This past week has been a challenging week to say the least. However, I have learned quite a bit about how much rewinding to the past can affect your present. Recently, my wife and I sat down and had a great talk about our marriage and all of the things that have made up who we have become as people today. While I believe that God hard wires us to be much of who we are, we are also very influenced by the environment and circumstances that we come from.
For me, growing up in a military family was a wonderful experience, but also a very difficult experience that has continued to affect the very essence of who I am today. As a teenager I was sort of a strange kid and people knew it. I was not very social, I was very awkward around others, etc. I can remember moving from Richmond Hill, Georgia where I went to Richmond Hill High School to Springfield, Virginia where I went to Robert E. Lee High School. Richmond Hill was a very tiny high school and when we moved to Springfield I came into a very large high school. I remember wanting to walk the halls before the school year started so I would not be scared of the building. I used to eat lunch with no one and just sit on the ground during lunch. I was odd and the only thing that gave me friendship was being involved in sports. I had a few friends and I think we all were somewhat on the "outside" when it came to high schoool politics. Either way, I can remember feeling so down and out. So lonely some days like I did not fit. I defintely hid a shell and created my own world. In fact I still do that with people in my life to a certain extent.
While going to college helped to get me out of my shell and be more open and outgoing, I still struggle with periods when I just want to be completely isolated and alone. And I know that hurts my family membes sometimes when I become that way because I miss out on nice things sometimes. Different people in my life ask me if I miss living back on the east coast where my family is or if I want to move back and I always tell them "no". They always seem perplexed and say don't you want your parents and family close when you have kids, etc. And to that I say its not about that for me. Of course my future children will be around their grandparents and uncles and will have a close relationship with them, but we don't have to live around them for that to happen. I like living far way from home. I like the excitement of seeing them after missing my family after not seeing them for a while. We focus more on the good things and being closer when we haven't seen each other in a long time. We laugh, joke and smile more when we miss each other. It is the longing, the missing and the anticipation of seeing someone after a long time that gives me butterflies. I love that....
For me the "rewind" comes in again. I was the kid who went to summer baseball camp for the Mets and never called my parents. I was the kid who loved being away and had that independent spirit. When I went off to college it was like it was made for me, a place where I could spread my wings and fly. Now that doesn't mean I did not love the home my parents built for us, but you have to understand that while being in a military family helped me to rely on my family, but it also helped me learn how to live away from my family. When my father went off to war in the early nineties that shaped me too because I hardened myself while I was gone. I retreated into myself because I had to. I learned to live without him while he was gone even though I missed him dearly. Now, I'm working on being more social as evidence by me creating a networking group, reaching out to people for dinner or coffee, etc. but I still struggle...
I still decline some events because I retreat into the myself because I just want to be left alone. I wish it wasn't like that, but like I said I am working on that and I am sorry to all the people that I have hurt with this mentality. However, I want each of them to understand that part of my hard wiring is my sense of independence and getting away from the hustle and bustle of people and everyday life. If you told me that my wife and I did not have to work and we could do anything we would disappear from the United States and backpack the world and sail the seas. I'm serious, nothing would be better than to jet out into the world and make new experiences and memories and to leave behind the routines of life. I think that is why I like camping so much. Shel and I love it because it is a chance to be isolated from the realities of everyday life. The first time I went hiking I knew it had to become a regualr occurence for me because of that. It is like we disappear off the map when we go hiking and the hard wiring in me loves that.
So, as I rewind in my life about the person that I was and the person that I am now, I realize that I am a work in progress and will always be. I'm going to continue to make mistakes and hurt others even when I swear that I won't hurt them ever again. And why? Because I'm human and all I can do is ask for their forgiveness and look to the Lord to help me become a better person each and everyday. I'm working on it for sure.
I apologize that this blog was not as uplifting as my other ones might have been, but I feel that sometimes it is good to take a moment to be serious and dig deep into what makes me tick and why I am the way I am. I've come along way as a person over the last 10 years and I hope that in the next 10 years I continue to improve as a person that I can be more compassionate and caring for others. I hope that by learning more about me that I will focus more on the needs of others, which is something that I want to do more of.
Thanks for reading everyone. Have a great day!