It’s not so much the different “me”s that worry me. How often have you started doing/saying something only to realise that your parents express themselves in exactly the same way? Or you look in the mirror one day to discover that there is a certain resemblance in the mirror which you are sure wasn’t there yesterday.
I am very lucky that my parents are wonderful people but you spend so long trying to forge your own character and personality that it comes as a bit of a shock when you realise that you have become what you have been fighting against. That whole teen angst thing was pointless; the “nobody understands me” part is void; the rebellious/goth/new romantic period was just a phase; the disappearing off round the world to find yourself was just geography. You create all these different “you”s throughout your life and come back full circle to where you started. The very brilliant Stephen Fry said on a Michael Parkinson interview once that humans are the only creatures who try to be what they are not. You will never find a bear trying to be a duck. Perhaps we should all accept the person we are? In my case, my mother….:)
We are given 2 different messages in life: don’t expect too much (because you’ll be disappointed). But then we are also taught to hope and dream – to expect great things.
They are both generally things we are taught by our parents. You get told not to expect too much at Christmas and birthdays when you’re little because your parents are trying to protect you from disappointment (Grandma’s present normally. You always hoped that this year wouldn’t be a knitted sweater. The disappointment when it wasn’t a tape or a computer game cartridge – showing my age!)
The other message is that you can be whatever and whoever you want. This is a great message ! You can! But we get restrictions put on us at school with exams and choices. We have to do what we get good marks in, not necessarily what we want/love to do. A lot of us end up drifting because we follow the choices that school made for us. That is probably why a lot of people get to their thirties and have no idea how to do anything else.
If you were lucky and were taught as I was that Grandma made you that sweater out of love and she thought of you with each stitch. (You realise this about 10 years later!). If you can get through school and get out into the world you can do whatever you like. Even if you get to your thirties and are slightly disillusioned. Change is always possible.
One of my favourite sayings is “shoot for the moon, if you miss you’ll be among stars.” I love this – it says dream big and it doesn’t matter if you don’t make it – at least you will have tried.
Written for the Daily Post “Great Expectations” – https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_writing_challenge/great-expectations/
“A shot aimed is a shot lost. Aim with your eyes shut.”
This goes beyond anything any professional sports person will tell you – you've always got to keep your eye on the ball/goal/prize. Work hard, achieve, put the effort in and you will get the rewards, and you will deserve them. But how much sweeter is life when you risk it all and the risk pays off? If you live within the boundaries and follow the guidelines all the time, will you have missed some of the magic? How about all those times when the outside chance comes in? Sometimes life calls for a little bit of blind faith.
I am not condoning giving up trying at all but maybe once in a while we should all close our eyes and see where life takes us.
A belligerent samurai once challenged a Zen master to explain the concept of Heaven and Hell. But the monk replied with scorn, “You’re nothing but a lout – I can’t waste my time with the likes of you!”
His very honour attacked, the samurai flew into a rage and, pulling his sword from his scabbard, yelled, “I could kill you for your impertinence.”
“That is Hell,” the monk calmly replied.
Startled at seeing the truth in what the master pointed out about the fury that had him in its grip, the samurai calmed down sheathed his sword, and bowed, thanking the monk for his insight.
“And that,” said the monk, “is Heaven.”
How I wish we could all learn our lessons so easily! I tend to fester in my rage rather than it being over and done with so quickly. There’s a lot I could learn here….hmmm
…following on from this, I have just found another anger-related thought written in my note book, which seems appropriate right about now. Benjamin Franklin said, “Anger is never without a reason, but seldom a good one.” How true.