Thursday, June 25, 2015

Close-Mind, Open Heart

Lately, I have been thinking about way too many things:
  • Why are people generalized?
  • Am I close-minded?
  • Can you be categorized if you truly do not think like the people in your "category?"
These questions have been haunting me since last week Thursday when a co-worker decided to tell me I was close-minded.  Part of me believes he said it to get a rise out of me and the other part of me believes he meant it.  Asking him now, he gives no definitive answer... and it is bugging the heck out of me!

I say it often, and will continue to do so, I can hear what everyone has to say.  My best friend is the same.  The difference between us is she usually keeps her mouth shut on her own views.  She doesn't think it is worth the breath to start an argument.  I cannot do the same. I do not open my mouth and spew my beliefs out so I can convince you to think just like I do, but more so you can have more facts or be more educated. Maybe to give your belief some weight or some variety. I don't know everything and I very easily could be proven wrong, but I will always try.  I will always give my two cents.

Coming from an abnormally large family, where you cannot always get a word in edge-wise, I think it is engrained for me to say what I think. 
Structurally, it is a part of the Theriault DNA. 
When everyone in the room knows everything there is to know on the face of the planet, then there isn't always very much to say.  So listening became a pastime.  A hobby, almost.  And if the TV is off, then you have my full attention (I do not do well with distraction).  My childhood was spent with little-to-no opinion. I remember one of my old Greek aunts yelling at me that "children should learn to keep their mouths shut."  Maybe these things are the root of why I now have a hard time doing so.

To say the least, I love knowledge.  I take classes I do not necessarily need for my major and imagine going to school for the rest of my life, because the endless knowledge sounds wonderful.  I love to share the things I have learned, too.  I often come into work and tell my co-workers little snippets that I learned in class the night before.  What a nerd, right?

The close-minded thing has been weighing heavy.  I try so hard not to be someone who is quick to judge (we all have our moments), and try my best to see both sides of the coin (even if I don't agree).  Maybe the issue is that I speak up when I don't agree.  I don't nod and smile. I don't let you spout your views and sit back and chew on mine; you will hear mine. And maybe that is something not everyone is used to. 

I have a filter... most of the time.  People who claim they "have no filter" are looking for an excuse to be total assholes.  There is no need to be mean or hateful. There is no need to be nasty.  Bite your tongue when the time calls for it.  I do not, however, feel like offering your opinion is offensive.  Another reason our ability to freely think is beautiful.  I am glad for diversity.  I am glad for stirring conversation.

Monday, June 8, 2015

A work in progress.

Lately it is as if being tested has integrated itself into every waking moment of life.
And as I try and lead a more somber, peaceful, and enlightened life in my thirties, I have found that the universe is loving the challenge it dishing out.  I welcome the defiance, and I find the trial exhilarating.

I have found that no matter how hard I try to bring small rays of sunshine to my life and the life of those around me, people are always going to be there to cover my sun with their grey clouds.  I'm okay with it - most of the time.  Balance is necessary in all things. I remind myself that maybe not everyone is as blessed as I am to have a wonderful upbringing, a desire for never-ending education, and the ability to have an open-mind.  I feel much more grateful than I do conceited.

I didn't have the perfect childhood. Those who know me best know this quite well.  I didn't have wonderful teen years either. I made super poor choices and I was really bad at being... bad.
The difference with me is that I took everything from the two different worlds I was living out of and blended them into one amazing one.  It didn't happen over night. Hell, it is still "happening," but I am glad to be a work in progress!

But when I am tested, I am most gratified.  I am reminded of how simple things can become very major ones.  How one small breeze can become a monsoon.  How one tiny little grain of sand can turn the tide.  I am grateful for these moments every day.  When I can get so mad at what just happened and come right back to the place I was meant to be: one of calm.  Where anger doesn't matter anymore. Where nothing matters but what I have learned.

I deal with my biggest instigator every single day.  Via text or just inside my mind, I am at a constant turmoil with what my heart says over what my head tells me.  It's always challenging; however, I will say that I have tried so painstakingly hard to always let go of my past transgressions, my past irritations, my past bias, and start anew (and with love).

It doesn't matter that I was called an idiot this week or that my new book was ruined in a rainstorm.
It doesn't matter that my pond was eaten by a deer... or a beaver.
It doesn't matter that some people love to voice their opinions as loud as possible to get a rise out of others.
It doesn't matter my daughter disregarded my request and did her own thing.
It doesn't matter that I was eye-rolled by a mother at softball for the third week in a row.
None of it matters at the end of my day.

I am glad the annoying things happen because it makes the things I love so much sweeter.
So thank you for calling me an idiot. I know I am not stupid. My 3.8 proves that as much as my desire to continue learning.
Thank you for raining. I don't have to water my lawn or flowers, and I had already read the book anyway.
I am not glad my pond was half-eaten, but I am glad the deer/beaver isn't hungry.
Thank you to Alanna for always dancing to the beat of your own drummer.  Your free-spirited self is inspiring. Don't let it happen again! ;)
Thank you for eye-rolling me on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  You are exactly who I strive NOT to be.