This weekend I went to Grove City and had a chance to see some of my pals and enjoy not doing my job. Friends, as much as I approve Sabbath and think it’s important, I think it’s just as important on a Sabbath to get away from the city you work in. Anyway, without realizing it, I ended up thinking about a bunch of great things, came to a realization about myself… and, ironically, I thought “my, this would make a great blog entry” more than I thought “oh, this is good stuff to know about myself”.
Don’t ever think I don’t think about you, dear blog reader.
Anyway, so driving back up 79, I started thinking about an awkward moment that occurred with some people at the Grove, and thought that some of it stemmed from insecurity. And I started thinking where the root of insecurity comes from me. And then it hit me all at once – for me (and I think this could be a maxim for most folks), insecurity comes mostly trying to be someone I’m not. This seems obviously, really: when I try to be something outside of my character, it results in a lack of comfort, and really, insecurity, because how can one be comfortable with something they’re not?
So, check. When I’m insecure, I’m trying to be something I’m not. Then, the next question I asked myself was “well, who are you?” This was a harder question than I thought at first. Who am I? What do I stand for? We all have our general principles, but how we choose to live those out day-to-day can be in flux.
Impasse. So, I ask myself “where do you feel most like you? That ought to give you some sort of an idea of who you are? Where do you feel most secure in who you are?” And as I thought, I realized that it was when I’m with my friends and students here at Gannon. It’s where I feel most like myself. Sitting with my buddies, drinking coffee, talking about important things, enjoying each other’s company. I make people laugh. I make them happy. I care deeply and don’t judge. I have fun. And I don’t try, it just happens. Life just occurs, and I take it for what it is. And I genuinely love the people I’m around, with all their faults and issues. It’s not to say I wasn’t doing it that before I came here, but I do here in much greater amounts. Like all the time.
This made a lot of sense then, because when I was at GCC, I wasn’t necessarily trying too hard to be that guy, especially in that moment I felt insecure and awkward. In fact, I felt quite the opposite: self-serving, gunning for what I wanted at the expense of someone else. It didn’t feel right. Sure, it was one brief moment, but it meant something to me. It meant more because at the time, it was the cool thing to do with my buddies. We’d all joked about the situation and said “oh yeah, go for it”.
Anyway, I came to the final realization that even if it’s unpopular, I have to just be who I am. You’d think I would know that by this point, but the distance between knowledge and praxis is immense.
So, students and staff here at Gannon, rest assured that you know me in a way that is the most authentic to who I am, which was a process of 23 years of trying to understand what that was. You reap (hopefully) benefits of me being an idiot, figuring out why, and praying I wouldn’t be that idiot again. The best part is that I have many more years to figure these things out. Let me tell you too, it’s the best way to spend the drive up 79 alone.