musings of a malcontent

seattle native, teacher w/out a classroom, bookkeeper, drinker of coffee and red wine, a constant work in progress

Archive for the category “reflecting”

Gone Missing

I remember one of the writing prompts we had in one of my classes at the community college. The teacher described a crack in one of the walkways on campus and how it had been there for years. He had grown accustomed to stepping around it so he wouldn’t trip. It was so routine now he didn’t even realize he did it. One day, he noticed the walkway had been repaired. He stood there for a few seconds. It had caught him off guard and he thought about it for the rests of the day. He encouraged us to write about something in our lives that is a regular thing, that we’d miss if it were gone. Even if it was as simple as the crack in the walkway being fixed. I remember writing about the smell and steam from the coffee I purchased almost every day from a coffee cart on campus. It wasn’t the most ‘deep’ or psychological of things I could have picked, but it fit my life at the time and as I recall, the teacher mentioned just how lovely my description of the steam and foam and smells and sensory invigoration had been. I took that class probably 7 years ago but every now and then, when something that is a regular thing in my life goes missing, I think back on it. That writing teacher, class, prompt, walkway crack… have been on my mind lately.

I take a back roads way to get to work so I can avoid having to deal with the traffic headache that is the greater Seattle area on any given morning/afternoon. One particular stretch of the drive takes me right past that community college. right before I drive past the main entrance, there was a pot hole. It was substantial enough of a pot hole for me to stay to the left side of my lane for fear it would pop my tires. That pot hole had been there for as long as I can remember and out of habit, I drove around it without much thought. One day, the pot hole was gone. A road crew had filled it during the night. It wasn’t sad, necessarily, but I did think about it. It was there, had been there, and now it was gone.

Last week it was announced that one of our fellow Monday volunteers down at the foodbank, had passed away. His name was Leslie and he’d been a long time volunteer. He was a crank of an old man and we avoided him for the most part. He was hunched over due to some sort of spine disorder probably, and he insisted on working alone and always in the same spot. He was a hard worker, he was just cranky. Evidently he volunteered 3 other days a week at another one or two places. He filled his time helping others. And very few people knew. And now he’s gone. Yesterday was my first shift where he wasn’t there. He didn’t know my name, I didn’t know his, but he was always there and I appreciated that. And now he’s gone. It won’t feel quite the same anymore.

And then last night as I was perusing my usual news websites, because I’m kind of a news junkie, I saw a blurb about a missing Edmonds woman police were looking for. I clicked on the article and a picture popped up. I think I actually audibly gasped. I was almost sure, 95% sure, that it was my old art teacher from high school. When I got home I took out my yearbook to double check. We always called her Mrs. ____. I don’t think I ever paid attention to her first name so I had to make sure. But it was her. She’s retired now and apparently has a pretty advanced case of both Alzheimer’s and Dimensia and hadn’t returned from a walk. I looked all over last night and then this morning and FINALLY found a follow-up article that she has been found. This woman, who I knew for a couple years, as a student of hers, but hadn’t seen since, had made my heart beat a bit faster and I kept thinking about her. I’m still thinking about her. I’m glad she’s safe and with family now. She was really cold they said, but she was alright. Rationally I know that past teachers age, as we all do, and rationally I know that many have probably passed away. But in my head, they are frozen as they were when I sat in their classes. And while they’re not part of my active life, they are part of the world that made me who I am and when a piece of that changes, a piece you never think about but is a piece nonetheless, it gives you cause to stop.

It’s a bit odd that these things, pretty unrelated things, could conjur up the memory of that writing class. I don’t think it really means anything, but it’s interesting. My awareness of small changes seems to be heightened right now, which I suppose is normal.

what it’s all about

When I was younger, the janitor at the school I went to was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease. This man, Mr.Tumulty, was a GIANT of a man. In both physical stature and personality. He was bigger than life. During the building of the new high school building, apparently he’d hold up the sheet rock with one hand and nail it to the ceiling with the other hand. I was always tall, but his shadow dwarfed mine! He was also a man with the biggest heart I’ve ever witnessed someone expressing so openly and genuinely. The disease took him quickly. It was so unfair. It effortlessly fell a man who was a physical force to be reckoned with. I used to babysit for his 2 boys and I remember their change. I remember the questioning everyone did. Why him? Shortly after his diagnosis which he knew was a fatal one, he was still so upbeat. He whistled all the time, he was happy and he was excited, I mean, not just “put on a good face” excited. He was truly happy to be going to heaven. And he spoke of it openly and to whomever was within ear shot. I’m not sure if that made me, at the age I was, encouraged or not. I still did not understand it. Last week my mom told me that a friend of theirs, Bob, who goes to our church, was also just diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease. We knew something was wrong, as he’d been wheelchair bound for about a year, but I don’t think anyone expected this. I sat next to Sharon (Bob’s wife) and Bob at church on Sunday. Out of the corner of my eye I could see still, their zest for life and what it still had to offer them.

