Originally posted 15 November 2009
Pappy: Hey boy, where have you been?
Me: Hey pappy, um, what do you mean where have I been? Where the hell have you been?
Pappy: You know where I have been. . .
Me: Yeah – I’m still bitter about that, you know?
Pappy: Yeah, I know. But, you can’t change that, right?
Pappy: Son, the world awaits you. Don’t let them down.
Me: Pardon me?
Pappy: The world, son. A lot of people out there are waiting on you. Kind of interesting, isn’t it?
Me: What’s that?
Pappy: Knowing there are people out there who are actually interested in what you have to say.
Me: I don’t know.
Pappy: Well, I do. The world awaits you. What do you have to say for yourself?
Me: I’m a wuss.
Pappy: A wuss? Why would you say that?
Me: Because that is how I feel. Actually, I have recently had a few more revelations into my ways of seeing the world. It is quite fascinating, in fact.
Pappy: Revelation? Such as . . .?
Me: My locus.
Pappy: Locus . . .?
Me: Yes, Locus. My locus.
Pappy: What locus, kiddo?
Me: My locus of control. Would you care to hear about it?
Pappy: Hear about your locus of control? Absolutely. Nothing would interest me more.
Me: Being facetious will get you nowhere.
Pappy: That was not me being facetious. I am very interested in what you have to say. Hence the beginning of this conversation. Or hell – the existence of this conversation for that matter.
Me: If you say so. Well, the situation is thus: You know how I speak, often, of the way my life used to be? I was in control. Things always worked out for me, etc. . . And now – I do not like how my life works. . .
Pappy: Yes, continue.
Me: Well, a few weeks ago, the Mrs. made mention of how I need to take responsibility for my life and not continue to blame my problems on situations, and/or people outside my control. My initial reaction was, as has been the case a lot recently, that she was full of shit and really, just probably being mean.
Pappy: OK. . .
Me: Well, after a few days of subconscious processing, I had yet another epiphany, or revelation, about my life. I do, in fact, look to the outside world as the source of my problems and my issues. My locus of control is almost entirely external. I took the Rotter questionnaire just for shits and giggles and scored 15/23. That means (very loosely) that I look to the outside world 65% of the time in terms of why my life is the way it is. Conversely – I believe only 35% of my life is the way it is because of me, my actions, my decisions, etc. . .
Pappy: Yeah, I can see that about you. You are quite the conspiracy buff. And you think the world is all a stage, right? Humans are just puppets, with no real control over how things work. That is the kind of thing you believe, isn’t it? I can see how that can get in the way.
Me: Right – it is what I believe. And as long as I continue to think this way, I will never be what I want to be. I will never be the way I want to be. Thus, I need to stop being a wuss. Yes, I believe those things about the world, but that does not mean I am still not in control of my own life. . . This is going to take some work, but I know I can do it.
Pappy: That is the right way to approach it. If you go in knowing you can make the changes in yourself you want, then you are one step ahead of the next guy.
Me: You really think so?
Pappy: I do really think so, sure. So – what does this have to do with how you used to be that is different than it is now? Has there been a shift in your locus of control? You used to believe in yourself? You had an internal locus of control?
Me: That is absolutely right. I once had faith in myself. I once had a belief system based on my own strengths. I used to believe in me. I need that back. Without it, I will never recover. It’s OK, though. I can get it back. Like I said, I just need to work on me a little harder.
Pappy: OK kid, I need to go – and I wish you the best of luck on your new journey of self discovery. I know how daunting something like this could be.
Me: I bet you do. Well, Pappy, thanks for listening. I need that, sometimes. I miss you.
Pappy: I miss you, too, son. Don’t be a stranger, OK?
Me: I won’t, dad. I love you.