Something Different

Hey friends, Paul here.

I don’t really know what this blog post is going to be about, but I feel like I have stuff to say. So I’m just going to sit here and write and hopefully something meaningful comes out.

Sound good? Good.

When I was a kid, I always looked at the future with the same mindset. I always imagined myself to have certain things, or be a certain person, by the time I was a certain age. So much optimism in predicting a “certain” future.

I felt that the person I would eventually become would be a completely different person. That one day, maybe on a birthday, someone would show up and introduce a new version of me to myself. An updated version. A version that did things that the old version did not.

And I’d just trade in my old self, for my new self.

Sort of like getting a new phone. Same phone number, different features.

It’s amazing how I can look in a mirror every single day and somehow grow up without realizing it. All of a sudden I’m not using a stool to reach the faucet. All of a sudden I’m not climbing on top of a washing machine to open cabinets.

All of a sudden, my feet dangle off the end of the bed and my thumbs aren’t tiny little stubs on the end of my hands.

Yesterday, I saw kids get off a school bus wearing the same uniform I wore in high school. Everyone looked so small. Everyone looked so young. And I’m thinking, “Is that what I looked like?”

When I was in high school, I thought I was old. As in, “play time is over.” Maybe it was because we no longer had recess three times a day.

Maybe that’s just the universal high school student mentality. The one where you think you know everything and feel “grown up”.

There are many days where I feel younger than 26-years-old. There are times when I convince myself that “I’m a growing boy” and “I’m definitely taller than I was yesterday.”

There are also times when I have to remind myself not to buy a larger size of clothing than what I am because I probably won’t “grow into it”.

I don’t know what a 26-year-old looks like, or what they’re supposed to be, even though I am one.

I know what the perception and expectations of them are.

It’s the same perception that I had of the kids in Grade 8, when I was in kindergarten. They all looked so tall and mature and sure of themselves. They had desks full of textbooks and brains full of knowledge.

Then I got to Grade 8 and felt like that tall, mature, brain-full-of-knowledge kid I always imagined.

It was all a mirage.

Maybe that’s the trick with life. You never truly know what something is, until you can clearly see what it looks like from the outside.

The world is constantly changing and social media is a big part of that change.

On some level, I think most of us are annoyed by it. I haven’t been on Facebook in six months and have never felt so free.

But then I turn to Twitter and it’s full of people getting into arguments. It’s full of people coming up with one liners for attention. It’s full of people telling us to, “Be kind to each other”, as if we’re 5-years-old and need to be reminded to say “Thank you” when our grandparents give us money on our birthday.

I get it. I do. Let’s be nice to each other. I’m all for it. Plant the sign on my lawn. Let’s be nice to each other!

I just find it extremely sad that we, “adults”, still need to remind each other to be nice. Quite frankly, I don’t know if it’s working. I don’t know if your well-intentioned tweets are working. Sorry.

I don’t know why people can’t prevent themselves from debating things to death, or attacking strangers with grammatically incorrect statements.

You don’t have to participate in everything. Your “two cents” are often a dollar short.

“But Paul, freedom of speech!” Yeah, I get it. But how about you stop pouring gasoline on the fire? How about that?

People love to say, “It’s 2017, this shouldn’t be happening.” And next year when something bad happens, they’ll say “It’s 2018, this shouldn’t be happening.”

Heck, I’ve even uttered that phrase before, just substitute the year.

But what are we expecting? Are we expecting to get to a point in time where every problem is miraculously solved?

We act as though, because it is a certain year, that the harsh realities we read about in our history textbooks are a thing of the past.

That’s not how life works. We can’t just trade in one world for a new one, like we can with a cellphone. I told you this at the beginning of the post.

Just because it’s 2017, doesn’t mean everyone is going to be nice to each other, no matter how many times you tweet it.

Just because you’re 25, doesn’t mean you have to know what the hell you’re doing.

Just because you’re 35, doesn’t mean you have to be married.

Just because you’re 75, doesn’t mean you can’t use a cellphone.

I feel like there are too many expectations in this world that act as unwritten rules. If life followed our expectations, we’d all have the same life. How boring would that be?

Instead of telling people on Twitter to be nice to each other, why don’t you go be nice to someone in person. Yawning is contagious. Laughter is contagious. Maybe good deeds can be too.

Words only go so far. They provide a momentary spark that can be lost the moment you read something else.

The internet is cluttered with motivational quotes and tidbits of advice. There are social media accounts devoted to putting out such things multiple times a day.

