Have I changed much?

We all change over time; some mellow with age while others just get increasingly angst-ridden. But delving into a personality change is psychotic stuff and I will restrict myself to simple things you thought were important to your belief system once. Admittedly all change is good and if we refuse the gradual changes in our perspective, we let ourselves fall into a rot. After yesterday’s post on adapting to change in your beliefs, I will simply list the few things that have changed for me (although my parents “blame” America for changing me):

Earlier I judged people harshly who drank alcohol in any form, often extrapolating their fondness for alcohol as perversity of character. Now I understand that, as long as you are not a hardened alcoholic, it is fine to have some in social situations. Heck, my college mates will not believe it if they find out that I sip an occassional beer now.

Earlier I sincerely believed that you fall in love only once and should be involved in a relationship only if you wish to marry that person. Experiences have taught me that things aren’t that straight forward. Moving on is an important part of your life and sometimes one does not get the things you wish for; even for no fault of yours. That’s life.

Earlier I thought physical affection was only supposed to be expressed after marriage. Premarital sex was taboo as hell. Now I am more accepting about physical affection although for some inexplicable reason, I still maintain a distance. But one-night stands are still a strict no-no.

Earlier I passionately hated smokers; considered a disgusting habit. Now I just hate smoking not the sucker at the other end of the cigarette. I just prefer that they keep their smoke out of my face.

Earlier I considered people with lesser intellectual abilities to be lowly mortals. That only enhanced my arrogant snobbish image. Now, when I have seen enough humble beings with far superior intellect, I have realized that it is not how much you know but rather how you use it. But I still am impressed with people with proven skills and abilities; I just don’t despise the ones who don’t.

Earlier I had a low opinion about homosexuals and considered their sexual orientation as despicable. Now I consider their demands to marry and co-exist amicably as an undisputable right and heartily support equal status for gays and lesbians in all walks of life.

Earlier I believed that your career and earning a livelihood was everything. Rest all falls in place. Now I know that life is not sequential and multi-tasking is not merely a quality that you cite in business interviews. Everything goes hand in hand and often happens almost at the same time.

Earlier I believed that you should have your life planned out down to the last detail. You should have a clear idea of what you want to do in life and everything should fall in place sequentially, leading to your ultimate goal. Now, I know that to make God laugh, just tell him those plans. Things happen albeit for a reason and at time you are put on hold for much longer than you anticipated. You can only give it your best shot and hope for things to fall in place. But I still believe that my destiny is in my hands.

Earlier I believed in the importance of education and thought that you can never stop learning either in school or from personal experiences. More time you spent in academics always helped you in the long run. Now; .wait a sec, I still believe that.

Haven’t you changed?

PS. Earlier may vary between 4-10 years back and now, of course, is as of today morning.

47 Comments

  1. Patty, that’s amayyy-zing honesty. It takes a lot of courage and humility to admit one’s earlier beliefs might have been erroneous. You are a great guy!

    Having said that, you must have been insufferable when younger. Age suits you, eh? ;-)

  2. Leela – Am I? I hope we are talking about the same person :) I was a stuckup, arrogant snob and now I am a bit older. Lets meet again when I am 50 (if I am around) then we can click :)

  3. a common link is that you are less judgemental now and have learnt to accept people/things the way they are.. two ways of looking at it – either you have matured or you have given up… i think its the former :)

  4. Manuscrypts – Thanks for believing in the former. I like to think so too. Now you beg the question, do we continuously mature or just platuea out at a certain age? or just go down after a certain age?

  5. This is an AMAZING post, gorgeous, lajawab, muah muah licking my fingertips.

    I don’t think you were a ‘stuckup, arrogant snob’ at all. These are lessons I am sure almost all of us have learnt as we grow older. I can cite almost exactly the same things I have learnt as time goes by too.

    I am going to post this on my page. If I can get a hang of the track back thingie. Couldn’t manage last time from rediffblogs :-(

  6. Nope the trackback didn’t work on blogspot either, have used the ‘permalink’.

  7. hey very honest. takes a lot of guts to write all this down. tho i must say that earlier you seem to have been very very good. phew!

