Learning ‘The Benefit Of The Doubt’

“I don’t know for a fact he slept with her. But my guess is that he did. And if he didn’t, he will. And if it’s not her, it will be, or has been, someone like her. The Chelseas of the world are drawn to him.” This quote comes from ‘This Is Where I Leave You,’ by Johnathan Tropper.

We all know who the ‘Chelseas of the world are…’ and what they look like. This can go for woman too. We all know these people. Inevitably we at least know of someone who attracts these types of people too. If you are like me, you are not this person. Sometimes finding yourself to be jealous of this person.

In a perfect world I would be in a loving, sexually active, intriguing relationship with one of the Chelseas. Never needing to over compensate my looks with an arsenal of skills and talents so that I could be graced by her beauty and intellect. Always fearing she will soon be gone. I would also be confident in knowing that she would never run away from me the moment I made a cold comment. “I swear I didn’t mean it! I wasn’t thinking! Please don’t go like this!”

I have created a confidence complex over the years. Being too stubborn to date someone who I don’t find drop dead gorgeous. Although I know that in time I will find myself to be lacking in personality and dreams when compared to her.

I never found self-worth. I just tried to compete with the other men wanting her attention. On a few occasions I was the ‘winner’ and I came out on top. Wiry-haired, gap-toothed, bright-eyed, and gleaming with excitement over the intelligent and beautiful brunette who mistakenly found me as something she could spend her time with.

As time passes though I have realized that I was only lying to them and to myself about who I was. I never openly acknowledged that I am not as perfect as my shadow makes me to be. Smooth curves of a future, fine lines of a hopeful present, and a past that has only had a few hiccups. That my traumas don’t still affect me. I make these up to make myself seem more appealing. That’s part of the love game. The single game. To be the bigger man that I am not. Not YET. 

I never believed that I could be the person I was pretending to be. I spent years constantly telling myself that I could never be a man with emotional intelligence, to hold a woman who is hurting, and to actually make her feel safe. I would only be able to do that for the short time that I was wearing that mask. Shortly before it would all come crashing down and my emotionally scarred past would come to forefront. I was being completely dishonest. I never believed I could become a better man. 

The ‘benefit of the doubt’ philosophy has never been a motto in regards to myself. I am unforgiving and unloving to who I am as a person. I will forgive just about anyone else though, if they show the least effort. Why have I never tried this on myself before? It seemed like a fools way out of confronting problems. I have recently taken myself with the ‘benefit of the doubt’ mentally. 

I am living out of a backpack and a sleeping bag at one of my best friends houses. I am anything but put together right now. Most times this would bother me. It’s not worth it anymore to beat myself up about my short comings. I have found my sense of purpose and as boring as that sounds, and I couldn’t be more proud of it. 

I’m back in school for welding. I am writing a blog that gets little attention–but I love doing it regardless. Guitar is more enjoyable now that I don’t care that I am probably not going to create the next Iron and Wine album. Benefit of the doubt, I will be in a way better place 12 months from now. Hell, 1 month from now I will be doing something I love to do. Writing and breathing.  

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