The Blog of Ricky Browne


An unhealthy relationship with Fedoras

My sister Natalie’s kids have all went through phases in their teens where they have worn Fedoras. The hat with a brim so small it only covers half a person’s nose from the sun.

I don’t know whether they have felt wearing fedoras is appropriate because of their mum’s views on the hat. Or whether it’s something in their DNA that has expressed itself in such a way to make them feel that a fedora is appropriate for these modern times.

While many kids are rocking the curved brim baseball cap as they should at such an age. Some feel it appropriate to keep the brim unbent. Maybe these people have the same expression in their gene’s that have put them on such a dark path.

I have held my tongue these many years and watched as fedora wearers have sprung up in my own gene pool. I have stayed quiet hoping they would realise their own folly before the hat became more than that of a wrong choice of clothing, but a culture to rally around. One comprised of outcasts living on the fringes of mainstream sensible society.

Have I done too little? I blame myself. How could I have let this go on when doing anything rather than nothing would have been more appropriate. Is rehabilitation even possible for these members of the fold? It seems unlikely. I’m sorry boys that I have let you down and pray you to turn from your wicked ways.


Learning to write using my voice

There is an immediacy in talking to the camera. The words have to flow straight off the top of your head. Unless rehearsed or written down you need to know what you’re talking about before you start talking. With writing, you can talk to the page and then go back and change what you have said to make it clearer. You have time to process what you’re trying to convey, you can have new ideas spring forth which add to the tapestry that is the article.

I’m always let down by what I say when I talk to the camera. The language is not on point with what I expect from a speaker. Just like writing you can catch ideas as they bubble up, or remember something pertinent to the story. Watching someone like Jordan Peterson talk so formulaic has ruined me for watching back my own bungling attempt at spoken free flow thought, where I often trail off and forget where I was up to.

If you’re a fast typer you can catch your thoughts free-flow like talking and keep up with your own train of thought. I’m not a fast typer and have to struggle with slowing down my thought process to keep up with my typing speed.

Audio dictation ‘speech to text’ is a way around this, but I still have to wait for the software to catch up with the speech as it tries to decipher my spoken language. I want to use this method more for first drafts, but I still find the process inhibiting. I’m hoping with practice I can better master this method. For now, it seems faster for me to use the keyboard.

As time goes by

How quickly the years go by. The last three years have gone past and that is but a tenth until I am 70. I hope I am as agile as my father at that age. It’s two days until Christmas and the year is Twenty-twenty. When I am my father’s age it will be twenty-fifty. I hope I’m around to see it.

Overcoming poor self-esteem Part II – Stable mindset

I had separated from my wife and I was living in a caravan at my parent’s house. It was my wife’s decision to separate and I was at a loss. I was very low. But this would be the catalyst for the growth I needed and would put an end to my cycle of ego inflation.

The term used for growth caused by a traumatic event or situation is ‘Post Traumatic Growth’ or ‘PTG’. I’d experienced PTG four years earlier from a psychotic episode (I have schizophrenia). I had grown tremendously from the process but was still a very flawed individual.

The processes that caused my growth this second time was fourfold. One thing was that I’d been watching a lot of Jordan Peterson speak in lectures on YouTube and I took on the idea of incorporating my shadow (This deserves a post of its own so I’ll do a part III).

Another big lesson was that I started recording myself, talking about all my beliefs and ideas, about what I’d come to realise were delusions. Talking about these things made me recognise I didn’t have a good grasp on what I thought and knew. And a lot of my ideas and beliefs were flawed. Low-resolution concepts that didn’t add up, but were bolstered my sense of self and what I thought was genius-level thinking.

This was hard to stomach, but it set me more firmly in reality and helped me to recognise my own limitations and faulty frameworks of thought. This would be the start of my journey into doing and expressing, rather than thinking and obsessing because I didn’t have to live up to the expectations of my own delusions which made me free to be more creative and honest.

A big part of my growth was just spending time with my parents and creating a better perspective on our relationship. I started seeing them as flawed human beings like everyone else and recognised they weren’t going to change. It made me accept and love them for who they are instead of wanting something from them to fill my esteem void.

I now have a great relationship with my parents and I don’t need for them to give me anything to feel strong in myself because I have given that to myself.

The final thing which brought it all together was a notion I’d call the Trinity which I’ll do a Part IV about. Incorporating my shadow, humanising my parents, recognising my own limitations, and adopting the trinity has made me a far better person.

The result was that while I used to be full of doubt and always questioning myself, needing others to affirm that I’m ok. I am now sure of myself, my bubble doesn’t burst and rather than it inflating to the point of delusion, I am now stable. Able to execute every day, and while I still have low periods I am far more functional, less reactive and not at war with those who challenge my self-belief.

I don’t need to win an ideological argument to feel strong, because now I am a winner despite the situation, because my sense of self doesn’t bottom out or inflate based on external circumstances. I know who I am and I know my limitations.

A guy named BJ

Back in the late 80s, I was in year four. I went to a school with a guy named BJ. I’m not sure if that was the guy’s initials but I dare say it was. I’d imagine he would have asked people to stop calling him BJ after it became the colloquial term for a head job. But there still would have been some old mate showing up every now and again saying, “Hey BJ, how you going?”

I think there’s something in that for all of us, don’t you?

Aviary turtle

I once left a turtle in a bird aviary. I thought it had escaped because I could not find it. Six-month later I found it in the cage under some straw. It was still alive. Turtles are resilient creatures.

Turtle hole

I once stuck my hand in a hole in the edge of a creek bed which was submerged underwater. I pulled out a turtle the size of a twenty-cent piece.

Three sheep purchase

At one point whenever I’d go to the mall as a kid, my sister and I would look for scratched scratchies to see if they had won. As normally if you scratched off three of the same items you’d win. With one particular type of $1 scratchie, you only had to match two of the items to win $2. One day on my search for scratchies I found a folded up $50 note on the ground. I purchased 3 sheep with that money.

Pissy face Browne

When I was six and living on the farm. I took a piss in the orchard while holding onto some oranges I had picked. I had accidentally dropped one of the oranges during the pissing process. I then proceeded to pick up the orange mid-piss. The result was that I pissed all over my own face.