Later than many would like too, I began attending college during a career shift, in my early thirties. I had no idea that I would aspire to write about what I had begun learning by the time my exploration into religion and history began. I was more concerned with learning on my own, in my own way, than one day taking time to sit and write about it. While attending college courses, juggling a family, and attending church occasionally, I would study religion and history instead of focusing on my college studies. All of this was quite a difficult feat to take on, which is why my family would later dissolve. Once the house of morals began to fail (the idea of church being the teacher and demonstrator of what is right and honorable), other things began to fail as well. This is not to say that I am not a moral person. What changed in regard to my morals at the time was the focus. All through the day and many hours into the late night, I would be searching for answers. Unlearning what I had learned and re-learning. In agony at times, and in tears at others, I marched through the material that I began acquiring over time.
Not only did I read the subject matter of the books that I had obtained, but I had began contacting the authors of those books to ask questions. Some of those authors, I would talk to via e-mail while others I would talk to through social media. I would eventually get the phone numbers of some of the authors while others I would develop quasi-relationships that still lasts today. I took an out of the box approach in my studies mainly because I was not attending college for religious and historical studies. I went to college for entirely different subject matter and into an entirely different field of study. One of the major things that helped me become better at reading and understanding difficult subjects was through the practice of while reading utilizing dictionaries and asking questions. I would listen to podcasts from various authors, lecturers, and even scholars for several hours daily. I was also a very good English student all through high school and even in college. I learned to listen to people and since I naturally have a photographic memory, I learned that I had the ability to retain information more so than the average person. I never forget much, and if I do forget something temporarily, it somehow always at a later time crept back into my conscious.
The more time that you put into anything right, wrong or indifferent, the better you become at it. Diligence is key to becoming a master instead of just a jack of the trades. My quest for understanding grounded me in the determination that I had to learn and the amount of intelligence that I had naturally, which I was largely unaware of for most of my life, is what perhaps sealed the deal on me grasping the information and being able to speak from the top of my head at a moments notice. It seemed that those late nights reading the bible and practicing scripture memorization (I had for a time memorized verbatim two scriptures daily) was just a peak into what I would be doing many years later.
There was not a single author that I contacted that did not at the very least get back to me if for no other time but once. Just like then, even now I care about getting as close to the source as possible. The horses mouth if you will. So, if I was going to be wrong, then that would mean that the person who I was reading and using in my own source material had to be wrong as well. I had learned how to separate my opinion and leave it out of the discussions when it came to explaining another’s position, whether I agreed with them or not.
Over time as I began to share with those that were close to me what I had learned, I was disheartened to know that many of them were not interested in the same things. It took some time to accept this reality. Everything is not for everyone. The mundane just didn’t interest me anymore nor did the latest trends in fashion, movies, etc. I, then, began to look at life from a different perspective. Everything became serious. Except for some of the most important responsibilities that I had. Too much of anything is not good and not enough of what should be is just as bad. I take full responsibility for my decisions and I don’t make excuses for what I have done, nor do now. I accepted that the people that I had wronged for whatever reason have every right to tell me to go to hell or treat me like a stranger. I understood and understand that. I included that within my analysis after some time. They owe me nothing and at the end of the day I knew that that door swings in both directions.
Due to taking this new path, most things just no longer mattered. If they no longer mattered, then talking about them, stressing over them, complaining about them made little sense. If it doesn’t matter, then it doesn’t matter. In an effort to remain relatable with others to some degree, I would force myself to remain aware with what was going on in the world. So, I utilized my ability to find those who knew more or less what they were talking about when it came to the major issues. We all have limitations. But some people are ‘expert’ in some matters so to speak. When it comes to the environment and what direction the world is going, I kept up with economics, politics (national and geopolitical), real estate, male and female relationships, religion, and occasionally sports. There were other subjects of course that I kept up with as well. I developed a care for knowing what’s going on around me and in the broader society. Some things we have solutions for and others we do not. Some things we have to accept that they are that way and there is little that we can do about it. We have to accept those things. No matter how good we have it, some things we are going to have to deal with, whether we like them or not. Perfection is obtainable in some things, good or bad, and other things just take longer to tackle.
I ended up losing many friends and walked away from many relationships if those did not end because the other person chose to end it. We all grow differently. Trust, too, is a fragile thing. It can be easily broken, and some people are just not for each other for one reason or another. In my relationships with women, I found that in general, we just did not want the same things out of life. After having been married for many years, time becomes a much more precious and expensive commodity. The last thing I want to do is hold anyone back and I sure abhor being held back, myself. We all come to our own conclusions and there is little change in regard to anyone unless major life events take place. Perhaps the next time around, if there is in fact another one, will be different. Perhaps better.