One of the most stinging lessons I’ve learned is just how easy progress can be undone. Moving back to the town where I grew up has brought out old habits. I’m a different person, but old pitfalls are trying to creep back in.
As I’m rediscovering, nothing makes you backslide faster than coming home.
I remember high school, when it was much easier to spend weeks at a time in the basement of my parent’s house, leaving only for food and scarce contact with the outside world (read: Dan). And while I think I’ll never get that bad again that bad again, I have been putting off job applications for a couple weeks now.
Luckily, My friends have kept me from getting anywhere near my previous level of shut-in. Hell, last week I saw a Beatle live. Take that, past basement dweller me!
Of course, it isn’t fair to judge teenage you by present you’s standards. I think a lot of people make themselves miserable when they compare themselves to the past. It’s important to keep moving forward, so that I don’t backpedal into an identity which is not only limiting, but also doesn’t really fit me anymore. Good thing too, because the things I got away with at 16 will definitely not fly at 24.
A 24 year old with no job who lives in his parent’s basement is not an identity with much dignity.
Now for the tricky part, I have to find a way to translate that new self-concept into something that meshes with my hometown. Without the laziness, lack of self-concept, and general “meh” that haunted my teen years.
So, I’ll keep moving forward as a person, get off my butt, apply for jobs, and bring all I can offer to Billings. After Dan’s wedding, of course.