Forgive me, bloggers, for I have sinned. It has been 190 days since my last confession. That's what these things are, right? Confessions?
I have tweeted, I have facebooked, and I have even begun paying attention to the long neglected paper and pens that have been so faithful to me over the years. I had almost forgotten how good it feels to write - hand cramps and all.
On this 555th day of the rest of my life, I'm pondering authenticity, among other things. I'm thinking about what it means to live without cynicism, to love without stipulations, and to have my thoughts and actions line up with what I know and believe. I'm 24, and, while by no means am I old, I'm old enough to put childish things aside. And by childish things, I do not mean watching kids' shows or rolling down grassy hills. Those things I will never give up.
By childish things, I mean prejudice, procrastination, pride, and many other things that do not start with "p" ... and perhaps a few more that do. I've recently enrolled in a couple classes at Orange Coast College, a community college here in Costa Mesa. If you want a reality check on your own judgmental nature, try hanging around 18-year-olds for a few seconds. To even talk about it is to put on display my own intolerance of others, but I feel like I need to illustrate my point.
For one, everyone smokes. I didn't know people under the age of 40 still did that, given the knowledge we now have on its ill effects, but they do. And they cuss, too. Boy howdy, do they cuss in creative ways. I did not know that I was such a prude until I found myself nearly gaping at groups of students punctuating every pause with profanity (What is with me and the letter "p" today?). Little known fact: An f-bomb can be used in place of a comma or the word "um" in any sentence. The more you know.
On several occasions, I have passed by students discussing their fake IDs or how hard they partied the night before, and I've rolled my eyes in disgust. Teenage rebellion, I'd say to myself, because I have no friends other than myself at OCC.
And then it started bugging me that I did that. Like I wasn't a teenager once. Not that I was a rebellious teenager, but I'm sure once I got to college, I felt like a big bad grown-up and wanted to show off that I was no longer under the rule of my parents'. I'm sure the need to prove that would've have been exacerbated had I still been living in my parents' house after graduating from high school. I get it. Why am I so annoyed by it? What right have I to be annoyed? If anything, I should feel sympathetic. Those in-between years can kinda blow. You look for meaning in your life in the stupidest places, and make all of the most important mistakes in that time; the mistakes that will actually count toward the rest of your life. 'Cause Lord knows for all the drama we make in high school, it rarely counts for much after graduation. It's not until we're legally considered adults that most of us really start to screw ourselves.
It's been grating on me ever since I first caught myself silently judging my classmates. I don't want to do that. It's no good to them, and it doesn't really benefit me either. I mean, if Conan O'Brien, who makes a living off of the appearance of being cynical, is telling me that cynicism isn't going to get me anywhere, maybe I should listen. It's not like I've always been this way. Heck, prior to my senior year of college, I was about as happy-go-lucky and nonjudgmental as you could get. But, like a lot of people, I let circumstances get the best of me, and I shut myself off to the love and trust I usually freely gave in order to build a wall between me and the hurt that certain others dole out equally liberally. That's stupid. It's stupid to decide my own attitude based on something someone else does.
I'm done, I'm done, I'm done. I hope. I want to be, anyway. Down with cynicism and all the childish things I've wasted my time on to this point. Day #556 shall be different!