What “Issues” Do You Need To Work On About Yourself in 2016?

By Nick Delmacy | Posted Jan 29 2016 | 19 Comments  

almost-human

The rise of social media and the self promotional narcissism that it encourages has seemingly filled our society with perfect people whose lives appear to be better than all those who follow them.

Rarely does it seem that they have any social, mental, medical, career or financial issues. They have great bodies, eat at best restaurants, attend the livest parties, travel often to exotic locations and have tons of friends and family who love them.

But that’s just what they present to us. Once you look behind the curtain you discover that no one is perfect. Many people we aspire to emulate have personality problems, internal issues and crippling insecurities of their own. This can be even more prevalent within people struggling with their sexuality or even those who are Out and proud.

I’ve personally witnessed men that I was secretly jealous of eventually reveal to me that they were in fact envious of me and my life for entirely different reasons.

Our own perceptions of our lives and the problems that we have appear to be real, even if they are exaggerated. Those same problems and deficiencies that we think we have, to another person may be perceived to be a drop in the bucket compared to the issues they themselves think they face.

But everyone’s life, history, desires and psychological makeup is different. What may be a minor concern to one man may be a huge priority to another.

Conversely, there may be attributes about ourselves that we think aren’t a big deal, yet others have (repeatedly) told us that they are a problem.

CAREER

If it hasn’t been made perfectly clear in the last 4 1/2 of Cypher Avenue, I’m a creative person. Not just for fun, I’m professionally creative. I pay the bills through my creativity. I have for nearly 20 years now.

For two decades, however, I’ve shifted positions in the Art vs Commerce battle. Do I continue to use my creativity to add more of the things I like to the world, despite the minimal financial rewards that may come with it? Or do I “sellout” and become a cog in someone else’s creative wheel so that I can earn the  six-figure salary and live as lavishly as the other black gays in America?

BanksFinance

While I’m not a “starving artist” with multiple roommates and a bus pass, I’m also not on “baller status,” able to make last minute travel plans to Brazil for gay prides and sex parties. Although I’m not wealthy, I really love what I do for a living and I work in a field where my tax bracket could literally change overnight.

As I’m approaching 40 years old, however, this debate has weighed heavier on me. I’m thinking about my health, my retirement, my immediate family (one that will have a sibling adding yet another baby to our clan by the end of the year).

Also, the older you get the more you see your peers rise up in their own careers and salaries. This can create a little envy at times. it’s natural to see them get the expensive tailored clothes, the late model vehicles (sometimes multiple) and the new homes and compare that to your own material possessions, even if you’re actually doing pretty well yourself.

PERSONALITY

I genuinely believe that I’m a decent person. I may tease my friends at times but they know they can count on my for a laugh, to hang out for a drink or to be a non-judgmental open ear and closed mouth to vent they problems.

However, I’ve been told at times that I can come off too unemotional…too rational…too logical.

logic

In many ways, I’m an old school unemotional man’s man. An android programmed with a “masculine” base-code. There was I time when I never hugged my younger brother or told him, “I love you.” We just dapped each other up.

Even here on Cypher Avenue, my essays and articles have been mostly from a logic based standpoint. When people disagree they often start by saying, “While technically what you wrote is not wrong…” That’s usually where I stop reading their response, but I get the gist of what they’re saying: Sometimes the world and issues should be filtered through the heart and not the head.

One friend recently told me that he doesn’t even view me as a close friend (or even a very good person) because of what he perceives is a impersonal friendship compared to his other buddies. His confession genuinely hurt my feelings. Admittedly, the emotion was so unexpected that I felt like an android finding his missing cat.

Admittedly though, I rarely hear of this “problem” when I’m dating. I open up much more to the men I’m dating than the people I call friends or family. The logic wall comes tumbling down (for the most part) and I become all heart, especially if I’m really feeling the dude. Sometimes too much, driving a couple dudes away.

So another thing I’m working on in 2016 is to be somewhat more vulnerable emotionally (or at least project my existing emotions more) to the friends and family that I care about. Not so much that it comes off as forced though.

