Today I found myself thinking about the person I used to be and how I’ve evolved (for better or for worse) over the course of my life.
Here’s a quick overview of what I mean.
As a child, I was very emotional. I cried easily, and I was extremely sensitive. I was also naive to the point of being embarrassing.
For example, I once left my brand new bike at the end of the driveway. I didn’t lock it. I just put it on its kick stand and walked away.
When I returned, it was gone. I had no idea what had happened to it. I frantically searched the premises, thinking I’d misplaced an entire mountain bike.
When I couldn’t find it, I went running to my parents who explained to me that it had probably been stolen. I was about 12 years old at the time, and I’d never had anything stolen before. I couldn’t understand why someone would take something that didn’t belong to them.
Didn’t they know that it didn’t belong to them?
Didn’t they take into account that I’d worked hard to earn the money for that bike?
How could they do such a thing? What gave them the right!?
My mom still brings up this incident and laughs. It’s a prime example of my extreme naivety.
Things began to change when I reached my teens. In grade eight, I’d come to the realization that something had to change or high school would be utter hell.
Over the summer, I worked on my image. I bought black clothing, listened to different music and adopted a darker outlook. I became obsessed with death and life’s more macabre side. In some ways, I still retain pieces of this worldview, since I absolutely love horror movies and enjoy darker subjects.
When I returned to school, I had become someone else. I became eager to fight and after a few fist fights, the bullies that usually plagued me decided to feast on easier game. I became known as someone people didn’t want to mess with. Some even thought I worshiped the devil – although I didn’t. I actively cultivated the image that I was a bit unstable, and it had the intended effect; people left me alone.
As a young adult, my first child was born and she changed everything. I could no longer party or do whatever I wanted.
My roommate died after being thrown through the windshield of a car. It made me realize that life was short and you never knew when your ticket would be punched. His death affected me in ways I didn’t fully appreciate at the time. While my teenage self courted and admired death, my new self came face to face with it and realized I wasn’t immune to it after all.
I was no longer naive. That part of me had been burned away by life experiences. I still retained an appreciation for the darker bits of life, but I no longer actively admired it.
In some ways, I miss the child that used to be. I wish I could retake that sense of innocence and freedom.
I’ve grown as a person. I’ve read more, studied more and experienced more than I had in the past. I retain a sense of humor, but sometimes I wonder if I’ve lost something in the translation. Each evolutionary change has helped shape the person I am today.
I’ve been hurt badly in the past. I’ve experienced unbelievable joy and love. I’ve realized that I survive and can overcome obstacles I thought would be insurmountable at the time. I no longer cry or become emotional at the drop of a hat. In fact, I hardly ever cry and I loathe showing others that something has hurt me.
I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but regardless, it’s who I am right now. As time passes, my evolution will continue.
How have you changed, grown etc during the course of your life?
If your answer is too long for the comment section, I hope you’ll write your own blog piece and link it here. I’d love to read them.