There are things that I just don’t understand, things I cannot explain. I can theorize, I can get philosophical, I can get spiritual about, I can get political over it, but there are just some things that cannot be figured out. There has been just an annoyance, or… cloud of frustration, on my mind lately and I couldn’t figure it out until Sunday, while sitting next to Bob and Sharon. This year has been a tough one for a dear friend of mine in terms of death/sickness of loved ones. It’s been a year of mourning and questioning and trying to grasp the “what’s it all about.” There’s been no rhyme or reason for most of the tragedy surrounding her and her family. It truly has been one of those ‘when it rains it pours’ seasons in her/their life, and it’s awful. It’s awful to watch, it’s awful that it’s all happening, it’s awful watching her grapple with it and try to emotionally and mentally and spiritually deal with it all and not lose her faith in humanity, her faith in God and her faith in her own ability to deal with things and not go crazy in the meantime. We’ve discussed it some. But some of the things can’t be explained. There’s no good reason why that little girl was killed. There’s no good reason why that other relative got cancer. There’s just no good reason. So, anger happens. At life, at people, at God. And I think that’s good. I think that’s healthy. But I think, there at some point has to be an understanding that you can’t figure everything out. And you can’t blame God or people for everything, as much as you want to. And you can’t dwell on it for so long that it consumes your every thought and ruins your will. I’m not suggesting to Pollyanna out and take this ‘life is all sunshine and roses’ view. But there has to be something to live for and to believe in and to be excited about, because otherwise, what’s the point? My friend didn’t go down that dark rabbit hole. She managed to do the grieving, do the anger and processing of it before it got to that point. But it was a struggle. As it is with all of us.

I’ve been accused of being ‘not deep,’ on occasion. Deep, meaning that I don’t write huge rants and spend endless amounts of energy being mad at ‘the system’ or ‘the man’ or whatever. And I don’t use convoluted verbage to convey how I feel, compared to the person who has suggested it anyhow. Some feel that to use such language, or to be so philosophical and to be so upset, is the best way to get the point across. For some, maybe that’s the only way they know how. And there’s a time and place for that sort of dialogue. But I met a woman yesterday who came through the food bank line who I think has it pretty figured out too, in a much different way. There was a ‘gentleman’ ahead of her in line that was just angry. Angry at nothing and no one in general. It’s a pretty safe assumption that he’d just an angry guy. She looked at me, I looked at her and we both smiled. I was working at the sign-in desk yesterday so I get to chit-chat a bit more with them, especially if the line is longer and they have to wait a bit. So we chatted and I learned that she used to be a concierge at a downtown hotel. We talked about how some people are just like that guy, they’re so upset with the world, or so disenchanted with their lives and society, that they are just angry all the time. We concluded that that would be so exhausting! And such a waste of time. So true. The people who write, and put others down in the process, are justified in their rants but with a limit and not necessarily in the manner in which they go about it. And if it only stays on paper, or in their little blogosphere and world or those who feel the same way, it does no good. The people who struggle to understand tragedy, are totally justified. But to dwell on it to the point where it consumes them and they are shrouded in gloom, does them and those they’re around, no good.

The weirdness in the ‘air’ I’ve been trying to figure out is just that I think. What’s it’s all about?!  The more women I meet like this woman at the food bank, and the more people like Bob & Mr. Tumulty I meet… make me realize and understand just a bit better that life is what you make it. And, also how you react to it.

compassion & quotes

if you were to go into my apartment you’d find quotes written down on random pieces of scratch paper or the backs of things, scattered around in various stashes. i’m a notorious quote writer. as someone who likes to write, i can appreciate beautifully constructed thoughts. whenever i read i always have some sort of note pad and pen with me because there is ALWAYS something i want to remember. whether i like how it’s written, or what was being written was so profound or funny i don’t want to forget. often i find these scratch papers or journals or what have you, months or years after i’ve written them down. i found a small piece of paper w/ a quote that i copied down over a year ago when on vacation in Hawaii. it’s from a book called “Dark Hollow” written by John Connolly. he has a character named Louis who’s a career criminal but is sort of a good guys bad guy. the things he’s willing to do are just awful but he always does them in the name of good or in defense of people he loves or has sworn allegiance to. he can be crude, he’s violent, and he’s probably one of the most profound and deep and thought provoking characters i’ve seen created and written in a long time. he said something i wrote down and re-read last night and can’t stop thinking about it. it’s the thoughts and writing like this that make me like this author. yes, there are some swears, but if a book i read a year ago can still make me think, then it’s a good book. the book is in a series of books following several characters and everyone is full of stuff like this. they’re on the darker side, but sometimes life is dark and you have to deal with it.

