For many, the only side of me that has ever been seen is the me that writes the musings on my site here, but once upon a time, in a faraway galaxy, I was more of a statistically and fact-driven sports columnist.
It was one of the many reasons I began writing as Dear John.
You see, people have an innate sense to want to pigeon-hole writers in one category or another, but following my first Dear John column, a reader commented how the Dear John columns showed a “softer side” of me. A side not known to the general public.
In fact, a coworker told me it was easier for me to write the “softer,” more introspective Dear John columns simply because I was on the “other side.”
The “other side” of what? Of course, the topic of my age was brought up — I wasn’t even in my mid-40’s yet.
She went on to explain my age allowed me to be a bit more introspective about life — she was in her 20’s, so I guess, yes, I would be a little more introspective.
Introspective? I really never thought much about being introspective.
What I thought I was doing was applying all I had learned and experienced over the years and hopefully letting readers see they were not alone, but I guess I did have to look inward to put it all together and decide how I felt and thought about different things.
I believe we all become a little introspective now and then, even those who want to be looked at as the Rock of Gibraltar for each of the sexes.
Many see someone being introspective as a weakness, but I find it as strength.
The ability to be in touch with how you feel about particular things has nothing whatsoever to do with a physical strength, manliness or being looked as a strong independent woman.
In fact, I believe it takes an even stronger person to be able to show their feelings, say how they feel about something, or take a look inside and be maybe a little philosophical.
Why? Because it takes courage and inner strength to be different from the stereotypical male or female.
It would be like saying you cried when your team lost the Super Bowl, but you didn’t when Old Yeller died in the movie.
For those who have never seen Old Yeller, particularly animal lovers, watch the movie and get back with me through a comment or email — if you don’t get choked up by the end of Old Yeller, nothing will choke you up.
While there are many reasons one cries, one type of crying may be acceptable to your peers, while other forms would not be.
Being able to look introspectively helps define who you are as a person, what your beliefs are, what you stand for and your particular ideas on many other things.
An introspective outlook, and yes you can look outwardly at the inside, has helped me stay away from different types of people at different times of my life, simply because their outlook on life is so much different from mine.
Sometimes a look inside can change your life, and at other times, give you validation of your belief system.
Is there really a point and time in your life when age has a part in it?
Maybe, maybe not.
I believe that there are points and times in our lives when we reach certain milestones that make us all a little more introspective, but I also believe there are times when circumstances cause us to look inside ourselves a little more introspectively.
As I get a little older I have become more introspective, but only because I can draw upon circumstances in my life that give me insight into myself.
Yes, I cried when I was younger when Old Yeller died, and I probably would today, as well — but not because of age, but because I know who I am from the inside — and I am, after all, on the “other side.”
I guess even that is being introspective. Look inside, be introspective, it’s there where you’ll find out a little more about yourself, all while finding a way to shine.