Matt Gray

Oct 26, 2005

Disclaimer: Stream-of-consciousness randomness ahead.

My life is expanding. Months ago, I had myself convinced that I was doing it all: working, maintaining my bachelor pad, indulging in my hobbies, hanging out with friends and family. I was more or less content with my exceedingly strange and repetitive appetites. This notion of “fullness” has changed.

The change began when I turned twenty-four; not necessarily a navel-gazing milestone. There wasn’t a magic moment when I decided to shake things up—it had been building for weeks. My birthday simply provided a nudge in the direction of change, and I went for it.

My adventure began with a return to the world of dating, after a very long absence. I began to slowly try new food in preparation, as well as streamline my life at home. After a brief time, I met a wonderful girl. Suddenly, my previous existence seemed sterile and boring. A catalyst for change was introduced; the slow reaction I’d begun many weeks prior began to proceed in earnest.

Soon, I discovered that I love spicy food, contrary to my long-held belief that it was evil and destroyed my system. I simply lacked the taste experience to stomach the spicier foods—mild buffalo wings would have me reaching for a giant glass of water. Ha! Now I am addicted to the Chicken Tikka Masala at Everest, a dish recommended to me by my brother (thanks, Jon!). Who would have thought?

This evening, for example, I went to Ping’s for some Chinese (excellent). I went to a wine tasting with my girlfriend, which was a blast—it’s rare to have wine after wine arrayed in front of you to compare and contrast. These events are fantastic in their own right, compared against my previous rhythm. Sometimes I have to pause and wonder, “Was I really missing all of this? Why?”

Dissecting my past choices and self-imposed restrictions is pointless. Inertia is a powerful force, and I want to keep rolling. Though my workload is still heavy and at times stressful, now I am busy with much more than work and self-directed attention. I’m learning more and more new things about myself.

In fact, I’m not really changing: I am simply allowing myself to live.

All these gee-whiz developmental highs, and I found my lost notebook today. It was hiding under the tattered road atlas in the driver’s side rear seat of my car. Hooray!

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