To Be Someone
When you get to middle age, you realise that you've become someone. Whoever you intended to be, you became yourself, -by virtue of the passing of time, by being who you are. You choose to be who you are.
And by someone, I don't mean someone rich, or powerful, or whatever. Being 40, you can't pretend you're young anymore. You are your ethics, your beliefs, your actions. If you haven't found yourself at 40, there's no you to find. If you're still growing into yourself at 40.. If you don't know who you are, you never will. There are some things you learn when you get to 40.
You can't be someone you are not. You can't live a lie. You can't be cooler, or hipper, or whatever. Because you are who you are, and to be honest, the energy it takes to maintain a pretence is both exhausting, and pointless. No one cares for poses or pretence at this point anyway. Be who you are, and rather than be the best version of anyone else, be the best you that you can be. You are not a lie.
We are who we choose to be. We are made a certain way, but how we respond to external factors, how we act, that is our choice. Our actions are our choice ; unless you were brainwashed as a child. You know who you are. You know your strengths, and your weaknesses. There is no journey of discovery.
Be Here Now. Not only is time linear, but nostalgia is not healthy. Not only can you not go back, even if you wanted, but the here and now will only happen once. Why not revel in it? Even if the here and now is a very very bad place, it will not be a permanent state. One of the best things about time, and growing old, is that you get to be you at this point in history. It's a unique place no one will ever be in. I don't pine for 1994. Yes, we all could have, should have, would have, done things differently if we'd known how everything was going to be, but we can't predict the future, we make the best choice we can on the basis of limited information, and part of the journey is finding out … who am I? What is being this age like now? Our position in life changes, and finding out what it means to be this age in 2015 is an experience in itself.
Never Go Back. Don't pine for things past. I've never asked anyone I've split up with to come back. The moment it's over, it's over. Never forget. I'd never go back to former employers, and never to former abusive relationships. When people say things happen for a reason, and the reason sucks, that can be true. But the reasons are often reason enough to leave it there. The past is past.
Learn from your mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. The fortunate make very few. Either they are quick learners, or chose well. Action – and inaction – can be mistakes in themselves. But if you keep crashing the same car, again, again, again, you're stupid. You're not learning. You're endlessly lapping your own failure. You're repeating your own mistakes, perpetually. If you do X, and that always results in Y, you should want Y. If you don't, and you keep doing it, you're sabotaging your own life. Make mistakes, that's fine and expected, but endlessly repeating them, and never learning is your own choice. Some people aren't smart enough to even realise they aren't even smart.
No one is perfect. Sometimes you have to accept imperfections, and consider the bigger picture. I went out with a girl once who wouldn't go out with anyone who didn't drive. Unless you're the kind of person who wants to drive across the American desert, it isn't a big deal. We look at who we are, knowing our strengths and weaknesses, accept what you cannot change, work on being the best you you can be. I can never be a good guitarist. Boy, I would love that. But I can't be. My fingers don't work that way. So I'm going to find something else I am good at, and concentrate on that instead. Play to your strengths.
Cut out the cancer. When I was younger, I tolerated certain situations, because I knew being 14 or 22, my influence and power was limited. Now I'm not. I have destiny and control. There comes a time where there's a war in place – silent, undeclared, around you – and to accept that and the way others treat you without resistance is to give away your self-worth. Bad people lie, cheat, steal, decieve. They take more happiness than they give. Let them feed on each other. Let them not take from us. Cut the disease out.
You can't control what other people think of you. Only who you are around them. Let people think what they want. They each have their own neurosis, their own prejudices, experiences. Be who you want to be. If you want to be an asshole, that's your choice. Just don't be surprised if people think you are one. If other people think that you are, and you aren't,then that's their failing. And guess what? Even if you don't want to admit it to yourself, you know if you're an asshole or not.
You aren't who you used to be. Time goes one way – forward. Even maintaining who we are is a fight against chronic and unceasing decay. You are who you are, right here, right now. Whatever you are, that is where we are. We had our salad days, and our good times and our bad times. There's no point in fingering a medal and bemoaning the past, or clinging to it. Remember who you are, where you are, where you have come from, what happened to you, by all means... just don't get stuck in a room in July 1989, or whatever it was. That time has gone and is dragging you down with it.
You can be one of the good guys or one of the bad guys. It's your choice. If you're one of the bad guys the goodies will come to get you. And you won't realise that you are or not, sometimes. But generally, the good guys win. It defends what is a victory to you. But to me? The victory is being one of life's good people. But it's your choice.
You are who you are. And that isn't changing, so get used to it. And if you're a dick, you can be not a dick. So try that instead. You'll have more friends. A happier life. And you'll probably get laid more. Probably. And probably not by me.