Okay, so I finished reading the book and it's insane how much deep thought it plunged me into, not just about the series in general, but about myself. I'm not sure if it was any particular thing about the book. Maybe it was the fact that these were kids, seventeen year old kids, doing such intense and powerful things, with incredibly sketchy clues to guide their way. Maybe it was Harry's bravery, maybe it was Ron's ultimate defeat of cowardice, maybe it was the fact that JK Rowling wrote this intense series in the first place, but I made a decision last night.
I'm going to stop making excuses.
It's something I do a lot. So much that I make excuses for my excuses. I guess a kinder term would be "justifications"? But I know in my heart that they're only justifying the fact that I'm making an excuse again. I don't think a single day goes by where I don't make an excuse for not doing something, skipping out on something, putting something off, etc. Sometimes I blame it on other people (IE: I can't to X until so-and-so does Y), sometimes I blame it on circumstances (I can't to X until Y occurs), sometimes I completely make crap up to get out of doing something (I would have done X, but Y did/did not occur). The truth is, it's not so much "If you want something done RIGHT, you've got to do it yourself," but "If you want something done AT ALL." I let so much fall aside because I'm too lazy, too scared, too whatever to just get off my ass and do it.
The point is, I want to stop doing that. I don't think it's going to happen all at once (saying that feels like I'm making another excuse, but habits are tough creatures to break), but I want to work on it to the best of my ability. I want to say I'll do something, and have it get done. Even if that means not promising so much, or forcing myself to do things I don't want to. It's going to kill me in the end if I don't, excuses always end up driving me toward a mental erosion of sorts.
Another thing that I wanted to talk about is secrets. This is linked strongly to Dumbledore, all the stuff about his past, and in particular, one of my favorite lines in the book: "I prefer not to put all of my secrets in one basket." My secrets are no where near as deep or damning as Dumbledore's, and usually in time I tell someone. But I admitted something to myself last night, and it's this: I really don't feel whole, I don't feel me, unless I've got at least one secret.
I've been spending the past two years doing my best to become as open, honest and straightforward as humanly possible. This has led to me trying to share everything with my closest friends, which of course, there's nothing wrong with. I hope that all of my good friends know that there's nothing I wouldn't share with them, that I do my best not to hide information that somebody else might consider valuable.
But every so often, there's something I stumble across that I don't want to share, that I want to keep all to myself, at least for a while, before I go running around telling everyone. It used to bother me that I had this need for privacy, this desire to keep things under my hat, and I would force myself to share and share and share. But reading Dumbledore's story, knowing how respected he was, how loved, despite his secrets, made me realize something: It's okay to have a few secrets.
I'm going to work on not feeling bad about the secrets I keep. As I said, I never keep secrets that would be hurtful, mostly they are little things like a project I'm working on, or something as simple as going to see a movie by myself. But having secrets is not the problem. It's not compromising who you are because of them.