Not That Person Anymore

Have you ever put on a pair of clothes, only to quickly realize they no longer fit? That happened to me a few weeks ago. It caught me by surprise.

My pants felt like I needed to shove a lampshade down them just to make up for the extra space. My dress shirt was big in the shoulders and no matter how much I tried to tuck the extra fabric into my pants, it wasn’t working.

For the past few weeks I’ve struggled with whether or not I was going to share the following with all of you. I’ve decided that I am.

My grandfather passed away at the end of April. I don’t want to share the details with you, or go through the memories I have of him and I. I’d like to keep those to myself.

So there I was, trying to fit into clothes I was going to wear to his funeral and nothing fit anymore. I’ve lost weight over the last few years, but still, I was caught off guard.

Fortunately, I can walk into a store and pick out clothes within seconds. I’m not the type of person to hum and haw over a shirt or pants. When I see it, I’ll know it’s for me. If I don’t see it, I haven’t found it yet.

At the funeral home, a slideshow of photos played on loop. You never know how much something meant to you until you see a picture of yourself in an old photo where you’re smiling from ear to ear. Those moments are everything.

The tears couldn’t be controlled that day. Even right now, I’m struggling.

Life goes by so quick, and I’ve only been here for 25 years. My childhood feels like yesterday, but at the same time, it doesn’t. It feels like someone else lived that life, not me.

No matter how many memories I conjure up in my head – the good and the bad – I’m not that person anymore.

I’m not the kid who tripped over a hula hoop on the first day of kindergarten. I’m not the kid who loved playing floor hockey. I’m not the kid who was picked on for reasons I’m still not sure. I’m not the kid who was always told I had a good head on my shoulders.

I’m not any of those things anymore, and yet, I’m all of them. Whenever I see two people off laughing about something, I still worry they’re laughing at me. But they aren’t because I’m not that kid anymore.

I’m not a university student anymore, who at one time joked that he had too many friends. I’m not the first person people text anymore. I’m not the leader of a team. I’m not someone’s 2AM McDonald’s buddy. I’m not the guy in lecture who is dreaming about lunch. I’m not the guy who wears jeans once every four months.

I’m not any of those things anymore, and yet, I’m all of them.

Jeans suck.

I’m not a camp counsellor anymore. I don’t have a group of kids who are happy to see me. I don’t have co-workers who, seemingly, became my best friend overnight. I’m not a fresh out of university person, who people have patience for.

I’m not any of those things anymore, and yet, again, I’m all of them.

Life is so weird. Who I am is constantly changing from year to year, month to month, day to day. Who I was five years ago is not who I am today. And there are days when I hate that. When I wish I could just stay in one version of myself and live it out forever.

In 2012, I had more confidence and motivation than anyone. It was me against the world. Now, I look at that person and see a stranger. I don’t know who that was. I don’t know where he went. I don’t know how to get him back.

That’s just the truth.

I’m one of those people who doesn’t know how good I am at something until someone else points it out to me. Because in my head, it just feels natural. It doesn’t feel like it’s anything special.

I remember one of my first days on a job where I just so happened to be working the front desk. Someone came in for an interview and I dealt with them accordingly. When they started working there the following week, they were shocked to know that I was new as well.

They thought I had been there forever because I was so professional. Meanwhile, I was scared out of my mind. But they didn’t see that. Only I did. And the exact same thing happened at another job. I was told I was doing a really good job, but in my head I thought I was a disaster.

Maybe I need to look at myself the way other people look at me because they see something different. They see something better.

Maybe I’m still stuck in a childhood mindset where I think people are just laughing at the way I walk or talk, or the things I do.

And the internet is full of motivational and inspirational phrases and quotes and I’m so sick of seeing them. Because we can like and retweet things all we want but at the end of the day all we’re doing is hitting a button with our thumb. That’s it.

I want words to mean something, so when you say something and I say something, we both feel it. We’re not just going through the motions of exchanging generic phrases.

That is who I am now, or at least who I’m trying to be. Someone who is unapologetic for the things I like. Someone who will be who I want to be, regardless of anything else.

