I have had a lot of time recently to look back at my life, and make comparisons of then and now on many fronts. The deeper I have dug, the more I have realised about myself, and if I am honest, the more I have grown confused about who I am now. The thought process isn't a controlled one, nor a voluntary one. More something that imposes itself upon me at the most inopportune moments possible. Like when trying to relax or get some sleep.
Anger. That is the first thing I realise that has changed about me. People use the term "he has mellowed with age", and while it seems a bit cheesy, I have to say it is the case with me. I can look back and remember times when anger got the better of me, for the right and wrong reasons. Kicking a moving car as it jumped a red light almost hitting my new born daughters buggy, then chasing the driver down, who turned out to be huge, but not backing down. Punching through a panel in a door after a very emotional conversation with my daughters mum, telling me I couldn't see my daughter. Which resulted in slicing through my hand, gushing with blood, and having to call my heavily pregnant sister at work to ask her to come and help stop the bleeding.
The last true episode of frustration and anger I recall is when I had my Golf, back in about 2006, getting frustrated with the rear wiper I was trying to fix, knocking a few tools out of the toolbox, and losing it, and emptying the contents out, causing my then girlfriend to get very upset.
There have been many examples before that, but time has indeed mellowed me, or something has. While I still shout abuse when frustrated, and occasionally get mad at others on the road, the bulk of the anger is all in the past. Or should I say, the bulk of all irrational behaviour is history.
Then there is sadness to the point of crying. One of the emotions I really wish I hadn't lost, but went a long long time ago. The pressure valve that is crying, is a helpful one in life. When it all gets too much, it's nice (from what I recall) to just let it all go, and feel a bit better without all that emotion clogging you up inside. My last recollection of crying was around 2002, and if I recall correctly Simon Watts was the poor sod who had to listen to me blubbering on the phone for ages. But remembering back to then, I actually can, I remember by the end of the conversation feeling relieved. If you compare the need to crying to the need to pee, once it starts relief begins, and by the end of it, all is much better. Strange comparison, forgive me.
There have been lots of times in the past 13 years where crying probably would have really helped me out, but alas it doesn't happen. I get choked up, I get teary eyed, but that's as far as it goes. The death of loved ones, sad news shared with others, hell even emotional endings to films. Nothing sets the tear ducts in full motion these days, and quite frankly it sucks. I know people say some people cry too much, and I'm sure it's a chore to cry at everything, but bottling it up for years and years... That really isn't nice. If I ever do cry again, I might actually need to be put on a drip to keep me hydrated.
Other needs and emotions seem to have changed too. Like I would kill for a no strings cuddle up on the sofa with a take away and a movie, over a crazy lust filled chase for gratuitous sex. (NO, I am not saying I don't like sex anymore lol). I guess as you experience things in life, you learn what matters and what doesn't. The past decade has taught me some very valuable lessons in that department, including what physical acts are important to me over others. I know this is all a bit strange to share, but it's never stopped me in the past, so why get shy now eh.
I read an article this morning actually saying that five good long hugs a day are good for you, and it stimulates certain centres in the brain. The article is here... http://time.com/4042834/neuroscience-happy-rituals/
The content I refer to here is this part.
So hug someone today. And do not accept little, quick hugs. No, no, no. Tell them your neuroscientist recommended long hugs.
Via The Upward Spiral:
A hug, especially a long one, releases a neurotransmitter and hormone oxytocin, which reduces the reactivity of the amygdala.
Research shows getting five hugs a day for four weeks increases happiness big time.
So any offers from any of my cute female friends to help me out with this one is appreciated. Til then, it's just me an my Primark pillow :'(
But seriously, of the few I have had over recent times, it is somewhat true. A hug can feel so warm and reassuring. Hence sofa snuffle over bedroom fumble.
Back when mum was about, I was living as the son role. Even though I was grown up, mentally I still just had fun and didn't care much for the consequences. In later years, looking after her, and having to take responsibility, and get a grip on actual adult living came as quite a shock. No more safety net, and worse still, I had lost my outlet of impartiality. Now and forever more when confiding information, or just blowing off steam, choosing the right person was imperative. Naturally I think at this point I stopped being totally open. And the bottling up of thoughts and emotions begun.
I know I am open on here, but trust me there are so many more things I would not dare share openly, or in fact with another person. Trust for me is hard to find.
And there we have the next thing that time has changed. Trust.
Once upon a time, although I would not open my heart to people, I trusted a few to carry some of my darker secrets. In recent years, there is no other way to say it than I have been betrayed. Hung out to dry and offered for sacrifice, in one case almost to the point of losing my job. Yet the same people who did these things happily speak to me when the mood suits as if there is nothing wrong. Even enquiring about personal matters, like I am going to share anything like that with the backstabbing arseholes. Not just the work issue, but other times when a closely guarded secret has suddenly been discussed with others, putting me in an awkward position.
I like to think I am a pretty open book, and a straight shooter. Want to know how I feel about something? Simple, ask me. You might not like what you hear if the question is about yourself, but I will do my best to convey my feelings on the matter.
So over the years I have learned not to trust people. Sadly that leaves a select few to be burdened with all my inner most thoughts. Sorry about that.
Time changes people, it's true. But more to the point our experiences in life, over time change us, and make us the people we are today. In my case I am not sure that is such a good thing. I would not go as far as to say I am broken, but I certainly feel like some experiences in life have had a negative impact on me.
After my daughter I lost interest in having any more kids, even if the relationship had presented the opportunity, I would shy away for sure. Having been through something so traumatic as to lose contact for so long, 17 years almost now, the thought of taking that chance again scared the shit out of me for years.
That's just one example of how my past has changed me. Before that happened I couldn't wait to be a dad. Sad really.
I will wrap up by saying how I realise how much recent times have again changed me, and when it comes to self confidence, approaching situations where rejection is possible, or just laying myself bare for judgement in any walk of life, I am weak!
Oh well. Time to rebuild I guess eh.