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The Versioning of Tommx

I'm starting up a set of posts that are an attempt to try to help new readers understand who I am, and to give me an opportunity to reflect on who I am, who I've been, and how I got from there to here.

I have been different people at various times in my life. I mean, I've always been me, but I haven't always been this version of me. I suppose it's my way of saying that I am the sum of my parts, I guess, but the point is that if you compared me as I am today with who I was when I was, say, 14, or 24, or even 34, you'd see the same person for the most part, but there would be differences that aren't obviously related to age or maturity.

I often look back at the various versions of myself and cringe. Even reading old entries here, I can't help but roll my eyes at how blind I have been to my own privileges, microagressions, etc. They're hopefully not too glaring to the casual observer, but remembering who I was when I wrote some of them is sometimes upsetting to me. It's a good thing I didn't keep a journal in High School. Aside from the fact that my spelling was atrocious back then, I also really had my head shoved up my ass back then. Case in point, I got sucked into what I can only call a born again Christian cult. Suffice to say, I don't do a lot of bragging about that.

A sobering thing to consider, for me, is that the current president (I throw up in my soul to even say that much) has become a mirror to me, reflecting every aspect of being a cisgendered white male of a certain age in this country. I don't claim to be fully aware of the extent of my privilege, largely because I think such privilege tends to be more obvious to those who don't have it. I've come to realize that part of how my privilege manifests itself is to look at people like our current president, and unconsciously congratulating myself for not being like him. It's almost like a drug, that sense of satisfaction at not being as bad as the next guy, and it's a trap I've been trying to work on not falling into anymore.

As a man of privilege, I feel that it's on me to do what I can to help those who are being marginalized, oppressed, or otherwise held back from living their lives as they wish. There are limits to what I can do, of course, but I figure whatever I can do is better than nothing, and hopefully, what effort I make will be beneficial to someone in a real and meaningful way.

Part of the fallout of disliking previous versions of myself is that I've been hesitant to connect with people because I worry that I'm not, in some way, good enough to know them. This is another thing I've been working against recently, as is evidenced by the fact that I've been pretty brazen in my friending frenzy. This is kind of my way. Whenever I break through some sort of personal barrier or take on something new, I tend to go in head first at full speed. It may not be the healthiest way to go about it, but it's kind of what I do. Lisa tells me that she admires that about me, so I'm hoping that it's a healthy thing for the most part.

Anyway, this is the current version of me. I don't claim to be the best version of myself, but I try. My honest hope is that I do not fail any of you, but should I, I hope sincerely that I will have the self awareness to recognize it and make amends.

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