If I’ve Learned Anything #4–And Breaking Tradition

I’ve learned that everyone needs to be alone sometimes.

  • I’ve learned that you can’t ever know someone completely.
  • I’ve learned that you can’t ever know yourself completely.
  • I’ve learned that knowing _is_ half the battle.
  • I’ve learned that I can never live up to my growing expectations.
  • I’ve learned that a lot of nice things will make you happy, but a lot of them won’t.
  • I’ve learned that there’s a certain pride in doing something yourself.
  • I’ve learned that pride is not always practical.
  • I’ve learned that everyone has to do gruntwork.
  • I’ve learned that it’s best to do what one’s most valued at.
  • I’ve learned that some people will unforunately be most valued for gruntwork.
  • I’ve learned that I’m going to compare myself to whatever I’m reading.
  • I’ve learned that most good literature is depressing.
  • I’ve learned that age is a myth and a fact.
  • I’ve learned that complaining about being young is a silly thing, in the long run.
  • I’ve learned that it’s much easier to write when you’re a little bit sad or depressed.

I’ve learned that some traditions have to be broken. I got a lot of flak from you know who when I hadn’t posted here in a while. She says its such an integral part of me, this website. But we grow up, we change. It’s not that I don’t love sharing my reflections and helping people to learn and grow. It’s not that I don’t still think the same way about the world and agree with most of what I’ve written. It’s just that I’m not willing to wear it all for everyone anymore.

It’s a little sad perhaps. In the last few months I’ve felt really popular, opening myself up to a lot of new people and going out all the time. But as the summer begins to draw to a close I see myself closing, as well. There are a few people who are “in” for the long haul, but for once I may have to pull out on those that don’t reciprocate. I remember when Bobby told me he only wanted friends that he could talk about for hours. That’s the kind of friends that I want–people like Andrew, Justin, Bobby–who impress me so much with their ambitions, personalities, and feelings for life. And if people make it difficult (I’m sorry Framingham people, but most of you are quite horrible people at keeping in touch) then I’m not going to try for you.

I’ve also learned a little that I never wanted to learn, the hard way: no matter how principled one is, one has to look out for one’s own self first. Perhaps I could say that love doesn’t die fast, and that’d be just as true, but moving on is a bitch and anything one can do to help that out is probably the best thing for them. Benjamin Franklin wrote in his Calculus of Felicity to “use venery” as a core principle (and the editors rubbed it out)…but that’s not what I mean. That’s worked for two of my closest friends (E & J), but it ain’t my cup of tea. For me it just may mean not wanting to give like I’ve always given. Or maybe it means just cutting certain things out. I don’t know, but you’ve got to take care of your head and I’m not averse to anything.

But that’s not what’s induced this abreaction. Andrew mentioned Kundera’s heaviness-lightness metaphor the other day. For a time I think I’d felt light and thus I’d been seeking so much out. But now I feel that heaviness again. The momentum of work is catching up with me and though there are pieces missing elsewhere I feel like I’m making something happen. Or maybe it’s not positive: maybe it all is starting to feel real. I was moving some files today and saw the old brochuers I’d printed out two years ago–and I wouldn’t dare use those today. The new logo is ready. I’ve got a new server. There’s much work to do and a national DOJ contract looming. But momentum alone won’t carry me.

Next week I’ll be home, partly for a contract but partly to see family. That should be grounding. One way or another I feel like I’m outgrowing some clothes and moving on. In time you’ll see, maybe here or maybe not, where it all goes. If you want to hold onto me, you know it’s not hard. I want to hold onto you, and I’m going to do that soon. I have an entry I’ve been working on for a while, but more than that I want to write about my friends, and in the next few months I’ll hopefully be telling you about the wonderful ones I have. Goodbye for now.

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