Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Usual Birthday Introspection

Ah, so today is my 25th birthday! That means I'm literally a quarter of a century years old now . . . quarter of a century! Multiply by two, and I'm fifty! It's not disturbing to think in that way, but how odd my age looks applying the math like this. 

As always, one's birthday tends to force an introspection about life. I think I know why some people hate their birthdays rather than relish them: It's near unavoidable to thinking about how your life measures up to your standards now that the digits have changed, whether one is reaching important standards up to this point, or is failing to make the grade. Perhaps that's why we have their weird social norm that it's impolite to ask a lady her age; due to that awkward "forced" introspection. 

Picking at myself, I admit my own birthday is lukewarm. I've come a long way, yet there's still further to go. 

Primarily, I need to stop being hard on myself and focus on the steps on the paths I need to take, rather than scolding myself so harshly for my errs.  It disappoints me that I, as an author of a self-improvement blog, can't claim the credit of having an overall set of good habits, to display my array of successes and up my credibility, but that's okay. Self-improvement is a process. I speak from prior successful experience, and submit myself to the process of bringing myself up all over again. 

My particular point of disappointment is that despite having lived in Texas for three years now, I have yet to fully restore the fierce ambition, determination, and emotional healing that I managed in Michigan, before I wore down from the stress of being trapped in an unhealthy familial relationship. Progress has been lumpy, from highs of being a man of indefatigable productivity and intellect, to lows of losing a great job by walking out on it, a very painful incident. Oh! And procrastinating on autodidactism! For three years I have yet to fully rededicate myself to vigorous self-learning. 

Though, not all is lost. Nothing is lost, really. I just needed to learn more about the natures of the difficulties I struggled with, from stress management to dishonest people, and the pain I've endured to now will pay off -- if I exercise my freewill -- in a great wisdom of how to keep up traction in life. No more naivete slapping me in the face like a wet fish. It's been learned how to cope with stress, get bad people out of life, and so on; now's the time to put action into practice, to fully measure as a man. 

How shall I celebrate this day? Well, it's one of those typical days where you've still got your job and other things to tend to, so I suppose I'll do a belated celebration by visiting the arboretum in a few days, something I've been pining for all year! 

More importantly, what do I think my life can amount to from here on, for the rest of the portion of life I have yet to live? Lots, of course; no use in dwelling on the spilled milk of the past. 

Let me set some birthday resolutions (which I shall redecorate as new years' resolutions come that time of year). Among other things, I resolve to gather all my learning about life to date and exercise it to end the "problem phases" I've been going through. 

The element of my life probably in most need of correcting is that I always delay the most significant acts of smelling the roses because many periods of my adult years were considered "problem phases," so I'd always be caught up in problem-solving and stress-management instead of, y'know, the truly meaningful acts of living life, such as going out on dates, eating a good restaurants, and so on! Heck, one time in Michigan a hot girl actually asked ME, a man, out on a date, and I turned her down since a "problem" needed to be solved! (Oh, the memory of that opportunity! Her soft personality and great face!) 

To make clear what I mean by "problem phases," a mean a period in my life that involves a lot of focus and thinking into solving a hardship rather than realizing my life is in motion and needs to be lived. In Michigan, there was the phase of escaping my family, which brought me to Texas. In Texas, it was trying to get away from crappy employers and into fine dining. Now it turns to still trying to get away from crappy employers and solving my homelessness to boot (which isn't all that unpleasant, though, and will be worthwhile in the end). 

My life needs to stop focalizing on problems; that's not what living it entails. Living it entails enjoyment. 

How shall I solve it? Well, it's complex, but simply: Quashing the vices that hold my personality, thinking, and growth back; setting up a array of good habits that will inevitably cause me to gain a momentum and traction in life (while adamantly avoiding the prior vices, slippery slopes), and concentrating on my goals and modifying my paths (through momentum protection) to keep stress under control, bad people out, and time spent at dead-ends to a minimum. Simplistic, maybe, but a practical plan I've revealed in bits and pieces in articles before, bits and pieces yet to be written in future posts. 

By my next birthday, I hope to have honored these words so well that the heightened pleasure of celebrating a birthday can become a rule of my emotional experience, and the 26th birthday is merely a day to introspect on a year of achievement. All that's required is my freewill and choice, after all. 

If an outside writer were to write for me how I feel today, I choose this: 

"[The proud man] does not demand of himself the impossible, but he does demand every ounce of the possible. He refuses to rest content with a defective soul, shrugging in self-deprecation 'That's me.' He knows that that 'me' was created, and is alterable, by him." — Leonard Peikoff

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