This is Part 3 of Introduction to Bliss Beyond Bullshit blog series. You can visit the series home page for the full table of contents.

For your information, there's a lot more to ogres than people think.
- Example?
Example... uh... ogres are like onions!

Shrek (Mike Myers) and Donkey (Eddie Murphy)Shrek (2001)

Disclaimer: This post is completely dispensable, so please feel free to ignore it and proceed with the next one. If you still decide to read it, please note that side effects might include yawning and thinking: “what do I care?”. You’ve been warned.

Now, you might be wondering: “If this post is unnecessary, why include it?” Ugh… Here’s the answer in the transcript of the conversation I just had with my dear friend the critical reader…

A request from the critical reader (Dialogue)

– Hold on there Mr. I’m-gonna-write-a-blog-with-no-bullshit!
What’s up? Any bullshit to report?
– Quite a lot, actually; too bad you already mentioned that you plan to substantiate all your crazy claims… Anyway, that’s not why I’m here.
So why then?
– Because you have not yet introduced yourself to us, your readers. All we know about you is that you are an optimist. Cool, good for you, but what else?
Do you need to know more?
– WHAAAAT? Of course we need to know more! We readers are people, you know? We have stuff to do, we cannot just read what any low life wants to write… (Ok, I’m special cuz it’s my job to keep an eye on you and your supposedly bullshit-free blog.) But what about everyone else? Readers need to know that reading your blog is worth their time, they need to be assured that you know your shit!
I thought you said everyone expects everyone else to bullshit, so what’s the point?
– Well, that’s the point! There are certain expectations that you are completely disregarding, so it is in your best interest to listen to my advice.
Ok, sure. So what should I say?
– Aren’t you the writer? Figure it out!
I did not set out to write about myself.
– That’s bullshit! YOU are the one writing this blog, and as you mentioned before, it is about YOUR ideas. This whole blog is an ode to your ego, it’s all about YOU. So stop with the whining and write!
Ok, ok… Point taken. But do you have any suggestions?
– You know, the typical, what you do, where you are from and what makes you uniquely qualified to write this blog. You may have to lie in the latter, of course.
I don’t want to lie!
– Again with your stupid moral compass. Answer me this question: After reading your personal intro, would the rest of the world think that you are uniquely qualified to write this blog?
No, probably not.
– Then you must lie! If not for yourself, do it for your readers. How do you think they will feel when they find out that they’ve been wasting their time reading the ramblings of a nobody?
I don’t want people to believe what I say based on a lie about myself. Deciding whether something has any merits based on who said it is wrong at so many levels! So I won’t lie. You get what you read.
– You are impossible, you know?

Ok, so now that you know why I’m wasting my time (and potentially yours) with such a post. Let’s get to it!

Who am I?

Here is the space where any self-respecting author would tell you about their Phd’s in sociology or history, their combined Masters in psychology and political science, or the 20 plus years that they spent living with tribes in Northern Vanuatu…

And I mean, it makes sense that they’d do so. Because by blowing you away with their impressive background they can plant a seed in your mind: “I know my shit; so don't you dare to question whether what I say is right, unless you want to face your own stupidity.” Click To Tweet

Unfortunately (for me), I’m just a normal guy. I could choose to shroud myself on a halo of mystery, or hype my own CV to convince you of my authority… but I won’t. The truth is, I have received no message from above, I have not seen any magical burning flame or reached Nirvana during my travels. I have no exceptional story that uniquely positions me to see beyond the ordinary into the depths of what is true. And yet…

I’ve enjoyed a functioning brain for soon to be 4 decades and I’ve kept it in quite a good shape by using it regularly, so that must count for something, right? And even though I might not be able to tell you anything about myself that makes you wet your pants in anticipation of reading my shit, I can do something else entirely: tell you who I really am.

The following is a brief summary of several aspects that I believe can offer a glimpse onto the kind of person that I (currently1) am (besides being an optimist).

  • I’m a white male and grew up as a lucky Spanish kid born in an ordinary working class family.
  • I’m a father, and I have the honor (and experience daily the horror) of knowing real, true, unconditional and all-powerful love, that transcends logic.
  • I live my life with the conviction that life has no meaning beyond the one that we choose to give it. And knowing that, it’s both liberating and empowering.
  • I’m highly skeptical of any form of truism (when applied to the human experience). I am drawn to the role of devil’s advocate in an ever more polarized world.
  • I have a strong sense of morality that arises from a personal choice (obviously influenced by my environment). That being said I do shitty things all the time, and I’m full of contradictions like most other humans.
  • I’m a rational person and I enjoy logic, but I do act irrationally or emotionally more often than I care to admit (must be the latin blood).
  • I’ve always been very mistrusting of authority and since I was a kid I enjoyed challenging such authorities through the use of reason. On hindsight I guess I was quite an annoying student…
  • I’m a self-confident person but I believe reality has done a good job of taking the arrogant edge off the younger me. That being said, I still have work to do on trying to be less assertive and more dialectic when communicating (again, cursed by my latin blood!)
  • I enjoy being proven wrong (I’m a masochist maybe?). If what you are saying makes more sense than what I am saying, I’ll buy it straight away, and use it from that very moment. That being said, I’m not one for having superficial opinions, whatever I think is normally the product of serious reflection.
  • I love to find and work with people who can do things way better than I can, specially in the creative field. I guess that’s why I enjoy talent shows such as Project Runway, Top Chef or Blown Away.
  • I’m quite unimpressed by celebrities and generally-lauded individual achievements. I believe talent is awesome but the role of the individual in such achievements is often grossly magnified. That being said, I’m blown-away by stories of run-of-the-mill individuals that challenge insurmountable odds to do something they were not supposed to be able to do.
  • I have a hard time doing shit that I don’t enjoy doing or taking (undeserving) crap from others. However, I love trying new things and I’m not put off by having to learn something from scratch.
  • I’m a heavy mobile data user and a Netflix binge watcher. My favorite shows include Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones (excluding the last season), Stranger Things, The Good Place, Veep, Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory, 30 Rock, Bojack Horseman and Rick and Morty. I also enjoy some anime (Dragon Ball, My Hero Academy, Hunter X Hunter) and I love board games, specially heavy complex economic ones with a well designed theme.

Now, does this long text about me help anyone or the objective of this blog? I’m not sure. On the one hand, I hope that by telling you more about myself and my ordinarity, you’ll be more open to engage into this conversation, and you’ll feel reassured that you’ll be treated as an equal. On the other hand, though, it must be painfully obvious by now that there’s nothing in my background that screams “listen to me, it will be worth your time”.

But that is ok, because that will encourage you to read this blog as you should read everything else2, with a healthy dose of suspicion. As such I won’t be able to get away with nearly as much as other authors do, which forces me from the get go to deploy my own bullshit radar. And on that note, perhaps this is the right time to tell you what brought me here.

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