“The nature of compassion isn’t coming to terms with your own suffering and applying it to others: it’s knowing that other folks around you suffer and, no matter what happens to you, no matter how lucky or unlucky you are, they keep suffering. And if you can do something about that, then you do it, and you do it without waving your own fuckin’ cross for the world to see. You do it because it’s the right thing to do.”

yes. i think so.

things once loved

being nostalgic is so fun. it’s like instant time-travel. it happens when you least expect it. you’re walking through the grocery store, you see a sale for fruit loops and you think back to when you mom used to let you string fruit loops on yarn and then drape them around you little Christmas tree. you probably ate more than you strung up, but the memory of starting the holidays, the memory of the sticky fingers you had because you licked them after you snuck one, and the smell of the sugary fruit goodness that only that one little silly tree had. or… nostalgia can hit you as you use that gift card you got for your birthday but forgot you had a balance on. so you browse the aisles of your favorite used book store, smelling in the smells that only those moldy oldy books can have, and then you see it, a kids book you used to love reading! you pick it up, you think about buying it, then you set it down, but maybe you should read it. and… there’s the tricky part! do you simply keep the nostalgia and memories of yore locked up safely in your memory? or d0 you revisit the tangible ones if you can? i flipped through that book. Dr. Seuss is still great! but… sometimes, you’re disappointed. i used to LOVE the movie “The Brave Little Toaster.” love LOVE love. so when i saw it in Netflix, i added it to my queue and shot it to the top of the list, and 2 days ago, i watched it. maybe it was the cold meds i was on, or perhaps my hopes were just too high, but i was left sad. it didn’t have that gravitas that it once did in the memory of my childhood joy. i think i like the idea of my enjoyment of it better than the movie itself. and… i don’t know, maybe it was a little bittersweet for me. so it’s a crapshoot then. do we dare to glance back at the things-once-loved? it’s a risk!

reflective

one of my favorite movies is “The Birdcage.” it’s neurotic and deeper than most would assume from reading the back of the movie jacket. anyhow, last night i was watching it on my bed. my copy of it is still on VHS, so i have to watch it in my room since that’s where the ‘old school’ VHS player is. i was all comfy in there. the movie ended and i fell asleep. i must have slept in a funny position because today my back is uber sore.  so needless to say, today i’ve been keeping it pretty low key. i changed my brake lights and that’s about it. it’s been kind of nice actually. but, when i have lazy weekends i tend to get contemplative. as i sat here, with Northern Exposure playing, and me zoning out, i looked over at my computer,  at the smudged black screen and my reflection. i had walked past the bathroom just minutes earlier and caught my reflection there. i thought, for a lazy sunday, i don’t look too bad. but now, reflected on the smudgy black screen, i looked awful.

it’s amazing how the surfaces we look at can reflect the same thing so differently. it’s like, the same scene thru a fish bowl camera lens looks completely different than thru a wide angle lens than a magnified one. so, when looking at ourselves, of whom we are almost always overly critical, maybe we should keep in mind that very thing. i look dreadful on the computer screen and fine in the bathroom mirror. i remember thinking one day, i was out with my friends, that that particular day i wasn’t looking my best. when i saw some photos posted of that evening, i looked more than decent.

this all just got me thinking. maybe it’s nothing.

