Since everyone is sharing reflective material on their blogs for the new year, I thought I would share, and hopefully, spark some change where needed.
What I have learned, even in the last 20 years, has been life changing. I always thought I was a slow learner, especially in terms of how to properly live life to its fullest. As a stupid teenager, I thought everything I did was great and innovative. I dyed my hair purple, pierced my ears lobes all the way up into the cartilage, started experimenting with alcohol and drugs, wore chains as jewelry, and basically ran amok. So did Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols, who actually died before I put the first hole in my body. In some cases, my stupidity was corrected by my older siblings or smart friends who had already “been-there-done-that.” But in other cases, I turned a deaf ear. So, thirty-something years later, I have FINALLY learned a few things. I write this with the hope that some of you will recognize your own faults, and make a change for the better, purple hair or not.
- Be nice, damn it! I have been accused of being a snob and was kind of a stuck-up teenager. I was in fantastic shape, tan, making money, drove a sports car, and became a general asshole. I still look good, make money, drive a great car, but I have worked hard to drop the asshole part. I look back and think, “Who was that person, and why didn’t someone stop me?” I was rude and thought I owned the world. I’m sure there is a list of 100 apologies I should make, but I often reflect on an exchange I had at my first real job, working at McDonald’s. I was only 15, it was a very busy day with long lines and I was on my second shift. The customer walked up to the cash register and said, “It doesn’t hurt to smile.” How did he know? I could have had an abscessed tooth which would have caused severe pain. I didn’t though, and I was embarrassed, and that exchange stuck with me my entire life. The customer was right!
- Don’t be a Controlling Asshole. See number 1. This took me the longest time to learn. It causes a lot of problems every day when you are a controlling asshole. It’s amazing what great things happen when you are more flexible and less controlling. Remember, you can only control YOUR thoughts, emotions, and reactions. So if you are having problems at home or at work, take a look at someone’s control issues.
- Rid Yourself of your Past. Many of us had stuffed animal collections as babies. Get over it. If you ever expect to get a man or a woman in your life and feel good about yourself, you should stuff all of your crap, including stuffed teddy bears and the proverbial skeletons, in your closet, lock the closet door, and throw away the key. This is one of the hardest things to do, but it’s time to LET GO!
- Any Fifth Grader is Smarter than You. Which is great. If you have children, congratulate yourself for having a smart child, and congratulate your child so they don’t hate you when they are older.
- It’s Okay If …. Well we don’t know if it’s okay, but if it suits you, it’s okay.
This list could go on for a very long time considering how immature many of us are, so I will stop here. As we travel along our journey of learning, consciously or subconsciously, stay open to learning about yourself.