You ate shit on the playground today at school. It wasn’t really my fault, but I distracted you. You’ve got the foot-skills, but your lack-luster mastery of multitasking is apparent. There’s some irony with your face being broken open on a fire hydrant, designed exclusively to protect people, that isn’t lost on me. You still have your teeth, so it ain’t so bad, right?
When you’re a child, which I get to see on a daily basis and I am terribly pleased about, you don’t have a filter. You don’t yet realize that all people accept and interpret information in different ways. In fact, because as children, you aren’t programmed to do so. You address all your classmates as your friends, and the idea of disliking someone for one reason or another hasn’t crossed your mind. You just love.
As you grow older, you’ll begin to understand that other people will be programmed differently than yourself. Their experiences will define them in different ways, their code will be altered, line by line, inevitably, to create distance between you and the rest of the world. I don’t think it’s usually the purpose of parents, to hard-wire their kids in different ways, it just happens. I was not hard-wired to enjoy carrots, despite your grandparents best efforts with a “salad” comprised of carrots, mayonnaise, and raisins—which is not a mother fucking salad, btw, it’s mayonnaise covered carrots with raisins in it.
Over time you’ll have to learn to watch what you say, and define who you are based on those around you. The best, most successful extroverts do
this without thinking about it. You, my friend, are on a quick path to being an extrovert. It’s not falsifying yourself, or being a “poser” (poseur, actually, if you want to get the etymology correct) it’s just trying to make other people feel more comfortable with who they are, in a way. Also trying to fit in, if you want to be a dick about it.
Not Suitable for Children Under 30
There is something comforting, when you take a step back (recommended at age 30+) to see who you really are. The culmination of experiences and conversations and declarations that have comprised you over the years. You’ll find that your true self probably settles comfortably in the middle. You are not actually the extremist or the misogynist or the class clown or the fool-hearty lovestuck or the brazen adventurer or the bookworm or the writer or the nice guy or the wonk or the idealist or the realist. You’re just you. Only the thoughts you have to yourself and the arguments you win in the shower 3 months too late.
You’ll find, perhaps, that you can look back and know who you were, and only just barely be on the cusp of understanding who you are, who you’ll become. You don’t really know until it’s yesterday. You can most likely find some posters in your elementary school classroom compelling you to “live like it’s your last,” to “work towards a better tomorrow,” to “achieve great things;” Seize The Moment. I think maybe it’s a little different. Live for yesterday.
Tomorrow morning when I wake up I will start fresh. The entire day is up to me. But there’s the lingering yesterday that still kicks my ass. The things I did or did not do yesterday will be with me at 6:05am when I wake up. There’s some sort of lesson here about procrastination, but I’ll look it up later.
That joke took entirely too long.
Just Do Whatever, Kid.
The point is this: at your best and at your worst, every moment is some small part of who you are. It’s not set in stone, friend. Maybe spend a little more time on the better parts than the worst, and you’ll be good to go.