the way we were

walking down the hall of my junior high and having the theme song to “Free Willy” hummed after me, was the pivotal event that turned me into a crusader of sorts, for the picked on. my self-esteem was in the toilet, for lack of a better word, from probably upper elementary school to the end of junior high. many things contributed to this. inner issues and not believing in myself was part of that. but i was also tall. significantly taller than most of my friends. had been since 1st grade. i was also overweight. not hugely overweight, but enough to be fodder for easy jokes. and, i was a girl. for some reason it’s more socially acceptable, even early on in life, for men to be overweight than it is for girls. its somehow more gross if we are. and so for a long time i thought i was gross. then to have that guy make fun of me like that, was just more ‘evidence’ to prove i was. i also hit puberty before most of my friends. so being tall, slightly fluffy, and then having curves booming out everywhere, which to the boys back then meant nothing, just made things worse. i had my mom who stood up for me and a couple girlfriends, but for the most part i didn’t have anyone rallying against this person. i didn’t have a personal champion. i didn’t realize it at the time but i think that’s huge in part why i just got so fed up with it that after that i started standing up for people who were made fun of for the way they looked. the long curly haired boy, the girl from Egypt that transferred in and looked different… and people like me. since then, it’s always bothered me when what passes for humor is causing someone else to doubt their self worth and who they are.

there was a news story this morning about how men are now starting to worry more about their looks than women are because they feel that they are judged by how they look too more now. this sparked a conversation among the news anchors and the whole thing left me feeling like they’d missed the whole point. sure physical attraction is important, but what happened to love? what happened to personality and caring and humor and the heart of the person factoring in? for me, at the end of things, being with someone who makes me laugh and who loves me for me is all i’m going to want. and vice-versa. am i missing something?

my friends were making fun of me for my attraction to the nerd boys. nerd boys in the sense that the ones i actually end up very much liking, or the ones that i could see myself with, are rarely the types that you’d look at and immediately become star-struck because they are so incredibly good looking. i had a very politically incorrect conversation with someone about this. we were talking about types. i have no type. she said yes, that i did and made a list. brown boys, gingers, tall boys, boys who wear beanies and have suspicious hair situations, nerds. which, is pretty much true. which just reinforced my point that i guess i don’t have a type. i like who i like. there are very few physical things i ‘look for’ right off. being on the taller side and having good eyes, those i notice right away. but that’s really neither here nor there. have we become so shallow as a whole? i hope not. because then i’m just screwed. and so are the others out there who aren’t yet with someone. i’m holding out hope for society. c’mon people, don’t let me down.

emotionally high & blessed

i stood in line with my groceries all laid out on the conveyor belt. i had my list, all the items checked off and i was ready to go home and try out that new recipe i’d found. the person ahead of me pays and wheels their cart away. my turn!! it doesn’t matter if its for rides at Disneyland or your turn to pay for food, somehow when it’s your turn for most things, it’s good. but i digress, so he scanned all my things and the total came up, i swiped my debit card and it came back declined. awesome. now i’m the loser with no money who is holding up the line. i could feel the stares of the people behind me. an employee very nicely said she’s hold my things for me and i could call the bank to see what the issue was. fortunately, my bank has a branch inside that particular grocery store. i almost never shop at that store but for some reason, decided to that particular night. i walked over to the bank, they were open late! i told them my card had been declined and i knew i had money in there. i racked my brain thinking of things i’d spent money on but maybe forgot about. but payday was just the day before. i knew i had funds. long story short, they restricted my card because they detected suspicious activity on it. good news: only $35 was taken from me. bad news: they had to cancel that card and issue me another one. they were all very helpful and i got some cash and the new card is in the mail. although, now i fear i’m going to turn into one of those paranoid old ladies who hides money in her mattress. or in my shoes. or in the freezer or in the back tank of the toilet or something. i’m not there yet, but i am curious as to how my card # was obtained. anyhow, so i was feeling pretty upset and frustrated and not in the jovial mood i entered the store in. i drove home, dropped my things on the kitchen and went out to get my mail which had piled up since i hadn’t got it in a few days. i expected bills. seems that all that comes in the mail is bills. i dislike bills. sometimes being an adult is overrated i think. anyhow, turns out… no bills! when does that EVER happen? almost never. i had 2 Netflix DVDs, 2 magazines, some junk mail and the piece de resistance… a computer! my wonderful aunt spoils me rotten. she had an extra netbook that she didn’t have use for and my laptop is on its last legs so she just GAVE me her extra one. it was a blessing in so many ways!  sometimes we do nice things for others and we have no idea how a small act will impact them. well, hers did and i just think she’s great. i did a little happy dance and began to put my groceries away. i picked up the new recipe and re-read it. apparently i had missed that it’s a slow-cooker recipe. i don’t have a slow cooker. minor detail! it’s on my Christmas list, but that didn’t help me then. so i winged it and came up with something almost equally as delicious sounding. the day ended well despite how irritated i’d been just an hour earlier. then, this morning i was on my way to work and i stopped at a Starbucks. i usually don’t go to Starbucks. i either make my own or i go to a local one on the way. but the previous day i’d gone there because they have eggnog lattes. and they are my weakness. while i was in line the day before, my card wasn’t reading correctly. it didn’t even cross my mind that it was connected to the restriction the bank had placed on it. i just thought they mis-swiped it. it does that sometimes there. anyhow, they gave me my eggnog latte for free an told me just to ‘get them the next day.’ so this morning i went there to make good on their charity. i went up to pay for it and the guy told me, not to worry about it and to have a nice day. i took my brewed coffee and the Christmas CD i’d impulse purchased and walked back to my car feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. the CD, by a group i love, tends to have a jazzy/Spanish influence to their songs. this particular CD did that too but with Christmas songs. and they also had a Ukrainian bell carol on it and a song in Hebrew and some other very interesting ones. i listened (slightly prematurely i know) to it on my drive to work. i started tearing up. i have no idea why. i’m not PMSing. there was no reason why i’d get tears. but i did. Christmas memories started flooding back. there is something about music, holiday or not, the music that has that sort of haunting and pure tone to it that takes me to that place every time. it’s partially why i love old latin chants you hear in cathedrals and at Masses or whatever. i love it. so that combined with memories, i got to work feeling emotionally high and blessed. these are the weeks leading up to my birthday. birthdays for me are always a mixed bag of things. and there is almost always drama or tears or something due to unforseen circumstances not related to the year before. i don’t know why. it just is how it is.  it’s never been this peaceful leading up to that. at least not in a while. here’s to hoping it lasts! i don’t believe in jinxes and such. it would just be nice. i talked to a friend today and she told me, “it’s not karma Jeanette, you’re just loved. and it’s your turn to be blessed.”  i’m always blessed. but some days it shows up more clearly than others.

