Start With What You Know

What makes you tick?

Before you can discover things about yourself, you have to rule out the things you already know. Simple, right? To be honest, maybe not. Some of the things you never thought would change, have. Others you knew would change, have not. Which is which? Where does the road really fork?

Growing Up

It is debatable whether growing up is mandatory in light of some of the boneheaded decisions we occasionally make, some of the habits we never shed and some of the juvenile things we engage well beyond the age when they are no longer socially acceptable.

Growing Up

Teen Views

What are some of the things you have moved away from since you were a teenager?

  • 40 is ancient.
  • The more skin I show, the sexier I am.
  • The more I copy the fad, the more I show my individuality.
  • Parents are the stupidest breed. (This may have morphed.)
  • I can do anything, so doing everything is where I will succeed.

Not dead yet.

As we age, we realize life does not end when we reach a certain birthday, even though we had access to annoying studies proving the average age at death well into the 70s. Some of us mature as fashionistas and realize fit and function are far more important than fad.

We realize our parents were not so stupid after all when our little darling is yowling, but we realize our BFF may be the world’s stupidest parent. Sometimes, we realize it is better to be very good at a few things than to be marginal (or worse) at many.

Twenties and Hundreds

Learning to hold on is harder than learning to earn.

Money is another subject whose view is changed as we morphed from the 10-foot-tall, bulletproof and invisible teen to the age of majority. Sadly, many do not learn the basic elements of fiduciary until the wallet and bank accounts are empty and the maxed credit card bill is due.

Even more sad are those who never do grasp the concept of money, either earning or spending it responsibly. On rare occasions, the spendthrift finds a Mate with stellar budgeting skills to mitigate the monetary apocalypse.

Other People’s Children

From cradle to grave, everyone is someone’s child. Even if you do not know who populates your family tree, human reproduction is fairly simple: Everyone has a family. Dealing with our own families prepares us for integration into the global family, or at least it should.

It molds our opinions which become immutable parts of our character and superfluous cogs we eventually remove from our psychological machine. How well the machine runs determines how well we accommodate, tolerate and engage other people’s children, in other words, everyone else.


In our foray into identity, we isolated some of the cogs. Instead of revisiting all of the facets of how we portray ourselves, we need to look at ourselves without regard to Mate, Quaint, Parent or Child. Yes, this is all about you.

You have already answered who you are to the outside world. How precisely does that apply to you? More importantly, how does that apply to happiness?



Authentic Resolutions

Resolutions get a really bad reputation as short-lived ideas we concoct to make ourselves better, whether for ourselves or for someone else. The biggest problem with resolutions is we often are forced into making them according to tradition or because we are trying to fit into (social circles, marriage, job).

What if your resolution was to be the most authentic you imaginable? Make the resolution to be true to yourself. You have already made the list, which identified the things which detract from the authentic you.

Instead of making another list, allow yourself the breathing room to experience the activities on the list. Lay aside the expectations. What you are doing is the only thing in the moment. Savor the journey. Form an opinion of yourself.

  • Is this making me feel good about myself?
  • Has this taught me I want to be (more, better, less)?
  • This does not become me. I will not repeat it.
  • This exemplifies who I am. I will repeat it.
  • This is a necessary step in becoming more authentic.

The last choice is the hardest to accept. Before we get to our destination, we often travel to places where we wish we had never gone. For some, it is an educational institution. For others, it is a religious establishment. Still others, it is a marriage.

Biohazard Warning

Some of them are toxic.

Not everything we learn is about the place. The important lesson in all of the places we prefer not to revisit is what we learn about ourselves while we are there.

  • Was it the school or the way I felt about the professor?
  • Was it the church or the actions of the members?
  • Was it marriage or Mate or me?
  • Was it not what I expected?

How we deal with other people’s children applies everywhere we go. Many times the places themselves are not nearly as important as the people we encounter. How much did your favorite professor change the way you think about things even today? How much does fellowship change your view of spirituality? How did your first love influence the way you love others?

On the Money

Maybe, it was exactly what you expected. What you did not expect was your reaction to it. Think of it as a recipe gone horridly awry. You knew you loved pancakes, cabbage and cucumbers, but the thought of pickled pancakes with a topper of sauerkraut turns everyone’s stomach.

Judging your reaction to things is a learning experience, but anticipating your reaction is self-realizing.

Name one time your reaction was not what you expected. What did you learn about yourself?

© Red Dwyer 2012
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  1. My, you sure have a way with words. Really like reading your posts.

    • I was beginning to wonder if I had stepped into something which was leaving everyone speechless. It has been a comment ghost town since I posted “In Keeping With The Theme” last night. Glad you liked reading it. Red.

  2. Red, this post did leave me speechless. It is an enjoyable read, almost too broad in scope to answer. One of my favorite college profs said to me, and I quote:
    ” You write well”. I never forgot that comment. It left me speechless at that time, dogged me for years–and actually changed my life.
    I thought about it constantly and began writing. Unexpected?
    To say the least, since I was, in high school and by any standards, an average C student. I graduated an honors student in college. I am authentic. What you see is what you get.

