I’m only human

human

Born to make mistakes

I don’t really wake up with a stretch and a happy yawn this past month. I wake up with a creature crawling around in my head spewing its nasty ideas and accompanying emotions. I barely notice the idea, only the emotion, but when I pull it out of my head and observe it objectively, I read that I’ve grossly overestimated my ‘significance’ in this life.

I decided to get away to Iowa and my family for a few weeks so I could recuperate from life’s recent changes. As my mom was making me toast this morning, I described this shitty waking-up feeling. She responded by expressing the worry that she had built me up too much as a child; that she had convinced me that I was going to do something unbelievably fantastic for the world. I kindly thanked her for fucking me up. We laughed.

I think this is the modern malady of parenthood, convincing their children that they are just the most wonderful thing that ever hit the planet. It’s great that we build our children up instead of beating them down as we have for generations, but I think we’re still sorting out how to do that in a healthy and realistic way. Some parents have convinced their children they are little demi-gods, as Speaker 7 laments here. Now, I do think we are all god, but spoiling your child’s ego in a dog-eat-dog world is not what I’m talking about here. It’s not about being better than the other kids at field hockey or surfing or spelling bees or break dancing. It’s also not about proving other people wrong.

I’m just another person sorting out how the hell to navigate this mask called Jami in this holideck called Earth. We are special for the sole reason that we are individuals capable of making a contribution. But we are still a part of a whole, and just by being ourselves and contributing in a way that is genuine to us should be enough. And isn’t that a beautiful relief, when we realize that the world isn’t going to fall apart when we’re not utterly fantastic at everything we try?

I have been asking myself lately (pretty much every time I start the self-abuse): what is more important, that people admire me, or that I’m happy in my own skin and able to genuinely love myself and others? It sounds like a really lame question, but honestly, how many of us live for admiration? Really ask yourself.

And by the way, my mom was right when she told me I was going to do something fantastic. I love.

6 comments

  1. I cannot help but agree with you. Superb post. Love others and love yourself if a beautiful way. Even if you have four arms and four legs. }:-)>

  2. There’s always plenty of people telling you as a child that you’re going to be some sort of bigshot. I guess they are trying to instill confidence but without a good method of getting you there(wherever that is) it’s just an empty promise that leads to disappointment.

    And it’s true that we don’t have to be great at something to have significance in this life. We can all contribute to humanity in some way. It’s a more evolved way of living than yearning for admiration from others.

    It’s definitely not a lame question. The whole existence for most is to seek out admiration whether they are aware of it or not. Most people wouldn’t admit it anyway because it seems so shallow.

    • “We can all contribute to humanity in some way. It’s a more evolved way of living than yearning for admiration from others.”

      Exactly. I just had a good cry today, asking God WHY oh WHY I don’t understand what I’m supposed to do with this life (since I don’t have children, the most obvious selfless act). The answer came to me: reach out and help other lonely people. So I’m going to devote my xmas to volunteer cooking for the elderly…if I can find something here in Holland, damned efficient socialist govt…

      • That’s exactly it..when you skip the having children part of life it expedites the mid-life crisis. Having children occupies at least 20 years of a person’s life. “the most obvious selfless act”…haha. That statement would ruffle some feathers. But ya, unless if your kids are going to go on to do something really great that benefits humanity like cure cancer then they are probably just going to be consumers and polluters. Can’t some people just get a dog?

        Lately, I’ve been thinking I’m better off working part time and spending the other part volunteering in some way.

        I hope you find that volunteer position. Helping the elderly is good, they might put you in their will! Holland sounds like a decent place to live. Canada is more about capitalism but I can’t really complain since it’s still a pretty damn good country. I might volunteer at a rabbit farm…haha

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