For example: Within the last couple years I’ve made it a point to open chest hug my brother and nephews…and I now end our telephone conversations with, “Love you, bro” or “Love you, Neph.” That kind of stuff is small, but psychologically does a lot not only for myself but also the men that I inflict it on. This demonstrates that it’s okay for men to express to others how they feel about them. In my brother’s case, he embraced it enthusiastically. It was almost as if he (the more emotional of my siblings) had been desiring to exchange those intimate brotherly gestures between the two us for decades yet felt handcuffed by my own internal restraints.

FASHION

We’re getting into the smaller, more insignificant “issues” now. I’ve admitted before that I’ve never been a very fashionable guy. I just don’t care about fashion. No matter how much I pretend, the gay gene related to fashion was never inserted into the genetically altered water that the government gave my mother to drink before I was born (just jokes, actually the media’s gay agenda made me a homo).

Seriously though, as I stated above, I’m getting older. So there’s a certain sophisticated attire that a man of my age is expected to be seen in, or at least possess in my closet if needed.

denzelfashion

This is how bad I am, I haven’t bought new shoes in at least 5 or more years. I own around 15 pairs of casual and dress kicks, but most of them were all purchased before President Obama was elected in 2008.

I just don’t give a shit. I’d rather buy a new electronic toy than to walk through a mall trying on new gear. I’d rather spend $100 on a night out with the fellas than $100 on a new shirt. There’s a reason that people say I look younger than I am, it’s because most of my clothes were bought by a 28 year old Nick Delmacy a decade ago.

derrick-rose-suited

But again, I’m getting older. I need to step my fashion game up.

I was recently invited to a formal event and realized that I don’t even own a nice suit (that still fits me right). I’m an artist type, so the “urban slacker” wear has always been good enough…until now.

PRODUCTIVITY

One last thing I’ll mention that I need to work on in 2016 (possibly more to come in the comments section) is my Time Management Skills. They are atrocious.

I’m constantly complaining about how much time I don’t have to do the things I really want to do (gym, writing, cooking, etc), yet when I do an inventory I find that most of the time I had was actually wasted.

I’ll somehow find the time to binge-watch the new season of Idris Elba’s Luther, but complain about not having time to do laundry (even though I own both a washer and dryer) or to cook healthy meal-prep food for the week (even though I can see my 65″ HDTV from my kitchen).

Luther-617631

There are at least 3 different computer software that I’ve acquired and downloaded tutorial packages for me to learn…yet I claim that I never have the time. I was supposed to be shopping around for a new vehicle, but I claim to never have the time to see anything. I’m supposed to be going to the gym at least 4 times per week, yet I claim to never have the time to go even once in seven days.

My biggest problem, I’m a night owl. I stay up late and like to sleep in. The morning is not my friend.

So Time Management and waking up earlier in the morning are two more things that I’m working on within myself in 2016.


So it’s safe to say, we all have something about ourselves that we want, or even need, to work on.

What are some things that you’ve been working on…want to work on…or have been repeatedly told that you need to work on about yourself?

Share anything big or seemingly small. Just whatever you feel the need to change or improve about yourself.

 

About the Author
Nick Delmacy

Nick is a founder, editor and the pop culture expert at Cypher Avenue. Serving as the designer and webmaster of the site, he is the architect of The Cypher Avenue Matrix.

   
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19 Comments Feel Free To Join The Cypher.

  1. El Rey de To2 Negros
    El Rey de To2 Negros | January 29th, 2016
    0

    what do u do when u already perfect?!?

  2. African King
    African King | January 29th, 2016
    0

    (Academic) Career

    I need to just keep believing in myself to do amazing things in the classroom, clinical rotations, anesthesia lab, etc. I just finished 3 cases at clinic today at the hospital and my preceptors know that I am improving. They are happy that I am eager to learn and always taking initiative when interacting with patients. I just want to keep working hard and giving graduate school my all so that I can finish and finally start making money in the medical field like I've always wanted. Then from there use spare time to educate myself about investing and other financial things to build wealth.

