Some Personal Growth

At the end of 2010 I looked back and remarked that the year had been one of the best in my life so far. It was the year I met Connie and moved to America. At the end of 2011 I looked back at that year and said that it had managed to better it’s predecessor by giving me my highest high up ‘til that point. I was pretty impressed that 2011 had managed to better 2010, and thought there was pretty much no way that 2012 could manage to better it.

Then, this year, I moved back to Glasgow and we got a puppy. Moving back to Glasgow was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, along with asking Con to marry me and getting Frank.

2012 was a difficult year too though, for personal reasons. A part of my life not chronicled here, one for only close friends and family. Maybe one day I’ll talk about it, but for now it’s better to let it lie – but safe to say, it was challenging and difficult, and something that I still have to deal with. And I am proud that I am and getting better at it with each passing day.

I also made some major strides personally – I found several things about my personality that I didn’t like that lead me to end up in a position with my professional life that wasn’t positive and was, for the first time, impacting negatively on my personal life. I realised that I had to become partly selfish and more assertive, whilst also learning how to cope better (actually, maybe even learning how to cope at all), and the big one – control my anger.

My anger is something that many of friends have felt the wrath of and leading up to leaving Aberdeen after the most torrid time of my life (nothing can understate how loathsome and awful the last few months in Aberdeen were), I had let it control me. I’d had “the red mist” for a long time, only descending once or twice every five years, but it was a regular occurrence by the middle of the year. I have a few aborted posts talking about it.

I have used mild cognitive behavioural techniques as well as talking to work on it, but without a doubt the biggest contributor to this change in me has been Connie, who in some moments sacrificed time and energy to let me rant and rave as I learned how to partially deal with the issues I was having.

If this is coming as a surprise to you, reading this, then that’s probably a good thing. Hiding it was always my intention. However, it was never going to help me. I have to be more open about what causes my disproportionate actions and anger, and it’s linked to the first thing I mentioned – my assertive nature.

I have always been non-confrontational and learning to be confrontational in a new way, rather than anger or defensiveness, has been a long road. But I now think I am slowly getting there – these days I am more aware of what will cause me to get angry; tiredness, a hangover, exasperation, maybe even a simple misunderstanding. I am learning to step back and call it out, to not be too proud to admit that yes, I am feeling annoyed, and yes, I should tell you why. It might be that I am wrong (most of the time it is) but as someone who has learned somehow that being wrong is a weakness this takes a lot. I know now that it is not – admitting you were wrong is courageous and a strength.

In the coming months and years, there is a major change in my personality needed. My anger that I used to have and feel towards Frank when he did something wrong would’ve been transferred to a child if I hadn’t identified it and worked hard to work on it. It will help friendships and family relationships when I can easily say what I feel without fear of being shot down because I’ve chosen the wrong way to go about it.

But most of all it will help me be better at life. I will be a better friend and partner and colleague. And, despite it being a long way off, I already feel a lot happier. Leaving Aberdeen was the best thing I could’ve done, especially leaving that particular job, and getting right back to my roots with my friends and family.

Interestingly, something that has also helped has been this blog – I find it easier to mark my thoughts and opinions on here than in real life. I have taken apart why I find it easier here, and looked into what I struggle with in real life, and tried to mould that to work in real life.

Let’s hope that 2013 will yield further growth.