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Buster Benson

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self-expression is a pain, double down anyway
burning balloon
There's a civil war going on in my head right now.  And I think it's about to end.  The better side will win for sure.  The last month has been really difficult for me in a lot of ways.  My zeitgeist brought forth a few of my biggest weaknesses.  When I asked for Higher Highs and Lower Lows for my 30th birthday, I never would've guessed just how high and how low I could go in a year.  Lower lows are incredibly tough, and higher highs are amazingly beautiful.  From businesses, to relationships, to creating a personal philosophy and putting it to the test, to asking a whole lot from friends, family, and myself, to trusting in others and asking for help, to returning that trust, to being vulnerable, ambitious, and okay with fears... everything has been taken to another level altogether.  And, as if this year were a book, the last month of my 30th year is full of climaxes, tragedies, victories, doubts, and last miles.  Anyone that has been watching me go through this and seen that sometimes I seem to be doing really well, and other times I seem to be hiding some kind of revolution of emotions within myself and maybe trying a little too hard to pretend that I can handle everything that's going on... thanks for helping me out, thanks for putting up with me, thanks for giving me advice, thanks for being good friends.  I'm really really grateful for all kinds of things that exist to help my neurotic self not fall into psychosis.

Living publicly is tough.  It makes you vulnerable, and can make you look like an ass when you make mistakes.  And can also give people ammunition to use against you if they feel like it.  At the same time, it's our responsibility as public livers to take responsibility for the ups, downs, highs, lows, long stretches of work, setbacks, surprises, chaos, and eventually, also the victory.  The victory!

With my 31st birthday coming up, and spring, and all kinds of new and exciting things all over the place (including Robot-Co-op, McLeod Residence, friends, relationships, ideas, goals, and 5-year plans), I'm ready to do a little doubling down on everything.  That's the theme for my 31st year, I think: Double Down.  Project: Double Down!

I like to celebrate resolutions of internal wars within myself in some external way.  I always recommend that people do something intentional to balance out unintentional events... just so you continue to feel that you have a part in how things happen and aren't a victim or a martyr or a bystander.  Move and counter-move.  Whether it be by selling all my possessions, or moving to a new neighborhood, or changing my appearance, or redefining myself in some other way, I think it's very important to place intentional signifiers at significant landmarks in one's life.  Just so I can remember: that's when that happened.  The change itself becomes a reminder about what the change stands for, like a sign for a turn.  Because, without some irreversible step, or some public celebration, there might be a day in the near future when you wonder if that change was really for real. 

Starting tomorrow, I'm going to write each day for the next three weeks about something to do with this project.  And hopefully, by the end, it will make enough sense to me to actually do.  It will be a part of all my other projects rather than a new one altogether.  Let's make it up and make it happen.  Let's go.  I'll go first?

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It's funny that you should mention the radical changes to remind yourself of what has happened. For me, it has become part of my body, a change that I can never erase. Though it's (obviously) not for everyone, tattooing has become my signifier of times in my life. Although each tattoo might not directly reflect the change, or even mean anything remotely similar to the change, it reminds me of that time.

I like reminders. Of both the good and bad. So you can relish in it, or remember never to do that shit again!

This project is a good idea.

I've considered getting a tattoo of the McLeod lion once we are around for a year. I think you're right... it's a good way to make something feel more permanent and real. I wonder what would happen if we had to get tattooes whenever we got married, or made any serious promises. I'd probably open a tattoo-removal shop, haha.

Buster, I'm real glad my 2007 has had you in it. Project: Double Down sounds like a great idea.

Thanks, Samantha! Yes, you're one of the best friend finds of this year. I'm glad you're around!

I'm keen on project Double Down. Nothing better when you're holding a 12!

I love you & you are doing GREAT!!

Thank you for putting into words so many of the emotions that I have. How do you do that? And so well!

I am proud of you from the tippy top of my head to the end of my toes, and am delighted I get to watch you double down for another kick ass year!

xoxo (those are teeny o's, but they're huge bear hugs in real life)

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