Throughout the different versions of myself, one thing remains. Me. I am still Paul.

I am still the pizza-loving, sports-watching, pun-making, leaf-raking, book-reading, never-had-a-nose-bleed, always-willing-to-help-someone-in-need, guy. That’s me. That will always be me. No matter how much I may change.

Man, all this because a shirt and pants didn’t fit.

A special shoutout to a few people who’ve been really good friends to me the last few weeks. 

First off, Barb. You’re my blog mom. I don’t know what I’d do without your lengthy emails and attempts at using modern day terms. Thank you.

Meghan and Jess – Thank you for the music, laughs, and the nonsense we call “conversations”.

Chris – Man, you’re about 254 trillion tea and crumpets away (I was good at geography, trust that I’m right) but we’ve never felt closer. You’re the best. Use a comma every now and then, alright? Stay golden.

Neetu – No matter how far apart we get, I’m glad we always come right back around. Maybe one day I’ll like a song you send me. Until then, thank you for caring and thank you for your encouragement. Sorry my texts are always long. You love it, though. Right?

To the rest of you, don’t worry about me. Honestly. I just needed to get this off my chest in time for The Bachelorette Viewing Notes on Tuesday.

Follow me on Twitter: @CappyTalks

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About Paul

This is the part where I'm supposed to write something interesting about myself and you'll read it and think, "That's not that interesting." So let's not do that and just think about pizza instead, on the count of three. One, two, three. Donuts. Now, wasn't that interesting?
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65 Responses to Not That Person Anymore

  1. Thanks for sharing, Paul. My sincerest condolences for the loss of your grandfather.
    And again, as always, thanks for putting my thoughts into words.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. -Eugenia says:

    Hey, it’s always good to get things off your chest. I hope things get better for you. Keep your chin up.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Quinn says:

    I’m really sorry for your loss. It’s one of the cruelties of life that if you are lucky to grow old enough to really get to know your grandparents, it just hurts that much more when they go.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. J.C. Scheff says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ariel Lynn says:

    I just lost my grandmother in the beginning of April, a week before my birthday. So, this post really resonated with me. I’m “picking up what you’re putting down,” my dear. *hugs*

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      I’m sorry to hear that. Thank you, Ariel 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ariel Lynn says:

        I’m sorry for your loss too. It really does make you think, though. About the person your grandparent remembered, about the person you’ve become, &, mostly, how the heck you got where you are today.

        I think you captured that beautifully. Your grandfather must have been very proud of you. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Squid says:

    Dude. That was deep. I mean, you go deep sometimes, but this hit it out of the stadium. (wait, is that even a thing?) Incredible way to describe growing up… I completely know what you mean when you look at your childhood and gasp, “That was me??” yet also are still every bit that kid inside who is still a little confused by this whole “growing up” thing.
    Hit me right in the heart, this did. Thank you.
    I’m sorry to hear about your grandfather’s passing, it must really stink.
    Cheesy self-promotion moment: I just wrote a post about the semi-depression that comes from failure that you might be interested in. 🙂
    Glad to see you around again,
    Squid

    Liked by 1 person

  7. rebbit7 says:

    A poignant post. Sounds like the loss of your grandfather took a hard hit for you- it’s rough losing a relative, let alone someone you were close to. It’s interesting how things change so much over the years: it’s only been a couple of years since finishing college, but like you, I feel like I’m a different person than I was just two years ago. Incredible how it happens, even if deep down, you still feel like that scared, insecure kid. Hope you are fine, Paul, and I wish you the best!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Thank you, I am doing okay. Just felt like I needed to verbalize this because I was finding it hard trying to write about anything else. A lot changed in two years, I don’t feel like same person as then either. It’s crazy because I never notice the change until something distinct happens.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. It is amazing to think about how much we change and how much we stay the same. I mean, how much everybody goes through that too. Everyone’s grandparents were little kids once too. It’s very surreal.

    Unrelated, you’ve never had a nosebleed?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      It’s crazy. I can’t even imagine my parents or grandparents as children. It’s like they had a different life before I arrived.

