blog and expressing myself on a consistent basis and I thank you for that. No sweat on the ramble, your comment was well written. It probably only felt long because you typed it on your phone.}}}

    [[[I’m very glad you were able to pull some value from my comment; it is the least I can do for all you’ve done for me so far (and the world) not to mention this long personal letter of great advice when I know you’re a very busy dude. Really appreciate it man, cant thank you enough.

    I feel we will meet one day, and I look forward to it. Again thanks, it really meant a lot to me (shockingly so) to log on to TDL, having grudgingly accepted that I posted an embarrassing comment, which I was sure would get no response to because “nobody cares Alex,” to then find a post title with my name in it. So awesome and such a better response than I could have imagined or hoped for.]]]

    {{{Per the life changing advice, I have no idea how much or in what way my advice will help, but I hope it does to a significant degree. In all cases, I suggest reading the work of Nathaniel Branden.
    – Anthony Dream Johnson }}}

    [[[To be honest it will take some time to integrate these ideas, I don’t expect an overnight life change. Just some shifts here and there. This was full of golden nuggets, which Ill be able to apply for life. A priceless gift in my opinion, so thanks for that. Perhaps the most important thing I learned was to try first, and see what happens later. If I hadn’t posted my comment, what would have happened then…we shall never know. I hope to approach the relationship with my father in this way…

    Thanks man. Ill post more often.

    -Alex ]]]

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