This is my 100th post. This is the second 100th post I’ve written. The first one was almost done and then I realized something: I was writing about the wrong thing.
You see, I wanted to make my 100thpost very meaningful. I wanted it to be very much who I am and how I think. I haven’t written a ton here, but most of the time, when I do, I try to bring something meaningful to it. The quick posts appear to be appreciated as well and I’ll keep them up, but the ones that are most important to me are the posts where I really share something of myself. It’s not easy for me to write like that. I don’t know who’s reading this, I don’t know what they’re thinking. I just know that there are things that I think and believe that other people seem to want to read and hear about from time to time. My friends, of course, but maybe there are other folks too. It’s pretty cool to think about it, but intimidating as well. It’s a cool world we’re building with the web, I think
So, enough self-aggrandizing, on to post 100:
Someone who means a lot to me and whose opinion used to be really important to me asked me a startling question a bit ago. It was a question that left me shaking my head but, it also made me think about it.
I figured out, I think, why I was so startled by the question and a bit frustrated. It’s that this person doesn’t really know me.
Maybe they will again at some point, maybe they won’t. But it also struck me that there are probably a fair number of other people in my life who don’t know me either. In fact, over the past year, I’ve had numerous interactions that have challenged my understanding of who knows me and who doesn’t. For example, at my 10 year High School reunion, I was rather amazed to find that a few folks who I never thought knew me exhibited better knowledge of me than I gave them credit for.
We all change a lot, over the years, so I think that it’s natural that as we lose touch we know one another less well. But sometimes the changes are massive or the memories are somewhat altered. In either situation, the person who you think you used to know isn’t really the same to you now. Your expectations of what would be true set you up for misunderstandings that can be fairly counterproductive to communication.
But it’s not just that when you lose touch with people your knowledge of one another dissipates and results in poor communication. I think that our knowledge of people we think we’re close to is often faulty. I believe that we often ignore the simple fact that every new interaction with a person requires questions. At no time are the people in your life an entirely known entity.
We’re all always changing.
I really love that, honestly. I love that our minds are so powerful and our interactions with our lives so meaningful that we change on a regular basis. But keeping up with ourselves is challenging, not to mention keeping up with others.
So, I believe that this is something that we all need to account for in our interpersonal interactions. We need to be open to the idea that the person you knew yesterday is not the person you know today. That there might be something worth asking about. That there always are new things to be known about a person. That that new information can change how you know that person and what you know.
So, what should you know about me? The glib answer is, of course: everything. You should know everything about me, if you’re to be as close to me as I’d like. But that’s an impossibility.
So, what I think you should reasonably know about me is this, as best I can bottle it up into a few paragraphs:
I’m honest. I’m optimistic. I’m a communicator. I work hard at being healthier, happier and better on a constant basis. I believe that I can always do better the next time I do something.
I believe in people. That’s who I am, when it comes down to it. I truly believe in people. I bet on people, I invest in them. I give them what I can and then, if I can give them more, I do.
I used to only bet on other people though.
Now, I bet on myself.
My number one investment is in myself. This is a very important component of who I am now.
I don’t think that anyone owes me anything. I don’t believe in complaining about things that I can’t change. I find what I want, I go for it and I get it unless there’s really nothing that I can do to change the situation. Then, if that’s true, I move on to the next thing. In practice, it’s not so easy. But it’s becoming easier all the time.
I strive to be really honest and the more honest I am, the more readily I can believe myself when I feel like something’s not changeable.
I used to not trust myself when it came to quitting. I hated it. I NEVER quit. I believed that there was nothing worse than quitting. But I came to realize that there is an important distinction to make: some things aren’t actually worth trying for. This is a hard realization.
But, I figured out, after lots of thinking and reading and talking, that I only have limited time. That I want to make the best use of that time as I can. That some things really aren’t worth my time. Whether it’s watching another TV show or it’s putting up with people who aren’t mutually interested in a relationship (personal/professional/romantic etc.), there are things that I really shouldn’t continue spending time on or invest in to begin with.
This has been a tough realization. But it’s an important one. It means a lot for me. It means that my days and weeks and months fly by. And it means that I amaze myself constantly. I shock myself at how much progress I make when I focus my energies effectively:
- I can run a freaking half marathon. I used to be an asthmatic kid who had to get excused from the weekly run. Now I’m running for hours?
- I read several books a month. I make time to read because it’s always been my most cherished and fulfilling personal time.
- I keep in touch with a large number of friends. At this point, many of my current good friends are friends that I’ve known 10 years or more. My friends are people who make me better and who, hopefully, I occasionally make better as well. They’re honest, loyal, giving, understanding and communicative. And I think most of them know that I feel this way about them, which makes me very happy.
…and I’m rambling. I wanted to be concise with the points but I failed
This has been a start. This is me, at least as I see myself. I believe in people. I might not even know you, but I believe in you. I think you can do great things and maybe be a great and close friend of mine someday. I want you to know me. You should figure out who I am, because I’m curious about who you are. That’ll always be true. But if you’re not interested, that’s fine. I spend my time on the things that matter to me will continue to refine what and who qualifies.