The older I get, the more I realize that silence is a virtue because there are rarely short, simple, true answers. Life is a complex fractal of a million perspectives that result in an abundance of gray shades.
I used to think that my life was uniquely ridiculous and messed up; that I had certain dysfunctions because my childhood was so, well dysfunctional, being a ward of the state and all. Now all that is partly true, but I also spent a good amount of time thinking that most of the world out there had totally normal families with no issues.
Having walked (sometimes crawled) the earth now for 28 years, I’m calling bullshit.
You get a few drinks in with somebody and they will divulge everything to you. And I have to tell you, I finally feel normal.
I used to think it was just me that had crazy family members that would marry the same guy three times over, family members that are alcoholics, addicts, abuse victims, survivors of suicide, recovering from eating disorders, or comprised of confusingly appendaged nuclear units.
Guess what? Turns out, everybody is like that. This is gonna sound wrong, but I’ve never been so happy not to be special in my entire life. #sorrynotsorry
I also spent a good amount of time in my adolescence thinking that there were a lot of right ways and wrong ways. This was partly due to the my perfectionism born out of the bottom falling out of my home life at a young age, and also partly due to what I understood from the church: that there was a right order to life and if you didn’t follow it, you will be judged, and your life would be irreversibly screwed.
I would also like to take this moment to call bullshit on that. I now know people who had kids before they were married, who didn’t go to college right away, who got divorced and remarried, who got fired, who started new careers, who drank in high school, who got by with C’s…guess what? For the most part, THEY’RE ALL FINE! So imagine my shock when they didn’t disintegrate or burst into flames years down the road…WTF?!
Not to be a downer, but the long and short of it is being ‘good’ and doing ‘right’ doesn’t always guarantee you a good life.
At least, not one in the sense that I thought. No matter how perfect you try to be, how many ‘right’ choices you make, shit happens. You lose people. You fail, people let you down, you lose jobs, you get dumped, some dreams don’t work out. There are no guarantees. Just surprises. And that’s okay, because it turns out at least we’re not in it alone.
I would also like to take this opportunity to say that my favorite people are those that will share their crazy, the ones that aren’t afraid to tell the truth. The ones that aren’t scared to divulge that one of their parents had an affair, that they got fired for failing the drug test, that their brother had a love child at 17, that their uncle is technically married to their cousin, or their cousin is technically their brother, or that their family tree looks more like a bush…
If you haven’t reached that point yet, you’re not fooling anybody. Just let it out. Come to the other side, where we all know that the Island of Misfit Toys is actually just a planet called Earth.
On the other hand, if you have no idea what I’m talking about, stay where you’re at. You’ll ruin the vibe.
Whatever. I’m totally normal.