Posted in friendship, Goals, inner peace, Learning, Life, Musings, People, random, Uncategorized

Judgement, Jabs, and Other Rude Behavior.

judgement

When I was quite young and had absolutely no life experience, I was overflowing with opinions on things about which I knew nothing about. I was not confused in the least about what was right or wrong, and I was not shy about letting people know my thoughts about things, either. Looking back, I realize that my opinions and beliefs weren’t even really MINE at all, but just the ones I’d borrowed from the adults I’d been raised by…which is pretty amusing to me, now, when I see how incredibly different my thinking wound up being from where I believed it to be. I was so confident in my own superior knowledge that I was totally closed off from consideration of any other possibilities. This is the first indication that you aren’t as smart as you think you are- when you are so convinced of your own correctness you can’t even hear another person’s point of view.

Because I was so smart and so much less confused than everyone around me, it was quite natural and easy for me to judge people unkindly for their mistakes, their lifestyles, or their bad decisions. I didn’t try to hide what I thought about people anymore than I did my thoughts about anything else. I grew up hearing “you are better than that” quite a bit, and this was applied both to my behavior and to who I was in relation to others- I was told that I was better than the folks I ran around with, and I believed it, for the most part. Rather than find new friends, though, I chose to stick around and lord my snotty better-ness over everyone. Except the ones who were better than me, of course. Even I knew that if I were better than some, some were better than me.

Do you have any idea how damaging this thought process can be, especially over the course of many years? I was constantly sizing people up, trying to figure out which group they belonged in so that I knew how to behave. I had no idea who I was when there was no one else around to measure myself against. I hurt good people simply because I deemed them “less” than me, and looked up to total assholes because they appeared to be “more”. I was mean, unkind, rude and ugly, all because I believed a weird version of what I’d been told and had no thoughts of my own.

The universe must get a special thrill when they come across an idiot like me. I got the opportunity to experience 99% of the issues I had so vocally, adamantly judged others for. You name it, I went through it- from unwanted pregnancy to welfare to homelessness and horrible choices, I eventually had my own story to tell about it. Not surprisingly, my mind had changed greatly about things by the time all was said and done, and I was better for having learned it.

Along the way, I began to notice my hesitation to agree with someone when they were spouting off about another person’s behavior, actions, or motives, especially when it was harsh. My first thoughts were selfish- every time I had judged someone, it seemed to wind up happening to me, and I didn’t want that. Eventually, though, it just didn’t feel good to be mean, even behind the back, of someone who was already struggling with stuff. It felt better to present other possible, more generous reasons on the person’s behalf…which really didn’t please whoever was tearing them down at the time, let me tell you.

As this change was happening inside of me, I also began to notice how much less black and white there was in my thinking, and how much more gray, how many variations there were to the spaces between the lines I had once seen as clear and distinct. As unsettling as this was, it was also amazing, because now there were endless possibilities where right and wrong had been before. The more allowances there were for differences, the less I could form an opinion about someone else, which meant I was far more open to knowing them, and hearing them, and finding the good in them. When I stopped judging others constantly, I changed into someone better.

I’m not saying I am perfect- far from it! Everyday, depending on my mood, I think shitty thoughts about some clueless stranger, for the way they look, or the way they drive, or whatever. It is human nature, and a habit that isn’t easy to break. But when I catch myself, I stop, and find something nice to say. I know how dumb that sounds, but it’s true. I also have to accept that not everyone is working on the same stuff as me, and I notice lots of people who make no effort at all to curb their opinions or judgements. As crappy as this can be, I know that they will keep on until they get it, and they’ll get it when they have to. No sooner. It doesn’t have to change my behavior- I don’t need to slap back just to be even.

It was the sound of my own voice echoing back at me as I struggled that convinced me, more than anything else, to change; not the cruelest words anyone else had ever used to cut me down. I have to believe I am not alone in this. So, I hold my tongue, knowing in that silence their own words are loud and clear in the air between us, ready for whatever journey they are on.

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Posted in beauty, Life, random, Uncategorized

What The Hell HAPPENED To Me?


I was just reading a great blog by Heather Christena Schmidt, who I enjoy immensely, and who’s blog you should definitely check out. Not NOW! I mean after you finish reading this little masterpiece, silly. Anyway, she is super duper funny, very smart, and she has the kind of sarcastic wit you probably don’t want to get on the wrong side of. She is very opinionated, and makes some really valid points in her posts. She also happens to be one of those chicks that has it SO together that even reading her stuff, I feel like a giant pile of lazy shit. I am going to encourage you to read the post about her being a 1950’s housewife– and I want you to read it, then report back to me your feeling of self-worth.