How much is too much, though? How many quotes do you need to comfort you before they all start to sound the same?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have memories that are based on quotes I’ve read on the internet. I do have memories based on how people treated me in certain situations, though. I’m sure you do, too, because that’s what we remember.

We remember a place, a time, a day, a moment, a feeling. Oftentimes, those things are spontaneous. There are no expectations. No certainties. No well-crafted tweets.

It’s real life in its birthday suit.

If you think about it, life is really just one big movie, without the remote. You can’t rewind. You can’t fast forward. You can’t pause. You just have to keep moving. Some parts, you miss. Some are forgotten. Some you remember, forever.

Eventually, the movie ends and it’s far different from how it started. However, at no point did you eject the movie and put in a new one.

The plot changed. The setting changed. The characters changed.

Through it all, you developed. Isn’t that the point?

If none of this made sense to you, then I’m afraid you expected this post to be something different.

Thanks for reading.

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50 Responses to Something Different

  1. Miriam says:

    Lots here that I agree with Paul. I’m 52 but sometimes feel like I’m still a teenager and play acting at being a mum. Time passes in a flash, there’s no doubt about that.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Angela says:

    This post spoke to me!!! It was like you knew what I was thinking but we already knew you could do that. No luck with those lotto numbers though…I’ll keep trying!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love this so much- It’s a slice of reality, something that seems to be lacking in our world today. I love how raw it is and how it encapsulates what life is- a movie that you can’t restart, can’t rewind, can’t replay. You only get one shot, so why sit behind a computer and complain- go out and DO something. It’s crazy how life bypasses us- we don’t even remember the process of growing. We just grow. It’s scary to be honest and I feel myself getting emotional as I type this.
    But I have to commend you- This was great. The kind of stuff I hope to read and aspire to write- Food for the mind and soul.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Paul says:

      Thanks for the kind words, I appreciate it! I think we get so busy doing things that we don’t realize we’ve grown or that we’re different from who we used to be. It’s a weird process.
      And don’t be afraid to be raw in your writing. Even if you don’t end up posting it, it feels really good once you let it all out.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lynni says:

    Love 👏🏼🙌🏼

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Lee Dunn says:

    All of it made sense.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. V Donovan says:

    Growing up is a trip and a half, but we all do it. You’re not alone in your feelings!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. leegschrift says:

    What a niece piece of words what you are throwing in my direction. Although english is not my language I understand you completely. I totally agree. How about that. And thank God I am just a poet with no quotes hanging to my kind heart. For myself, I really appreciate negative quotes. haha. Life is a poetry. Don’t think to much about it, don’t talk to much about it and don’t think you live forever.
    About the 75 year old. Just because you are 75, doesn’t mean you have to be dead next year.
    Oh dear.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. leegschrift says:

    Dead and buried, we heard his phone. He just wanted to say: Lovely people, I’m going home.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Nemee says:

    I love this so much–I’m 22 and this is my first year not being in school since I was 3 years old. Everything is so much different than I expected, from balancing jobs and budgeting and just being on my own without the rigidity of school, being an adult is not what I thought it’d be. I always thought at some age you ‘figured it out’ but I’m realizing that no one has ‘it’ figured out, we’re all just trying to get by and live.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      The first year out of school is the toughest. I really didn’t know what to do with myself because I was so engrained in a specific routine for close to 20 years. I’d say it gets easier, but I don’t know if it does, or if I’m just used to it by now. One day we’ll have “it” figured out, right? Or maybe we never will. No one is ever really honest on social media about how good/bad their life is so it’s hard to tell if we’re all in the same boat or not. Thanks for the comment!


  10. Little Rants says:

    I totally get it when you say you don’t know what a 26 year old is supposed to act like – I call it a “mid twenties crisis”. Because heck I don’t know how to act my age either. And I find adulting almost impossibly hard.

    Great post Paul: loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. L. Mitchell says:

    I really enjoyed reading this piece! It really spoke to me. Excellent writing and use of metaphoric speech!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Quinn says:

    Things I remember from being online in the past week:

    1. A group of narwhals is called ‘a blessing.’
    2. Albatrosses can drink sea water, filter it, and expel the salt out their nose.
    3. They can also cover almost 1000km in one glide before having to flap their wings.
    4. I don’t know how they do that last one considering they weigh around 8kg-10kg.
    5. When cats purr it’s been shown to heal them faster if they’re hurt.
    6. “As happy as a clam” used to be “As happy as a clam at high tide” because low tide was when people could go out and catch them for dinner (I googled that one because clams have never seemed overly happy to me and I wanted to get to the bottom of things).
    7. Alligators don’t age the way most creatures do, they just live until they’re too big to sustain themselves or they’re killed by disease or another animal.
    8. The moose’s largest natural predator is the orca.
    9. Marsupials have three vaginas.
    10. Don’t bite poisonous animals and don’t let venomous animals bite you. Other way around is mostly fine.

