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With approximately one month to go until I'm 32

Here are some things I have learned (all of these are vastly generalized, most of them from years ago, and none of these are directed at anyone who reads this, okay?):

1) People don't really like forgiveness. Oh, they love the principle of it. And when it's directed at themselves. But just try forgiving someone for anything more than a minor slight and see what people tell you. Chances are, you will get an awful lot of flak along the lines of: "Why didn't you stand up for yourself?" "Have some self respect!" "You can't let so and so walk all over you." "I can't believe you're being such a pushover." (and so forth) The entire business makes me roll my eyeballs so hard there's genuine danger of them becoming stuck in the back of my head, and then I go ahead and forgive whomever it was anyway. Because there are quite a few things in this life that are not worth losing a relationship over. This means you sometimes need to apologize for stuff you didn't do, and you need to suck up your pride now and then. Some people are not worth it, I agree. But quite a few are, and salvaging those relationships will make your life richer, even if you don't like taking the blame for something that wasn't your fault. Also, people can change, and if you don't forgive them and repair the relationship, you will never know if the way they changed might have made all the difference.

2) You can't do everything you set your mind to, regardless of what people tell you for a couple decades while you're younger and therefore more naive. You must get a grip and be realistic. This isn't to say you can't achieve amazing things. But you can't do everything. Some things require actual natural talent. Others take an entire lifetime to achieve. Realistically, we all have a finite span here on this planet, and we simply cannot do everything before it's up. Nor do we have all the native talent for every single thing we can conceive of doing. I, for one, will never be a professional golfer. THERE. I SAID IT.

3) Letting stuff go (or paying for it, if it's some sort of actual horrible crime) is the only way to successfully move forward. I say this as someone who has spent a lot of time dwelling on stupid, pointless garbage, so I know what I'm talking about. I'm not any good at forgiving myself for things, but I have to just let them go anyway. Dumb things I did years ago, stuff I still feel guilty about, will drown my days in stress and self-condemnation if I let it. And, say it with me, there is NOTHING I can do about it now. It's done. And in all likelihood, the people involved have long since forgotten I even existed. Just throw it in your mental trashcan and slam the lid down, then stick a crowbar through the lid and side handles.

4) I at least am really ungrateful for my body, and I should wise the hell up. I'd imagine this probably applies to a lot of people who don't like the way they look. I've always wanted to be one of those really thin, delicate types who looks graceful no matter what fool thing she's wearing (chunky sweater, burlap sack, jeggings, tarp). But this is never ever ever going to happen. No matter what. I think my skeleton is too big to look good in any of that stuff. And seriously, I need to get real. These legs of mine have carted my ungrateful carcass up and down mountainsides, miles and miles. They've lifted nearly 300 pounds at one time, moved furniture, won karate matches, and climbed trees. So what that they don't look tiny in a skirt I shouldn't be wearing anyway? I need to learn to love and appreciate myself. I don't want to be one of those people who doesn't figure that out until she's 90 and is about ready to kick it. I am healthy and strong, and I would miss this strength if it were gone. One gets used to having a certain amount of it, and I would feel helpless if I couldn't do the things I can do now.

So legs, I'm sorry for having felt poorly about you in the past. I'm going to try to remember how awesome you are going forward.

Forgive me?
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