Thursday, November 5, 2009

Who formed you?

Around six months ago, a friend of mine graduated from college.  He was quite the hard working student, and it certainly seemed to pay off for him when he was able to graduate with honors and some kind of laude (I obviously didn't graduate as one, since I don't even know what to call it).  Anyway, after walking in a cap and gown, eating cake, and a spirited celebration, he had found himself in the mood for a philosophic conversation.  He posed the question, "Who formed you? I'm an individual."

I hope he reads this.  Or hears about it.

While we tease him endlessly for said comment, it is something I have been considering lately for my life.  Sometimes I ask myself, "Who do I think I am?"  or "Is this who I want to be?"

Earlier today I wrote a blog post, and published it.  Then I pinged my friend saying "read my awkward blog post"
"I can't wait, what is it about?"
     "Facebook. Defriending. The norm."
"Oh poor guy."
Yeah, wait, what? My friend then asked me a series of questions that reminded me of who I try to be.
"Does it edify anyone/anything?"
"No, but I don't know that I've ever written anything that does that. It's funny if that's what you're asking."
"Well, ok, so does it help you to write about it?"
My conscience apparently wrapped up it's lunch date right about that time and chimed it, "Yeah Jules, how does this help?"

              "Maybe I'll re-read my post."
 Ultimately I opted to take down my post, because it wasn't really consistent with anything.  Yeah, I thought the scenario was funny because it was so completely awkward, and centered on Facebook. Funny? Sure. Worth reading? Unsure.

Who formed you?  I guess if we're really honest, not one of us is an "individual" because so many people play into the areas of our lives that form us.  We don't just wake up and decide "Alas! I am this! This is how I live now!"  To some extent we do, but not one of us approaches life without carrying in our particular brand of baggage. That person who accidentally insulted our macaroni drawing that was clearly supposed to be of an elephant and not a triangle, he may have played a part.  The child screaming in the middle of the grocery store, while a young single mother hid her face and made you wonder why people ever have kids, she might have played a role. We are mold-able, we can become jaded, or at the very least, a vapid version of ourselves if we don't pay attention.

Recently I have been considering this aspect of my life.  Considering the areas of my life where I have refused to let people in, because that part of me was going to be indie, dammit. Also, considering the places in my life I have shared with friends, and the ways they have changed.  I prefer that my life remains a team sport, because I certainly don't like to do it all alone. One is the loneliest number after all.

Sometimes I need a filter.  Sometimes my conscience is out to lunch.  Sometimes I'm looking at myself with so much past in the corners of my eyes that I can't see where I am and where I am heading.  I am so thankful to have people with beautiful hearts, perceptive minds, and caring voices working on seeing my potential and introducing me to it.