Thursday, 6 October 2011

Thursday, October 6.

I’m lying on my bed, balls up, like a G.

Its raining.

And the pitter patter of the rain around my room matches the beating of my heart which, oddly, has given me a bit of impetus to stand up and open my computer. All is well in my world once more, the last few months have been less calamitous, and frankly a little boring, but do I wish for calamitous days to return? I do not know. All I wish for nowadays, is to lie down and read. Fill my brain with information, facts, true and untrue, proven and unproven. Or sometimes, just lie down ….. And exist. And talk? BBM? I have promised myself to write a new story, (I did promise myself this about two months ago) and I will. But the thought process and events required for this to take place have been sort of far removed from the person that I am right now.

What shall I say tho? I’m bursting full of thoughts and things to expose, I’m not sure where to start. In fact, I’m so filled up, I’m stumped. But I’m used to it, and if you’re used to me, you’ll know that it’s the randomest of events that lead me to share my thoughts…

My life has been hard. My childhood was hard. The only outwardly easy part was so pseudo that even pseudo defeats the intent of using pseudo for that period. I’ve always been enthralled with hard. Which is why, coming to think of it, anything that is easy scares the fuck outta me. Anything easy, anything perfect, puts me the fuck off. So if you want to tell me a the truth, even the most perfect of “truths” will not appeal to me. Maybe that’s why I so blatantly reject the idea of a perfect and easy Jehovah? I do not know. But still, I digress. I have met so many people in the past few months, not on a platonic level, and not on a sexual level either, more like on a personal level and as usual, has led me to the discovery of so many unheeded yet important facts, which must be recorded later. Chief of which is the humbling discovery that I might have been wrong in one of my assertions.

I was wrong.

This is unbelievably astonishing, because I weigh all my words, actions and decisions through and through, even the “on-the-spur” decisions, and most times, I leave no room for mistakes, or willfully and knowingly make mistakes in order to make the ride less boring… But on this I was wrong. Ill start at the beginning. A counselor at a point in my life tried to dispel a dysfunctional belief I had the time of trying to blame everybody else for things which happened to me. I blamed everyone. My mother, my teachers, my friends even the fucking gateman in front of the bank for my woes. I shackled myself in a cage of delusion and proudly wore the key around my neck. I learned, as I have always sought to scream to anyone who cared to listen, that my life is my own fucking drama, I direct it, I do what I will and the universe will respond in accordance. And so, when I discovered that I was bored of and with sex, it seemed ghoulishly absurd to me that I should blame myself in that respect. On what basis? I was bored with it, it wasn’t me who created it, I wasn’t having sex with myself, so why in anyway should I blame ME for it? I brought with it (the boredom with sex) a kind of new found peace, so that I forgot to blame myself for it. My attitude towards the sexual act had become varied. Of course one can claim this as a consequence of growth, which I won't deny, but instead demand to expand upon.

Musing, I had asserted, and hold it, it is admitted I did believe this theory to be the most sincere at the time, that I was uninterested because most girls now, sexually, render me completely disinterested. I claimed that, I simply hadn't found anyone to satisfy my mind. To satisfy my body, I will admit to have found but I had found no one to ensure the harmony of both in receiving profuse amounts of pleasure. The fusion? Mind & Body? I claimed I was wanting, not a quickie, but a 12 hour session.
But then, as always, the laws of the universe prevail.

I was searching for something, something was missing. My ego and persona is what generally enthralls these beings. You know? What they think I am? What they think I can do? They lose their composure, their dignity, any sense of pride when I'm inside of them. Their perception of me, my niceness, my eerie silence, my ability to at least satisfy the very few people I have slept with is what drove the opposite sex wild, my body is what controlled all discernment. They knew nothing about me, they only knew what I felt like or what they thought I felt like and that was more than enough for them to hand me their strings. I, my soul that is, had little to do and found my actions monotonous, repetitious and inevitably, at long last, boring. I received the same compliments, the same journey to obsession on their part, it was basically scripted and my mind had memorized it all. See, I've had a lot of meaningless sex. Meaningless to me that is. Inconsequential for me, best I ever had for them. Imagine. They believed what I perceived as mediocrity, excellence. And I began to seek, to seek for an aware soul. For someone to the nakedness that is ME, to connect and fuse. But now, I'm not asking for them to change at all. I'm not even asking, for an aware soul, I'm not asking for a deeper connection, because asking for any of those things would imply that the problem is outside of myself.

I was bored, because my mind demanded a challenge, a greater challenge. The chase used to be over in a matter of minutes, what used to enthrall you completely, now, disgusts. I have grown and been forced to demand more of myself in almost every aspect of my life, so it is only logical that this should reflect in my relations with the opposite sex. This method being, whereas, watching the face of a girl I was driving insane with a few soft touches and feeding on the moist cavity that is between her legs, driving a girl insane with a simple sentence provides an even larger prey for my gun. (Pun Unintended).

The physical is too easy, that's all there is to it.

So there it is, that is why, the real reason why, I honestly do not ever feel like taking my clothes off to have sex anymore. I am sexually dissatisfied because I demand a harder drug than just sex.

I demand love.

The ability to love so wantonly that I do not have to do anything to arouse your interest? I want to make a girl feel eternal just by brushing my fingertips against the back of her neck, if that simple action, laden with copious amounts of love can warm your entire body, then what will all of me do? What will you do when you finally experience all of me? I rarely do the foolish, but I seek to find ‘she’ who will spur me to do the utterly unreasonable and completely stupid without laying with me first? You know, I'm just trying to do it bigger that's all. Naturally, I must evolve, increase and grow stronger.

Plain sex, is too easy, there's no real pleasure in it for me anymore. So, in conclusion, I just wanted to clarify myself and let it be known that I'm not fucking because I'm waiting for a turbo XL, custom made, unfettered pussy. No, I'm not fucking, because I want to own your soul. And I want you to own mine.

Why? Because it is hard. I love hard. (Again, pun completely unintended, except you mean nipples of course).

I flourish in the face of impossible. I expand, evolve and grow, in the face of the unknown. It's not that I'm not sexually attracted to the female body anymore, it's that I'm more sexually attracted to the workings of the female mind. And you know how fucking complex that is? No excuses, lovers are way more fun than fuck buddies. You know, the fun is in the fear? The fear of the fall? Fuck buddying to me right now is like playing a game of darts, and instead of using darts, you hurl “cooked spaghetti” at the dart board? You don’t understand? Never mind.

Haha. Well, the process has already begun. I am about a month and a half into it. And I have about four months to go.

I don’t have school this semester. Unfettered surroundings, less responsibilities in which to grow, to expand in the face of difficult.

The universe speaks. I dare not turn away.

And oh, Steve Jobs, you might have been a tad off track. Stay Full (satisfied), Stay Foolish.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

You've got to find what you love.

Well, he's dead. I rarely quote out whole speeches a blogpost, but I liked this man.

So as a tribute to him, this is one of his best speeches, ever. I hope it speaks to your heart as much as it did to mine.

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: "We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?" They said: "Of course." My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it's likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down - that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn't even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor's code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you'd have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I'm fine now.

This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope it's the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.