Friday, September 17, 2010

Turning Over an Old Leaf

Yesterday was Mexican Independence Day (no, for the last time, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day). This year it is a big deal as this country celebrates its bicentennial.

But more than that, this year also marks the 100th anniversary of Mexico's second revolution, which culminated in 1917 with the new Mexican Constitution, so yeah, everyone here is pretty excited.

Entirely coincidentally, this period is marking a personal revolution for me as well. I'm locked in a war with myself trying to get rid of the person I've become and return to the person I used to be.

Like all bad habits, this version of me probably started a long time ago and continued to change me in small ways until I wake up and realize I don't even know myself anymore. Perhaps it started four years ago when I was denied a promotion I thought I had earned. Or maybe it was six years ago when my younger brother died. Maybe it goes back even further.

At one of those starting points, I became more of a pessimist whereas I had always been more of a happy-go-lucky optimist growing up. It was easy back then. I was given every opportunity to succeed, and for most of my life, I did. I took chances always expecting that if I worked hard enough, everything would turn out right in the end. And they usually did. And if they didn't, oh well, I'd either try again until I got it right or saw the error and moved on. Sure, there were frustrations, but I brushed them off easier.

Some where along the way, when something didn't turn out right, I'd blame part of the problem, or all of it, on someone else. How could it be my fault? I worked hard, am relatively intelligent and have a strong track record of success. Obviously, someone else is holding me back, maybe even intentionally.

All of this placing blame on others turned me into the angry, spiteful person I became. Which only made it easier to hold grudges, place more blame and so on and so forth. It consumed me, and it got to the point that even started blaming (in private) my wife for some of my hardships here. Though I never said it to her, my attitudes certainly were being reflected in my behaviors.

This came to a head, and after some long soul searching, I came to all of those realizations above. It took Mexico 100 years before the people said enough is enough and forced changes. I don't have that long. I've already started my revolution. I called my freelance editor and apologized for being a jerk for the past four years, as one example. Though as I replayed that conversation in my head after hanging up, I think she must think I'm going through the 12-step program. Whatever, it doesn't matter anymore, and maybe it will buy me some extra sympathy.

I'm trying to right my wrongs and along the way return to my old brighter outlook on life. Viva la revolucion, indeed!


  1. Good for you for deciding to change your own outlook and how you interact with the world. It is too easy to get stuck in a rut. Viva la revolucion. I wish you a world of success.

  2. Although self examination can be painful, ultimately, it's the only path to self improvement. Viva la revolucion.

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  4. I am facing a lot of those same issues myself. I think being a trailing spouse and having so many things out of our control makes it all too easy to see the glass and half empty. I know lots of EFMs that do manage to look at the bright side so it can be done, good luck with the personal revolution!

  5. This news kind of ruins my day. Hope things are okay.

  6. I am sorry for the radio silence.
    The thing about blogs is you never know how you helped the silent majority of readers. Many. You did a good thing with your writing.
    I hope you rethink your decision and return to blogging.
    All the best.

  7. I've lurked, rarely posted, and have appreciated the glimpses into the early processes of State Dep't life. Kept laughing at the name of your blog. . . and if you need to go and spend time in renewal, well, maybe that will be an Entirely Fabulous Move.

  8. Thank you for sharing this piece with us--which was honest, open and part of the human experience. More, as a male, I applaud you for honestly sharing this insight as I never read something so honest from a male's perspective. Your wife and we were very honor to share your time in the blogsphere. Please reconsider your decision.