forgiveness will get you

my mind has been turning over and over the idea of forgiveness a lot lately.  what is it exactly, how do you go about doing it, why must we do it, what if we don’t know how, and why is it so hard to do more often than not? 

the act of forgiving is made easy or harder depending on what it is that needs to be forgiven. we’re supposed to forgive, that’s what i was told. i always struggled with this though.  it’s hard to forgive if you can’t forget. my mom is the model “spiritual citizen,” if you will. she struggles and she is clearly human, thus flawed. but she always has those Godly principles and those things that are just good life mantras to have, right at the tip of her tongue and encompassing her heart. she is good at it. i am more of a work in progress.

having low expectations of strangers makes it easy to forgive them when they do something but when it is someone who is close to me and something hurtful, it’s hard for me to make that automatic jump to “i forgive you.” i know forgiveness is a process. it can’t happen overnight. and for it to happen, there needs to be an opening and a desire to get to the point where you can truly forgive someone, or yourself. but what does that process look like? which is why i say that it’s easier for me to forgive strangers. if someone cuts in front of me in a line and i don’t know them, i can just let it go or forgive and forget. but when someone i know does it, i somehow jump to the “you should have known better” train of thought.

and so often forgiveness is thought to be one in the same as excusing the wrong-doer. this has been a relatively low drama month for me personally which has been nice. last month was hectic what with moving and adjusting and a few other things. this month has been rejuvenating actually. except for this week. i’ve had on a couple different occasions, been on the listening end of a conversation where the other person was so upset by something that had been done to them. they were justifiably upset. and they were angry and emotional and the emotion and hurt was so raw for them. in my head, i was thinking that for this person to move on they are going to need to forgive the other person. easier said than done i know. but i still feel deep down that that is true. so in a gentle way, i tried to suggest that. which was not met with praise. to them, the act of forgiving that person would have felt like excusing their behavior and letting them off the hook. which it’s not but that was their perception of it. i could understand that feeling.

i myself have been in a situation where i’ve needed to forgive someone to be able to move on in my life in that area of hurt. but it took time. each even is individual and takes a different forgiveness route. some would challenge that some things are unforgivable. you hear all the time about press releases where the family of a murder victim has forgiven the murderer. then you hear the public’s outcry about how that family doesn’t owe that murderer anything. in my small mind, in it’s current pattern, would also have a hard time looking the killer of one of my loved ones in the eyes and telling them i forgave them.

