I put the stars in the title because my mom says it’s not ladylike to curse, and my sister agrees, but I think you can guess what the word is.
This is a bit of a rant, perhaps, but these are some musings I’ve wanted to share. I’m not, by any means, perfect. Just want to throw that out there.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been more and more disheartened by people in general. They are rude, selfish, self-centered, and immoral. I was NOT raised to be any of those things. Especially to family and friends. But not to strangers, either.
Moreover, as I’ve gotten older, I make my own decisions about how to behave. I’m not saying I polish my halo every night before I fall asleep on a pillow of my angel wings. I’m just saying that I’ve found this awful fact to be truth:
Other adults expect you to act like an adult, but they certainly don’t have to act like an adult.
How does an adult act? That’s what you’re wondering. You’re thinking maybe my standards for adult behavior are set too high. Permit me to make some generalizations to put this into some perspective.
An adult should be the following things:
- able to take responsibility for his/her actions,
- conscience of the affect of their behavior on others,
- not a total and complete selfish a**hole.
I think those are pretty fair.
My rude awakening to, well, how rude other people can be began when I was in middle school. My parents went through a divorce. Big whoop. Almost everyone’s parents are divorced. But that was the first time I realized that an adult (not you, mom) can look you in the face and say something hurtful, hateful, mean, unwarranted, and ridiculous and you are expected to respond with grace and tact. They can be immature. You cannot. Also, you are supposed to “forgive and forget,” immediately, because that’s what family does.
That’s another thing. Those phrases. “That’s what family does.” “You have to be the bigger person.” “Do the right thing.” “Forgive and forget.”
In my experience, it’s always, always you and never them that is asked to put aside whatever hurt and anger and pain exists and “forgive and forget.” It’s infuriating. It’s unfair. You can certainly forgive people, and you should. You should because anger is heavy and it will weigh you down and you’ll become bitter. So, yes: forgive.
But you should never, never, never forget. And, in my opinion, forgiving someone doesn’t mean you have to have coffee with them and text them and call them. Sometimes forgiving means letting go of the anger…and the person.
This divorce wasn’t the first time and certainly not the last time that I’ve been left
trying not to punch someone right in their face scratching my head at the actions of other “adults.”
In college, I had a roommate who annoyed me for various reasons, but all of us roommates got along, so I shrugged it off. She bothered me, though. Small things, on a daily basis. She was the kind of person that put two chocolate chips in a cup of fat-free yogurt, ate it, and then whined about how fat she was for two hours afterward. (This really happened.) But those things were small and didn’t really affect me and, hey, people are different, and I like that about people.
Unfortunately, we went on Spring Break together where she ultimately had a huge, over-top-top whiny fit, cried about how skinny my other roommate was, and decided she quite literally hated everyone. (Also really happened.) She didn’t speak the entire car ride home. To any of us.
I’ll admit that a college-adult and a real-adult are not the same thing. But it doesn’t seem fair that someone can ruin my spring break and say mean things about me and I have to shrug it off, and have long talks with them about their feelings, and act like everything is fine. She wasn’t suffering from a mental illness. She was selfish and rude and that is not acceptable – to me, anyway. (She moved out shortly after.)
Not everyone deserves a big ***k you. I’m not 100% cynical. (It’s probably closer to, like, 80%.)
There are people in this world that are kind, and thoughtful, and caring, and mature, and responsible, and adults. I was invited to a wedding recently, and I got super preoccupied about not having the right clothes to wear. My aunt let me raid her (REAL!) jewelry closet. She gave me fancy clothes to borrow and told me that if they got ruined, that’s okay, she can replace them.
A wonderful woman who watched me grow up lost her son a year ago. When she calls me, she asks me how I am. Can you believe that? Me. She worries for me and hopes I’m handling the loss okay and asks what I need. She is selfless and thoughtful.
Those are the people that I want surrounding me. Those are the people who remind me that there is some good left.
I like for things to be fair, when they can be. I am all about some equality, for everyone, across the board. I have a very hard time watching hateful and selfish and conniving people be mean and face no consequences. That doesn’t seem fair.
My mom tells me I can’t throw out a good old ***k you to those people, because it’s rude. She’s right. No matter how irritating it is, I like to put my head down at night and feel like I’ve at least tried to be a good person. For those of you who can’t do that, consider this a PSA and a personal request: maybe try rearranging your priorities a little bit? Or at least make a goal to do one less crappy thing a day. Thanks.
A common theme (I hope) of what I write is that being an adult is difficult. The older I get, the more I truly believe you should surround yourself with those people who bring light and kindness into your life. The older I get, the less I listen to other “adults” about what the right thing to do is. The older I get, the more grateful I am for all you great people.
So, thanks. (If you’re not sure that I’m talking to you — I’m not.) 🙂