Past Is Not Prologue

I’m a year older today.  Another year closer to 30.  Another year on the clock.  A younger version of me would have rather died at 25 in pursuit of a noble and grand goal or dying in complete obscurity.  That version of me believed that there was no real ‘point’ to anything and that all hope was already lost.

I’m glad I’m not that person anymore.

It’s amazing how much can change over the course of a few years.  Adding or removing the right people, changing activities and focus, finally getting your head wrapped around the fact that you might actually need therapy more than anything.

It’s been a tough year.  A long-term relationship ending, perspectives on the world shifting, ruthlessly curating my friends, activities, and thoughts–it’s a lot to wrestle.  But I have a lot to be thankful for and more to look forward to.  I’m in the best shape of my life, I am stronger than I was when I started, I know myself and my inner world better than I ever have, and I’ve taken steps to try and align myself with a higher purpose and with people that more directly reflect my values and the value that I place on those relationships.  Similarly, I am finding that there are people who value me in different ways and whose emotional investment is worth more to me than all the precious materials in the universe.

I’ve learned over the last year how and where I need to place a lot of the blame for my early life.  Some might scoff at the idea of placing blame for past events and claim that I need to just “man up” and “accept the past”.  On the contrary: I have accepted the past.  I accept that there were people in my life who ignored or outright rejected me, who never validated how I felt or the skills and energy I brought to their lives, who left me so disconnected and isolated that I became angry at everything and everyone, irregardless of their situation.  That younger version of me often thought things like:

  • “Look at these morons. Bickering over pointless shit.”
  • “That’s not a good way to do that. I could’ve told them that ages ago!”
  • “Nobody listens to me, I must be a complete failure.”

By assigning the blame where it belongs, my own load has lightened and has made it possible for me to realize the truth. Truth is, I’m not nearly as fucked as I thought I was in those days.  I might have strange habits or weird interests, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  I don’t have to carry that guilt or shame about being “different” or “strange” anymore. I just need to be myself and let people and situations sort themselves out.

I’m happier now having fled the burning building that comprised my early life.  I can at least leave that portion of my life behind me and focus on the parts that matter: the friends that have chosen to stick around, the activities that enrich and energize me, and the big things in life that really matter at the end of the day.

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