I'm fairly certain that this is the right area to post this in. If not, I'll pull this down. I just need to gather my thoughts of late a bit.
For a while now, a few things have been stirring around my head. Which is very unfortunate, because there isn't much room in there to begin with. I appreciate I'm not well known here, but I favor a smaller audience for my first tentative steps towards self-expression. I am at my best a private person. At my worst I am a cripplingly introverted person. That I'm finding motivation enough to voice myself at all is nothing short of miraculous.
These things that have been bothering me are of course the same things that everyone faces at some point or another. Niggling thoughts on regrets and missed opportunities, thoughts on beliefs long held and long doubted, and the ever-present issue of emotions and the people about whom they are developed. And then the unfortunate times when the three all seem to coalesce into a sort of mental tsunami. It’s bad enough to be mulling just one of these over in the back of your mind. With three of them concentration is a luxury.
Probably the largest obstacle for me lately has been believing things. I don't want to get into details, this little diatribe is spurious enough as it is without boring you all to tears in addition. Suffice it to say I've been thinking a lot about what beliefs I hold dear, what ones I value and cherish. They're a lot different now than they were even just a few years ago. A decade ago, or even further back still. It’s quite the realization for anyone to come into, particularly when it comes paired with another revelation of just how subtle and slowly the changes have occurred. It is startling, to say the least, to realize that you simply don’t believe in such long-clung-to beliefs anymore. And probably never did! I'm under no delusions that I am alone in my experience. Everyone encounters some whisper of change in this manner, it’s simply a part of maturation and developing as one's own person. Now my problem, since I've encountered this commonplace epiphany, is reconciling it with a few others who reached different conclusions.
And of course as is wont to happen, beliefs so frequently lead to regrets. I'm not placing blame on my formerly held beliefs, nor those held by anyone else. I myself am largely responsible, I recognize that. And I recognize that it would be reprehensibly negligent of me to deny my own role in my regrets. It would be equally negligent to deny that what I once believed played a role.
As I grew up, there was a gulf that opened up between myself and the people with which I most frequently associated. It grew larger with time, and before long I lost sight of those on the opposite side, receding until they slipped over my horizon. Behind me was a scene of people I genuinely liked. I genuinely wanted to know. But for the sake of not causing trouble, I clung to entirely arbitrary boundaries, placed by beliefs I had already given up, and refused to turn around to face them.
And I regret it. I missed a lot of opportunities to make friends, a lot of opportunities to develop and flourish in my own social niche. One opportunity in particular leaves me with the most regret, which in this rambling soliloquy is the point at which feelings come to play. Had I taken advantage of the myriad opportunities to do just those things, to meet people, to visit and spend time with them enough to make friends, I'd have avoided what is definitely the trigger for my thrice-sourced introspection. One of the few people who I did befriend I neglected with respect to an actual, tangible friendship. We spoke on the phone, we spoke via email and text and instant message. Incessantly. I am at least their most trusted confidante, and have played host to a myriad of frankly nightmarish revelations. And kept them quiet. Kept them safe. I may not be brave, but I am at the very least loyal.
And every time. Every time hanging out or doing some activity were brought up, I had some convenient, fabricated or actual excuse to avoid it. To keep myself from turning around and facing what I wanted. I always assumed there would be time. Time to wait for things to change, so I wouldn't have to deal with consequences or dance about topics and people to maintain the status quo. I was a coward, there’s no other word for it. And then that all changed, with one texted picture of a ring on a finger. The time evaporated. The past came rushing up to meet me, and possibly the deepest sense of regret and perspective I've felt in what accounts for my life swept across me. In turn, I lost a great deal of the delusion under which I’ve been laboring. Equivalent exchange, I believe it’s called.
I apologize for this being a long-winded sob story, and that it all sounds so melodramatic in writing. Particularly from someone with only a shadow presence in this community. But I think I needed this bit of exposition to hammer home a number of the things I've learned from this experience and galvanize myself into change. I apologize profusely for inflicting this on those of you who bother to read it, but thank you all for your consideration.