I know I've written here before about my being a very middle-of-the-road type person. That is, I've never been one to choose sides in an argument. I honestly understand each person's viewpoint.
My dad is like this too. At least that's been my primary impression of him until recently.
But, you know what? Dad's actually a pretty opinionated man. And, more and more, I'm finding that I'm rather opinionated as well.
In my case, I attribute my more solid views of the world to parenthood.
Being a parent thrusts a person, willingly or not, into a world of decision making. The kind of decision making of the utmost importance: making choices and forming opinions of people, products and ideas that may very well ultimately affect the well being and developmental milestones of a child - your own child.
You get a little more comfortable making decisions and forming opinions to mold your child, and you, in turn, get a little more comfortable making decisions and establishing firm viewpoints for yourself - in both big and small ways.
Huh - funny how that works. A little backwards, but whatever.
For me, I recognize my ability to see my unique viewpoint in small, silly examples. Like who I'm rooting for on American Idol (I don't care what anyone says - Jason Castro is awesome!). And what I think of our book club choices.
Heck - I think I actually take pleasure in disagreeing with book club members! If nothing else, having a different view of a book makes for a much more interesting discussion of it.
Playing the Devil's Advocate can be fun.
However, perhaps the most important development in my increasing ability to form and share my own views on a thing is simply based on time on this earth and comfort in myself.
Fitting in with others and not causing a stir? Yeah - not so much a priority to me anymore. Discussing options and understanding why others feel so strongly about a thing, whether or not I agree with them, is much more interesting these days.
Blogging gives me that too, of course. I'm free to write whatever I like, however I like. And my readers are free to comment or not, either in agreement with me or expressing their separate views.
It's all good. It's all fun. It's all part of learning, accepting and growing.
Yep - the view from where I stand right now, happy in my own skin and mindset, is pretty darn cool.