I've never been a resolution maker. I've talked about this before. Resolution making is a personality type thing, and it doesn't fit mine. I'm constantly soul searching, being introspective, and trying to "fix" myself. So much so that it drives me to minor insanity. I actually wish I was only bombarded with these thoughts once a year on January 1st! What a relief that would be! But, as a result of feeling eternally suffocated with the self-dissecting ramblings of my overly critical inner thoughts, I arise to acting on those concerns at various times throughout the year. One of these moments of action came during my move from Little D back to NB. I've been calling it my early New Year's Resolutions, but I'd like to think it's more of a realization of personal growth than a resolution.
I've been working on the following three ideas:
I've been working on the following three ideas:
- Be way less judgmental. If there is anything I've learned in the past 30 years, it's that I could have found myself, or find myself in the future, in the same situation as almost anyone one I've previously criticized or place judgment upon. An unwed mother? Yep, I've been in the running for that possibility. A mother with two different baby-dadies? Yep, I most certainly could have been her. Living with your parents after college graduation? Been there! Stayed with a man who didn't love you? Mmmhmmmm. Switched careers multiple times? I think I'm making that one a goal! Gotten fat? Fallen in love with the "wrong" man? Adultery? Gone nutso? "Too quick" engagements? Career fail? Family issues? Divorce? Starting from scratch? And the list goes on! I've learned as I grow older I could certainly be any one of these stereotypes, and it doesn't necessarily mean you are a bad, crazy, immoral, unhealthy, selfish, etc. person. Sometimes luck and circumstance are the only factors that have separated me from some of these stereotypes, but, yet, I may have been deemed "ok" while the other has been negatively labeled. My golden rule: put yourself in the other person's shoes.
- There is NO set right way to live life. This has been a biggie for me, and I hate it. I want to adhere to this philosophy so bad, but I feel restrained by the pressures of "social norms" and parental conditioning. I hate social norms, and I'm so mad they exist! I'm so angry I've been conditioned to believe in them. I'm so mad our society has created these ridiculous monetary "standards" one must strive to achieve or, as result, fear being labeled as lazy, ignorant, trash. "Struggling" used to mean worrying about putting food on the table. Now, it means anything less than driving a luxury car. I want simple and humble life to return. I want the business-degree jobs to be viewed as equal to those of the tradesman, teacher, fireman, etc. I want it to be viewed as "ok" or "normal" to not be able to afford to travel to Europe, own a home, or live paycheck to paycheck.
Maybe you don't have to be married to have a child? Maybe you can make a school bus your homestead. Why can't it be accepted as suitable for a mom to work and a dad to stay at home with the kids and NOT be labeled as deadbeat husband? Why can't one choose to work a low paying retail or service industry job over being a lawyer or doctor? Why can't a woman choose to not marry, be single her whole life, and not be labeled a lesbian? Can a hippie eater be a republican? Can a successful business man vote left? I don't have answers to these questions, and, honestly, NO ONE does. Which leads me to my third resolution...
- BE HAPPY! Stop giving a shit about what would make your parents, grandparents, friends, and bosses happy; start making YOU happy! Don't marry a man because he's the man you're "supposed" to marry; marry the one you WANT to marry because he makes you happy, and you two have the same outlook on life. Don't choose a career path because you know it would make your parents happy; choose the career YOU want that you believe will fullfill your wants and needs. Hang out with whatever social sub-culture you like! Don't hesitate from wearing a particular outfit because it may be considered out of style; wear whatever the hell you want to wear! We didn't "grow up" to stay children. It's time to live your own life, not the life someone's laid out for you.
Bottom line: Be happy, be free, be financially independent (whatever salary terms you choose to meet), accept the consequences of your decisions and then move on, and be a responsible and loving adult to your babies. Life's too short to worry about the petty shit. We will succeed, and we will fail, but at least we'll be living and learning.
"We must let go of the life we had planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us."