    Social Life

    I want to put myself out there more with my classmates and other people I come across out here in FL. I have already started doing that which I am happy about so I want to do more. I went on my first "date" out here this year about a week ago (busts out into Schmoney dance lol) and it was amazing. The older gay men that I was around actually thought we were together and said I have good taste. I will see the guy perform at an open mic this weekend so I'm looking forward to that BUT anyway… I just want to be more vulnerable and open. Many people that I come across in life often think that I am perfect. The reality is that I am FLAWED. No one is perfect. I never try to come across as such but people will always be like "oh you're so perfect! oh you're so awesome!" But I am human just like them. I want to form more bonds with my classmates. I have been taking steps to do that by not being too big of a loner like I usually am. Going out to dinner, staying and talking after classes, etc.

    Love Life

    Along the lines of what I said about dating above, I want to just keep meeting people. I am more involved in events to meet more black/Latino gay men out here in FL so maybe something will come from that. Who knows? I just know that I need to keep doing what I am doing now so that the likelihood of coming across more guys that I am really interested in leads to something more than acquaintances/friends.

    Health and Fitness

    I just want to take things up a notch. I lost 35 pounds last year and I've been able to keep it off (from 220 to 185) so I just want to find the best eating plan and exercise program that will allow for more muscle definition and decreased body fat. Maintaining the exercise in graduate school is not an easy balancing act but I will keep going. All about time management and setting priorities.

  3. ControlledXaos | January 29th, 2016
    0

    Comment Imported From Main Sitewhat do u do when u already perfect?!?

    A "perfect" person should find a real friend who will put them in check and help them get over themselves.

  4. African King
    African King | January 29th, 2016
    0

    ControlledXaosA "perfect" person should find a real friend who will put them in check and help them get over themselves.

    LOL thank you for saying that

  5. grownman
    grownman | January 29th, 2016
    0

    I guess since you MAN enough to admit your short comings than I can mine.

    Well, I have been repeatedly told that I have an attitude problem. That has come from my family, few friends and…alas from a couple of folks on here. Lol. It seems that this "quiet person" has nothing positive to say when he opens up his mouth . I am complaining about myself, other people, jobs, guys etc.

    I will start working on the negativity by getting back in touch with my spiritual nature. I believe in the law of attraction and feel that maybe the root of my issues. I am speaking from my perspective. I also noticed that I don't have to respond to every issue in my life or on this site-sometimes we just need a old fashioned "shut the f**k up". Reading what @HauteChocolat said the other day put me back in touch with what is important. Also, my buddy on here-my "CA bestie"(that sounds gay as hell right?) a wonderful guy that I rant to. Lol. He helps me put things in perspective.

    I have been humbled this year BIG TIME in my career, relationships, finances, in every area. But, that is also where some of the frustration has come from. However, I read a older post by @ControlledXaos that really blesses me because it is soooo close to what is happening in my life right now. I read that thing like it's a damn scripture out of the bible. He knows which one I am talking about. Lol.

    I periodically go back and read some of the older posts and see where my head was. I also discover some that were not originally seen when posted. It's some stuff out there…

    My things are taking at least 5 minutes out of my day to center myself.
    I am also going back to the gym and staying consistent. I get excited for a while and quit.
    Anyway, my point is and I believe that Nick's also that we don't have to be "perfect" in somebody else's eyes However be willing to notice we have some dust on the window of our lives- and try your best to clean it.

  6. IJS | January 29th, 2016
    0

    Personally, I need to work on controlling my habit of rendering unsolicited advice and just listen more. I also really need to work on my impatience.

  7. Jai | January 29th, 2016
    0

    Attitude

    Hmm, I'd say my attitude towards guys needs to change. I'm not ashamed to say that I have trust issues & can be a VERY standoffish if a guy makes a pass at me, regardless of who it is. I know where the issue starts from, dealing with an issue in my childhood with a family member that warped my views on relationships, trust & sex. It leads to me being snappy, & despite my age, I haven't shaken it off yet.

