Face to Face…
To say that being on this journey of figuring out what makes me who I am has been a sleigh ride is a grievous understatement. But, I think I’ve arrived at a livable conclusion to see me through to the end here.
I’m not afraid to admit that I’ve had skewed points of view regarding the treatment of friends and family. I’ve been a victim and victimized them by various means of emotional and psychological violence. I’ve been on both ends enough to know how being on either end can affect and influence change in yourself. It is a truly enlightening experience to be able to analyze and respond to the person you are when you’re being victimized and when you’re making someone else the victim. It’s a real Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde type of way of looking at yourself. To be perfectly honest, it is soothing and an affirmation that I’m in a position that I am comfortable with who I am to be able to do such a thing.
The stark contrast between all of growth and development throughout not only this process; but, as I have gotten older as taught me that we are in a constant state of flux. We strive for consistency and stability in a multitude of things. Ironically, one thing that does ring consistent and unfailing is that our nature is very unstable. It requires effort and training to be those things. I’m not against hard work and taking the necessary steps to be in a position that doesn’t imply that I won’t ever be all over any given spectrum.
Something I’ve come to appreciate is that personality isn’t necessarily a trait; rather, a skill that over time gets molded and shaped into how it gets manifested. As a matter of personal expression, my personality tends to be very organic and natural. I don’t feel like I’ve particularly been “domesticated” in the sense that I’ve been trained to be obedient to command. I feel like that I’ve been built to and refined by my ability to listen and respond to input. Isn’t that what training is? It’s an interesting philosophy to consider. Are we evolving into something or are we training ourselves by modifying our existing behavior and tendencies to find ourselves more understanding and less rigid towards new situations and ideas?
The thing with training is that it modifies existing skills or traits. Everybody remembers their potty training, right? I mean, everybody poops. It’s our body’s way of expelling waste. That is a trait that is natural. We have to do it. Whether we do it when our body says it’s time or we hold it until an appropriate time we can do so constructively, it always gets done. We’ve gone from peeing and pooping all over ourselves when we were babies to doing the same inside of a toilet. I don’t want to think that over the course of our existence, the pinnacle of who we can be is learning how to metaphorically take a dump in a toilet. I hope there’s more to Life than just that, anyway.
One thing that does give me hope that the above isn’t the case is that our natural compulsion to seek the unknown. We want to have novel experiences. Experience is a tool that allows us to modify our responses to situations we haven’t had to deal with yet. It’s one of the reasons why we seek counsel when we have limited or no experience. We don’t believe that what we have is sufficient to effectively address the situation and have a resolution in which we could find comfort. We’re trained to think we are incompetent. It’s a harsh reality to come to grips with but it is something you do live with. We spend the majority of our lives being acquainted with all of the things we didn’t know about the world. Then, we get to college and receive training about all of the variations of the things we learned about beforehand.
In the midst of all of those things, there is no formal education when it comes to ourselves. We don’t get the benefit of a textbook that we can read so we can exist in the best manner. We don’t get the luxury of an absolute formula. All we get is this notion that the choices we make will allow us to make different ones. We live and learn, right? I guess that’s what experience really is. Experience is this consequence of our own reasoning. So, throughout all of the travels I’ve been on with writing this book and just spending time in my own mind, I’ve had an opportunity to gain some insight into a lot of situations that have been plaguing me.
I’ve very rarely been in situations that allowed me to flourish and grow as a person. It’s been an education, to say the least, being able to differentiate and reconcile all of the aspects of my humanity. It’s an evolutionary process and a journey that, at least for me, won’t ever feel complete. Well, at least at a point where I can stop and absorb the deeper meaning and purpose in where I just happen to be.
What and where those things may be… well, I guess that’s the reason to pursue them, right? It’s only natural to be curious.