Hello dear reader(s)!

What do you think about rules?

I have a very strange relationship with them.  On the one hand, I am strongly in favor of any rule that helps people live together in harmony; on the other hand, I am strongly opposed to any rule that exists to make people feel better about the actions of another.  For example, I am all for obeying the rules of the road, but I hate the rules that society places on one another over something that doesn’t affect them, or affects them only indirectly.

It is why I am strongly opposed to the drug war, even though drugs aren’t my bag, baby.  (Austin Powers reference, because I can.)  I fail to understand why alcohol is not only sold, but openly celebrated in this culture while safer ways of self medicating are not.  I fail to understand why you can legally get a Big Mac but not an ounce of marijuana.  Not that I want Big Macs banned either, but the two are more closely linked than a lot of people realize.  The arguments for the drug war are the harm these substances do to people.  I can say with some certainty, that the illegality of these substances is not the reason more people die from coronary artery disease than ever will from overdosing on anything.  In fact, in places that have completely decriminalized, overdoses have dropped sharply, and usage has declined as well.  Some people suggest drugs and crime go hand-in-hand, but I assure you, the illegality of the drugs causes more crime than the drugs themselves.  Look at prohibition.

Then there is dress.  We went to see Trainwreck (great movie with the amazing Amy Schumer) and there was this trailer for a movie with Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway.  That trailer made me throw up in my mouth a little.  I do not even remember the name.  The basic premise (as near as I can tell), is that DeNiro is an older gentleman who comes out of retirement to be an intern at some tech company for which Anne Hathaway is the CEO.  His old school style and work ethic makes him become at least friends with Anne Hathaway (though there was definitely some May-December undertones in the trailer).  Sounds fine, but there was a lot of ripping on the tech guys who dressed comfortably for not wearing suits.  There was an implication that they were less of men.  There was also an implication that their dress reflected their abilities and work.  (At least in the trailer.)  That is crap, and I think we should all know it.  Unless you are meeting regularly with a certain type of client, vendor, or customer, you should wear what you are comfortable in.  We were recently at a restaurant where a server had a bandage on her arm to cover a tattoo.  It was far more disconcerting than seeing her tattoo would have been because as she hands you your food, before you knew it was just to cover her tattoo, you are concerned that she has an open wound on her serving arm.  Besides, if everyone is uniform, nobody stands out.  If you run a business, don’t you want to stand out?  If I wanted conformity in my dining experience, I’d suffer at Applebee’s.

And then there is behavior.  After Hannah’s passing, I have taken serious heat from people for needing to step away, or for going out and trying to remember that life can be good, or for thinking about all the great things in life rather than dwelling on the tragedy.  I am sick of it.  If there is anything I have learned, it is that life is short, and it doesn’t stop for everyone because something bad has happened.  So I go out.  I meet people.  I make connections.  That is really all we have, when it comes down to it.  Can’t stop because I lost a very meaningful one.  I’m taking a little “me time” now, and you would think that I have set fire to everything that was part of Hannah.  I do not like being told how to honor her memory, or worrying about how my actions in this time, that do not genuinely affect anyone else, makes them upset because they choose to do things differently.

Last is love.  I truly believe that love is all you need.  What kind of love?  That matters not.  All you need is love.  I get sick of society’s urging that you need a certain life, or to follow a path laid out by people you never met, or to ruin love or a chance at it to follow rules.  It disgusts me.  I have seen love destroyed for the illusion of lives that people were told they needed but it is not them.  I have seen love die over possessions and trying to fit into boxes they were not made for.  I have seen love get killed over what is deemed “proper” or “appropriate”.  I had something very special, to where none of that mattered.  Maybe one day, I will have something that special again.  Who knows?  What I do know is that if I should find something like that again, the only expectations what will matter to me will be whatever I place on myself in order to deepen that love.  It really is the only thing that matters.  Don’t ever let anything get in the way of that, because it will not fulfill you like genuine love can.  I can say that with every confidence of my being.

But I can’t say that as well as was said in these two songs.


Author: Josh Wrenn

Cancer survivor, wanna-be artist, musician, author, and all around good guy.

8 thoughts on “Rules”

  1. I don’t smoke the weed, but I’m for legalization nationwide, and furthermore, the release of those imprisoned because of it.
    I absolutely agree with the tattoo vs band-aid pov, too. I’d much rather see clean, painted skin!
    I don’t really care about clothes, apart from my serious cotton fetish. I live in the real world, though, so I know it matters to other people. For instance, there is a fashion tragedy I’d love to help, but I don’t really know her well enough to offer. I’m certain her clothes keep her from a promotion. I know these things are true, because I’ve been in on meetings and heard employers say cheap shoes, visible tattoos, unconventional haircolor highlights or nail polish meant people didn’t get hired. Teaching criterion has even harsher appearance requirements than other jobs. Is it right? Hell no. Is it how it is? Yup.
    Not only do I think love is what we need, I think in our best forms, we ARE love.
    Re the rest, You hafta do you. Only you can do you. And guess who knew you better than anyone else, and understands how you do you? Mhm. That’s all Imma say about that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Neither do I. Did the oil to get my weight back up and rest, but it was legal there and isn’t here…plus it just isn’t necessary anymore. I find it funny that people are still concerned with professional appearance despite the fact that the most high paying jobs and successful US companies did away with that long ago. And resting, then not resting, but just not living in the darkness.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My nan always said that she wanted us to celebrate her life rather than mourn her death when she’d pass. So when she did at 88 we had cake and music and everybody told great stories about her.
    Yes, death is sad, because you never get to spend time with your loved one again. It’s even sadder when it’s a young person like Hannah.
    But what is the point in wallowing and how long are you allowed to wallow for before these same people will tell you to snap out of it and what the hell are they doing minding your business as opposed to their own and what the hell do they think they’ll achieve by criticising? I got upset there. Rules of the road are quite necessary, but you and only you decide how you live your life!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well put Josh. Best wishes as you pursue your path. Don’t worry yourself about what others think of your journey through your grief. It is your grief after all. There isn’t an ironclad path through it. Just keep being your authentic self and your path will find you organically. She was a beautiful person. She was one of my step daughters life long friends. We will all grieve her in very different ways. I hope you get some reprieve in Alaska. You need it. God bless and God speed!

    Liked by 1 person

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