    Sex/Relationships
    I'll be 32 this year & I've had sex only twice. Needless to say, the issues from so long ago & me not owning up to the fact that it still affects my perception of sex, relations & other men has caused a psychological problem that I really need to address and triumph over to obtain a healthy sexual & loving relationship. I have a very 'keep to my self' personality in this spectrum & it needs to change.

    Career
    Honestly, I haven't met my career goal per se. I work a regular job but my dream job is to be a prolific writer of fiction. I love shows like Xfiles and many otger creature features. I created a SciFi/Fantasy series a while back in 2014 & tried my hand at Epublishing. So far Ive completed three novels & I'm working on the fourth. I'm creative with entertainment skills but I like to write & care about nothing else in that regard, lol but I haven't exactly pushed myself forward to go all out promoting my series. It's a tough market in my opinion & it's easy for me to compare myself to J.K Rowling, Hugh Howey, & other successful scifi/fantasy franchises & feel a bit inadequate. I'm not supposed to, but do at times & I need to work on being more geared toward personal success & not obtaining extreme mainstream appeal.

    That's all that really needs to improve for right now that I can think of.

  8. cypher21
    cypher21 | January 30th, 2016
    0

    Came for the Michael Ealy Pic, stayed for the great personal piece :umad:

    CAREER
    Literally go view my Choosing the Right Path theard I posted and you'll know what my career's current state…That being said I find it a highly important thing that I need to improve on but don't necessarily know how to exactly do that or have the movation to do so…moving on…

    PERSONALITY
    This is the area I plan of spend the most time in this year as I strongly believe it hold the key to unlocking all the closed doors in my life. Better health? Better career outlook? More(any) sex?? You guessed it. Personality and mental state reigns supreme! Odd how you described yourself as cold and unemotional at times because my friends describe me in almost the exact same way. I can be funny and supportive but overly rational too. I've also noticed that I tend to share similar opinions with you during podcasts. (great minds perhaps?) I think its a blessing and a curse sometimes lol keeps us from getting hurt so I see no real reason to change, maybe just balance it out a little.

    What I need improvement on at this point is my self esteem, and willpower. The first is somewhat self explanatory as low esteem affects several aspects of your personality. I can't sing this site praises enough, because you guys have done so much to help me with this (probably without knowing it) just by being great examples of men..gay black men.. that I look up to and enjoy communicating with and just make it ok to be myself so thank you…anyway (enough of that!) the willpower thing is trickier…I have alot of bad habits in my way of personal goals I want to reach (fitness, artistic, personal goals..) and I want to improve my consistency overall in the things I think, say, and do.

    FASHION
    For me this really is dependent on the amount of money I have coming in but I would love to upgrade my style. Currently I've adopted a minimalist wardrobe approach and only wear clothes that are monochrome (Black, White, and Grey with only color accents) I've found that this simplifies things considerably. I want to up my shoe game up because at any given time I only own 3 pairs of shoes period.

    PRODUCTIVITY
    And finally I feel this kinda going back to the willpower thing but for productivity my main focus is organization. This is something I greatly admire in others but have not been able to perfect for myself. Creating a daily plan and sticking to it. Having a place for everything and everything beening in its place…that sort of thing…

    I enjoyed this…feel like I needed to sit down and write all this stuff out thanks @Nick Delmacy

  9. DreG
    DreG | January 30th, 2016
    0

    Creativity is something I want to play a bigger part in my life too.Even if I don't make money from it,I wanna get back into having it be a bigger part of my day and general mindset.I always feel more like myself,and generally better in every way when it is.Hopefully I can meet someone compatible to sit around and play with,even if it's in a living room or something.

    I've always over-thought everything,so I wanna get back into being less tense and trusting my instincts more.Life was always more enjoyable for me when I didn't stop and analyze every little setail and variable of everything.So basically I need to get out of my head a little more.

