I have a lot of pride
Hell. I run a blog dedicated to being the best man possible.
It takes some ego.
It may be cliche but pride can be a dangerous thing.
We all tend to think that we are doing the right thing. That the course of our experiences has taught us the lessons that we needed and that we are doing the best that we can with the life that we have. We all try to be good people.
But life gives us more than knowledge and wisdom and strength. It also gives us a fair share of hurt.
It gives us bad habits that benefited us at one point but have since become harmful.
We build weakness and character flaws that tell the stories of our experiences.
Not every experience makes us a better person.
The last few years of my life have brought about a great many changes in my life.
Inside five years, I’ve graduated college, had a child and gotten married. I’ve discovered the stress of supporting a family and the responsibility that comes with it.
I’ve experienced taking a step into danger at the risk of myself, and then a step backward for the sake of my son.
I’ve gotten bills, student loans. I’ve fought with my wife. I’ve found the limits of my patience at the hands of a newborn baby.
I’ve noted the shame along the way.
All of this has taught me countless lessons.
Lessons too numerous to name.
But I’m not sure that they changed me.
They changed how I thought, even what I believed. They taught me about hardship and difficulty and the folly of pride. Before this, I learned other lessons.
I learned how dangerous anger could be.
I learned the difference between judging and passing judgement.
I learned about substance abuse and mental illness and the danger of absolutes.
I’m not sure those ever changed me either.
I’m going through changes now.
It’s hard to describe exactly what the change is. It certainly has symptoms. I moved forward in my career. My wife and I have never been closer. We’ve bridged gaps that we never acknowledged before.
I think she is changing too but we are changing together.
We are not perfect. I am starting to see the ways that I have not supported her as she embarked on new endeavors.
The difference between listening and empathizing.
It seems obvious put like that.
Sometimes we miss the forest for the trees.
I tried to tend the forest without tending the trees.
I hadn’t written a damn thing in years, despite calling myself a writer.
Somewhere along the way I made a choice.
It wasn’t an intellectual choice. Everything I’ve become is what I’ve wanted to do for years.
It was a choice that I made on some baser level.
I can’t even say for sure what the choice was. But I felt it.
I decided who to be, how to be and what I wanted. I decided to move forward.
I made a choice
I am still changing. I’m not sure what lined up to bring about the change. I do however know that I have had a vision of the man I want to be for a long time. The growth that I am doing at this critical moment is built upon that foundation.
Therein lies the key.
We will all find pivotal moments in our lives. The person that grows out of these periods is defined by the thought and care that we put into ourselves.
Maybe some men change a little every day. Maybe some, like me, change quickly at certain revolutionary periods.
We must be careful and thoughtful over the kind of men we want to be, through this, we can be careful, considerate, measured and mastered. We are all our own project. We are the people we decide to be.
Somewhere deep down there is a decision that must be made.
So many people have decided that they are fixed. That there are certain aspects of their character that will simply never change.
Maybe you’re impatient. Maybe you talk too much or too little. Maybe you have a aelfish streak. Maybe you are undisciplined and struggle to meet commitments. Maybe you always fall in with the wrong people. Somewhere, somehow you’re not the person you want to be and you don’t think you can change.
But you can.
You’ve got to dwell on it everyday and form an crystal clear image of what you want to be. The choice is the key. We decide the kind of person that we are. You make that decision and make sure you believe it in your bones.
I’m going through changes now.
Because I made a choice.