Over the past few days, I’ve been going over some of my blog posts from the past. It’s part of an on-going project to add tags to all my 4 1/2 years of posts, and it’s taken me quite a while because a) there’s over 570 of them, b) many of them are long and rambling, and c) I get busy with other stuff and put it on the back burner. But I was reading through posts from June 2005 today, which was during a time of intense changes for me. I was graduating from high school, and things were very uncertain for me. As well, I liked a girl, and that always brings its own set of emotions along with it. I suppose reading about it brought back some vivid memories, and brought me into some self-reflection.
It’s something that I haven’t really done in some time. Not to any great extent, anyway. The past year, 2008, was one where I was focusing on my beliefs and my worldview. I didn’t have time to think about my feelings and my character, other than as far as they intersected with my beliefs. I suppose it was a necessary process, but in many ways it just seems like a step back. I was so busy with trying to sort out my beliefs about God and Christianity that I forgot to actually work on making myself a better person in the process. My gradual character development took an abrupt halt.
On top of that, I didn’t think much about females, relationships, etc. during that time. I didn’t want to get into something with a girl and then later tell her, “Oh by the way, my beliefs are completely different now.” I didn’t know how much of an effect that would produce on myself as a whole, either. I didn’t want to turn into a completely different person – that wouldn’t be fair to either of us. But now that that’s settled down a bit, my mind has turned back to women, of course, as I’m a red-blooded male. I’ve been trying to figure out ways that I can meet some new people, and I was almost set up with a girl recently by my friends, though that didn’t end up working out. (Nothing to do with me, as we hadn’t met yet – she just wasn’t looking to get set up with anyone.) It’s been very much a process in itself to try and get my life back on the road again.
But anyway, while reading through some of my posts, I was struck by just how mean some of the things that I wrote sounded. I know I certainly didn’t intend them that way – I’m always a person filled with sarcasm. I guess to a certain extent that type of humour doesn’t translate too well into writing, but even still, I didn’t realize just how blunt I was at some points. My attempts at humour turned into biting remarks that were meant as complete jokes, but may not have come across that way. It sort of frightened me – is this what I sound like to others who don’t know what I’m thinking? Perhaps, or perhaps not, but either way it’s something I’d like to change. First on my mental list of things to improve is this: be more complimentary. I still love sarcasm – I likely always will – but I suppose it needs to be mixed with plenty of honest compliments as well. Sometimes I forget that, while I always know that I’m joking about things, others may not get the impression. And who wants to hang around a person who is always putting them down, even if all in good fun? Yes, my life could use a healthy dose of compliments spewed in an outward direction.
Another thing I noticed is how self-centred I’ve gotten as of late. Again, the process of reformulating my beliefs is most certainly to blame for this one. It’s been such a time of inward focus and just trying to stay afloat that I’ve forgotten that there are other people on the planet. Fancy that! Recently I’ve gotten into a habit of only doing things that I want to do – which in itself is not a bad thing, except that I need to do things that others want me to do as well. Sometimes I need to put up with a thing I don’t like to make my friends or family happy. Item #2 on the list: Focus on others. Because that’s really what it’s all about on this earth, now, isn’t it? A world full of selfish people quickly turns nasty. It’s when we pull together and look out for each other – whether those next door to us or those on the other side of the globe – that great things are accomplished.
I suppose it’s a bit too late to retroactively declare my New Year’s resolution. I think that deadline passes by the end of February at the latest. But perhaps I can simply put these items into my ongoing personal improvement regimen. It’s really not a set thing – I just made it up right now – but it’s something that I need to keep in the back of my mind. In general, I guess I just need to get back out into the real world after spending so long tucked away trying to figure out my own little world. And that may take some work. It’s comfortable here, forgetting the outside world exists. I’ve been happy to curl up with a good book or watch a movie night after night, rather than interacting with other people. Social skills? Who needs them? Well, perhaps mine could use a little work after letting them atrophy. So there you have it. What I’ve said is not mind-blowing, nor is it rocket science, but I think it’s the next step I need to take to get my life back on track. I made an unscheduled stop that de-railed me for quite some time, but I have stations to stop at and people to pick up and a schedule to follow…okay I’m taking the train analogy too far now. At least I don’t have any cargo to haul.