Meet Teddy; My Inner White, Privileged Male PT. 1 of the Ego
"Hey I'm Teddy."
"My two favorite things, getting drunk and using my dick."
"No I'm not gonna tell that idiot I have feelings for them, if they aren't begging to be with me, fuck them."
"Feelings! Ha! What the fuck are those, anyway? Are you calling me gay? I'll show you gay! ...Wait."
"Yeah, I'm cool with equal rights, I just don't get why people act like they don't have them?"
"Why does everyone complain so much, it's like shut up, life is chill, everyone should be more grateful."
"You should pull yourself up off the ground, because if I can get my parents to pay for my rehab, you can like, get a job hobo."
We all have an ego - unless you’ve transcended beyond it, but if you're reading this you likely haven't. Teddy is the "I'm too good for this shit" element that makes up my ego - (see below). There's also the "I'm not good enough" part of my ego whom I've named Brynn - she's my drunk-alter-ego/broken-inner-child/privileged-white-bitch who you'll meet int PT. 2 of the Ego next week.
You could think of Teddy as the cocky, senseless, babbling, dickhead inside of you - you know you have one. It’s the part of us that doesn’t want to take no for an answer because we're owed things and we deserve them god dammit. Our egos enjoy labels, definitions, and categories with which we compartmentalize the Earth and its beings. It's the selfish, self-driven part of us, and although it can get us “far” in life that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s an overall happy or fulfilling life. It’s the part of us that in reality is lonely and aching for a hug, but wouldn’t dare ask for one, because that would be gay as shit. (Teddy said gay as shit, not me.)
Ego (noun) - The voice in your head that narrates your life and makes you feel like the "you" you believe yourself to be. The trick to the ego is that you can’t really get rid of it, you just have to first become aware of it and assess how long it's been running things, and then take control and learn to live beside it. Your ego tells you you’re separate from the world, that you’re in fact a “you.” It can be somewhat of a contradiction however because the ego can tell you you're too good for everything, but can also tell you you're not good enough. But if you meditate (literally) on this long enough you’ll realize you’re just space dust with consciousness and you’re no separate from the water you drink, the ground you walk on, or the friends and foes you keep. I’m you and you’re me, man. See also: Any recent interviews with Jim Carrey (The Messiah).
We all have a part of us whether great or small who wants to own, fuck, and conquer any and everything that comes in our wake. We didn’t intentionally create this element of us, it’s a biological part of our brains - although whichever society you’re in encourages it for better or worse. During the dawn of human history we needed an internal voice telling us we deserved more and to keep going or we would’ve died off before we could even get started. But by now most of us living in a western society (as in you and most definitely me) don't forage or hunt for our own food and don't worry how we'll build shelter and eventually entire civilizations which made this element in thought vital at the time.
Now days we just roam around searching for ways to fill the empty pit in our heart that remains after having our basic needs met (not speaking for everyone obviously because those who don't have their basic needs met probably don't have existentialism quite the way we do) that keeps begging "I still need something more! Keep searching, it's just over there!" But the good news and the bad news is that we get to “choose” whether we feed this part of us, suppress it, loathe it, or downright live unaware of it aka Donald Trumpin' it. When this choice becomes apparent to us is another conversation, but once you realize it’s a choice - it is.
Teddy is an asshole. But he is a part of me. And learning how to embrace yet stand up to him has become a new task in my life. I’ve decided giving each of my alter ego's names is helpful for me in how I deal with them and assess where they came from. It’s tricky understanding we can be good people overall with parts of ourselves that aren’t. It’s a landscape that many of us don’t dare to navigate because it’s “easier” somehow to live under the fallacy that we just are a certain way instead of questioning or attempting to make sense of why. Maybe, although Teddy is a total bro who I've surely faced palmed myself for sleeping with before, he's actually just lonely and confused and needs a hug. Maybe it’s time I allow this part of me to get some love. We can’t bury the parts of us we don’t like… trust me I’ve tried. We’ve all tried.
I wish our issues were actual conscious beings so we could sit them down face to face and pose questions like, “Hey Teddy boy, who hurt you? What’s going on?” But they're not. Our issues are not tangible, just something we’ve conceptualized in our minds. But our minds aren't here to harm us the way we often let them. You just have to learn to work with your mind, and the best way to do that is to learn more about it. Learning to understand our minds without panic and disdain is the real task at hand. I know Teddy was raised, similar to wolves, by a pack of middle-class, white people and he's an only child. Luckily his family is super open-minded and never enforced religion on him or he'd have killed a hooker by now, but he still had privilege engrained in him and didn't realize until recently that being privileged was like, a thing - like kind of this shitty thing that blocked his world view for the worse. I had to break the news, he's been taking it kind of hard. Poor guy.
I feel for Teddy, but I refuse to let him sit in the driver seat anymore. Never practicing self-awareness is how these elements take over, almost like autopilot. Spending a life lost in your head is a waste of precious energy that could be used improving your mental clarity instead of fogging it. You have to understand there will always be elements in each of us we don't like. It's just how much we identify with them or live unaware of them that gets us acting like maniacs. Which is fun enough in your 20's, but it's way too exhausting to sustain an entire lifetime living like a pre-pubescent girl whose period is knocking.
