When you were little, things were much different. So radically different in fact that you probably don’t remember it. Don’t believe me? Grab a cup of coffee and a cookie and come back. I’ll wait here.
Now that you’re back, did it even cross your mind how lucky you are to be able to reach your counter? Or, that someone didn’t yell at you, that “dinner is in three hours and you won’t be hungry if you eat that whole sleeve or Oreos?” No. You just ate fifteen Oreos without giving it a second thought.Because you’re a god damned grown-up. In adulthood the only people who attempt to control you are at you are trying to find the fastest way to get into a physical altercation.
Most of my life before I was 9 is a strange confusing blur. I know that time was formative, I just don’t know why. I can’t for the life of me remember what happened to me when I was a kid but I know that it made me who I am today. Still, despite being neurylized by the Men In Black back in 2000 I know there are some very key things that we all are taught by accident. Here’ s just a few of them.
6.) You are inferior
Remember your ex? You know, the one with the giant ego. God, he/she was such an asshole. And his/her mother didn’t help with all that coddling and babying. You and I are are so much better than your ex because someone taught us we’re actually not all that great. Either you lost a Tee-Ball game against your best friend in kindergarten, or accidentally lived a waking nightmare where you left your pants at home before getting on the school bus. Whatever the explanation we know that there’s something that makes us inherently shitty. If you disagree, you’re an asshole.
Quit your bitching.
Humility is what makes relationships with other people possible. If everyone of us thought that we were all that and a bag of chips, the world would be a cut-throat, competitive place. In order to coexist happily we are required to get over ourselves. Little kids have the luxury of thinking they’re the center of the universe, but once the world crushes their spirit in one way or another the notion of their importance is dispelled. Is this a good thing? Probably not. People with a lot of confidence tend to be more successful, and make more money. That doesn’t change the fact that a certain level of self hatred is instilled in all of us from a really early age. On a happier note…
5.) You are Loved
Sure, the thing to best recommend you is that you were the fastest sperm in your batch. For some reason people like you anyway. I mean, when was the last time you smiled at a kid? Probably the last time you made eye contact with one. We love kids. They’re enjoyable mini-humans with poop bags taped to them.
If this was an adult, no one would even make friendly eye-contact.
Even with their screaming in public, and lack of motor skills, we still like children. Even if you never want kids, and are stressed at the idea of having to take care of one, you still like them. They’re cute, mostly agreeable, and you can make them do anything you want. I don’t know about you but those are the qualities of my closest friends. Besides the responsibility the represent to the people taking care of them, and their incessant emotionally, children are awesome. You know it, I know it, they know it. Adults, whether by accident or on purpose end up giving a lot of their youngest counterparts a lot of positive feed back.
4.) There Aren’t Always Consequences For Your Actions
Did you just fart? I can tell. I heard it. You farted, and it was disgusting. And do you know what I’m going to do about it? Nothing, because I can’t. I can’t even see you. There’s nothing inherently wrong with farting. But I’m sure you’ve done actually wrong things that you were never punished for. We all have. And if you’re not a total fucking weirdo, the first time you got away with being a dick was in childhood.
Some times nothing will happen, even why you try to make a splash.
No matter what your blabbing parents tell you, they’re wrong. Not every bad thing you do will get you in trouble. When I was in fifth grade I won an unfair bet with a friend. She bet me ten dollars that I would end up fighting my arch rival at school before the end of the month. I didn’t, and I won the ten dollars. I felt awful for taking her money, but did it anyway. I was certain I would get caught by my parents, or teachers, or someone. It never happened. No one cared. No one even knew. I got away with something and felt completely guilty about it. It was an oddly teachable moment. I knew I’d done something wrong when I took the money from a friend, and I had always been taught that people who did the wrong thing got in trouble. When I got away with it I learned that I could get away with a lot of shit if I just kept my mouth shut. I assume this is the age when people become serial killers. Once you know you won’t get grounded, you start torturing animals or whatever.
3.) You Will Always Be Behind
I’ve never seen Schindler’s List. It’s a massively iconic movie that got Stephen Spielberg his first Oscar win for best director, and I’m not even sure what it’s about. Who’s Schindler? What’s on that list? Is it hilarious? What would it smell like? I have no idea. That is just one thing that I am entirely unfamiliar with.
Did Schindler train Batman to be a ninja!?
You can study and become a Rhode Scholar as well as a professional athlete if you want to, but that doesn’t mean you’ll know how to change and alternator. When we’re young they tell us we can be anything we want to be. That’s only true if you stick to doing one or two things. Because no one ever told you that you can be everything you want. For a wide eyed, ambitious kid this may be disappointing, even crushing. This isn’t just a part of growing up, it’s a part of not going insane. As adults we need to learn to keep our interests focused. If you want to duel major in music and theoretical astronomical physics you’ll find out fast that you’ve spread yourself too thin. Being limited is frustrating when your first life goal was to be the moon’s first rock star in an all clone band, but the best way to amount to anything is not trying to amount to everything. So no, I’ve never seen some 1993 oscar winner but that’s okay because I’m gifted in other ways. By always being behind we learn what to be good at, and what to give up on.
2.) You are boring
Did I ever tell you guys about the time I called my internet service provider? Well I called these people, and I needed to tell them that I didn’t use as much bandwidth as they’d said in the bill. So I talked to this woman, her name was Sarah. Sarah told me she couldn’t do anything and she forwarded me to her supervisor. LeeAnne, that’s her supervisor, told me that if I just plugged the ethernet from the house directly into my lap top I would save money. Isn’t that something? I was shocked! Who would have thought things would be so easy? Isn’t that fascinating!
This is the default emotion you’ll be getting from age 9, until you die
As soon as you grow out of being the little cute one, people stop caring about you. You no longer get a pass. Instead of being adorable by default, you now have to work in order to be liked. This change in a person’s life marks the time when your personality stops being about yourself, and starts being about what you have to offer to others. The thing being young teaches you more than anything else is that the world will make no effort to give a shit about you. This is a message many have trouble understanding, but it’s invaluable. If you want to make friends, you should take a stab at being likable, or at least have something to offer other people. Realizing you’re boring is the best motivator for being a worth while human being.
1.) Nothing Makes Sense
Movies are awesome. They are short, easy to watch and fun. They are also damaging vicious lies that destroy everything we want to be with their deceit. Were you hoping your life would be simple, easy to follow, and have clear solutions for your problems that would come at a convenient time. Too fucking bad. Shit is not simple, it’s messy and has a terrible odor. And even when you realize that, there will still be times when you forget.
“You mean to tell me that everyone poops?”
We think life will be easy to figure out because movies and books make it like a piece of cake. The kind of cake that has a happily predictable ending. If you’re lucky you get shaken of this illusion at an early age. If you’re horribly unlucky, like me you’ll be figuring this BS out until you die. People’s motivations aren’t clear, situations don’t have a clear right or wrong, and love doesn’t always result in a wedding. I enjoy movies as much as the next guy, but they are so present in our culture that they make it nearly impossible to decipher our lives. We reference things in front of us to things on-screen and vice versa. This mentality ruins lives, and the luckiest people in the western world get over it and move on. The rest of us stew over the injustice of it all and write blogs.
This post was partly inspired by the musings of a friend over at the Love and The Law blog. Your atypical law student asked some intriguing questions about our upbringings and I suggest you check out her post, here.