Elster's World

Monday, July 25, 2005

Reader, Know Thyself

I posted a comment on someone's Blog regarding the age I became "self-aware", for lack of a better term. In other words, when did I begin to figure out who I really was, as opposed to who I thought I was or, worse, who I thought I wanted to be?

I usually think this in the context of early marriage. In the orthodox Jewish community there is a propensity towards early marriage. Eighteen or nineteen year old girls fresh from Seminary, or pining away at college as the case may be, seem to have only this on their minds; "Why am I not married yet?" Let the record reflect that I am not expressing an opinion whether or not this is "good"or "bad". Far be it for me to say yea or nay. Rather, this topic just gets me thinking more about.... Me. (Can my ego be more unchecked?)

I got married at 25. I began self-realization at about 20. The only statement regarding early marriage is the following one: Once you become part of a married "unit", it becomes much more difficult to fully realize your own individuality. (Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, it just is.)

More about me for a second. I grew up in the middle. Not really cool, not really a loser, just in the middle. I had my core group of friends in high school, also not the coolest guys. But damn if we had good times. Damn if all we ever did was laugh. I am sort of a shy person, especially around new people. More especially (grammar be damned) around girls. Definitely not easy to be Mr. Popular when your alter-ego is Mr. Shy.

But back to the point. When I hit twenty, I began to realize something. It's not so important for this discussion what it is I discovered or how I came to this discovery. For everyone it will be something else. It was a small starting point, but enough for me. I stopped focusing on the person I wasn't and began realizing who I was.

Self-realizations like a light. It goes on and you are less worried about what other people think about you, less concerned with how many people want to be your friend. You see your "lot" and you are content. It doesn't matter whether you are smart or cool or good looking. It only matters that you know what you are and you are ok with it.

That was at twenty. Now I'm thirty-two. Twelve years, one wife and two kids later and the picture is still not completely in focus yet. But I firmly believe that had I gotten married at 21 or 22, I would never be the person I am today. Heck, maybe I would have been a better person, but I never would have been the individual I am.

When I was 31 I realized I wanted to be a writer. So I wrote a book. 450 some odd pages, double spaced. In my humble opinion, it's a pretty good book. I am trying to get it published. I am even writing a sequel (hope springs eternal after all). Had I wanted to be a writer at 20, the only thing I would have been able to produce would have been crappola.

Why am I writing this? Because someone asked me what I discovered at 25. The answer is, it doesn't matter what I discovered. The question is, what will YOU discover?


  • Now you have me even more curious. Just email me..

    By Blogger Semgirl, at 12:14 PM  



    By Blogger bleemy's blemishes, at 2:01 PM  

  • Thanks

    By Blogger Elster, at 2:16 PM  

  • Interesting that you became self-aware at 20 - I think this is pretty early. I didn't seriously hit it until I was about 24 or 25 and I didn't hit it seriously until I was 28 and finally out from under everyone's thumb (I became an Orthodox convert at the age of 27 - the arduous process had the effect of limiting my self-expression in several significant ways). Anyway, at the ripe old age of 28, I finally realized that I was in charge of my life, d***it, and no one else was going to run it for me.

    By Blogger AnySara, at 6:49 PM  

  • Truth is I started self awareness at 20-ish. It took me a while to really figure it all out though. What can I say, I guess I'm ahead of my time...

    By Blogger Elster, at 9:20 PM  

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