We have to understand that each emotion we have plays a role at varying points in time so we can assess if we should leave or stay - run or fight - in any given situation. It’s only when our emotions take over that we lose ourselves… whoever that is. Truth be told we’re not really anyone. We’re just a series of experiences and the more we attach ourselves to those experiences the less we’re able to morph into the brilliant powerhouses we’re able to be. Being a brilliant powerhouse means something different to everyone. It should be clear it has nothing to do with how much money you make or how many people like you on Instagram, but rather your willingness to live a bold life doing what "you" want to do - not only in the vein of what your ego and society tell you. Whether that’s performing on Broadway, sharing your art with the world, or finally quitting all the drinking and drug use that hasn't gotten you fucking anywhere. Some of us get paid for our passions, others do them in their spare time, neither is right or wrong, but putting energy into the things we actually enjoy is really fucking important. Finally admitting that a way of life isn't serving you is even more important.
Our egos will often argue with us that we need to do what's smart and what society says we should do. We need good, high-paying jobs so we can buy shit we don't need. All of these things offer a supposed, eternal happiness but there is the lie in and of itself. Happiness is fleeting. We're fleeting. Who I was a year ago isn't even close to who I am now. And it hasn't been comfortable or easy letting go of the identity I believed myself to be - even though I didn't care much for that identity, it's all I knew.
My identity for the last two decades has been that of a trainwreck. She's not gone, I still have attachments to her. Like I said, letting go isn't easy. And sometimes I still trainwreck (old habits fucking die hard, man). It's a journey and one that doesn't end (until you die I guess). It takes work everyday. But you start by doing the things that make you feel the most vulnerable and uncomfortable. For me it's been writing my very own blog with my name on it, getting on a stage and saying the thoughts I feel about the world, drinking less because I'm not ready to let go all the way... yet, and finally accepting I'll never be a size 0. Teddy all along the way (even still) will try to tell me, "You're kind of fat, and no one thinks you're that funny - you're kind of annoying, and you shouldn't live out loud because you'll disappoint people - especially your parents. You're dumb, this idea is bad, you need more money or you're going to die. Take 4 shots, I promise it'll be different this time." But I had to push Teddy aside and say, "fuck off bro." You're just scared, Teddy. You're scared I'm gonna Edward Norton/Tyler Durden your ass and shoot my own face off to kill you. But I don't need you dead, I just need you to pipe the fuck down bruh.
Change is painful. Growing into your life and evolving is no painless process. Your entire life will be nothing but highs and lows of pain and joy, and a mix of everything in-between. So you're going to have to go ahead and stop imagining it's anything else and learn to find solace within it. Surely you've heard about the butterfly? I know it’s a pretty typical creature representing change, but do you actually know about the transformation that takes place to become a butterfly? Here’s the deal. Butterflies start as caterpillars. Duh, we know this. But listen, the period in which the caterpillar goes into the cocoon to begin morphing into its next phase in life is painful as fuck. The caterpillar resists.
It wails “But I’m a caterpillar, what is happening? Why can’t life just be as it was? Why must I change?”
And the butterfly is like, “C’mon man, it’s my turn, you’ve been that, now let’s be this.”
And the caterpillar is like, “But NOOOO! I’m scared!”
And the butterfly is like, “I know man, but we cool, we gonna get through this together.”
“It hurts I’m literally melting!” says the caterpillar.
And the butterfly is like, “Yeah, you are kind of turning into soup, strange, but it's time for you to transform into who you're becoming... which is me, so go ahead and die now.”
And the caterpillar either submits or resists. If he submits he becomes a butterfly. If he resisits, he dies, and so does the butterfly, and everything else they could’ve been.
So do you see what I'm saying? Because at this point I have no clue what the fuck I'm talking about. It started out with Teddy and now it's butterflies. But maybe if Teddy held his finger out to the world, maybe a butterfly would land on his finger and he'd see everything isn't only about him. He'd see that there is life everywhere and it's trying to live regardless of the hardships it takes to do so. And the complexity of it all is enormous and to attempt to define it all sometimes ruins it's very essence that being and morphing are one in the same and this is what life is all about. Once I was a caterpillar named Teddy, but now I'm in this cocoon turning into butterfly, Slam soup. And together, we will soar.
Stay tuned next week for PT. 2 of the Ego starring Brynn, she's a hoot! Writing is becoming harder and harder because I find myself contradicting myself more and more with each idea I begin to explore. But you know what? Life ain't nothing but a contradiction bayybeee. Sometimes the more I think I begin to understand life and the more clarity I have the more complex things become. So if you ever feel I've said one thing, then another, it's probably because I have. But that's just the way it goes. I'm allowed to make sense of one thing now that will make 0 sense by next week. Keep evolving, friends. Cheers.