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Repeating Bad Behaviors

I mentor or rather I try to be there for a handful of guys when they need me. I’m not much of a role model… wait, that’s not true. I’m a rockin’ mother effin’ kick ass role model. I mean, I have a blog and a job and a house! I bend the rules, but only the ones that aren’t critical and I love my mom. I know, stop it already, you want me to marry your daughter.

So I’ve been learning more and more about myself each year and recently I realized that I keep repeating a series of bad behaviors. Was it Einstein who said, “The definition of insanity is repeating the same thing but expecting different results”? I think he said that. Whoever said it, they are right.

I’m sitting at El Chico across from Josh and I ask him, “Do you spend money every day?” He responded with a chuckle, “Yes”. I replied “Me too” with a knowing smile. You see, Josh and I seem to be part of the same club. We overeat, we over spend, we like to play and shun responsibility. We are so alike on so many dysfunctional levels that we could be brothers. I know him better than he knows himself because I’ve had 8 more years of experience. 8 extra years of running up high credit card bills and then avoiding phone calls from bill collectors. 8 years of binge eating and drinking to excess in the name of “good times”.

Even though I know what Josh and I have in common, even though I can pinpoint behaviors now and take steps to avoid them, I don’t know why we have this similar problem.

Our childhoods are very different. He grew up with money and was the oldest brother. He had a brother and two younger siblings. Both of our parents were divorced, but his divorced when he was 12, mine when I was 2. His dad was around when he was growing up, my read dad wasn’t. We sometimes barely got by financially, money was always an area of discomfort for us, but for Josh it wasn’t. He is white, I am multi-racial. So I don’t get it.

In Genesis Adam fell because of the Lust of the flesh, Lust of the eyes and the pride of life… boy don’t those sound familiar. I’ve been stopping and making mental notes of when I repeat bad behaviors and why they happen. It hasn’t helped me to stop making bad decisions here and there, but at least now I am aware of them and I can work on them. And maybe, just maybe, I can tell Josh how to overcome his problems by the lessons that I have learned. If I can at least help him maybe all of this hard work will be worth it.

By Evan Stark

Eddie Renz is an avid fan of Egyptology, Wilbur Smith and bacon. Not a fan of humility but often finds himself humbled when he is around people who understand numbers like the Fibonacci sequence and Pi.

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