    Socially,I'm tying to get out more and find more people like me.I've been looking into cool and more unknown places around the city where people do things like comedy shows,art showcases, intimate music performances,and stuff like that .I feel like it'll do me a lot of good to soak up the vibes of more like-minded people.

    And lastly I wanna be a little more open to people I'm close to,or at least be more attentive to them.As I said above,I get lost in my own thoughts and it makes me too self-involed , so I have to be careful not to lose track of other people's worlds.

  10. Day'lon
    Day'lon | January 30th, 2016
    0

    I am working on my career in 2016 and also getting married to my partner, those are my goals.

  11. SB3
    SB3 | January 30th, 2016
    0

    Hands down, patience and control issues. I have never had any patience. If something happens that might frustrate most ppl, it quickly translates to anger for me. All that does is raise my own damn blood pressure.

    W control issues, I have a hard time not running a show, if Im involved. Not that I lack the ability to compromise, and I think Im an extremely logical and sensible person, but I could def stand to practice what I preach to the next man, and 'take a chance' more often.

    Also, taking more initiative to extend myself and communicate w the ppl I care about more often. I can 'check out' pretty effortlessly. Too effortlessly for many ppls liking, to be honest.

  12. SB3
    SB3 | January 30th, 2016
    0

    Btw, am I the only one who thought the 'perfect' guy was joking???

  13. grownman
    grownman | January 30th, 2016
    0

    I think that he was-but he should have clarified. This is not that type of thread. Nick had spilled his heart and then whoever it was came with foolishness.

  14. Nick Delmacy
    Nick Delmacy | January 31st, 2016
    0

    SB3Btw, am I the only one who thought the 'perfect' guy was joking???

    Yeah he was, I know who posted that comment on the main site. Well…I don't KNOW him, but he's a long time reader who always has jokes and shares our links to his many followers. He gets a pass, lol

  15. Discordant
    Discordant | February 1st, 2016
    0

    Career
    I'm turning 30 in 57 days so this has really been weighing on my mind. I've joined another professional organization dedicated to foreign policy, applied for some jobs closer to my field, am taking the FSOT this upcoming Friday and am just kicking myself into career over drive. My parents and mentors say I'm where I'm supposed to be at this age range, which has helped me a lot when it comes to stressing about it, but I still want to see more (obvious) progress.

    Finances
    I'm getting back into investing stocks and trying to get my finances under control. I love to travel and love to travel well so this year is about making me more financially able to travel when and where I want to. I'm also looking into buying my first home and want to be able to get one that makes me happy, since it's a 5 year investment at least.

    Health & Fitness
    I've had a gym membership for about 3 years and have maybe attended faithfully the total of a year. I've been blessed with a high metabolism and a body that gets and holds onto great aesthetic results, but it's all a lie because when put into action, it becomes clear I'm actually out of shape. So I've been eating better, drinking more water, and have found some home work outs I can do more faithfully. My plan is to get back into the gym in May and create a consistent routine. I think the big part is finding the right gym. Planet Fitness isn't doing it for me.

    Personality
    I'm pretty laid back and typically care more about the company than the activity, but I'm working on asserting myself when it comes to things I want to do more. I'm also working on not taking on everyone's problems and not being so lazy when it comes to getting things done that I want to. On a more personal level I'm learning to get in touch with my sexy and be more open to expressing my desires and needs.

  16. ControlledXaos | February 3rd, 2016
    0

    Career

    So I have been in Atlanta for 17 months and while I am on job number 2 in the last 12 months, I'm still not where I want to be. Still working on getting the position that I really want that will put me on my desired career that I went to grad school for. For me that's staying on my grind and still putting in applications and getting my first of my professional certifications. Goal is to have that completed by the spring.

    Finances

    Affected by the above as I'm still a few thousand short from my yearly income since being laid off, but I do have plans to get a house/condo/townhome and a car in the next 12 months so I need more cash for that. I feel I have things pretty much together. With what I do make, I'm able to pay everything I have on time. Id say I'm good.

