I often try to figure out what really triggers me. What are these things that make me get so riled up? And why these particular things? Being a human is strange sometimes because often we don't make any sense, what triggers us versus what we let go. I think back to my young child days and nothing seemed to bother me. Well, everything except not being able to watch Kids Incorporated and Mickey Mouse Club. I threw a royal fit about those. Other than that? I was a pretty chill little kid, just kept to myself, played with my toys, and wrote books about cats. "Kittens are like cats. Just smaller." That is a direct quote. Then my teenage years came and I thought everything was an injustice. I can't smoke at that coffee shop? Strike! That bully is picking on that kid? Get him! I fought the fight for the underdogs everywhere. The way my blood boiled looking back in retrospect was comical though I do think there is something lovely about that fire that once burned... not that I want to burn that brightly any more. It was exhausting. And then came my twenties, on my own with a kid, and I was just angry at everything even the good stuff. You would look at me funny and I would imagine your head exploding. I felt as if the entire world was repulsive and owed me something. It was dumb. The world owes me nothing but it took me years to figure that out.
So, now here I am, almost forty. I'm beyond the childish games, past the teenage angst, left behind the confusing twenties, and almost done with probably the easiest emotional decade I have ever experienced. What boils my blood now? It's funny to look back and compare. Some of the things that made me so mad seem so ridiculous now. I think as we get older we're able to pick and choose what fights are important. I think that's a really important lesson to learn, probably one of the most important lessons I've absorbed. Maybe it's because I have a teenage daughter and in her journey, I have found my clarity. Sometimes even the outcome isn't worth the battle. I know that sounds strange because isn't every battle worth it if it does something good? It's relative in the end. That being said there is one thing that still sparks my older self much like it would the younger version of me. I encounter all types of different people during my day. With the industry that I make my living with, the spectrum of kind and rude is large. If you work or have ever worked in the service industry, you will understand this statement. You start to become numb to the disrespectful way you can be treated. It still makes you mad but it's almost as if you expect it. And when you have someone treat with you kindness? It makes you cry a little. The sad thing is that kindness should be the norm, not entitlement. That's not just for this particular job. It's for everyone everywhere. There is no reason we have to treat each other so harshly. There is no reason we need to yell at each other to get our point across. Sometimes people will listen and sometimes they won't but knocking them down doesn't win anything. It just starts another war.
Maybe there is still that young little kid in me that believes that we can make this world a better place simply by being better people to each other. Perhaps I am still a bit of fool and my kindness makes me see the world in blur. I just don't think yelling at each other, hurting each other in any fashion solves problems. If you have an issue, talk about it. Find a solution that doesn't involve tearing each other apart. Sometimes at work we get weeded so badly that we lose sight that we are there to help each other. Sometimes in the heat of the moment we say ugly things to each other because all we see is the twelve tables waiting on their food and the three new ones that just sat down and everything needs ice and we have no cups and that kid just spilled their milk all over the back of the booth. We get caught in these truly horrific, chaotic moments and we snap at each other. We're human. It's going to happen regardless. So what do we do? My younger self would have said suck it up. Deal with it. Stop being such a pansy. But me today? Talk about it. Deal with it, yes, but in a way that dissolves the tension in a healthy manner. Last week I had a moment and I snapped at a coworker. I felt horrible about it and a few days afterward I apologized to her. I was caught in a moment and unfortunately she was the one to catch my frustration. We talked about it and moved on from it. I don't want to leave that bad blood between me and her not just because we have to work together but because I adore her as a person. And as a person, she deserves my respect.
No one is perfect in this world. How boring would we all be if we were truly flawless? I realize in my older years that I tolerate so much more but in the same breath I tolerate so very little as well. I don't care about the dumb stuff but if I had to say what makes me red now? Well, it would have to be respect or the lack there of. We can all have our opinions. We can all lead our lives whichever way we choose. We can like the music we like and play the games we play. We can like and date and love and marry whomever we choose. That stuff is yours, not mine. I'm cool with it. But what I'm not cool with is when we start treating each other with disrespect whatever the reason. We all carry our hypothetical baggage. We're all just figuring out how to unpack it. Why make each other's lives that much harder? If I say something ugly to you, that's on me. And if I don't apologize for it, that's completely on me. I try to treat everyone the way I want to be treated. Admittedly, sometimes I am better at it than others. If I mess up, I try to fix it. And I guess what gets me is when people don't. I think about how they would feel if it was done to them like that and I realize that some people just don't think like that. It's disappointing. I don't want a world where we're all perfect. I just want a world where our imperfections make us that much better. Maybe I get so upset because I can see that we can be great. We all have this amazing potential that we just don't use because of this or that. It's all so simple. Love each other. Be kind to each other. Respect each other. It's just that simple.