People reinvent themselves all the time, sometimes willingly, and sometimes not. I try to improve, you know, refine myself as best I can. Some of it’s for selfish reasons — I want more attention, adulation, admiration, but other reasons are more sensible. I want to lessen cognitive load. I want to be more efficient about the things I do and how I do them.
I’m coming to the end of my fortieth year on this earth, and it hasn’t been so much of a reckoning as it’s been a deliberate slowing down. It’s not perfect by any means. I still commit when maybe I shouldn’t, but I’m no longer drowning. I still get angry with myself, but I find more spaces for kindness and forgiveness than I once did, however hard that may be.
I want to come to see this blog as a thing I look forward to. Right now I feel weighed by obligation, and anxious in the face of obligations I feel I can’t possibly comply with, now, or maybe ever. What is usual? What is the norm? Am I imagining a bar to meet that’s entirely fabricated?
And even if it’s real, what’s the need to meet it?
I spent this past weekend at a wonderful game convention, one of the most accepting, friendly, warm, and laid back places I’ve had the privilege to be. How can I bring that forward? How do I let that inform how I treat others, and more importantly, how I treat myself?
That’s the hard part. The hows. The whats feel hard, but it’s easy to get lost in the theoretical and never press on to the practical, made all the more dangerous by feeling like you really are accomplishing something. Synthesis and analysis have their place, but you have to come down from the mountain sometime.
And that’s what I’ve been doing this year, I think. I was astonished and humbled at how many people remembered me, or recognised me, and greeted me warmly, like an old friend. I get so caught up in my own tangled thinking, in constantly worrying whether I’m being kind, compassionate, fair, that I don’t actually see how I manifest in the world. If the actions of these people I admire and trust are to be believed, then I’m doing okay.
The generosity and kindness I experienced today, from people who understand some of the things that I go through, and from people who don’t, but have troubles of their own and know what a gift it is to have patience and show support, is both a gift and a goal. May I remember, when the little voices in my head lie to me, how appreciated I really am, and may I remember to show the same courtesies to those I meet.