Ever take a look at some of your more personal writing from high school? I was cleaning out an old server hard drive the other day before I repurposed it, and I came across an array of things I wrote in high school (some of the earliest stuff was 10 years ago -- I feel so old!). Reading through it, I was struck by how different I was back then, but also some of the things that make me the same.
Surely the world was not more black and white back then, but I sure seemed to feel like it was. That is one way in which I have very clearly mellowed dramatically. I have a lot more tolerance for different opinions now, but more importantly I try and weigh the merits of possible different opinions before I even encounter them, and use that to reevaluate my own positions.
I suppose this goes hand in hand with the shades of gray, but I'm clearly far less angry now than I was back then. In fact, there is not a lot that makes me truly angry any more, at least nothing that happens to me. I still get angry with social injustice, and I get really angry with animal abuse, but I can't remember the last time I was anything more than annoyed with someone. Even annoyances I find far more amusing these days than I ever would have back then.
Also, I think/hope that I'm less of a pompous douchebag these days, because dear god I sounded insufferable a lot of the time.
Not everything has changed though. I've always been a stickler for full sentences, proper grammar, and punctuation. I was never comfortable with most shorthand (what we called 1337 speak, back in the day), with a few minor exceptions, like lol. I'd like to say that I care less about trivial and inane issues, but really I suspect I simply care about different trivial and inane issues. I also still love coffee (I listed it as number four on my ten favourite things).
I really wonder if, 10 years from now, I'll look back and wonder at what a close-minded, insufferable, relative simpleton I was back when I was 24. I hope not, but I probably will.