      Yeah, I’ve never had a nose bleed. Maybe once there was a slight drip, but I decided I wasn’t going to classify it as a real nose bleed.

      Like

  9. Ann Coleman says:

    I’m so sorry about your grandfather. I think profound losses do have a way of making us look a little bit deeper at life, and at ourselves. And you captured perfectly the way we are, and aren’t, the person we used to be all at the same time. But you forgot one thing on your list of who you are: a very good writer!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You have been on my mind a lot lately. I knew something was up. Thanks for being vulnerable and sharing.

    You are changed, like your body and your life, but you carry the pieces of Past Paul with you.
    (But not in a creepy way).
    May you savor your memories more than a fresh, hot slice of pizza.
    Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I felt every bit of this. Everything you said I was just thinking, “Yes! You get it!” Life is weird and maybe it’s a good thing that we’re always changing. There does seem to be a few pivotal moments here and there where how much we’ve changed seems to slap us in the face, and it’s quite scary. Especially when you wonder how much you’ll continue to change. Like you said, you’re still you. As long as you hold on to the core of who you are (which idk if you can ever really change anyway), you’re all good. Been thinking of you lately, and I’m keeping you in my prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Well said, you’re right. We each have a core of who we are and I don’t think that ever changes. Thanks for the comment, Gabrielle 🙂

      Like

  12. Angela says:

    Paul I’m so sorry for your loss, sending you big hugs because words sometimes aren’t enough..

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Dutch Lion says:

    You’re a good writer Paul. Sorry about your grandfather. Thanks for your help with my blog format questions. Keep up the great work! – Reid

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Loewe Chan says:

    I’m sad to hear about your grandfather, but insightful post nonetheless. It’s funny how you don’t notice yourself changing, but with every day that passes and every experience you undergo, you become a little different each time. Sometimes in good ways, sometimes in not so good ways, but you are right: all of those selves is still you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Thanks Loewe, I appreciate it 🙂
      Well said. It’s weird how we all grow up isn’t it? All of a sudden we look in the mirror and look entirely different that we used to but don’t realize the change as it happens.

      Like

  15. Barb Knowles says:

    We’ve already talked and tweeted about this post and you know that I love it and love you. And thanks for the shout out! But who sounds old? “Modern Day” haha.
    Your blog is dope.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Talula Teabag says:

    I’m so sorry about your granddad. I’m glad you felt comfortable enough to share this pain with us. We’re like an extended family – I hope. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  17. This hit home for me. Big time. I have just been thinking about the time in primary school, when I was the outside kid, just because I was new – then I came across this post. And how I am up to this day, terrified of any ‘first day’. No matter how much self confidence I have gained over the years, it still bothers me each time to the point of being so nauseous I want to puke.
    This was a beautifully written post, Paul.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      So glad this resonated with you. I am the same way with first days. I wake up and am already shaking before getting out of bed, then I have two bites of breakfast and feel like throwing up. It’s awful.
      Thanks for commenting 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Anshumanth says:

    This was a beautiful post. “Throughout the different versions of myself, one thing remains. Me. I am still Paul.” Loved this.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Rea says:

    Within this post, you were so vulnerable. Thank you for feeling up to even telling us that you are struggling with your grandfather’s passing. I lost my cousin back in October from cancer and it hit me hard. We were very close when I was little and looking at pictures of me and her back then is strange because I am a different person now. I sympathize with your pain. At her viewing they had a slide show with pictures of her at her wedding (I was the flower girl) and then later my grandmother found a picture of us hanging out together and we were laughing our heads off. It’s times like that that make her passing not so sad, yet tears still fall.
    You said so many inspirational quotes were getting on your nerves, but there is one Bible verse that has helped me through many dark times: Philippians 4:7. It says “a peace that passes all understanding shall guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” I hope that will comfort you as it did for me. There is something about the power in a Bible verse that helps immensely.

    HUGS! (because words suck in this situation no matter how heart felt they are)

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Ely says:

    This is a little bit old and I’m almost upset it took so long for us to run into each other on this crazy blog thing because I would have totally made you laugh about SOMETHING in this comment in the moment! 😬

    Liked by 1 person

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