I love to be surrounded by old things… antiques… movies… music… people. I always have. And when I think of antiques, I never ever picture a beautifully restored item that has been painstakingly brought back to some semblance of its original brand newness. To me, while absolutely beautiful, it’s no different from buying a brand new freshly built piece of furniture at the nearest furniture warehouse even if it is far superior in quality. How something is pieced together doesn’t interest me nearly as much as how it got to be where it is at that moment*I* first saw it. How many people have loved it, and used it, and lived near it. How did it find its way to me? This is true for antique furniture, and it’s true for people in my life. I never have thought it important to be aware of the quality of someone’s physical self… such as how they measure up by the standards of a society that continually changes the way those things are measured. Nor have I thought it important to know how someone was raised before deciding whether or not I wanted to know who they are the moment I first met them.
I know that my inability to find certain things important used to, and probably still does drive my parents crazy. I’ve been aware of this for most of my life. I’ve never had a difficult time existing in any way because of this knowledge… it didn’t make growing up difficult for me at all. It didn’t make it necessary for me to have counseling, or therapy of any sort or at any time in my life, and I’ve never felt inferior because of the fact that I didn’t “get it”… although I’m certain Mom and Dad didn’t find it so easy to live with my lack of concern for some things. I understand that their frustration with me is because they never wanted me to be hurt or disappointed, or unable to take care of myself in a world where all of those things seem to matter. But by now they must know that I’ll never be that “responsible”, “discerning”, “people smart” person that they could never get me to be. And I just want them to know that it’s okay. I’m not going to hell because I’m not a financially responsible human. I’m not going to die lonely, and sick in a gutter somewhere because I gave the shirt off my back to someone who needed it without realizing that I probably could have used it myself. I don’t pretend to think I’m in any way better than anyone else because of the way I am. I just get tired of being told that I “HAVE TO LEARN”. Because I haven’t learned in 50 years to be that person. I’ve tried. For many years I tried because I thought there was something wrong with me. I tried because I hated disappointing the people who wanted me to be different. I tried because I was told that was how I should be. And I tried because I knew you had no respect for anyone who didn’t discipline and force themselves to be something even if it didn’t come naturally to them. Somewhere along the way I knew that it didn’t matter how hard I tried. Not only was I ill equipped to be “that person”, I saw nothing wrong with the person I am. I am so in love with the differences, and unique souls and spirits of my friends and loved ones I can’t imagine living in a world where everyone was the same. They felt the same things, believe the same ideas, live the same lives, have the same friends, the same jobs, the same desires and do the same things with the same amount of free time that everyone else has because they did what someone else decided they should do. We weren’t created the same way for reasons that seem mightier, and more important than any concern I’ve ever had about not being like everyone else. We weren’t given the same tools and the same brain so as to have the same thoughts and the same needs as the rest of those who we share this planet with. We all somehow ended up with certain qualities that keep anyone or anything else EVER from being just like us… so how is it, or can it be wrong to be so…. Different?
I suppose this sounds like a laundry list of excuses and reasons why I’m not that mature adult that I “should” be by now, and I’m okay with that too. I AM pretty dang good at one thing, and that would be putting feelings and ideas into words that make sense to people…. So that is how I tend to process most everything that marinates longer than 24 hours in my brain… I write. It is my hope that anyone who finds themselves frustrated and disappointed in a loved one because they just won’t be more responsible with money or they just won’t grow up will take a moment and think about the things that person DOES do in a responsible way. Do they share their time? Their talents? Their possessions? Are they good people? Do they listen? Do they go out of their way to help you or anyone in need? Would they be the kind of person you would be proud of if money didn’t exist? If they would, then why does it matter? Are you tired of helping them? That’s legitimate. I get that. They’re probably tired of helping you sometimes too, but they still do it, regardless of the cost. Their time is worth something, right? Their talent might be worth something too… but they don’t think of those things, they think of you. And how you’re not very good at this particular thing you need help with, and they want to save you frustration and money and they help you even if they have something else they should be doing… every single time.
Not all of your children, your friends, your friend’s children, and your children’s friends are going to be like you. Not all of them want to be. And not all of them are going to miraculously “grow up” one day and finally be like you either. And I’ll let you in on a little secret… some of them are okay with that. They’re fine, despite the fact that they know you disapprove, they know you’re disappointed, they know they are being judged, and they realize you hold it against them sometimes… maybe constantly. And they still love you. They still hope you understand that their shortcoming doesn’t make them bad… and some of them know that you don’t get it, and never will. It affects who they are because they don’t want to disappoint you. It affects how they see themselves. It affects their ability to feel good enough in most situations in life. It affects their wellbeing. THAT is a damn shame. Please… for the love of humanity reevaluate how important it is for someone you love to be like you. In the grand scheme of everything, exactly how important is it going to be for you to stand before your creator and explain your disappointment in someone who wasn’t good enough because of their inability to be just like you?
Please don’t mistake this for my proclamation that a financially irresponsible person is somehow better than anyone else because they might have other priorities in life… or that I’m trying to give excuses to myself or others like me for the things that drive people like you crazy… just take it for what it is… another way to see something… a different perspective to help you understand how someone could “be that way”. The truth is there’s no room in this life for holding back love for any reason. We need all the love we can get to help each other through, and nothing… not a savings account, not a nest egg, not an excellent credit rating and not a 100% on time payment record is going to get us into happily ever after. Nothing but the place inside of us containing love, and the places outside of us that we gave it away can do that. Think about it!