Choosing who to become

So, I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them. But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there.
— S.Chbosky/The Perks of Being A Wallflower. 

They’ll hurt you and desert you,
They’ll take your soul if you let them,
Oh yeah, but don’t you let them.
–J. Taylor/You’ve Got A Friend

One of the things I have really wondered  about over the last few years is how much control we have over who we become. There are a lot of things in life that are entirely out of our control. Maybe most things. Where we are born and raised. Who raises us. A loving or abusive upbringing. 

A lot of the things we don’t have any control over have a huge impact in how we turn out. Does someone teach us to control our impulses? Does anyone read with us? Does someone teach us manners?

Then there is a certain core part of us that is us. The self, whatever that means. Two people with the same upbringing can turn out very differently. There are elements of the personality that we seem to be born with. 

Eventually, we grow older and reach a point where we do have more control. We have choices. 

Maybe our core self doesn’t change. Overall, I think our personality traits are often born practically the second we are.  I have always been someone who ponders things. Some people are naturally spontaneous. Does that mean I can’t work on not overthinking everything or that I can’t be spontaneous? Of course not. We have a whole lot of choice about how we live, and even more choices when it comes to how we react to life. How we react to how people treat us, or to things that happen to us. 

Do we assume the worst or have faith?

Do we let ourselves be consumed with anger and hate or do we try to steer ourselves in a different direction and become someone  who reacts with empathy and compassion? That part, I am convinced, is a choice. Not always an easy one!

Here’s what I think:

It’s not about the answers. It’s about continuing to ask the questions. It’s about wondering if you like the person you are becoming every day. Asking what you can do to compensate for traits that you find less desirable. Trying things out. 

Never stop wondering. Never stop asking “what if…”

Never stop becoming who you want to be.  Accept that you will never be finished becoming you. 

Always be a work in progress. 

An imaginary conversation about being eaten by an alligator

I bet if I came up with some good click bait titles, my blog would get a lot more views. 

Like what?

Oh, you know, something like “and you will never believe what happens next!”

Or maybe “I tried that one weird old trick to burn belly fat, and it worked.”

Exactly. 

Do people really click on that stuff?

I hope my friends don’t!

We don’t. 

Maybe I could try something about fluffy kitties. Everyone likes fluffy kitties. 

Or puppies. Puppies are popular. 

I’m not sure how much I have to say about fluffy kitties and puppies…but I guess all I really need are good titles. 

People seem to like firefighters. 

Dalmatian puppy rescues squad of sleeping firefighters!

He could be wearing a fire hat. 

Exactly. And a hunky firefighter could be holding him. 

In front of the fire engine. 

Right. It would appeal to everyone. 

Then what?

Yeah. There are only so many times I can use firefighters and puppies. 

I dunno…there’s a reason it’s a classic. 

Focusing on baby animals seems a little limiting. 

Why are you thinking about increasing your readership?

Oh, I’m not really. 

No?

Well, I am thinking about it, but not in a serious way. 

Why not?

Because then I would have to do things like actually thinking about content. 

Don’t you already do that?

Not much lately. 

Really?

I think about it, and then don’t write it. 

Because…?

Sore arm, partly. Other things to do. Partly. Other priorities, I guess. 

Other people.

That, too. 

Is it problem?

What?

Not writing. 

I worry that writing less will mean I am thinking less. 

You probably don’t need to worry too much about that. 

Maybe it means I am losing my creativity. 

Seriously?  

Not my creativity, I guess, but my focus. 

Is it a problem? Does it bother you?

A little. 

You’ll do what is important to you when you need to do it. 

That’s true enough. 

What about alligators?

Alligators?

People always like a good story about alligators. 

I don’t know any alligators?

Uh, what?

Aren’t you supposed to write about what you know?

Make something up. Isn’t that what you do?

Oh. Yeah. Fiction. 

Maybe your angel could be attacked by alligators from Hell. 

From Hell? Aren’t the ones in Florida bad enough?

Maybe a puppy could rescue a bunch of firefighters from an alligator!

Maybe I should think of some ideas of my own…

Probably a good idea. 

Thanks. 

Lop eared bunnies riding elephants?

You aren’t helping. 

Weddings, babies, family and friends 

This weekend  was full of everything that is most important.  I met a Maejor new entry to my circle of friends, watched a dear friend’s daughter get married, and spent time with my folks and good friends. 

It’s a wonderful life, full of even more wonderful people. 
Congratulations, Jonny and Rachelle…and welcome, Maejor!