Its been said that true education isn’t just in a classroom’s four walls. The things you learned on the playground growing are just as valuable on Wall Street. People mature but their general patterns tend to stay the same.
It was a magnificent evening. I was with my buddy Nathan and we were walking the streets of Yokohama with a healthy amount of alcohol in our systems. Nathan and I were in the military and were station in another part of Japan. Back in these days we spent much of our off time at bars. Being that it was a Friday night of course we went to Yokohama. To be clear outside of the night life Yokohama has plenty of to offer but in the evening times we mainly went there to drink. At this point we already left 2 different bars and the struggles of the past week lay behind us. I felt good Nathan was happy all was right with the world. As we were walking out the corner of my eye, I spotted a group of Japanese women close to our ages. They were attractive too. For the life of me I can’t remember other than remembering them to be attractive I cannot remember what 2 of them looked like or their names but I do remember the one in the middle. Her nickname became Mulan, but I am getting ahead of myself. I remember looking over to Nathan and telling him “Hey man I am going in” he replies “Going in? You are leaving? Going in where?” being that the term I used is an urban slang I decided just to show him what I meant as I made my approach to the group of women. To this day outside of knowing that it was something in Japanese I do not remember what I said but I do remember Mulan’s pretty eyes when she looked up. For the next 3 months she was all I thought about.
Mulan was an interesting character. She had been to the USA before and had dreams of becoming a teacher. We used to talk about the California burger chain called “IN and Out”. I myself was learning Japanese at the time so she wanted to be my teacher. I wanted to practice, and she wanted to teach. It was a good relationship. I imagined our relationship turning into a teacher / girlfriend one. She wanted it to be a Student/friend one. Looking back, I knew I really wasn’t into her, there really wasn’t a strong connection at all. Over the years we lost contact and I do think about her off and on, but I would go on fine without ever seeing her again. I guess the only reason I was interested was I thought she was pretty and she spoke English. For a period of time you can say I did the text book definition courting rituals. I took her out to movies, dinners, and random outings. I knew things weren’t feeling exactly right and she wasn’t at my place of thinking, but I thought I could convert her. Sometimes you need to experience things yourself, but I will say what I learned. When someone isn’t interested, they aren’t interested. I am sure she went back and forth with the idea as well, just keeping me on the hook but us dating never happen. I did work out in retrospect because I started dating her best friend later.
There isn’t a way for me to go fully into everything that happen between us, but I did learn much about people in that experience. You can’t listen to words and promises, you have to follow the little details and behavioral patterns. You must feel the general energy of the situation and then decide. At the end of the day one of the major reasons why people can’t make decisions is because they really don’t know what they want. If the great and move makers of society were only listening to the words of the people and what they say they wanted the world would be a different place today. Letters would still be the primary means of relaying messages and they would be delivered via man riding horseback!
San Diego 2017
Sometime people meet in the strangest ways. It was weekday sometime in the evening and I was craving Chinese food. At the spot I chose to go the food was good, but the parking is interesting. Parking is one of the constant pains of living in southern California. The Chinese place shared its parking lot with a laundromat, meaning people were always there. There is a parking lot about 20 feet from the location which was relatively empty. Most of the businesses in the area were closed for the day. Like all parking lots there are “tow away signs” everywhere. I am relatively certain that if I left my car there for 20 minutes while I was getting my food, nothing would happen. However, I have no desire to test this theory. That being said I ordered my food and waited at my car while it was being prepared. I remember I was leaning on my car door and using my cellphone to check emails when I observed the business that was in front of me. It was a peculiar scene.
The business looked like a store front but was very odd looking. At one end I saw a bunch of beds on display and random trinkets everywhere. From that end it looked like a mattress store, the type that people got to relax on. In the on the walls there was lots of art on display as well along lamps and all types of handmade home wares. On the other side I noticed there were people doing yoga. In the mist all of this a woman came out to greet me. I could tell she was a bit older than I, probably close to middle age. She had the clothing that showed she affiliated with the spiritual community. She had a warm smile that automatically put me at ease and being that I am an adventurer I had to agree to come inside. Walking in was even more interesting. I saw the trinkets and things up close and many crystals in bins on the floor and Dream catchers on the wall. The place was even more interesting inside. She invited me to take a seat at small bar she had set up in the center of the store.
