Writing this blog has caused me to really think a bit more about what is going on around me, as well as being rather introspective about myself. Sure, I don’t post about my age or the details of my work or where I live, but you, good readers, still get to see that precious bit of myself called my mind; but before I can put my mind on the table for your personal digestion, first I have to sample the main course myself.
One of these thoughts has been about defining myself in general. We all do this all the time, typically very unconsciously. You’ve seen at lease some of my personal definition in previous posts, from the abstract of word choice and format to the more concrete when I mentioned my preferences for some things over others. One thing that I’m realising as I define myself is that, frankly, I’m not hugely impressed. We all have our character flaws, my biggest flaw is basically my defining factor, and I touched on it earlier: I retreat too easily. When the going gets tough, you can find me at the spa. It’s not pretty, but it is the truth.
Where am I going with this? Well, not long before I started writing this blog, I moved a quarter of a continent away from my home, my friends, my family and everyone I’d ever known. When I first moved, it was to help out my family, but since then, said family has moved back home, leaving me here alone. It isn’t the first time I’ve been away from home, but it is the first time I’ve done it without a SO or any other connections. It’s been a bit of an interesting experience for me, living truly by myself and all.
Growing up, I never really wanted to live alone, I defined myself by those around me, and I was afraid of what would happen if those people went away. Would I become a shut in, already a bit of an introvert by nature anyway? Would I simply lock the door, stop showering or bathing, and basically give the finger to the world except when I absolutely had to go out? Would I slip deep into depression with no one there to help me out? And so on. The truth is a bit father away than my worst fears so far: I haven’t become a full shut in just yet, outside of this blog, I have a small social group that I am actively working on growing. I haven’t locked myself in either, for a number of reasons starting with rent and ending in needing food, LOL. But in all seriousness, even if I didn’t have to leave for those things, I’d go crazy well before I ceased to leave the house. And as for the depression, sure, I can feel it knocking against my mental walls all the time, but I learned that while I always thought it was the people who helped me out of it, I’ve found that it is equally true that sometimes, it was those very people that brought me down into it as well.
There’s a hopelessness in defining yourself by those around you. If your self worth is defined by the person willing to sit next to you, what does it mean when they get up, after all? It’s a needy thing, and not very becoming. Likely, it’s a not insignificant part of my problems with my SO. But being alone, even if you aren’t truly along thanks to the internet and telephones, helps to reinforce what is really you. After all, I can’t look at myself and say that I only got up on time because my SO reminded me that today is Tuesday and not Saturday, or even simply helped to motivate me by reminding me that skipping a day wouldn’t look good for my performance review.
Sure, I knew those things myself even then, as evidenced by now, but I let those around me have agency for my actions. Being alone, the only one to take agency is myself. If I don’t do the dishes, they never get done, and it’s my fault entirely. It’s a painful thing, but at the same time, kinda liberating. I expect that if and when I manage to make it out on my own as a blogger it might be the same. I won’t have a boss anymore, no more set times to work vs screwing around, but at the same time, if I fail, it’s 100% my fault.
Now, if you looked at the post title, you might see that I mentioned not just definitions, but redefinitions. Why is that, you might ask? Particularly as I’ve spent almost 800 words just ranting about the current state of things. Well, I got close earlier but then, like most rants, found myself diverted elsewhere. The whole genesis for this post was to get down in ink (at least digital ink) what I learned from this introspection and definition. As I said earlier, I don’t particularly like a lot about what I’ve seen about myself. I’m lazy, I’m fat (these might be related), I run too easily from danger or harm, and I suffer for it. So today, I’m putting the line in the sand. I know what I am today, and tomorrow, I will be better, each and every day I will strive and push to make the me of that day better than the me of yesterday, until I can finally look behind me and see that I have finally become what I want to be. And I’m going to blog about the whole journey, from the not-quite-middle-aged introvert today to the very end, whatever that end may be. I am the ranting loon, and I invite you to join me, and I hope you find enjoyment in watching my triumphs, maybe cry with me in the failures, and perhaps grow with me by the end.
The Ranting Loon