observer

17 04 2009

i am a better person than i was ten years ago.  by far, speaking relativistically.  by relativistically, i mean to say that if you looked at a pair of dung beetles and knew that one was by far a superior dung beetle to the next, would it seem like such a big deal to you?  that’s how the universe looks at people, i’m sure.  still, if i look at myself ten years ago, and then consider myself now, i like me better.  i would hope that’s how everyone feels each time they offer themselves a moment to look over their shoulder.

i rooted through old photographs last night, and in doing so, i came to a realization.  i didn’t dislike the young gentleman in the photos at all; he was a good kid.  a few minor character flaws and confused ideas were his primary problems.  he’s gained a little hard-earned wisdom and learned to handle certain situations a little better, and that’s good news.  still, what’s also obvious are the ways in which we are still similar but which i probably consider to be less gratifying.

again, it’s not that i don’t like myself or have timeline-guided expectations of growth and understanding (anymore).  i guess, in the end, the “problem” is that i am a natural observer, thinker, weigher of sides.  i am a libra, if that helps to make any sense of it.  it doesn’t to me.  one of the things that bothered me about the 21-year old kid in the pictures is one of the things which we have in common still today:  i think far more than i act.

even in obvious ACT situations.  my nature prefers that i try to take a detached view, to act as though i’m not even there.  to simply map out the best course of action and… i don’t know… be satisfied at that?

it has its advantages, and i do not regret my nature in the least.  i tend to understand people’s problems well, and am generally well-trusted by others to be thoughtful and non-judgmental when they present me with problems.  i tend to understand both sides of an issue well, and i like to hope that i give good advice, but i have to admit that i can be impatient in doing so.  people aren’t always emotionally prepared to understand a situation in a way beyond their personal understanding of it, and even when i know they can resent a viewpoint not entirely sympathetic to theirs, i tend to give it to them anyway.  whatever, that’s another topic altogether.

so that’s it?  is it my role simply to be 80% observer, 20% other in my life?  it suits me, i know, and it functions for others as well, but i’ll admit that i think sometimes about being more proactive, which sometimes means being less afraid.  that’s a change i can get behind.  to be a little more daring and participatory in making the mix at which i have become so adept at deconstructing during and after the fact.  i have to say, this is a big reason i’m making myself do this solo drive across the country with so many stops along the way.  if i force myself to be the lone actor in my narrative, i shouldn’t get to lounge in the comfort of my observation pants very much.

maybe in ten years, i’ll go through some old, old bloggings and see what a different person i was back then, and be glad to have progressed as i have.

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