It’s only Monday afternoon, and already I’m realizing I’ve scheduled my week such that my life is interfering with my work, or my work is interfering with my life, but at any rate I have it on my to do list to blog today, so here we are. I just made a wholly unsatisfactory grilled cheese for lunch (story of MY LIFE) and I’m about to make some tea and hunker down for some client writing, but first let’s turn our attention inwards, shall we, and enjoy a little bit of quiet reflection. The title of this post reminds me I can’t ever hear the phrase “personal growth” without thinking of the scene in When Harry Met Sally where Marie tells Sally, “There’s someone staring at you in Personal Growth!” and the someone that was staring at her was Harry, lurking around the bookstore, trying to remember if Sally is who he is remembering. Oh, you two crazy kids, when will you realize you’re meant for each other? This is really neither here nor there, but is to say that I’m trying to grow as a person, and if it gives me an excuse to reminisce a little bit about my favourite movie, so be it.
Where was I? Oh yes, the personal growth, the quiet introspection. I’d ultimately like to take a little poll about the conclusions I’ve come to, but I’ll start by saying that I’ve been wondering, lately, how much of one’s personality is modifiable in some way, and how much of it is deeply ingrained in a level so deep in one’s DNA that there’s no hope of ever even accessing it, much less tweaking it in any way. I think I’ve been wondering this because it’s January, so ’tis the season for those pesky New Years Resolutions, and every year I think maybe I should do something to make myself more socially outgoing, less anxious about things I can’t control, less prone to flying into a near-homicidal rage at the movie theatre, more likely to lace up my boots and head out into the cold, cold (cold) winter … and I think I could definitely TRY, at least, and probably read a book or two to help me get there, but at the end of the day, I think maybe I yam what I yam and what I yam is someone who just doesn’t like the cold, who gets nervous around people she doesn’t know, and who has a very low tolerance for people who insist on talking during movies, I mean really, do you think we can’t HEAR you chatter on about how you lost 5 pounds this week thanks to eating nothing but grapefruit and flax seed?
The basic conclusion that I’ve come to (and here’s where the poll comes in, because feel free to use the comments to tell me I’m wrong, and I would be a lot happier if I just took up snowboarding) is that after a certain point, a lot of our attitudes or perspectives or what have you are ingrained so deeply in our characters that even if we WANTED to change them (which often we don’t) it’s really not feasible once you’ve reached a certain point, and maybe it’s just best to embrace who we are and chant the Serenity Prayer when necessary. I expect that there are things I CAN change (read: increased patience during sandwich making, improved enduring for running, lesser consumption of chocolate and chocolate-flavoured products) and things I CAN’T change (read: dismal mathematical ability, discouraging lack of enthusiasm about new situations, despairingly low tolerance for cold extremities), and maybe a lot of self-improvement is valid and valuable, but maybe a lot of it is futile too, and frustrating and a recipe for failure to boot, and is best handled by attempts to mitigate these disasters of character and to lessen their impact on those whose company I enjoy and hope to keep enjoying for the time being (read: purchasing jaunty winter attire for warmth & lack of whining, marrying someone who can solve quadratic equations in my stead, enjoying movies from the comfort of my own basement in order to avoid turning into That Guy, You Know, The One Who Does All The Shushing).