I’m trying to spend more time thinking about self-preservation, and the importance of not being a dumbass. What can I say, I have a history of making questionable decisions. Oh yes, I have priors!

When it comes to protecting ourselves, fear is as crucial as pain. There are more than a few downsides to not being afraid. Unfortunately, my threshold for fear is even higher than my pain tolerance. I’m predictably [not very bright] when it comes to dangerous situations. I’ll run into a burning building if someone is inside. I run [to] the sound of gunshots [even recently]. I’ll get out of the car if somebody is in danger. During my first marriage, I earned the nickname [Bat Man], after I chased some guy down the street in the middle of the night with a baseball bat. He was trying to break into my wife’s car. I was in my boxers! I was stabbed at the age of 19 on New Years’ Eve while trying to help somebody. Well, I think I’ll save the juicy examples for future blogs!

My point is this; my ability to pass through darkness [mostly] unscathed has shaped my life since I was a child. Approximately 25 years ago, a therapist told me this: Maybe I place myself in dangerous situations because my childhood was so extraordinarily stressful and traumatic. Possibly, I’m hardwired for protective instincts. Yes, kind of like the movie [The Blind Side], except I don’t weigh over 300 pounds and play in the NFL.

Fortunately, I’m making progress in this area. I’ve made almost no bad decisions for the past year and a half. At this rate, I may live to be an old man. After all, that is the goal, is it not?

Joseph Shanklin

July 17, 2020

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