  8. Whirlwings – Thanks. I guess better late than never ,eh? Everyone learns; its just a matter of time.

    Rash – LOL! Leela thought otherwise..is being intolerant very very good?

  9. Nice post. Had thought about this few days back and can relate to a few points.

  10. My views have not changed all that much.But I have changed in many ways. Some for the better and some not. There are times when I realize I have changed so much that I miss the earlier me.

  11. Well, good for you. Nothing changes in Amchi Mumbai, not even beliefs :( . And hey you don’t sound like a former ‘stuckup, arrogant snob’. I make God laugh everyday with my elaborate plans for the future :). Good you have destiny in your hands…hope it is not too heavy ;)

  12. “do we continuously mature or just platuea out at a certain age?”
    Now, that was a very interesting question, Pat. I’m afraid we do platuea out as we grow older. That’s the whole challenge in living. To resist the temptation to freeze as we grow and be bold enough to be flexible as long as we live.

    Revising prejudices ain’t easy. Glad you posted on that. :)

  13. Yes, we all change. Experience, right dozes of failure and the ability to question your beliefs changes us into a better human being, more tolerant.

    Very nice post and I guess you were just like me 5 years ago. Although it seems like I have changed quite drastically.:)

  14. Hey Pat,
    This is a very nice and honest post. Most of your readers would identify with it, coz all of us have gone through this evolving phase and still are for that matter. Moreover, with all the happenings in and around us, we realise that imperfect is not always bad and beauty and grace can be found everywhere. Guess age makes us all more tolerant and less critical in life!

  15. Very nice post, Pat! Many of your statements are same as my thoughts on that matter. Thanks for putting them in words so clearly and concisely. I believe the reason for this change is the everchanging perspective gained by experience. For a young mind, it is easy to understand concepts as black and white but, with age one finds all the shades of grey in between and makes them more accepting and tolerant.

  16. Dude…changed or unchanged…you ‘cant’ ‘click’ with Leela.

    Some change there dude. I am glad I never met you 4-10 years back. I am an alcoholic, loved all kind of physical attraction, scored whenever I could, was never bright with my studies and sympathized with gays.
    You could have killed me.

  17. Heyy, I second Rash – man, your past self sounds really goody-goody !

    On a more serious note, you’re right – life is neither ordered nor immutable. Things change, and we change with them. Sometimes it gets tough and sometimes it gets easy. But we have power in our choices; as long as we choose, we move and we change and so does the course of life.
    Destiny isn’t a matter of chance, it’s a matter of choice. It’s not a thing to wait for, it’s a thing to achieve.

  18. that was a very honest post. and it Does take a lot of courage to be so self-critical. i think we constantly evolve and things which made so much sense at a certain point of time may not look so, say 10 years down the line.

    Bravo to you Patrox.

  19. sorry Pat, misspelled your name :(

  20. pompy: i see you being honest to yourself and evolving at the same time. See Pat! you are so inspiring.

  21. LOL smiley, maybe you and Pat can meet midway at 66 when you might have sobered down and Patty would become a wild old man rolling Viagra pills with grass and indulging in gay activities.

  22. good post indeed ! guess everyone changes..or evolves..for good or worse…in my case i think i ve changed for the worse…when i look back i was more bubbly .. took things for their face value…made friends with just about anyone…was naive about most of the things..n now .. its all gone……i know u might find it funny that i crave for all the things lost..but yes i think innocence is irreplacable..n however much others tell me i ve changed for good..i ll crave that “thing” the most for the rest of my life !

  23. Aar – Guess its time to pen down your list. I started with just a couple but was surprised I ended up with so many..try it, you might be surprised.

    Venusian – I do not miss the earlier me at all. But me thinks, you change only when some drastic occurs in your life, although that change might be gradual.

    Passerby – after some thinking, I realize that we do not exactly platuea out but maybe after 50-60, we are more critical of the changes and get a “things were so good in my time” syndrome…don’t all grandparents tales start that way?

    Seema – LOL! Me and God play a little game of catch with my destiny, each trying to keep it with himself.

