How I became who I am, or Self-Indulgent BS Through the Eyes of Self-Proclaimed Sophisticated Pansy
This is an ordered list of how I have grown as a person over my (somewhat) many years. Some of the ages are estimated, but I think they are all fairly close to actuality. Forgive the egotistical way that this might be perceived, that is not my intent, I am merely listing the things I have learned over the course of my life. Also keep in mind that this is nothing more than a synopsis, so dont expect anything more indepth at this present time.
Racism - Age 4 - I know it seems like an early age to get over racism, but it is the truth. My parents, in all their wisdom, hired a woman from Barbados (Angela) to help raise my sister and I, naturally she was black - that isnt to say that there arent white people from Barbados, she just wasnt (years later I found out that my hippy uncle got high and boned her one night! Hehe, nice!). Anyway, one day as my father was driving our old Orange Volvo sedan down Montgomery Avenue in Lower Merion, with Angela in the passenger seat, me standing up behind her (remember, I am 4, and back in 1981 it was alright for young children to stand up in cars) and my then 3 year old sister sitting behind my father. I remember asking if black people were good, and after my Dad and Angela looked at each other and giggled Angela said that all people were good, no matter what their color. I then asked about purple people. She said that even they were good! So since then, all people have been good, at least hypothetically.
Self Importance - Age 11 - I really dont know what made me start thinking about self importance, but what I realized was that other people can hurt in the same ways that I hurt. The example that I always use is the lump in your throat. Whenever your feelings are hurt, or you are sad, you get that painful lump right in the middle of your throat. Well guess what, I get that too! And so does everyone else! So that means that my actions can hurt you, just as your actions can hurt me. Man this world is a painful place. Why cant we all just get along? Oh yeah, then life wouldnt be fun.
Death - Age 13 - We are all going to die at some point or another. Essentially death is the only appointment we really have to keep our entire lives. Why I got over it at 13 is beyond me, but I am alright with dying, mainly because it is inevitable. I only hope that someone doesnt put me on a ventilator if it comes down to that - let me go out with some dignity, ok?
Sexuality - Age 14 - It is alright for people to be gay, in fact it should be celebrated. Yuck. It angers me that I havent always had this view. I cant believe that I actually once thought that there was something wrong with people who are gay. I am glad that I have grown up and learned to accept people for being who they are, not what they are. People should be allowed to be happy, and that should be the end of the story.
Driving - Age 16 - duh....
Religion - Age 21 - I have gone over religion ad nausia through this blog, so if you want to know my views on religion, just search the archive. Lets just say that at the age of 21 I decided that it was ok for anyone to believe what they want to believe and thats that. My religious beliefs have been updated though. At the age of 27 I also started to believe that what I believe can be completely wrong.
Temper - Age 17 - Believe it or not, as a child I had a horrible temper, and while it still rares its ugly head every once in a while I have learned to keep it under control. At 17 I learned to channel that energy into other things, previously it was football, now it is writing. As a little boy I used to bang my head against walls and the floor. Boy have I come a long way!
Politics - Age 21 - See religion, change all words having to to with religious beliefs to political beliefs. I came to this at around the same time that I found out that religion is personal and is best left that way. Although I am much more willing to argue politics than I am to argue religion, since there are actual facts involved (for the most part) with politics.
Greater Good - Age 23 - This is my theory of life, that the good of all should come before the good for one. Yes, I know it sounds a bit like communism, but my ideals dont go as far as compensation for work. I believe that each person should exist for themselves, but always be mindful of how their decissions and actions affect everyone else. The society as a whole is more important for the survival of humankind than is the individual. Eventually I will expand this blurb into a full post on my theory of the greater good, so keep an eye out.
Getting Old - Age 28 - Different from being able to accept death. I guess that I always thought I was going to be 22, but 22 came and went 5 years ago (yes, the math is correct, because it went when I turned 23!). Alas, in 2 years I will be 30. Getting old is inevitable, and while I dont like it, I have come to accept it.
While I have learned a lot over the years there are things that I still have yet to get over. It wouldnt be fair for me to not list those things, plus I do have to prove that I in fact do have faults as well:
Being Wrong - I really didnt want to list this as something that I havent gotten over yet, mainly because I am rarely wrong, if ever, but I am being honest, so I might as well include it.
Materialism - I enjoy owning things! Can you blame me? Things are fun to own.
Intelligence - Are there other people in this world who see things the same way I do, or as clearly as I think I do? That being said, do I overvalue my opinion of myself?