Things That Make Me Irrationally Upset:
-Plastic shoes. Come on. Your feet sweat and they’re just slipping around in there, slicing off your toes and at the end of the day, the smell is horrendous. What are you doing to yourself? Do you really need a pair of shoes that will outlast the robopocolypse?
-The way that DOMA has such a stupidly misleading name. The Defense of Marriage Act sounds like a good thing, right? No matter how hard I try, I can’t get my brain to wrap around the idea that people want to defend marriage by not letting a bunch of people experience it.
-The way that a person’s whole day/ week can be ruined based on the outcome of a sports game. Seriously? You’ve got more to live for. I assure you.
-The way that when I make a list on Facebook, my second point always gets prefaced by the world’s stupidest emoticon. B) I don’t know anyone who uses that smiley face wearing shades. Just… just stahp!
-The idea that your relationship is only a good relationship if it’s filled with dramatics and turmoil and yelling. Like this horrible song where the point is, “I hate you so much it must be true love.” I could write for days about how this idea (it’s not new) is obliterating our relationships and the way that human beings treat one another in general. Like, if someone treats you the way that an asshole treats people, do not reward that behavior with love and attention! Why would you do that? There’s a thing where two people who love each other can also be kind to one another. I like that one more–and so does anyone within ear shot.
-Hearing about Emma’s wedding on A Beautiful Mess. We get it, you got married. It was adorable. That’s enough, okay? Enough!
And those are all annoying little things or annoying big things that make my blood boil. But there’s a whole different genre of pet peeves that I have and they look like this:
-People who lack follow through.
-People who wish their life was different but make zero effort to do anything about it.
-People who feel like they have to use excessive hyperbole to make their points rather than just letting an honest assessment do the trick.
-People who have complete disinterest in empathizing or seeing things from another person’s perspective.
-People who rain down neg vibes on everyone else’s posi vibes (like, by writing a list of pet peeves).
The difference between these two lists is that if I don’t like plastic shoes, I can just not wear them. It’s that simple.
I can’t say that I got an over abundance of eternal wisdom growing up but there is one thing that my mother always told me that is true and I carry it with me every day. She always said, “what you dislike about other people is usually the very thing that you dislike about yourself.” And damn she was right.
I don’t want to be the kind of person who say she’s going to do something and then never does it. Do you know how many times I say, “I need to take out the garbage” before it actually happens? And that’s just a tiny example.
I want to move forward in my career. In order for me to do that, I have to get licensed and in order to get licensed, I have to study a lot, pay a lot of money, and then take a test that I may or may not pass. There are a few steps between where I am now and where I want to be. Every step is another place where I could easily just say, “Eh, never mind.” I feel like that’s my usual MO. But I want to be the kind of woman who follows through.
People who exaggerate are really difficult to understand, for me. It’s similar to the fable of the boy who cried wolf, but for people who just want other people to listen to them. I feel like when I want a little extra attention, I can have a tendency to exaggerate and get a reaction. But that’s dishonest and then when I want to tell a story that’s actually interesting or explain something the way that I’m actually experiencing it, then either no one will take me seriously or it can’t compete with the tall tales that I already told.
I know that (for some reason) it takes more effort but it’s so much more fulfilling to be a positive person than to be a negative person. But because it takes more effort to look on the bright side of life, complainers frustrate me so much. And the irony is outrageous. I’ll be stomping around the house, angry, yelling at Ryan saying something like, “Why does he have to complain about everything? Doesn’t he know that life is hard enough without his stupid, negative commentary?” And Ryan is gracious to not point out the irony of how mad I am that the world isn’t a more positive place.
In the end, there’s probably a specific theme between the more serious pet peeves. They all relate back to a fear that I have of being untrustworthy. I want to be an honest woman in all of the ways that are possible. I want to be fair and empathetic, I want to have follow-through and I want to be an uplifting and positive person. I want you to know that I mean what I say, exactly the way that I say it. On one hand, these pet-peeves are a peeve in and of themselves. But on the other hand, I can use it for good. I could stomp around the house and let it frustrate me or I could recognize these irritations for what they really are (fear that I probably exhibit the very qualities that I hate) and use them to do better. All it requires is the effort of a perspective change. I say “all it requires” like a perspective change comes easily. It doesn’t. It usually doesn’t come without a fight.
It takes time and effort to meet the person that you really are.
It takes work, real work, to become the kind of person that you want to be.
In the end, I have control only over me. I am in charge of how I react to the outrage on the news, the complainers on Facebook, the plastic shoes of the world.
But, seriously though. I know I’m not the only one who struggles this way. Can we all try to work as a village to make life just a smidge easier on the other villagers? And maybe think twice before we find ourselves complaining just to complain or refusing to empathize with someone who may have a different viewpoint, or submit misleading bills to congress?
I thank you for your time.