This is the fourth entry in the “Glass” series of posts. The first, “Separated by Glass,” established that I imagined a thin glass window acting as a barrier between my high school self and adulthood. When I entered college, “Crawling Through Glass” expressed my distress when I finally broke through and was forced to deal with a modicum of responsibility. Finally, in “The Other Side of the Looking Glass” I grappled with my decision to move out of my home state and away from my family.
10 years ago, everything changed.
This blog has always been super naval-gazy, but lately it’s been getting a little too angsty. And it shouldn’t be. With that said, this is something of a heavy topic for me to talk about – with some advice toward the end for you, dear reader.
On December 6th, 2004 I was cut off from my friends. I was then homeschooled for about six months, during which I became increasingly isolated and shy of social situations. I’ve thought a lot about this event over the years and how it changed my path in life. It’s not hyperbole when I say nothing has ever come close to impacting who I am in such a major way.
This was so big that I mostly tend to think of myself as two different people – the person before this date, and the person after. Everything I currently am today is the result of it, with very little remaining from before. Most people would say they’re different to who they were at 12-years old and under, but for me there was a clearly defined break.
This isn’t the first time I’ve touched on this.
Has it really been three years?
It was a Monday.
I was decimated. But as great is the pain that it caused me, I revelled in the freedom and solitude.
– “Breakthrough,” December 6, 2007
It’s funny to me that I was marveling on it being a whole three years. Now it’s ten.
When this happened, it forced me inwards. Most of my time was spent in silence, or with the TV on. This causes a person to think about themselves. I had a lot of time and opportunity for reflection in the aftermath. It entirely reshaped my personality, and this blog was a direct result of that six months later. I felt like I had to write about what I was thinking about because there was no other outlet.
What I’ve learned since then is that even when you have a lot of friends, and even close friends, there are still things you can say in a blog post that would be difficult to bring out in real life. Also, the process of writing will make you focus on what you actually think. When I’m not writing here for stretches of time, it feels like I’m either going through the motions or on a roller coaster with no way off. This blog has always helped me in taking a metaphorical breath, regrouping, and formulating how I want to tackle the problems in my life.
So to break out of the naval-gazing for once, that’s my advice to you (whoever you are.) Write. Keep a journal or a diary or a personal blog. Write about what you think, what you want, what you feel. Even if you don’t have strong feelings on any of those things, after writing about them for a little bit your thoughts will solidify and propel you even further.
If I’ve learned anything in ten years, that’s it. You can’t rely on other people to prop you up until you can rely on yourself. People usually mean well, but they also have themselves to care about. I feel bad for people who feel like they don’t have an outlet, because I’ve never really experienced that. I’ve had maybe three best friends tops in the last ten years, but this blog has provided more personal insight than all of them. That’s the very definition of naval-gazing, but you know what they say:
“Know thyself.” And the other pieces will fall into place.
PS- This is my 200th post! Aww yeah! I had to throw a Matrix reference in here somewhere cause I did it for the 100th post, too. For what it’s worth there have been 285 total comments, more than double the amount when I posted the 100th post (only 127 back then.)
This entry and the realizations I’ve made in it will probably keep me going for another five years and another hundred or so posts. But your comments couldn’t hurt.
– “Crossing the Threshold,” February 16, 2010
If only I knew!