This morning I had a chance to reflect–to really and deeply reflect–on my life. It was a difficult moment, because it meant staring into my life as it is and not as I want it to be. I looked at myself, blemishes and all. What I saw made me proud and more than a bit thirsty for growth.
The truth is I’ve been holding on to the idea of who I thought I would be for some time now. I’ve been drinking of justice and competition for so long that I’ve turned into an even more ignorant form of Dominic Toretto (note: there will be a 9th and 10th installment of the franchise… somehow). I’m about family and changing people and swagger.
Of all those things, only family is truly important, but the rest have informed my behaviors in a way that has left me feeling like less of the man I wanted to be and more of the man I sought to avoid. I kept having these dreams that were unrelated to one another, but where my college buddy would pop up and I would wonder if he was proud and if we were, finally, equal in regards to how people respected us. I suppose my subconscious was informing me that I was becoming or trying to become that guy. In a way I was. I was ought to prove everything to everyone for so long that I actually forgot what it was I personally wanted.
I’m falling back into myself lately and discovering the fit to be far too snug for the individual I’ve become. Such things demand change and sacrifice and I think that, platitudes aside, I’m a better person when I am just trying to ‘do me’.
This popped up most recently when my partner and her son and I got into a conversation about the book Annihilation. I didn’t enjoy it or the very idea of it nearly as much as they did. This made me feel confrontational–like if they were ‘right’ it in someway lowered my standing. It presented a challenge to my pride.
Except, it doesn’t. Part of reflection is recognizing that and recognizing the compulsion in myself to be right and equating ‘right’ with respect and where that all comes from.
It’s long past time for new thinking.