I wrote these words down on a piece of paper to make a list today. Two of them, actually. I know who I was, and I miss him. But I wanted to see who I was becoming and determine if I liked who he is.
This latest bout of reflection and introspection was ignited last night when I started going through some old boxes. I was looking for a book and some of my best ones are packed away somewhere. I haven’t found them yet. (Count packrat and messy packer on the list of “who I was.”)
As I was going through my stuff, I was sad to see a lot of what I used to do wasn’t what I was doing any more. This of course, is expected in life. If anything is constant, it’s change. Heck, I can’t even eat the same amount of food I used to a couple years ago. Things change. As do our focuses and priorities.
On my initial list of who I was, I wrote the following:
Who I was
*Fiery and passionate
*Available to do things (but subsequently unavailable because I was overcommitted)
*Constantly working on or helping with something. Hands on.
*A bachelor. Living for community, God, and me. In that order.
A good list. I liked who I was. The thrill of success and accomplishment flavored those years of my 20s. I cringed as I began my list of who I was becoming, because I didn’t want to let those things go. But what I wrote surprised me.
Who I am becoming
*Passionate, but subdued. Controlled and focused passion.
*Not available because of responsible, adult commitments (but subsequently available because I create space for freedom taking care of the necessities first)
*Weighing, observing, planning and advising.
*Eager to jump in, but holding back for the right opportunities. I make wiser investments with my time and efforts.
*A family man. Living for family, God, and community. In that order.
I was expecting a list that would validate my recent feelings of stagnation and lack of growth. I thought my lists would prove that I had lost myself and I have gone off the path of success.
What I found instead was that I am still there: The passion, the drive, the desire to participate and contribute haven’t been untended to, wasted, or lost. Rather, they’re still there inside of me. I have built on those qualities a structure and order to focus them – so they can be used to the best efficiency and to the highest effect.