I’m not really sure if this has happened to many people, but I dated myself.
Stop! ... right ... there
I’m actually dating a version of myself that I long left behind.
Don’t misunderstand. This version of myself got me to where I am today, but I did not fully understand how I affected the people around me. I was considered a hero by the people who believed in my aggressive form of hustle from a distance and considered a villain by those who wanted to emotionally connect with me on a much deeper level...but couldn’t.
I didn’t allow it. I was way too busy working all of the time, trading my time for money. Even my closest of people needed to have the utmost patience with me because our connections were, and still are, sooooo genuine; however, that was different when we were apart. Even so, I never disrespected anyone’s time, nor did I lead them into believing falsified truths.
I was on my grind, on my hustle, and I couldn’t let anything get in the way of my evolution. Those that loved me then and still love me today have been rewarded with my loyalty and dedication to our relationships. They call and I’m there in a heartbeat. Their patience allowed our relationships to foster and grow into solid, lifelong connections. At least I think so. Even my distant friends have a piece of me. I don’t burn bridges. I prefer to keep them open. This may be different for you, but I believe that there’s good in everyone. Now, the material used to build those bridges depend on the filtering I have in place. That’s a whole different blog haha.
Back to dating myself ...
I was a bit hard headed then; actually, let’s say I was super stubborn. Nope, let’s say I had tunnel vision; much better. Having tunnel vision has it’s pros and cons but I won’t get into that.
The Julio of that time was terrible at replying to messages. I didn’t know how to prioritize and my hands were consistently tied with my work. The Julio of that time built connections but didn’t water them for growth; time did not permit. The Julio of that time had a lot of work to do on his time management and prioritization. The Julio then wasn’t overly focused on emotional relationships. He was blinded by small forms of attaining money to grow financially. He was blinded by the hustle. It’s what he was used to since the age of 11.
I worked as a porter, and excelled at it, but I knew I could do more. I worked as an electrician and got my hair fried, but I knew I could do more. I excelled in every aspect of schooling, but I knew I could do more. I worked nightlife and excelled in every aspect of it, becoming management and later senior management, but I knew I could do more. I worked as a barber, and excelled at it by creating my own business and brand...but I knew I could do more. I excelled in all of my trades then, but I always came to a point where I knew I could do more. Even now, I know there are higher levels of excellence that I can reach.
Never did I think, “I could do more for my relationships.” I grew up without that. I grew up establishing relationships at work. The only true emotional connections I ever had a grasp on were my somewhat distant relationships with my mom and sister, while also having solid relationships with my friends at work. I did, however, know which relationships were bad for me and which weren’t. Those that didn’t fall in line with my goals and desire to stay out of trouble were kept at a distance. Assessing risks was definitely a skill set I’ve grown to enhance over the years.
I was growing then, as I am today, but I didn’t excel at having deeper relationships. The time that I spent working hard didn’t allow for me to fully invest myself in external relationships outside of my daily interactions. Even so, the moments I spend with people were quality moments. Trading my time for money had negatively affected my opportunities to build upon the relationships I was creating across my life.
I needed to find a way to make more money in less time ...
... but I didn’t know how to.
In doing so, I would become a better man in my relationships with people. Whether brotherly, friendly, or romantically, having more time to dedicate to the people around me would allow for me to build deeper connections and a plethora of memories.
Eventually, I grew in value with my education, which later resulted in a huge monetary gain. I was able to leave the hard work behind because I was working smarter. In doing so, I was able to cater more time to the people surrounding me, capitalizing on the momentary relationship opportunities. (Be mindful, I’m using the word relationships loosely. These relationships are related friendships, brotherhood, family, and my handful of lovers. I can actually count on one hand...cuz i’m a loverboy deep down hehe)
Anywhooo, now that you understand my growth then, let’s understand why I’m dating myself.
Imagine being with a version of you from the past, today. Imagine being with a person who resembles the growth, desires, ambitions, work ethic and mentality that you had then. Imagine being with the person you were a decade ago. Obviously, I still have these traits now, but imagine the growth needed to get to your current state in your timeline. Imagine yourself now dating yourself then. Weird right?
I guess the questions I ask myself are...
Am I willing to provide the same patience and time for someone who I was?
Am I willing to understand the intricacies behind my own growth so that I can apply it on the younger version of myself?
Am I willing to work with myself to build a better future for the both of us?
Am I willing to guide myself in my trials and tribulations?
At first, I was all for this. I think I was amazing then and that’s what has gotten me to where I am today. I admire the younger me in the same way the younger me looks forward to being the future me. The flaws I had then were manageable and have since either improved or disappeared. That’s the idea behind becoming a better version of yourself. You have to be willing to make the necessary changes to become a better version of yourself for the sake of your personal growth and success. You also have to forget about the notion, “People don’t change.” Everyone can, however, the person who requires the change needs to have the will to do so.
With that said, I’ve become a better man than I ever was before and that’s why I appreciate the younger me.
I eventually came to my senses. Yes I have a huge heart and would be willing to give the world to that version of myself so that progress and success will come sooner, but in doing so, I stop the present me from focusing on his (my) own future.
I’ve learned that if you live in the present with your past, you will only hinder your progress towards the future.
In other words, date someone who’s on your level and avoid the pain that comes with trying to help those who are broken. They’ll eventually just bring you down with them, day by day, chipping away at the happiness and value you bring to the table. The sad part here lies within the fact that they’ll be oblivious to the damage they are causing.
… So do yourself the favor and value yourself. Surround yourself with the people that appreciate your value and add to your growth, or you’ll just be another crab in a barrel, getting pulled back down into a pit of despair with every attempt you make to help a doomed crab.
Cheers to letting go my JuliPeep!
Live in your present and focus on your future; don’t dance with your past. The past you isn’t on your level today.