    Now I know I write well, which is not a brilliant deduction, just a foregone conclusion I should have expected, — since professor Ralph was abnormally wise and impeccably right about everything he ever told us as individuals AND as students. Kudos to Ralph T…he got another one RIGHT.

    –Re. Fellowship necessary or helpful for spirituality? No. Not under close scrutiny. Beliefs do not need reinforcement or cheerleaders if they are bone fide. In fact, organized dogma, fanaticism, bull roar and hypocrisy tend to creep in when “leaders” take over spiritual teaching–commandeering and distorting the agenda of the soul. NOT a good thing. In fact, it is a BAD thing.

    First love affect the others? No, they were all different in a learning process, perhaps a bell curve made of semi-sweet, even bitter chocolate….

    Bottom line? . “Know thyself” comes to mind. “Carry not thy stupidity into the future and LEARN ” is applicable. Being 40 is now ancient history. “:))

    • Often the ones who influence us the most are the ones who believe in our potential before we know it exists. This is true of professors, friends and especially mates. I like your tasty bell curve. Even it holds debate, as some of us prefer the bitter sweetness of dark chocolate.

  3. You’ve got me thinking! 🙂

    To be honest I’m a bit (OK a LOT) of a coward and I’m scared stiff a lot of the time (Just thinking of it is giving me a panic attack), yet when the crap hits the fan I become something different, like when I was held at gun point and I called the kid with the gun a tosser and just ignored him.

    Anyone would have been shaken by the experience, yet I wasn’t at the time, or later when the Police arrived, it was when I looked at the window that Sammy broke and realised I COULD HAVE BEEN KILLED.

    This led to the inevitable question: What would have happened had I reacted with fear???

    Sometimes dying is the safer option…

    Love and hugs!


    • This is a grand example of your inner warrior standing tall and not being worried about what anyone thought…even you. How we react in the face of danger is very often indicative of our truest nature. In the crisis, we haven’t the time for the pretenses or the facades…we merely are. And safe is not nearly as fun…Ride the comet! {HUGZ} Red.

  4. Another great post in a long line of them!

    When I was a young man, I always rallied “I hope I die before I get old” (from a classic “Who” song). Now that I am there, not so much.

    When I was a young man, I thought myself indestructible. Now, not so much.

    When I was a young man, sex, drugs and rock n’ roll made me feel great. Now, well, some things have to stay the same, don’t they?

  5. Hehe you took me back to being a teenager and thinking anyone over 30 was old and I knew better than them. You had me nodding as I read the lines!

    • That is an added benefit of all the children. I am never allowed to forget how I thought at any given age!

  6. This is a wonderful read, you know I am like a big kid a lot of the time, I have a PS3 and I can talk away for hours about this or that game that I have completed, the fascination never goes away and I still get excited about buying a new title, childishly some might think but one has to be in the groove to understand it all, I have been messing around on consoles ever since they first appeared, and how they have changed.

    A lot of my friends think that I have never grown up, but hey who wants to, I mean all they seemingly do is sit around being grumpy of an evening and even their wives and girlfriends cannot break their couch potato mentality, not even on their so called ‘Nookie Night’ as they put it, now how boring is that?

    I prefer to be spontaneous in everything that I do, and that definitely offers one the Peter Pan effect, well it does with me anyway. Sorry that I have gone off on a tangent with this comment, but seeing as I never actually offer you very much generally, this does give an insight into just some of my likes…

    Have a great rest of evening Red 🙂

    Androgoth XXx

    • I continually embrace my inner child. Normally, it has something to do with pirates or the sea (back to I should have been born a mermaid). I think everyone needs to find a balance to allow some childlike behavior temper the all too strict adulthood parameters. Laughter is good for the soul. It helps keep us young. 🙂 Red.

  7. Actually you had me laughing, in part of course because I was smarter than my mother.

    It is always the journey. I keep adjusting my ancient placeholder upwards at one time of course my mother said to me I wouldn’t see 20 and I thought, damn I hope not that is so old. Then I thought, gad 30 is so old I can’t imagine it. The other day I was thinking about my still living ex who is 11 years older than me and out of my mouth came the words, geez he is is so old–can you imagine?

    So upwards and onwards, you always do such a good job.

    • ROFL! Aren’t you so glad I do not feel that way about you?? To me, old has always been something circling 100. I have known quite a few, and they were all so full of life. It is just a number to my brain. Then again, so many people peg me as being much older than I am. Meh. Who knows?

  8. my inner self tells me to be more rsponsible sometimes but when i stop and think im responsible 22 hours a day so the other two im wild lol xxjen

  9. bear

     /  February 5, 2012

    I don’t wanna grow up. I don’t wanna get old! But I did, if only physically, Age IS only a number. As for my religion, I lost A lot of faith in the congregation when the back-biting in the church started, fake Christians.

    And I really think well under duress. It is a rush, if not a twisted one.

    • The reason for that is there are far too many who worship the religion instead of the god. That is true of all religions.

      For you, adrenaline is a way of life. While others may well judge that twisted, it is no less true. Now, to work your neural net to function so well without the stress…


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