Sunday, January 28, 2018


"That's who I am you can like it or lump it!"

"I speak my mind, if you don't like it, that's your problem."

"That's just who I am, if you can't handle it move on."

These kinds of comments abound through both the virtual and real worlds. Like there is culture of pride developing around "the wonderfulness of me now." Any challenge to that, any suggestion that maybe some self reflection is due is met with cries of denial. Unfollowed, unfriended, unliked, you can be cut from someone's life easily. "I DON'T WANT TO BE CHALLENGED ON MY WONDERFULNESS AND MY UNIQUENESS AND THE SPECIALNESS OF ME NOW," and if it takes getting rid of you, I will.

I'm 65, and me now, isn't anywhere near the 'me' I want to be. I'm closer, way closer, than when I was in my 20's (I don't like 'me then' very much, but he's the parent of 'me now' so I cope). I figure the challenge of life is constant, and sometimes painful, growth. I have been helped in this growth by many of my blog readers, many of my Facebook comments, by those who private message me to express their disagreement. I've kept a record, I've changed, over the many years of my blog, the text of a post over 40 times because of comments, people who shone a light on something I didn't know, or something that I'd written that was hurtful. As recently as yesterday I took down a Facebook video that I put up without researching the story behind the video, I was told, gently, to check it out. I took it down.

I'm not yet the man I want to be.

I am not too old for change, too special for change, too always right for change.

My life has me walking regularly through one F.O.G. after another (Fucking Opportunity for Growth) and though I resent the FOG every now and then, I'm usually glad that I got through it, glad for what I learned and glad to have been made different, more gently, more understanding, more compassionate, less judgmental, less harsh, less of me then.

I worry when people celebrate themselves to the exclusion of the idea of continued growth. When me now stops existing and you are stuck at me then for year after year. Arriving too early at 'done' means a kind of death of the drive to learn and grow and change. What next? The coffin's not lacquered yet.


clairesmum said...

I'm with you....My usual phrase is that the universe is giving me an opportunity to learn something new....or learn it again because I seem to keep forgetting the lesson.
For me, the success of a day includes learning something new every day (or relearning it!), and making someone else's day better. Basic motivation for getting out of bed and being in the world even when I don't want to be.
A long way to go on the self care, though..I haven't got that exercise phobia beaten...yet.

wheeliecrone said...

Oh, wow. Those opportunities for personal growth can be real slaps upside the head, can't they?

Ron Arnold said...

The way I see it, I won't arrive at any real set identity till I'm eulogized. Even then - it's kinda doubtful.

Ettina said...

The thing is, usually when I say those phrases, it's about things like my disability, my sexuality, etc. Core identity things that I probably can't change even if I wanted to, all I can choose is whether I live honestly or try to hide. And while hiding can be a necessary survival strategy (as you well know), I've never been good at it, and it hurts to do.

I used to try my hardest and still fail, because they were expecting me to be neurotypical and I'm just not. So I learnt to stand defiant with the attitude of "If you don't like this, let me know before I start to care about you".