She was blogging about how she is annoyed with herself for spending over an hour getting ready every day, even when she’s got nowhere to go. All I could think was- ‘I don’t even have an hours worth of stuff I know how to do to myself!’ Seriously, I don’t. I still haven’t even figured out how to use a blow dryer correctly, I don’t, nor have I ever had an actual “hair style”, and it takes me about seven minutes to put on my make-up. I know, because I’ve timed myself before. While she wishes not to be the way she is, I am here wishing I at least knew how to fix myself all up. Maybe then I wouldn’t look in the mirror and think “Hmm…that’s IT? That’s as good as it gets?” Which is pretty much how I feel every single day now.

I didn’t used to feel this way at all. I used to do my little routine, shake out my hair, catch my reflection and think “Awesome!”. I know exactly how conceited that sounds, but it’s true. I hardly ever felt unattractive, to the point that I took for granted I would ALWAYS feel that way. I forgot to factor the whole aging thing into it. Aging sucks balls, and I’m sorry, doing it gracefully must require a lot less vanity than I possess in my clearly superficial little heart. I try not to be all dramatic about it ( there is a certain someone I know who gives Oscar worthy performances of despair and gloom while looking into the mirror and pulling her face so that it is taut and, honestly, frighteningly mask-like) because I don’t want to freak my older daughter out and give her the idea that this stuff matters more than it’s supposed to. Although, frankly, it does. At least to me.

Anyway, my 30’s have been the BEST time for me, as far as internal stuff- spirituality, maturity, financially, and just who I am altogether. So good, in fact, that it was shocking to find myself quickly sliding down  hill in the looks department. I just never considered it before. I guess I knew that someday, I would start losing my sex-appeal, my freshness, my head turning abilities. I never thought about when that would be, though. I thought I had a lot more time, for sure.

Now, don’t give me any shit, you guys. I know that 36 is not really old- there are LOT’S of hot ass women who are well into their 40’s. I know that. But those women probably work their asses off to stay that way, or have those freak genes that a small portion of the population (unfairly) have. I know that if I worked out, tried hard, lost weight, ate right, had a skin care routine and, possibly, a hair stylist, I could do much better. But that requires a bunch of effort on my part that I just don’t know if I have the energy for.

There are two cold, hard facts that I am dealing with here- 1.) There is no beauty quite like youth’s beauty, end of story. I see scads and scads of young people every day, and even the most awkward among them have that fresh and gorgeous, young beauty working for them. ‘Course, they can’t see it, which makes it a total waste, but oh well. 2.) There really is no substitute for having lived well. What I mean by this is simple- take a girl my age who has never smoked, used drugs or indulged excessively in alcohol, someone who slept regularly, drank water more than once a week, and who maybe exercised here and there. She is probably going to look a little better and/or younger than me. I have treated my body like a rental car almost all of my life, and it pains me to say this, but it’s starting to show. Let me take a break, I need to have a little cry. Okay, thanks. I’m back. Also, girls without children seem to age a LOT more slowly than those with. This is no longer shocking to me, now that I have endured 14 years with one of the most difficult children on Earth.

There’s more- a lot more. I never really learned how to take care of myself, or my stuff, or my house thanks to all those years in la-la land, so I struggle more than the average person with normal stuff. If my house is clean, my hairs a wreck. If I look great, my house is totaled. If my house and I look great, my kids are starving and my job has fallen to the wayside. I feel like my life is a giant, unending game of Whack-A-Mole, and the minute I bludgeon one thing into submission, two more pop up. No wonder I’m stressed out. I don’t know how to DO any of this stuff. I really don’t have a lot of regrets about how I’ve lived my life, because I think that is so pointless…but it would be nice if I felt a little bit more on the ball. I don’t expect to be gorgeous and slender AND have clean towels in the house all on the same day, but one or two in the same week would be spectacular.

Well. I really didn’t know I had all that rolling around this little, overused head of mine. Thank Heather Christena Schmidt for this one. And don’t forget to check out her blog! Also, it would be really great to hear what you think about this whole thing. Do you feel the way I do, that you live your life as a series of near disasters? Do you do a lot of frantic sprinting to keep yourself from slipping off the edge and hurtling into space? Or have YOU actually figured out how to keep on top of it, together? Calm, cool and collected? Let me know. I promise I won’t hate you for having a better life than me. Pinky swear.