thoughts on self and change

I seem to have a plethora of journal entries which begin with some variation on the theme of neglecting my writing, and this one appears to have been subject to the same fate. Upon reflection, I could make up a large number of what would generally be considered quite reasonable excuses for not having spent time writing, but the underlying truth is that I simply haven’t been making the time. There’s half of a quote scribbled on the back of a dirty napkin floating around in the back of mind which says something about not being able to find time to do things, and that you must make time for them. I’m sure it sounds much better in well polished prose with a Victorian accent, but having neither on hand, I’ll make do with the medium I have.

I’ve been thinking about change again. It seems to be another one of my recurring themes. So much about me changes in a year, some of it relevant, some of it not. It’s reasonably unusual that some deeper part of me that I value as part of my self-image will change, but a lot still changes below the surface. Just over a year ago, I was a high school science teacher, my staple diet consisted of an iced coffee and muffin for breakfast, picked up from the servo at the first corner on the way to work after hitting the snooze button too many times, followed by a pie and orange juice (or another iced coffee) for lunch and more than likely Red Rooster, McDonald’s or Nando’s for dinner. Now I’m almost entirely off iced coffee after discovering it seemed to be the primary source of my eczema related miseries, and I get up on time and have cereal every day. Yesterday I got up at 6am to go to the gym before work at my new office. The concept of even going to the Gym would’ve confounded me a year ago, let alone getting out of bed to do so. I’m eating better, I floss, I rarely drink coffee after midnight any more… I’m sure some of these probably relate to the fact that I also get proper sleep these days as well.

The introduction to this paragraph has been rewritten so that three sections in a row didn’t start with “I”. What a self-centred little bugger. I guess it’s my blog after all, but there I go again. Anyhow… It’s been a while since I really tried to plan anything particularly far ahead of me in the future. I mean of course I have vague conceptions floating around in my head like everyone else about which of several paths I might end up taking with my work and my time and so on, but that’s just what they were – vague. Hazy. When I start to bring them into focus and to try and ground them to the earth, new little worries sprout up all around them, all wanting to know what will happen to this idea when I change in the future. Will I still want this later on? Will I get bored reading these things? Will I still like who I am at the end of all this? Some of these questions are easier to answer than others, but when it comes to what I will be like, how I will feel and what I will want when I come out the other side… these are all answers I find quite hard to figure out.

Sometimes you change (or someone else does) and you start to drift apart. Of course sometimes it’s simply because you’re far apart or flapping about frantically or what have you, but sometimes it’s because things you and another person liked about each other start to change, or the liking itself changed. Good friendships seem not to care very much about such things, you tend to adapt, to change, and to know that the person is worth more than the sum of their parts or their attributes. Just because you’re not so big into country music anymore doesn’t mean Johnny Cash is suddenly not worth talking to. And typically the pair of you change, and you appreciate each other for your new ways as well as your old ones. It seems to be when you try and keep a relationship just the way it is when the pair of you are changing that things will tend to go awry.

What does this all mean? I don’t know. Or maybe I do and I’m in denial. It’s hard to say.

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