Xeno Hemlock


Be True To Your Core Values and Be an Asshole

Would you like to be an asshole?

Two friends rekindled their friendship after separation for a long time, and regained contact with their other old friends. Spending time with them again, a gut feeling that something was different and wrong surfaced. Their old friends were still stuck in the past and had very little personal growth. There was no more spark and enjoyment from being around their company. Confessing their sentiments to each other, the two friends concluded their lives had grown apart from them and it was time to let go. One of them withdrew, eventually returning to the fold of their old friends. The other one moved on, becoming the subject of name-calling, gossip, and spiteful remarks that made its way online. He was the villain, the ungrateful, and the asshole. He was me.

When I was a kid, my mother always brought home books: children's story books, coloring books, Archie digest magazines, and even novels. For five years, I was an only child. Aside from the occasional toys and playmates, those books kept me company. They made me artistic.

When I was in preparatory, I was awarded Most Independent at the end of the school year. I guess my teacher saw me being friends and playing with all of my classmates. It didn't stop there. I didn't hang out with only a specific clique of friends in grade school, high school, and even in college. My friends were from different groups, classes, and levels. Even now I am a working adult, I am friendly to everyone in the office. I am --- and have always been --- independent.

In school, I was often voted leader in class projects or groupings: Thursday cleaners , Biology class, Christmas party committee, and a website for “Introduction to HTML” class. Stepping up to the plate was natural for me. I liked coming up with ideas, doing something productive, and pursuing a goal. In fact, that statement is wrong because I still like them. I highly value leadership.

These are my main core values: art, independence, and leadership.

A certain period in my life was a dark age. This was around my early to mid-twenty's, fresh from college, a newbie in the workforce. During that time, I had no direction in life. I wasn't really motivated and allowed others to influence me easily. Negative energy surrounded me and went with me anywhere. I was like a lot of other people, just letting life pass by and not living it. The worst thing that happened to me then was the repression of my core values. The noise of the people surrounding me distracted me from being myself. I allowed them to control my life, silencing the voice speaking from within. I stopped being human; I became a puppet.

That part was over. I killed that version of me. He's now six feet under, never to rise again and pollute this earth. It's one of the good things with us humans. We have a choice. We have a consciousness. We can take action. We command our lives. I realized during my dark age, that it wasn't the light shying away from me - it was me afraid of the light.

I wanted to be the best version of me. I wanted to live a life that I really wanted, and not let others live it for me. When my entire life would flash back in front of me in my deathbed, there would be no regrets. I wanted to pursue writing and devote more time to things that would help me get closer to my ambitions and goals. I yearned to do the right things and be with the right people. Unnecessary expenses, hobbies and activities I wasn't really into, unhealthy habits, old outlook, and people, things that weren't beneficial to me had to go. I wanted to bring my core values to life again.

Those friends I moved on from, we weren't aligned anymore. They liked talking about years-old topics, gossip, and negative ideas that hindered growth. They complained so much about their lives but refused to do anything to turn it around. They were almost strangers, I had nothing in common with them.

Their reaction towards my decision was no surprise. Name-calling, slandering me online in public (really pathetic, if you ask me), and making false claims, these are behavior of uneducated people (education goes beyond the four walls of the classroom). And I never forget, what Susie says of Sally says more of Susie than Sally.

One time, I visited a good friend of mine in his office. He told me another friend of ours asked how I was doing to which he replied. “Oh! Xeno's happy.” His response made me smile. It was proof that I was living a positive and happy life and he noticed it.

How are my core values? I'm in sync with them again. My blogging anniversary is a few months away. I have no plan of stopping; I abandoned it more than once many years ago. My software developer duties for a good IT company from the US are on track. I'm making good progress in the book I am currently writing (it's funny how I was afraid of the blank page before but now I've written thousands of words). There is not a single boring moment in my life. Everything has a purpose relating to my core values. Better to be a happy asshole true to his core values than a lying angel under the strings of others.

Now I ask you again. Would you like to be an asshole?

Cover image: Venkman Thinks You're an Asshole by Surian Soosay