In another life (okay, quite a few years ago) I functioned quite a bit differently than I do now. The crowd I ran with was different, the skills I utilized where different, my value system was different. Over the past couple of years I've been laying low, trying to get a handle on things. Trying to figure out the right balance of things I want in my life, the right way to utilize gifts and contribute. It seems I've waited long enough and the world has decided my passivity won't stand any longer.
The last several months it's been necessary to step back into shoes I'd long forgotten. Just when I was really enjoying the quiet anonymity of the worker drone, the world bursts in my solitude in the form of floundering around me. It seems I have a weakness for imperfection. (Okay, like we didn't already know about my absolutist tendencies!)
Seeing people I genuinely like struggling to better themselves and perform at a level beyond their current ability always makes me want to jump into the ditch and help. I just can't seem to pass by an opportunity to support the struggling.
Actually, I've been trying to practice that particular skill for some time now. The quiet aloofness, the ability to turn a blind-eye to ignorance or incompentence. Drowning out the obvious cries for help with the excuse that my life is already full enough and I just can't add any value. I tell myself that they are better off without me because look at the disaster that is me. Usually if I tell myself that long enough I pretend to believe it. As least until my faith slaps me silly for my unwillingness to share. I guess I'll just have to chalk my inability to be careless and fancy-free up as yet another failing. ;-)
So now, I'm gradually moving back. Investing in others, being open to responsibility. Allowing my former self to be fully realized from the shadow I've become. Letting myself fall over the cliff of opportunity (or at least be pushed).
In some ways, it's like living again. Not the happy, fun, party-time kind of living necessarily. More of the nitty-gritty, down and dirty, willing to care, I'll-take-responsibility-for-that sort of way. And frankly, I blame all those darn people I let get to me. If I wanted to be a functioning member of society again, I wouldn't have spent all this time and energy hiding myself away. Freakin' friends! They just sneak up on you when you aren't looking. Before you know it, you care what happens to them. What a messy way to live...