Time, Belief, and Assumptions

In recent months, I’ve had a number of old friends, high school classmates, etc. find me on Facebook. If anything, the trend seems to be accelerating. It’s pretty cool chatting with people I haven’t talked to much (or at all) in about 15 years. Some of the people most supportive of my attempt at weight loss have been high school classmates. I’ve gotten some of the most flattering and encouraging comments about my writing here on my web log from old friends who knew me then.

I have to admit, though, that I’ve been a bit anxious as well. A lot of time has passed since then. There are things that I believed very strongly as a teenager that I have very different thoughts about now. The things I find important in my life now are not all the same things I thought were important then. To be honest, I’ve come to think differently about a lot of things over the last 5 years, forget the last 15.

A lot of these things that have changed in my life are not things that I typically talk about in casual conversation. I don’t define myself by these changes, and so they’re not the kinds of things that just “come up.” I see no need to change that. However, I realize that it’s quite easy to form impressions around assumptions. The assumptions I’m most concerned about old friends making are actually quite reasonable ones. I don’t feel the least bit upset or offended about people making those assumptions, but I also don’t wish for people to feel like they’ve been misled in some way.

In short, if you haven’t had a recent conversation with me about my beliefs and priorities, it’s very likely that you’re going to be surprised if the subject comes up. This isn’t just for my high school friends. As I said, a lot of things have slotted in place for me in just the last few years.

I’ve thought for quite a while about how I wanted to say this. As late as last night, I was thinking seriously about trying to lay out in detail many of the changes I’m hinting at here. Today I realized, though, that I’m talking about things that are not for public consumption. I firmly believe it’s impossible to understand where I am now without knowing a lot about how I got here. That involves talking about a lot of internal struggle and self-learning and years of slowly becoming more comfortable with who I am. I don’t have any problem sharing that with people who care about me, but it’s none of the general public’s business.

I’m putting all of this out here because from time to time I feel strongly enough about something that I want to write about it. It’s inevitable that some of these changes I’m talking about will be evident in that writing. From time to time, my reaction to something I’m sent might be quite surprising. So, please don’t make assumptions. I am always open (as time allows) to honest, open-minded questions and curiosity from friends, one-on-one. Just please be prepared for my answers to be nothing like you expect.