    Alphayou were just like me 5 years ago : did I just stir some childhood memories..must be a loooong time ago, right :) BTW why 66? I thought your favorite number was 69 ;) ur gay digs are now stale..think of something new..quick.

    Jahnvi – Thanks. Everyone has changed in their own way…we just sometimes refuse to accept that. But you are right, tolerance is the keyword here.

    Parag – Thanks. Its those shades of grey that make our existence peppered with subjective opinions. But at the same time, we should be aware of letting too much subjectivity rule us..otherwise its just an attitude of “chalta hai” or “thats your opinion, I have mine”.

    Smiley – You mean, I can’t kill you now?? maybe just for Leela…I bet she will pay me to do that :)

    Ash – how can being intolerant, arrogant, and holier-than-thou attitude be goody goody??? Did I really change for the good? :) also your comment reminds me of a line in Minority Report – You can choose even if you know your future. Its true.

    Pompy – Maybe I can do the part deux of this post after 10 yrs (if I am around) and we can compare notes. BTW Mahesh S from Techrose used to call me Patrox, so thatz ok :)

  24. Someone – change for good or worse is a matter of perspective. Although innocence may seem like a cute thing when we are kids, it is mistaken as gullibility when we are adults…I would just say you have matured. So enjoy your adulthood.

  25. Very interesting and mature post! I have been consciously trying to change myself over the past 5 years and yes, it was an unfortunate incident in my life that prompted it. I’m still a work in progress and will be, but the point is to keep trying to change for the better, right? Of course what’s better and what’s worse is a different ballgame altogether. The earlier me, in my arrogance, wouldn’t have even read your post assuming ‘what’s to change in me, I’m perfect!’ (had a T-shirt saying just that!). The new Me is an addict – addicted to your blog, that is! But seriously, I do sometimes miss the old me. Don’t you miss your old self?

  26. Nami – Honestly I don’t miss my old self..was just taken for granted, which somehow was adorable to others (obviously) but not so gullible now. But all I can say is that change is often at an subconscious level and cannot be imposed. Too bad even Akash from DCH can’t say you can’t change perfection coz he did :)

  27. yes..you are right..when u say others found you gullible..but you changed not coz it was good..but just so that others dont take you for granted..most of the times we think we have changed for the better..coz we become more suited to our surroundings.. so yes perfection is changed (to not so perfect) coz people around you are not that perfect ! so I guess being more cautious in making friends .. judging people oh so frequently .. n losing innocence is maturing (?) .. but yes as you pointed out correctly in your post we do out grow some of our stupid beliefs .. but in doing so somewhere we lose ourselves..hope you got my point..

  28. Like all the others before me commented, I believe this is an excellent post Pat. Very well written and pure.

    Thank You.

  29. Someone – What is “ourselves”?? Did we form that image when we were 3 and never decide to change? We change for good but then what is good? Isn’t it subjective or we just put it to test against some good-bad meter? Of course, you change yourself according to your surroundings, coz if you don’t you just be stagnant and I don’t think I like that.

    Yogustus – I should be doing the thanking. I thought you would have more to say but maybe later :)

  30. Pat, in my opinion, no booze + no smoking + no sex + thoughts that the above are BAD = goody-goody :-)

    Hey Someone, I understand what you mean. We do lose something innocent and pure when we ‘grow up’. When we’re kids, the world is new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. For most of us that clear vision, that true instinct for what’s beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and lost before we reach adulthood. But to survive in this world and stay sane, we’ve got to adopt the cynical attitude of ‘adults’.
    Hmm, I guess we can only hope that we don’t get too doubtful and can still enjoy some of the uncomplicated pleasures of life.

  31. Guess you grew up eh??? I mean, we all go through a phase where we are really stubborn in our beliefs… But I guess age and experience brings tolerance.. Not always though.. But its good to know that you went through that process…

  32. Ash – Ah-ha! now I get it. All those “bad” things seem strictly off limits when we are kids but are taken for granted for adults. Dunno about you, but thatz not too bad. Being cynical about everything is definitely not the way to go but not allowing yourself to be carried away by the rhetoric or jingoism is something we learn with age. We just learn to be more objective.

