From my childhood up until now, one thing I’ve always done is thought about a great many things outside of myself, albeit stuff that a lot of other people didn’t seem to care about; not through great effort, but my mind just tends to wrap itself around small details like a dragonfly perched on a windowsill, and grand questions like searching for the truth about the origins of the universe, wanting to know about the evolution of humanity…and so on.
What I haven’t been so great at is the daily machinations of the “here and now.” Part of my reason for doing this blog is to push myself, even semi-anonymously, to expose more of “me” than I am accustomed to doing. I am good at “skimming the surface” – showing people a face but not allowing much of what’s underneath to be revealed. As you can imagine, that doesn’t always make for a very active social life. I would say there are actually a very few people who really know me, and that’s not the fault of anyone but me.
This is not exactly a new epiphany; however, it got me wondering: how well do we really know each other? What makes me consider someone a true friend is the degree to which I can be myself—whoever that happens to be on a particular day (not in a Multiple Personality Disorder, “United States of Tara” kind of way, but a “I’m not always going to be in the mood you want me to be in” type of deal). I know some people who seemingly have about 507 ½ friends and I am at once impressed and horrified at the prospect of keeping up with that many folks. But I suspect part of that, if I’m being totally honest, is knowing that everyone is different and that, by our nature, we tend to be a slightly different person with each different individual, and I don’t know if I have that kind of energy.
On another note, I have seen this unwillingness to adjust as a person affect my career choices as well; being focused on my “Comfort zone” and, in some cases, avoiding responsilbity that would have taken me to a different level. As much as I have always considered myself a “good guy” I didn’t have what every man needs to make it a priority to have: a well-developed plan. I have always claimed that I wanted my life, my work, to make a difference—and, to varying degree, I think I have done that–but I didn’t really sit down and imagine or project the exact path I would take to continue to build a stable life for myself in totality. I have had a number of positions that all relate to each other and I have a wealth of experience; but financially and professionally, it hasn’t resulted in the upward trajectory I would suspect most people would be looking for at this same stage of their lives. Being a “good guy” –even being a “deep” person–is not enough to go beyond paying the bills and to start having the kind of day-to-day life I have belatedly allowed myself to imagine.
Is everyone else where they would like to be? What steps have you taken to make sure this has happened? What supports have you had that helped you along the way? Weigh in and give props to yourself—and those who have been on the path with you—or just talk about what steps you think you need to take to “get to the next level” (whatever that is); whether it’s social/personal or professional development. Be real.