Wednesday, March 31, 2010
So, this week's chosen prompt is: #4 “let he who hath no sin cast the first stone…” Is there anything you have judged prematurely, only to find yourself walking in the same shoes later?
For the most part, I like to think of myself as a very non-judgemental person. My philosophy is "live and let live", meaning if someone wants to live their life a certain way and it doesn't directly affect me, than I say "who cares?!". However, I wouldn't be human if I were never critical of others' choices and I'd be a liar if I said I've never thought to myself "they are crazy". We all do it and usually unconsciously.
Even though I consider myself non-judgemental, I do admit that I can be extremely cynical. I've been told I'm pessimistic, but I would call myself a realist. I'm practical and independent. I've always done things on my own and in my own way and that's the way I like it.
I'm sorry to say that I've looked at others who aren't this way with condescension; laughed at their foolishness of doing everything according to another person's wants/needs, rather than their own. Of falling head over heels in love after a week or two and blindly deciding to take huge life steps before really thinking about them, or just spending every waking minute with a significant other. I've always dismissed this kind of behaviour as silly, self-conscious and immature. I had a personal vow to never do this myself and was really convinced that I never would. I took solace in the fact that I was a rational person with two feet firmly on the ground.
So, when I decided I thought it would be a great idea to move into my first apartment a little over a year ago, with my boyfriend at the time, whom I'd only been dating approx. 9 months, it's hard to say where this stoic nerve went. What a stupid decision. Neither of us had ever lived in our own place, plus we hadn't been together long enough to really know each other deep down. You could see someone every single day for two years and think you know them, but still not be fully prepared to live with them. I see now that I was desperate for my own place and I used our relationship as a way to get that; a way to afford this lifestyle change. And, as ashamed as I am to admit it, I probably got caught up a little bit in the romance of it all; in being with someone who loved me enough to want to start building a life with me. I didn't see these things at the time, of course, but it became crystal clear after a few months.
Needless to say, we did not live together well.
After I came to the realization that this was an incredibly stupid and rushed decision, I wanted to kick myself. Where had that independent, rational, grounded girl gone?! Out of anyone I knew, I was the last person I would ever think would make such a dumb decision. I felt ashamed and silly. I had become those girls that I scoffed at with disdain; the ones that took chances on love. Psssh, please!
Now that I've had some perspective, I don't regret the decision. The embarrassment still stings a bit, but I wouldn't take it back if I could because I learned so much. I learned what a big step moving in with someone is, I learned I like living alone, I learned that I am tough, that I can make tough decisions and follow through with them even though they suck (along these lines, I also learned that the right decision doesn't necessarily feel good, and the wrong decision sometimes does). In other words, I grew up.
Most of all I'm glad that I took the chance. Always being a grounded, rational person frankly was kind of boring. Sure, it's safe and it may keep you from getting into some dramatically stressful situations, but it will also ensure that you never have any great stories to tell, and what's the fun in that?! How are you going to learn who you are and what you will/won't tolerate if you don't take the leap? You would think this kind of experience would make me gun-shy, and it has in a way - I will certainly think longer and harder before moving in with someone again - but it has also made me more open to chance. Life never turns out how you plan it anyway (NEVER!) so sometimes a chance is all you have. Besides, me and my ex are friends now, so it all turned out for the best.
I still judge my friends when they talk about moving in with their boyfriends or getting married and having babies. I feel scared for them and worry to myself that they are rushing or that they don't really understand what they are getting themselves into. But, underneath that voice of cynicism and judgement there is now a more wise, calm and optimistic one; a voice that wholeheartedly and genuinely says: "good for them".