While I was working at Best Buddies, I became good friends with this guy JR. He once told me that I am an introspective millennial. It was explained to me that the newer generation (the "millennial") was very introspective in their way of life. He said that I am someone who is more inclined to reflect on the decisions that I made, rather than accept my past for what it is, and move on. I have to admit, he has a point. My tendency is to delve into an event or occurrence, analyze why/how it happened, and come up with a solution. I don't know if I always come up with a definitively concrete conclusion of how to solve the issue, or if I am just using some sort of excuse as a justification for why the event may have taken place. Either way, it is my solution in an attempt to allow my heart and mind to be at rest.
I have also been told by many friends, and [unfortunately] ex girlfriends, that I tend to overanalyze every situation that I am in. That was correct! I have been able to tone it down a little bit. I can safely call it more of a subtle observation, rather than the dramatically defined term, 'overanalyze'. But how can you blame me? If I am an introspective millennial...!! That would simply be a justification for my actions. I am far too smart to believe, even myself for a minute, saying that! One thing that I do know, is that it is my past, that has led me to be so analytical, and introspective. I suppose the thought is that I have been trying my best to ensure that I would not fail, in order to please others in my life.
Mainly my father. I could always hear his voice in my head, as I was growing up. He instilled taking care of business, before play. That model makes sense, but it has rattled my senses a bit. And now that I am older, and have a much greater understanding of life in a broader sense, I am able to see the flaws in that theory. First and foremost, every single human being is wired differently. That being said, it is easy to deduce that something that may work for one person may not work for another person. Yes, I enjoy working. Yes, I enjoy being successful in what I pursue. But no, I do not want to be what my father is. He has had such great success in his career, but it has come with a cost. In becoming successful, he has sacrificed his relationship with individuals in his family. It isn't necessary to get into the comparing and contrasting of his successes and failures. I simply want to note that I do not desire to be like my father.
I mean, I am not my father anyway! I was born my own self, with my own name, and my own future. Not to mention, being that he and my mother weren't together for too much longer after I was born, I wouldn't have his constant influence. All of these factors lead one to believe that I would never fall into the trap that is the shadow of my father's steps, but I fell for it nonetheless.
All the time I was growing up, I believed that I was living my own life. Lately, I have come to realize that I had really been living my life for my father. I desired for him to be so happy, that I sacrificed my own wants, for his. On the surface it wouldn't seem like much, but internally, it is far too evident for me to be satisfied with it. I took tests in school, with the hopes that I would be successful, to make him happy with me. I went to FSU, because that was what he suggested. I was reminded as I lifted weights, that I had my father's build. Daily, my father and I would talk sports, and ESPN became my 24 hour TV source. When we weren't talking about sports, it was about women and sex, and now I have a misconstrued concept of sex [and an STD]. When I look at my life, I see bits and pieces of him, in what I have become. I have also become aware that in the past couple of years (college [or reflective] years), I speak less with my father. Why? Because he and I have less to talk about. I became expressive about my faith, and he still doesn't take the time to understand my thoughts and feelings. I got a tattoo, which he told me was not the smartest thing I could do. I transfered home from FSU, when he told me that I was stupid for doing so. I lost my desire for continual sexual contact with people whom I cared less about, something he still doesn't get. I now lift weights for myself, to forget about life for a while. I rarely watch sports, but now have a deeper connection with the sports industry from a business aspect. I have changed.
What changed me?
I could say that being introspective allowed me to reach deep within myself, to pull out the real me, but that is far too cliche. What I can say, is that I have changed as a human being. I grew up. The 2012 "Mission Matt" was a justification. It was a way for me to get past all of the negative things that occurred in my life, in a short period of time, to start 2012 off on the wrong foot. I simply needed some time to figure out some things in life.
Everybody has their struggles in life, but the thing that I hope to instill in every life that I can influence is this: "you are yourself; nobody has your name, your face, your soul, and your future. Live life as life should be for you. Do not live in the shadow of others, but enjoy their company as friends and family."
P.s. this also helps me to keep my head up: Psalm 18.