Once upon a time, I welcomed these people into my life with open arms. I hung out with them, drank with them, befriended them on Facebook, swapped tales with them; these were my friends, with whom I could relate. That was yesteryear, during my days of wild child self-proclamation. I’m different now; at least that’s what I tell myself. I’m a yogi. I no longer drink. I’m vegan. I’ve calmed down quite a bit. I don’t miss those crazy times. I’ve matured. I’m a “better” person.
That’s all well and good, yet as I proceed to pat myself on the back, I wonder, “What am I so afraid of?” It’s against my nature to run away from the familiar. I’d venture to say it’s against anyone’s nature to run away from that of which we know. To run is to fear. Most people fear the opposite of what is familiar, which is the unknown. If I know these people, my neighbors, what do I have to fear?
Well not only do I know my neighbors, I know my old self in the company of my neighbors. I have the memories of the choices I made, which I don’t care to ever make again; that’s where the cringe comes in. Though I know my neighbors, perhaps I don’t know myself as well as I’d like to think. Perhaps what I have to fear is the threat of going back to the person I once was.
Please don’t misunderstand me. In no way am I claiming to be better than anyone or holier than thou. Everyone has the right to live the life they want to live however they see fit, as long as they aren’t hurting anyone. Nor do I have any regrets of how I’ve lived my life. I was in my early 20s, with a newly found freedom, eager to explore the world and all of its hidden mysteries. That was and is my right, as it is the right of all living creatures.
My point: that experience has lead me to where I stand now, with all of my scrapes, bruises, scars, warrior paint and stripes in their glory. I couldn’t be who I am today had I not been who I was yesterday, and who I am today will lead me to who I will be tomorrow. When one knows oneself, s/he has nothing to fear, for no one and nothing can hurt you. You’re the slave of your past and the master of your future, so chose your decisions wisely.