This Is Where I Am (Or: On Being Better)

I’m not usually that much of a sentimental person. In fact I joke with my friends that I avoid sentimental occasions at all costs. However, on this occasion, with me about to commit to putting a lot more time into this blog, I thought it right to say something. I have some regrets to air.

So, here’s a short post about me, and about how I’m trying to do better. I apologise in advance for this being a ramble. It’s simply something that I need to say, as I scramble the words to say it.

When I think back on the person I was a year ago, or two years ago, obviously that is a very different person in both cases. A very different person because I have been making attempts to better myself. To work on my mental health first, and then later on my behaviour. I can track almost to the year this real progression in how I acted. In how I related to the world. But, as much as I’m doing better, I think while I’ve been liking myself more it’s only know that I actually do like myself. That I actually feel that I’ve earned it.

(And, no, I don’t think that I’m perfect. But I do think that I’ve got a sense of how not to be a real Loki about all my relationships.)

I’ve always felt behind everyone else in terms of understanding emotions, and relating to other people. And, yes, autism, obviously, but I don’t think I ever handled it very well. Unfortunately, I wasn’t diagnosed until I was eighteen, so it wasn’t until I was eighteen that I had access to some of the tools that I needed to learn to do better. However, that doesn’t mean that I was always the best at being introspective and learning to better myself.

I’m a real fan of the adage that you should never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity, because I do believe that a hell of a lot of the time, stupidity is the explanation for a person’s actions. Of course, when we don’t understand why someone has done something, it’s easy to interpret it as malice, and that’s why a lot of relationships end up falling apart while two people try to understand the actions of the other. And don’t. And, a long series of poor decisions and miscommunications turn into feelings of antagonism. It happens. It’s sad, but it does happen.

Two years ago, I was about the most emotionally stupid person you could encounter. It still takes about all the effort I can muster for me to figure out how not to act like the most emotionally stupid person you could encounter, and through therapy and introspection and all sorts of processes I have been trying to do better, but I don’t think that in all ways I have truly managed it. No one is exactly emotionally omniscient, but I was a fucking moron.

Of course, recognising my poor actions in hindsight now does nothing to lessen any of the hurt that I caused other people by just being fucking dumb. At no point did I mean anybody any harm, but as the last two years have gone on I’ve made a few … very poor decisions that I wish had gone the other way. There are situations that I wish I had handled better, because now I know how to handle them. This does nothing, I know. Hindsight is twenty-twenty. I get it. I suppose that all I can do is keep these stupid, hurtful decisions that I made, these damaging actions on my part, and learn from them and never do such things again. I don’t want to go into detail right now about these situations, I just want to acknowledge that I’m trying to be better in how I handle things.

I should say that, for the post part, I don’t want to go into detail because I don’t want to share these stories when I don’t have the permission of the other people involved, but they happened and in all cases I was an idiot. It was just cases of miscommunication and poor decision making, it was never deliberate malice, but that negates nothing.

I’m also very lucky because with just a few exceptions, once I learned to reach out and apologise all these situations were resolved. I thought that these dark dramatic scenarios would lead to the loss of so many friends. As it turns out, it was only in the case of the very worst things that happened (a couple of incidents that I regret more than I can say) that any friends were lost, and you could count the number on one hand.

I also don’t want this to sound like I kept at it, dumb decision after dumb decision constantly, hurting people left and right. No, it was just life. Just those difficult things that pop up now and again. Those fallouts with friends and those tough patches in relationships. But, I remember them all well for the mistakes that I made in those situations, and for the most part kept nothing for what was done by the other parties involved. (Again, with but a few exceptions I can attribute very little to malice. In fact, just one thing. From a long while ago now.)

So, vague rambling about my past aside, I do have a few things I would like to work on. Or, that I’m in the process of working on. Everyone always has stuff they don’t like about themselves. I’ve chosen a few that are real issues to me right now.

First, I know that in the recent past my coping mechanisms have been connected to such a fragile part of me that criticism of these things was blown way out of proportion in my mind. This is probably the thing that most bothered me because I let myself get so sensitive to such stupid things. And obviously, I logically don’t mind debate and discussion. Opinion. I build my little platform here on it. So I couldn’t have this nagging at me. I’ve already worked a great deal on this and now if you mock me for liking something, I’ll probably go along with the joke or throw a joke back at you. And I’m proud of that. It doesn’t erase my past oversensitivity, but it’s a thing to be proud of.

Secondly, I don’t like my relationships with apologies. I feel bad, and I say sorry. But I think I’m a coward about it, and I think I need to just say sorry when I’m sorry. Also, I do believe that an apology has to be genuine, and has to be phrased as genuine. So, I will work on being sorry. In the past, I have had a horrible habit of hurling blame at everyone else (normal for kids and teenagers, who are still awesome and shouldn’t take that as an insult, but I should probably get over it) and never looking inward for what I did to contribute to the situation. I need to stop doing that. I really need to stop doing that.

Aaaand this one is going to be without the full context, a little, but I’m going to change the tone of my posts. I’ll still write jokes and I’ll still make jabs when necessary, but I think the tone in the posts here are representative of a me from a time before I knew what I wanted to do with this blog, and I want this blog to reflect someone I’d like to be, someone I’m trying to be, not yet another needlessly bitter nerd screaming into the void. Of course I can keep my sarcasm, my sense of humour, and try and make people laugh (have I ever actually done that?) but I can do it without malice. I don’t like malice.

(I never had real malice for any of the things I spoke about here, I don’t think. I was just going for a tone of writing. And I don’t think that tone works anymore.)

And, with regard to some of the past stuff that I think went unresolved, it’s interesting. I think there are some apologies that I wish I’d made, but I also think that apologies are interesting and difficult things, and I have a difficult relationship with them. I also think that the people I accidentally hurt by being overly sensitive or misreading or mishandling a situation have every right to no longer want to speak to me, or whatever it may be (that’s a tiny number of people, but it’s so significant to me) and I grant them that right. I think that oftentimes, an apology can be selfish, an attempt to make someone feel better about themselves with little regard for whether or not it makes the person wronged feel any better. It might just make them feel worse. I think in one or two cases, reparations might never come as they have in others. Or, if they do, now isn’t the time. Perhaps now isn’t the time to figure it out, either.

So, that’s my piece. There’s more to say, but it can be said another time. I just had this specific thing that I needed to get out before I moved on to further work. If you read this, then thank you for listening.

I’ll see you guys soon.


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