There is this thing that I do. It occurs regularly, I’d say. I couldn’t tell you the frequency, but I do it. It might be my vanity or my curiosity. I believe it is a little bit of both and about 80% curiosity and 20% vanity. Allow me to shed light on that last sentence. I have been blessed with the ability to write and talk about any subject I dim suitable. To that effect, I have written more than 200 texts on various subjects. That is the vanity part.
The curiosity part pushes me to go back and read some of the texts again. I believe, as time goes by, unbeknownst to me, I have become more reflective. It is one of the many symptoms (advantages?) of getting old. We question everything we have done and everything we are doing. We want to make sure we are moving forward and in the right direction. We do want to make sure we have learned something, anything in this life.
Every time I read one of my texts, I take a trip back in time. I revisit my past, which is filled with good and bad things, as is any person’s past. It is truly a voyage down memory lane, my own memory, which can be tricky since I remember a lot of the things I have done. I do have some blind spots but overall, I have a decent recollection of the major events of my life. A perfect memory would be something but that is only science fiction.
It is crazy to realize, yet again, that every text I have ever written had its own context, its own genesis, its own history, its own development and ending. What isn’t crazy but rather funny, is that I can sometimes remember where I was when I thought of the subject, how I was feeling at the time, how long it took me to write it, what my state of mind was and so forth. I read some texts I wrote when I was happy, joyful, heartbroken, sad, broke financially, broken mentally, tired, over worked, busy, impatient, and so forth. Yet, I never ended any of my texts on a negative note. In case I am being too subtle, this my vanity talking, and I am congratulating myself for always being optimistic. Despite what life has thrown at me so far, well, here I am! I am standing still, and I will do my best to not go down with a broken spirit. There is nothing worse than a broken spirit.
Frankly, on some texts, I wouldn’t change one word. Those are the subjects on which my point of view will never change and there are several of those. As I comb through other subjects, I find instances where I would change a few words or sentences. There are a few subjects like that. Finally, there is a small amount of texts, I couldn’t exactly say how many, probably a dozen, not more, where I would change every goddamn thing, I swear! Reading those texts made me curse and almost ask myself if I was the one who wrote them. It was so flagrant that I had to take a step back and revaluate my perspective on certain topics. I tend to be dramatic at times, but all I am trying to say is that I have changed my mind on a finite number of subjects.
Yes, I admit it. I found texts which had a premise I disagree with today. Depending on the case, I disagreed with the premise, the way it was written, the tone, the words used within the text, how angry or passive the text may have come across, how poorly written it was or how a text would have no sound structure and end up confusing the people who are kind enough to read my texts.
I do admit that certain texts got to me and I had to sit down and question my soul about my work. Then I realize something crucial. I have changed. Yes, I have. I am not the same man I was 6 months ago or a year ago but, in my case, there is documented proof of my overall change. I have proof of my evolution. It is quite disconcerting to witness the evolution as it can rattle someone’s soul because you think you were stupid, blind, arrogant, mean, etc. Yet, if you think about it, these texts offer me an opportunity to feel a deep sense of humility. I have changed. I have evolved as the world around me has. I am not the same man. I am thankful for my evolution. I recognize it. I embrace it. I have come to terms with my own vices or twisted thinking and I have evolved to become more open minded, more optimistic, calmer (hard to believe, I know!), less belligerent, less reactive, etc.
Change is never the problem. We must change as we get older and hopefully wiser as we move forward! The problem comes when we refuse to change or when a change is forced upon us or if a change happens and we do not understand it or if we fight it off when we know it is necessary. We must change. I have changed. I acknowledge it. Moreover, I am not the only one who has changed, I am you have changed as well.
My texts have offered me a timeline of my evolution, which is cool! They have offered me a sort of therapy as I have dealt with my own issues and demons. They have reassured me I haven’t changed on some topics that I consider being of paramount importance. They have helped reaffirm who I am. They have also helped me pinpoint which situations I thrive in and which situations push my brain to shut down.
I will always be grateful for finding the one thing that has allowed me to see my progress as a man and as a writer. You can look in your past right now, through pictures and videos or texts and you will see that you have changed. You could also see things that you need to change. You could also see things you have changed, new habits you have created, old unproductive habits you discarded. You can look through your past to see your evolution. Just make sure you don’t keep both eyes or one eye in the past at all times; that is the best way to make sure you don’t evolve. Keep your eyes forward and sometimes, look over your shoulder and clap for yourself because you have changed, for the better, I hope!
Just one man’s opinion.
Now, smile and go on with your day.