Sunday, September 25, 2011
One time, my Mother told me that from the time she was a little girl, she always recognized fault in other people around her, and swore to change those wrongs in herself.
From an initial stand-point, the statement came across as cynical, and self-indulgent. I think sometimes my Mother can come across this way...a product of living half of her life in another country and coming here at almost 30 years old and learning a language that does not translate as clear and honest as Farsi.
The reality is, that all of us possess faults and wrong-doings, we are just not willing to admit to them. The real self-indulgence comes from a human being who can not admit that since we are indeed all humans, we all harbor the same abilities to be negative, jealous, insecure, angry, spiteful. They are our traits, and we are all composed of different degrees of these characteristics, mixed with a sweet balance of love and happiness, contentment, confidence, and empathy.
To see fault in others around us is to see fault in ourselves. I am beginning to understand that I can very quickly understand and point out what it is that I don't like in opposing behavior, only because I know I am capable of that behavior myself.
We see jealousy because we've felt it. We feel anger because we've lived it. And instead of being kind and dismissing these errors in the people around us, we hold them responsible for things we have done and said ourselves.
So. To see fault in other people and change that in ourselves does not seem to come across so superior when we understand that being the change we wish to see in the world is actually quite humble and selfless. Especially when approached with patience for those around us who have not quite come to these points of realization in themselves. We do not all think alike, and we all arrive at life's milestones at different paces, jumping from one stepping stone to the next and sometimes falling flat in the process.
The land of blogs and twitter and pinterest are places where some people spend hours searching for inspiration, direction, and a pretty picture of what they want their life to be. But they are also places of dishonesty, self-denial, and jealousy. There are so many voices out there, that sometimes it becomes difficult to hear your own over the loud hum of ten thousand photos telling you what you are supposed to wear and eat and think. An open invitation to compare yourself and fall short. It is overwhelming, and over the last few months I have had to question where my own voice was heading with this outside influence.
I began to see the things I did not like in other people, and in turn, I began to see those things in myself.
To keep an online blog is quite difficult. For ten+ years I have somehow taken part in some sort of social media. The livejournals, myspaces, facebooks, blogs, and pinterests. Every few years, usually when life changes in a different direction, it becomes almost unbearable to look at my past on display. As human beings, we all grow and change, do and say things we are not proud of, and hopefully learn and move on. When you put your life out there on the internet - it sits there and stares you in the face. The internet is written in ink, and if this were the journal I had permanently written - then I would have to say that maybe, my worst flaw as a human being is my absolute predictability to jump ship and disappear when life changes course.
Is that such a bad thing, to spread your wings and fly from an expected path? Or is the true blame within our societies obsession with sharing too much?
I still don't know the answer to that, but what I do know is, like many other times in my life where I have needed to step back and look at where I was going, my answers are quite clear from an objective stand-point.
Friends, I will tell you that life lived when not a single person is looking is quite different than this online world. Things move a lot slower, quieter, and more simply. Days are longer, we speak softer, and somehow all those lost minutes of the day come together to form an extra hour or two to focus on the things that really matter.
For some people, this is not the life they are looking for. It's okay, we are all different, headed down different paths. But for me, it feels almost liberating to know what it feels like to live like no one is looking.
This is me seeing fault in others, and myself. This is me changing.
For now, this is me jumping ship.