Recently, I received a random phone call.
“Hello, Mr. Hall?”, a voice inquired over the telephone.
“Mr. Hall is gone, plus even if he were here, Mr. Hall is my father. You can call me Matt.”, I said.
“I… don’t… understand… Matt?”
“He’s gone and won’t be returning. I’m sorry. Have a nice day.”
As I hung up the phone, my friend looked at me with furrowed eyebrows.
“That was strange! WHAT was THAT all about!?”, she said.
With my mouth closed, I gave a half-smile.
“I think you know what that was about. Do we really need to discuss it?”, I responded with a slight irritation.
“Yes, I think we need to discuss this or you need to tell me what’s going on, so I can make sure I understand what I think I know.”
“What do you remember about me from before?”
“I remember you were frustrated, confused about a lot of things, and feeling like your puzzle was missing a few pieces.”
“Exactly! The confusion was so frustrating. I was taught to be a certain way, to be this ‘leader” or whatever, but that wasn’t me. Sure, we can all be leaders, but this extroverted, assertive, take charge person was not me. That was other people, but not me. That is not me!!”
“Right, and other things frustrated you too?”
“I didn’t jive with certain types of people. We simply clashed. I thought I had to butt heads with them to get through it. What I know now is all I had to do was slowly and gently side-step them, even ignore them in some cases and the conflict would subside. There was also a lot of confusion around needing alone time to recharge, but not really understanding this. It brought on a lot of guilt.”
“Wow! So, who is not returning?”
“The old me is not returning!”
“The old you? Who is the old you?”
“The old me had major fundamental struggles. In a sense, he had an identity crisis. He thought he had to be masculine all the time, so people wouldn’t think he was weak. He struggled with fitting in. He needed a lot of creative outlets, but struggled to find just one of them. He didn’t understand why he constantly felt so empty. He didn’t understand why people thought he was so awkward when he thought all of his encounters, conversations, etc. felt perfectly normal. Work was a struggle for him. He had a lot of great ideas and input, but it often fell on deaf ears. Perhaps he struggled with how to communicate his ideas. He thought he should be happy all the time.”
“Yeah, since you put it like that, I hope he doesn’t come back either. How would you describe the new guy?”
“The new guy understands the foundation on which he is built and how he processes information and what his strengths and weaknesses are. He understands the things he should avoid to be successful. He knows much better who he is and he knows the relationship between his nature and his experiences. He doesn’t struggle with fitting in because he knows he’ll never fit in and he is perfectly fine with that. He has many creative outlets and he’s deliberate about adding new ones and learning new things. He knows he needs purpose, so by searching for purpose he actually has a purpose until he finds his purpose. He knows he’s awkward, so instead of avoiding it and cringing, he laughs about it. He knows he works best by focusing on one thing at a time, so that he can focus deeply on it and be successful in it. He understands he doesn’t have to be happy all the time and if his empathy toward the state of the world brings sadness to him, then he will gladly carry that sadness. He understands what he needs to do when he gets stuck in his mind, in intuition and thinking. I’m telling you, this guy is so different! There’s a lot more thinking going on and it feels great. I think he’s primed to do great things!”
“That explains a lot. So, who was the person on the phone?”
“Them? Oh, they were someone from my previous life who doesn’t realize the old guy is gone.”
“Wait, it was someone…”
“It was me that called. He doesn’t realize he’s gone.”
It’s OK to change. In fact, it’s really healthy to change. As you grow older, you will change, so you have to change with yourself, otherwise you become someone who lives in the present with a past mentality and that just doesn’t work.
People may not realize you’ve changed. Others may not want you to change, but the old guy (or girl) has to go.
He has to go.
Consider this. Pretty soon, the new guy will become the old guy and he will have to go too.
I wonder if he’ll call.