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.