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[personal profile] trysdyn
I just got in from jogging in the rain. That wasn't my intent, but what can you do? I walked up to the 7-11 to get drinks and when I emerged, a medium drizzle had appeared out of nowhere. It was the warm, misty kind of rain that falls on you and just kind of immediately disperses into a slick tepid coating that feels more like a layering of residue than actual water. So I double-timed it back home, towing along a double gulp of what I thought was Dr. Pepper but turned out to be... well I don't know what.

So now I'm at home watching the start of the Sunday morning bar closure circus of bad driving on the streets outside my patio door, sipping this mystery concoction that tastes of little more than carbonation, aspartame, and perhaps just a twinge of Pepsi. I suspect the soda fountain at the local 7-11 needs cleaning, or perhaps the hoses are just entirely mixed up. I guess that's one way to make sure I don't binge on soda and end up staying up all night.

I will admit it feels strange spouting off into a text input box on a website anymore. When I was in high school and college, it was a ritual I engaged in every night... sometimes twice daily. I had maybe 60 or 70 people interested in what I had to write, though it was usually just ramblings of whatever came to mind at the time-- a sort of debug log for my brain. It wasn't enough for me though to ramble and attach a mood to the post, I attached a color to every post, recoloring the whole thing by wrapping the entire content in HTML tags. It was a sort of synesthesia in that I assigned a color to my mood at the time, and that color to the post. In retrospect it probably wrecked the reading experience of anyone not using a dark background colored theme, but it's a thing that was special to me.

I had been reflecting on those times again after a conversation about old identities. For years I'd chosen the moniker "Lonewolf", or more frequently some permutation thereof because someone had always beaten me to the name. I was an edgy kid, telling people I didn't want friends or a girlfriend, I didn't want to socialize. I wanted to be seen as the silent, wise type though most of the time I was anything but. More importantly though, I wanted to create things. Writing, game design, etc. I spent most of my time in high school administrating and designing for Mithica, and I do miss the ease of which I could just turn ideas into reality there. Sadly Mithica folded, and I doubt Graal even hosts servers for free anymore like they did back then.

I kept that name, and that attitude, through my Sophomore year of college. It was the gateway that got me into totemic spirituality really. Despite the name initially being more about the "Packless loner" persona than literal identification with wolves, I came to accept the wolf as a totem and guide in my Senior year of high school. Imagine the confusion that resulted as at the time I was still deeply mired in a Christian household, school, and church life. Still, it did me a lot of good; it opened the door to alternative ways of belief and thought that eventually congealed into the amalgamation of appropriated beliefs that I consider my current spiritual canon.

I guess the point of all of this is I'm just now coming to realize and accept that I never had that breakthrough moment where I "became a different person" despite embracing half a dozen (exactly) specific unique identities through my life. It was always a gradual change, an evolution. There are of course moments where I changed my name, changed my guide, but they were moments of realization of change that had already occurred, not moments of sudden change on their own.

Maybe that in and of itself is a valuable lesson, especially now in this time where I'm expecting change from people in my generation. That change isn't a magic epiphany moment where a person suddenly becomes different in every way; it's a series of small events pushing toward a different end. Even if you can't drive a total change for good in the people around you, you can be one of those small pushes. They add up eventually; they did for me.

Long story short, a person is the sum of their experiences. Big or small, those experiences add up to make a different person going forward.