    Prashant – I guess, I did grow up then..but never realised I did :)Everyone goes through it but not all admit it.

  33. Now why would you think I would have more to say Pat…:). Honestly, the reason your post strikes a chord with everyone (and the # of comments is an indicator) is because it is a common experience to all…and you have articulated it very well. Thats why I thanked you in my last comment.

    Tolerance is not the word to be used here however. You “tolerate” something which you don’t approve. Acceptance should be the motto.

    Till we realize that the drunk person in the bar, the beggar lady on the street, the president of a country, the terrorist, the murderer in jail…are all reflections of us…ARE us…and accept it…this learning process will continue. The more you accept the more you grow…the more you resist…the more you contract. Like a great man once said…selfishness is death…selflessness is life. A saint becomes a saint because he sees God in every being…including himself…The Perfect Unity.

  34. Yogustus – So you did have more to say..anyways always love your hatke views. If you meekly accept something because you had been tolerating it for long, then you are changing for the wrong reasons. But being more tolerant for a longer time and yet accept things as they are, then thatz something. I guess we can sign off on this long but interesting talk :) It was definitely worth writing this post.

  35. Well, what that probably means is that everything about you and your life has changed for the better :)…and change has mostly positive connotations. Great place to be that !

  36. how true.. I myself have made some of these changes too.. basically it’s all in what you think is the definition of “right” and “good”. With time one prolly realises that all that you thought was “wrong” and “bad” is not so bad after all as long as it’s within a limit or it’s not hurting anyone.

  37. Funny but I was thinking on similar lines this morning today … about how people chAnge and how I ‘ve changed ….

  38. Yogu!!! You have changed…You love Pat more than me now…Kya hua tera wada? *background sad music*

  39. i guess all it takes is an open mind……a willingness to accept……..a lot of what u wrote….i can associate with it…..nice honest post mate

  40. Crab – So what have you changed into? :)

    Venusian – Some say I *was* better, some say I *am* better…all matter of perspective but the fact that I have changed does not change…but I like it here.

    Twilight – True. First do no harm is the norm; rest all are just context-driven changes but takes something to make that change permanent.

    Alpha – No amount of sad songs is gonna bring Yogu back to you now…he is singing *Ab tere bin jee lenge hum* these days :)

    Hemya – Nice. Guess everyone goes thru those changes.

  41. Awesome post, Pat!…the similarities with my own experiences makes me think if many of these transformations are due to us being in America…For example, I am not sure I could’ve reached the same level of acceptance about things like homosexuality and pre-marital sex or even social drinking (in some parts of the society) back in India

  42. Spaceman – Thanks! The America factor sure does count coz I don’t think I would be that accepting about some things either.

  43. Hi Pat,
    Have been checking your bolg site for the last couple of days…it is very addictive. luckily you blog a lot:-)
    But I think this is your best one. It does take a lot of courage to anaylse oneself every once in a while and see if we are getting better or worse. I myself feel I have a changed a lot (for good?) in my thoughts and views since I came to amreeka but then I think thats just because one gets exposed to a lot more things here in comparison to des (well at least the des that was six years ago!!). Although things have a changed a lot now back home, which is good(?) for the gen X.
    Was this blog a continuation of the previous one “stubborn or steadfast” ?
    Looking forward to more interesting ones.
    Well that was a long comment from a freshie. phew!!:)

  44. Kimu – Thanks for commenting. Glad to know that you too introspect but somehow I see a hesitation in judging the changes to be good for you…look at it this way, if you have changed, you have always changed for the better coz it makes you feel better…rest all is humdrum.

  45. well one of the not so good changes is that I have become pessimistic. I remember a time when I was one of the most optimistic person in my gang. well i guess 6 years of grad school does that to one……hopefully things will get better;-)

  46. Kimu – Grad school although gruelling should help keep your chin up coz its not gonna get any easier…get back to ur optimistic self.

  47. yup, thats the plan..

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