    Health and Fitness

    The battle of the bulge. I have the workout consistency down. Just have to work on the diet. My goal is to drop 30 pounds by the end of summer. This will mean me really keeping my diet in check and being accountable by using My Fitness Pal to record my food.

    Personality

    Im trying to be more open about my life. And coming out was good for me for that. Now people have the real me and if they can't deal they can hit the door. Also trying to be more open to putting myself out there. Going to non gay bars, trivia comps and such are things I'm interested in. Perhaps even a kickball or volleyball team would work.

  17. Shon
    Shon | February 4th, 2016
    0

    There seem to be a lot of similarities in this thread. It’s truly a testament that you aren’t alone in where you are in your life. Nevertheless, here are mine:

    Career

    I’m definitely starting to get that itch that it’s time for a change. Although I love working as a creative in the advertising world, I’m starting to feel like things at work are “shifting”. We all know what that means. Feel yourself not trying as hard, feeling complacent and stale and that you’re not being challenged. Yea, that’s where I am. This is definitely a big priority for me to change for sure.

    Physical/Mental Health

    Being damn near 32 years old, I understand that time waits for NO ONE. That being said, my health should definitely be taken more seriously that it has in the past. I don’t mind being a big dude…it looks good on me, but slimming down is necessary. Also, I know that in order to change, your mental determination has to exceed your physical determination. Saying all that to say…I need to drag my ass to the gym/park/track and make some shyt happen!

    Finances

    One thing I was never good at was saving money. I need to fix that….that is all.

    Dating/Love Life

    Ugh, how does one go about dating? I’ve got on the apps and started conversation, starting talking to some people that I thought would be real cool and that’s about it. Coming from someone who has never been in a “relationship”, this feels foreign to me. However, I’m willing to roll with the rejection, unanswered texts and DM graveyard because I’m still optimistic…or whateva. Honestly, just meeting different people to hang out with and get to know is ideal and I KNOW there are plenty of them out there. It’s just getting through all of the preliminary bullshyt that seems a bit intimidating.

  18. grownman
    grownman | February 4th, 2016
    0

    ShonThere seem to be a lot of similarities in this thread. It’s truly a testament that you aren’t alone in where you are in your life. Nevertheless, here are mine:

    Career

    I’m definitely starting to get that itch that it’s time for a change. Although I love working as a creative in the advertising world, I’m starting to feel like things at work are “shifting”. We all know what that means. Feel yourself not trying as hard, feeling complacent and stale and that you’re not being challenged. Yea, that’s where I am. This is definitely big priority for me to chance for sure.

    Physical/Mental Health

    Being damn near 32 years old, I understand that time waits for NO ONE. That being said, my health should definitely be taken more seriously that it has in the past. I don’t mind being a big dude…it looks good on me, but slimming down is necessary. Also, I know that in order to change, your mental determination has to exceed your physical determination. Saying all that to say…I need to drag my ass to the gym/park/track and make some shyt happen!

    Finances

    One thing I was never good at was saving money. I need to fix that….that is all.

    Dating/Love Life

    Ugh, how does one go about dating? I’ve got on the apps and started conversation, starting talking to some people that I thought would be real cool and that’s about it. Coming from someone who has never been in a “relationship”, this feels foreign to me. However, I’m willing to roll with the rejection, unanswered texts and DM graveyard because I’m still optimistic…or whateva. Honestly, just meeting different people to hang out with and get to know is ideal and I KNOW there are plenty of them out there. It’s just getting through all of the preliminary bullshyt that seems a bit intimidating.

    Love it.

  19. Punto Switcher | July 21st, 2016
    0

    Individuals interested in working in a nursing home as a healthcare or administrative professional should have the desire to care for the elderly. Workers are required to be in overall good health and are normally subject to state mandated disease and drug testing. Those employed in nursing homes must pass a criminal background and it is mandatory that healthcare professionals are current with certifications and licensures. Nursing home personnel must undergo patient and personal safety training and must follow proper procedures when caring for patients at all times.




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