i think this is where the mixed messages begin. i do not forgive those who wrong me, for their sake. i forgive them because for me to move on, for me to be lifted of that burden they forced on me, i have to. it isn’t an excuse. it’s almost like an acknowledgement that they no longer get to have power over my heart and head.  my friend who had the meltdown, she carries such a heavy burden. she was wronged so badly and is still so consumed with pain that she can’t see straight. and i don’t blame her. but for her to be free from that, doesn’t she need to forgive? i want to say yes, but knowing the details of what happened, i understand why she doesn’t want to/isn’t ready to.

today i had an argument with a friend. it was online, but it was still an argument. she said something, i reacted to it, she reacted to my reaction. it’s the vicious cycle that is petty fighting. i had said what i had been wanting to say but i said it in a way that i didn’t mean which made my valid reaction, invalid. she in turn reacted to me and i realized my words were harsh. so i apologized. my apology was not met with the opened arms of forgiveness i’d been hoping for. she was mad. we both were in the wrong but i just had to let it go because it was such a waste of the dangerous kinds of emotions. irritation, bitterness, resentment and just plain being ridiculous.

forgiveness. it has me going in circles sometimes.

the moral of the story

we have morals to the story of our lives. they are absolute truths that we subscribe to. they are unbending beliefs that we hold tight to and cherish. they are the lines we unwaveringly refuse to cross. or… are they?

why is it that we declare for all to hear (or read), the morals and guidelines for our lives? why do we do it? is it so people will know who we are? i used to think so. then why, i wonder, do we often use them at our discretion and have them bend and cater to our silly human whims? we are afterall, fallible beings. life is not concrete. it is unpredictable and we are doing well to just simply stay standing.

we declare our life thru our words yes, but more importantly thru our ways.

having grown up in the church, and now being an adult, i am curious about the stands my acquaintances and loved ones have made. things once violently defended as right or wrong are now treated as guidelines rather than nonnegotiables. but they still claim to feel the same. so our morals and standards change as we age? do things that once seemed important morph and evolve? our tastes do. in food, in clothes, in friends. so why not our morals? because. because our morals are things that we hold onto because they are what we believe to be the best things for leading fulfilling and good and note-worthy lives. they change if we learn we were wrong about something. they change because we were misguided or ignorant and they need to change. but the rationalizing that we do, often baffles me. we marginalize. stealing LITTLE things is ok. they were overpriced anyhow. lying is ok. no one will find out and plus, it’s not THAT big of a lie. destructive things to my body and soul are ok sometimes, especially when they feel so good.

to quote one of my favorite people, “we all have different shades of mess.” shit happens, we all make mistakes. i get it. but i don’t get the still guarded declarations of ones morals when clearly they do not mean it. if you mean it, say it and live it. using them as a coverup for your behavior so you feel better and morally superior to the honest, is weak. tweak them, or declare them all the louder and follow them. i don’t get it. if you can’t be honest to yourself, who can you be honest with?

judgement

we all know what we like and don’t like. we see someone cross in the cross walk in front of our car while we wait for the light to change and usually there is some mental note made about that person. whether it be their clothes, hair, body… we look at them and we know if we like their look or if we don’t. is that judgmental?

i was in a conversation with a friend a few weeks ago and she said she’s been talking to her therapist about body image. and about being judgemental. she’s decided to make a concerted effort to not be so judgmental. i started thinking about that a lot. i don’t THINK i’m super judgemental. however as we were talking about this a girl walked in front of us wearing an outfit straight out of an 80’s exercise video or something. i noted it, said i’d never wear that, but that i felt like she was entitled to wear what she wants and that she was brave to do so with such boldness. was that judgmental? i often say that if everyone were the same the same that life would be boring. but i guess i do judge more than i thought. or is it judging if all it is is a measuring tool to determine the direction or not that i’d like my life to go?

as i run my errands i see a woman who sits at the same spot of a parking lot every day almost. she sits, she puts on the most hurt and depressed and “wounded” face she can muster and she wants people to give her money. i think to myself, get off your butt and go get a job, or go to a food bank if you want food, or do SOMETHING besides sit there and be lazy. then i feel convicted a bit. i don’t want that to be my life. and i know she can do better for herself. but i don’t want to be labeled as judgemental. another example, i got called a prude a while back by a couple of good friends. truth be told it really hurt my feelings. i’d never thought of myself as that. i just thought it was me knowing what i’m willing to do, where i’m willing to go and being strong in my convictions and decisions. i never thought it was being seen as judgemental at all. was it? i don’t know.

how do we stop being judgmental when its so much a part of being human? is it ever ok to be? is there a time and a place for it? i’m inclined to think yes but is that my trying to rationalize my behavior and thoughts? it’s certainly given me something to think about.

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