In the beginning of 2020 I started a project where I planned to learn a heap of new shit. It started out ok, but ended up getting a bit derailed, so basically, I still suck at most things on the list of shit I wanted to learn. That’s ok cos even though I didn’t learn all the stuff I wanted to learn, it doesn’t mean I have to close the door on that forever. Besides, I got to learn new stuff, it just wasn’t stuff I saw coming and a lot of it wasn’t easy, and not in the way that requires you to push yourself when you are learning a brand new skill, but in a way that calls into question stuff that you’ve been taking as a “given” all your life. This kind of lesson always sucks because it feels like subtraction rather than addition.
Becoming a better person isn’t always about addition. It’s about growing and sometimes that means growing away from ideas about yourself, about the world, and about relationships. Sometimes personal growth means that you lose. I lost some relationships this year, and the way I view community and friendship has changed forever. This is because I grew away from an idea I had about myself; the idea that I was a good person in the eyes of my friends and the eyes of the community. I was wrong about that and it took me by surprise because I thought that being community-minded, warm, friendly, caring, generous, dependable, considerate, genuine and a good listener were valuable traits. They’re not. This year I learnt that none of that matters. This year I learnt that in general, people who are meant to care about you say one thing to your face and do the opposite behind your back. When the chips are down, they’ll do everything they can to take you down with them, and then act like you never mattered to them anyway.
So, I guess this year I did suck quite a lot, especially in the eyes of people I thought cared about me, but that’s ok because I did a lot of awesome shit and none of that matters when it comes to what other people think. Stuff like reading 15 non-fiction books, 17 fiction books, riding the fat bike hundreds of kilometres, seeing Alice Cooper in concert, riding my horses, mapping out hikes in Burrum Coast National Park, Completing a Graduate Certificate in Disability Practice (I wrote over 200 000 words in assignments, which is equivalent to around two books), buying my own boat, making YouTube movies and just generally being authentic, not full of shit.
Thank god I’m self reliant and don’t need other people around me to live an amazing life. Being extroverted and alone is challenging, but I can manage it by being extreme in my pursuit of physical, self mastery, and intellectual challenges. Maybe life is about serving the lesser good (the self), rather than the greater good (humanity) because in the end, if you don’t put yourself first, how can you ever hope to serve anything or anyone? But, who can tell? I don’t think anyone really “gets it” because if they did, then they wouldn’t act like total pricks towards others who don’t deserve it; others who actually might need a helping hand, not scornful judgement.
Are you who you seem, or are you full of shit too?