She invited me to try out some of this special wellness tea from Fiji. It didn’t taste too good, but it had a strange effect on me. I did like it. We chatted for a bit and then I thought to myself “Wow this woman is interesting, she reminds me of Ericka Badu”. I wasn’t interested in her on a romantic level like I was with the Japanese girl, Mulan but I wasn’t going to let our interaction end right there. With that thought in mind I decided to ask her out and she agreed. I remember texting one of my best friends later that day. “YO, I just asked out Ericka Badu… and she said YES!”. We joked around off and on, but we never dated, I was never interested in her like that so that suited me just fine. As time passed, we got closer and she ended up leaving the strange store she worked out of. She promoted her product via events and markets. I felt inspired by her, even though she didn’t have a car she never gave up in that she went to these far-out events bringing her product with her on the trains and buses. When I decided to go into business for myself, I could not think of a better person to partner up with.
I approached her, a contract was made, and money was transferred. The idea was she would run it and I would be on the background handling things. I wanted to learn how to run a business. Things were fine for a while. Finding a location, getting the product in, preparing the space was a hassle but throughout I enjoyed myself. As time passed though I felt myself being pushed out of the decision making. My idea of it was she was the owner but we were supposed to do things together but that never really happen. I did approach her about the situation once, but it didn’t really change. In trusting someone completely I gave the reigns to her. Yes, financially speaking we a have a deal in place so that my portion would be returned to me. But I didn’t get into it for the money. Then one day it just dawned on me why this was happening. The answer was simple, patterns.
I believe we are in life because we choose it. Grant some unfortunate things may befall you, they have befallen me but we are who we are subconsciously because we think we deserve it and due to our patterns. My business partners pattern is to be self-reliant and not need anyone. You can call it a superman/superwoman complex. Some people want to just say that they did it all themselves. It’s a form of pride that unbeknownst to them is more important than money. With that in mind as I looked back at some of the things, I admired her for I now saw it as a form of weakness. I have it in my mind that it is possible to do everything yourself but its much more likely to succeed by having cooperation with other people. She probably could have easily found work in her own field that was local. She could have probably made more money that way too. On days she had off she could have promoted her own brand. Her pattern to be alone dramatically stunted her own performance yes, she was single too. With all that in mind I decided I can no longer be in business with her. You can not build an empire on unstable foundation. There I was a guy with an abundance of money offering her free help just so I could learn business and it wasn’t wanted from.
Bridging the two
If you are willing to judge other people you need to put that same spotlight on yourself. Introspection is so important. What I learned from my own actions is I have a habit of finding people and trying to mold them into what I want them to be. It’s important to primarily deal with the 1% of society because most people don’t know what the want or willing to tell you how they really feel. I unknowingly tried to conform a woman wanting to be a teacher to my girlfriend. I know part of her was interested but that goes back to people not really knowing what they want. Then I tried to conform a lone wolf to a business partner. As I thought on these two experiences I do remember when times I have succeeded in my venture and other times I failed. It goes back to me being a go-getter. I had a belief of making things work, shoving a round peg in a square hole. I sure that doing that works often but it usually better to just go out and find a square hole for square peg and a round peg for a round hole. It makes removing them easier too because now that I tried to turn my lone wolf business partner into mold that doesn’t fit her now, I have to see about rectifying the situation.
The Take Away.
It is possible for someone to change but they have to desire it first. I learned that the hard way twice. People need to have that will within them. If it isn’t there its possible to convert them but Its usually just better to find someone already ready and willing to be what you want them to be. People will also say many things, I was friends with both women but for what ever reason they will mislead you. When someone says something pay attention but pay MUCH closer attention to what they do.