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Be Yourself! Just Not Like That.

I'm in a ranty mood this morning. I'm going to channel that pent-up energy into more productive things, but I do have a few thoughts I'd like to record somewhere.

Life, as has famously been observed, is short. Too damn short to go around second-guessing every thought you have and every goal you set for yourself. I wasted decades of my life trying to be anybody other than who I was, and that's time I'll never get back.

The reason I did that was purely my hyper-critical parents. Growing up, I was constantly told that I was an amazing, genius talent, but that somehow nothing I ever did was good enough. If I got good grades, they wanted to know why I didn't get perfect grades. If I got perfect grades, they wanted to know why I didn't do the extra credit. If I did the extra credit, they wanted to know why I was fat and not getting any exercise.

The clear message a child receives from a steady diet of this bullshit is "You are inherently wrong. It doesn't matter what you do, the fact that it's you doing it makes it bad."

Now as a fully-realized adult, I understand that the proper response is "Up yours with a wire brush!" But as a child, when it's your own parents doing this to you, you don't understand that it's just two screwed-up people operating in a tiny little sphere of influence. To you it's your whole world.

My parents are gone now, and as I say, I'm an adult and responsible for standing on my own feet, making my own decisions, and making my life be what I want it to be instead of just taking what's handed to me. Yes, those decades are gone and I can never have them back. But I do have right now, and I'm going to use it to its best possible purpose.

I'm gonna be me. They way I like me.

-The Gneech

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
houseboatonstyx
Dec. 30th, 2014 04:32 pm (UTC)
Heh. And try also being the only child in a flock of grandparents. It's always "It's not okay for YOU to say that" -- never "Kids aren't allowed to say that."
the_gneech
Dec. 30th, 2014 04:55 pm (UTC)
Don't get me started about grandparents! XD

-TG
kylet
Dec. 30th, 2014 07:59 pm (UTC)
Dear LORD do I know what you mean re: parents. That's exactly it--it was never enough; fix one thing, and they find something else to complain about. It becomes a matter of picking which "fault" you can deal with best, and letting them stay at it.

Good on you. I still haven't reached that point, but if you need any cheering section, I'll get the pom-poms XD

(Aaaaand this is why I prefer LJ to Twitter!)
the_gneech
Dec. 31st, 2014 03:04 am (UTC)
That's exactly it--it was never enough; fix one thing, and they find something else to complain about. It becomes a matter of picking which "fault" you can deal with best, and letting them stay at it.

Yes, exactly. Instead of "sustained self-improvement," it had the distinct feel of "moving the goalposts." :P

Also, I'd totes like to see you with pom-poms.

-TG
kylet
Dec. 31st, 2014 05:13 pm (UTC)
Perfect term for that situation.

Okay, but I draw the line at the miniskirt.
the_gneech
Dec. 31st, 2014 05:55 pm (UTC)
westwind_mv
Dec. 30th, 2014 08:30 pm (UTC)
Good on ya! This post resonated quite a bit with me, as I lost both my parents this year, and they didn't always see eye-to-eye with me either.

Be who *you* want to be; as Twain remarked about the truth, "this will astonish some and gratify the rest." ;-)

(By the way, I've recently added you to my friends-list; I quite enjoy your writing style, having seen it in various furry contexts and in my friends-of-friends list. Howdy!)
the_gneech
Dec. 31st, 2014 03:02 am (UTC)
Hey there! :) Welcome aboard.

-TG
jamesbarrett
Dec. 31st, 2014 02:03 am (UTC)
Somehow, I think you would have wanted my parents instead, and then not know what to do with yourself because they weren't expecting anything from you other than you being you. My parent's my have felt like they screwed up with me all over the place ( i know this cause I heard them say it to me), but they gave me one of the greatest gifts ever a parent can give. Total and complete freedom and anonymity. Go, do, be, just come back home every now and again and let us know your okay. my parent's were awesome that way.
the_gneech
Dec. 31st, 2014 03:05 am (UTC)
I only had the briefest of interactions with your parents, so I couldn't say. I only know what Lee has said about them. I don't know if it's possible to -not- screw up your kids.

-TG
nekura_ca
Dec. 31st, 2014 06:11 am (UTC)
This sounds really familiar. My parents standard response when I got a 95 or similar mark in school was always 'What happened to the other 5%'
c_eagle
Dec. 31st, 2014 09:12 am (UTC)
It makes me sad to hear that many did have unsupportive parents... oor even ones that tried some sort of destructive psychology even if they meant well..... :/ ... Sorry to hear you went thru that... I did at least have the blessing that mine were supportive... (though I'd say you did turn out ok!) ... ^v^ *winghugs*
Happy New Yeerrrr!
the_gneech
Dec. 31st, 2014 05:57 pm (UTC)
Happy new year to you too, buddy! :) Hoping to see you at FC.

-TG
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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