    I’m not sure why all my online knowledge is animal facts, but there you go.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      This is impressive. At this rate, within a few weeks you could open a zoo. Thanks for getting to the bottom of the “as happy as a clam” line. It never made much sense to me either.


  13. Liz says:

    So very true, Paul. And on that same note, enjoying the moment. We grow up, get old and work our lives away without giving it a second thought. A healthy reminder to enjoy life is a welcome one 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. benleander says:

    I basically agree with all of this! Bzgl (online) discussions – I’m so over talking to strangers about things we won’t agree on! Bzgl age: True, everyone lives life at their own pace and with their own ‘goals’ in mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Myka says:

    This is one of the first posts of yours that I’ve read where, at the end, I feel like you were extremely genuine. Not that you aren’t always honest, or real. But this felt…raw. Unrehearsed. You were funny, but you didn’t appear to be trying to be. You were real. & the way you spoke, and the things you mentioned, got the gears in my head spinning. Huh. I’ve gone to a much deeper spot than I was before I began reading this post. So, thank YOU for writing.
    PS. “Plant the sign on my lawn.” hahaha.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Wow this is high praise, thank you! Your analysis is right, this was completely unrehearsed. I wasn’t trying to perform or put on a show for the readers in this one which is why it came out so raw. Thank YOU for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Ely says:

    This post was amazing. It really touched home. NOT surprisingly. I agree with you 💯. Let’s walk the walk and stop talking the talk. Things will never drastically change and even if a few things change for the better, humans are bound to fuck up a few other things which would only replace those open spots from the other bad things gone good…. something like that. I understand myself lol. Like if it’s not one thing it’s the other. Life is too short to rely on Instagram quotes to keep us going. There has got to be more than that in life! Way to go with your gut and just let it all out. It worked beautifully.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Thank you! I understood what you were saying, it made complete sense. It just feels like everyone’s always telling us what to do all the time. Like, “Make time for yourself, it’s good.” Well obviously. Just let people liveeee. (I felt like I had to type out 4 e’s to make a point haha)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ely says:

        Paul I feel like some of my insanity is rubbing off on you “the 4 e’s to make a point”. LOL!!!! So me. And I’m always saying LET ME LIVEEEEEEEE lol out loud literally

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        Hahaha when I was writing it, it was just a natural instinct to add the extra letters. I didn’t know what I was doing it, but it felt acceptable lol

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Ely says:

    Don’t just tweet the tweet, or gram the gram…. walk the walk. Do the dew. Be the be….

    Just wanted to throw that in there

    Liked by 1 person

  18. There is so much to this that I felt hard. One being your first few paragraphs. My birthday is in a few, and I’ve been thinking how old I’m getting. Still a student no job nobody to marry haha. But that’s okay like you said. The second was needing to remind each other to be kind. I know it’s sad. But yes, people still have to be reminded! Take that girl who has bullied me all semester. There was no use to her doing that. And third, “life is like a movie”. I know 😉 You’ve said that my life sounds like one a few times!!! Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      I’m glad you took so much away from this post! I always hope that my words make people think, so thank you for letting me know they did. Also, if my memory is correct, TODAY IS YOUR BIRTHDAY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHAZ!! I wish nothing but the best…for youuuu (that turned into an Adele song halfway through). If today isn’t your birthday, I’ll be disappointed.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Little Rants says:

    Yes I did read this one. It scares me Paul. I feel like we’re living the Katy Perry song Chained to the Rhythm and we’re gonna be dead before we even get to live our lives. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Tanushka says:

    Sometimes when you post 5 sports reviews in a row, I wonder why did I ever subscribe to you. But a post like this reminds me, you’re an amazing person with really thought invoking thoughts. Even though I’m 15, I feel the things you mentioned. But that’s fine, because doesn’t everyone feel they’re running out of time? There’s this famous quote which I really like, “Life is fair by being unfair to everyone.” And your post reminded me of this quote. I don’t care if I’m 70, 80, 120, I’m going to read you posts. Don’t stop writing them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Haha wasn’t sure where you were going with this comment initially, but thank you. I think a lot of people feel like they have a lot of time to do stuff, but at the same time feel like the clock is running out or the time for something has already passed. It’s a tough balance. Glad you enjoyed this post!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Barb Knowles says:

    “Laughter is contagious. Maybe good deeds can be too.” Perfect. Wise. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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