This Spirited Man…

This Spirited Man...
...watched a video about a spirited man.
That spirited man is Van Neistat.
I have no idea who he is,
although I've been figuring out more,
and seeking to question further,
what makes me spirited, and what does not?

When I succeeded in purchasing my house (a good few years ago now) it was of course an exciting time for me. However, this occasion was slightly overshadowed by the death of my step dad which strangely occurred at the same time; literally, I collected the keys on the day of his funeral.

I emphasise “for me” and “slightly overshadowed” because, of course, and I realise, other people around me weren’t having the same experience; my mum was dealing with the loss of her second husband, and my siblings were dealing with the loss of their dad. He was my dad too, but I’d already had the life experience of a dad dying so I had a different outlook on it.

My step dad was quite a handy man; he had been a painter and decorator and school caretaker at various points in his life, and since the type of property I was looking for was expected to need a fair amount of work, I suppose I had always subconsciously thought my dad would be there to help along the way, while at the same time, consciously, I thought it would be my project. As it turned out, I found myself largely doing various projects on my own, like plastering patches of wall and fitting carpets, sometimes dwelling either on the thought that it would have been handy to have my dad around to help, or feeling his guidance from within, like, I might ask “How would he do this?” or I would imagine his approval at the result.

He was a spirited man, and thus he remains.

Other times in my life I have found myself being cheerful (perhaps overly) when other people are not. Like sh!t could be going down in the world and I’m giggling because I think the world is getting the shake-up it needs.

However, I think my spirit gets dampened when I consider this, and I get myself into a rut, because I realise it’s seemingly not right for me to be cheerful. I put on the face of a mourner so as not to offend others. I don’t mean only when someone has died, but whenever the lives of others aren’t particularly happy. It could be that a client’s computer needs repair, so I can’t be cheerful for having the job to (and earn the money from) fix(ing) it, can I? Someone might be having a hard week while I’ve spent my time pottering about at my leisure.

I actually had a couple of dealings with quite cheerful clients recently; one was really appreciative of my efforts and almost seemed to worship the skills and knowledge I’d taken for granted, and another was just very keen for me to supply them with a new laptop, seemingly regardless of the cost. This cheerfulness rubs off on me and makes me want to go out of my way to do stuff for them. This is contrary to other times when I might be dealing with something that has gone wrong, like a computer update that is outside of anyone’s doing, and is costing someone money to fix that they’d rather not be shelling out.

Often it seems that being overly cheerful is akin to gloating, or, if following an exciting event I’ve experienced, boasting or a frowned upon expression of the ego, so I keep quiet and keep my experience to myself, like there are some people around me don’t care to hear of my little adventure, or I sense they become jealous.

Sometimes I think this atmosphere of not being overly cheerful is the nature of where I live. Like, it’s not normal here, and there are too many old people, although, again, there are exceptions. There are differences, I have noticed, in the various staff at a local supermarket for example; a few are friendly and chatty, while at least one other seems to deal with me like she’s shovelling sh!t. (I have considered that it might simply be my interpretation of her demeanour, or her’s of mine).

One’s demeanour is quite important I think. I came to realise some years ago that I had developed a natural frown, indeed one person I had gotten close with said I had a “death stare” that sent shivers down her spine whenever I activated it. I found this quite amusing and would practice it on her. But out in the wild I have to remind myself to smile. Maybe I need to practice smiling more.

In watching more of Van Neistat’s videos and some interviews with him, I could see a child-like enthusiasm; his eyes wide open as he leaned forward to speak, and numerous times he spat as he spoke because he was that excited about the story he was telling. Imagine if I got like that when telling a client what I’d gone through to fix their computer (I did recently get quite the electric shock off a computer part, so I could well be justified)… just before telling them how much the repair bill is; “Oh, and you owe me £250!”

Some links:

The Spirited Man:

An interesting video about The Fourth Turning:

An interview:


  1. I know exactly what you mean about feeling cheerful when others are upset because you think that what’s happened is necessary. I’ve been like that a lot

  2. Sorry to hear about your step dad’s passing and I get what you mean with having the correct emotional response. I often get it wrong too but I don’t think you should have to fake what you really feel. If you’re happy that someone’s laptop broke so you can fix it and earn some money then fair enough, it’s more honest 😃

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