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20 Something else
It seemed like a good idea at the time

A friend who happens to be family was going through somethings recently and they needed some encouragement about rectifying the mistakes they'd made in their lives in their younger "more ridiculous" years.

You know the one's 

Those years when you believed the commercials that told you if you drink this you'd be stronger, faster, more beautiful, hotter, smarter, taller, sexier than you would ever be without it.

We all fall for it, they've done research folks they pay a lot of money to see how gullible we can be. They just have to find the right key.

People would have us believe that  to change our lives we have to repent for our "sins",

that we must come before them and ask forgive for all the bad decisions, one night stands, wasted nights waking up in alcoholic induced stupors, for the children we neglected, the missed opportunities, the selfish concessions, the idiotic thoughts and movements of a person learning who they are and what they want in life.

These "noble" forces of divine right place themselves as judge, jury, executioner, and redeemer once we've decided to make our lives real instead of the caricatures we were reliving.

O you've seen'em the pious friends who "just want us to know", the family members "who are just looking out for our best interest", the boss "who just want you to get the best out of this opportunity", the co-worker who "just wants you to know what you're facing so you know how not to fall", the supportive lover/friend/significant other "who just wants the best for you no matter what".

The one thing they all have in common is the fact that they keep reliving your mistakes for you.

"girl remember when you used to...." and "o yeah remember how you when you did this that happened...you don't want to go through that again do you"and "O yeah chile how bout when you did that..." and they shake their head knowingly sending you immediately back to moment in time when your "crimes" was established.

and the one thing that happens every time is that you doubt the choices you make now,

every single thought is weighed, re-weighed, optioned out for merit, auctioned out to support members to view its worth,

hell the .99 meal menu choices at your local fast food place is suddenly a life or death consultation with your therapist, mother-in-law or priest with a second opinion from your best friend thrown in for added confidence boosters.

REALLY

We all judge....we can't help it,

the moment someone asks our opinion of something we immediately try it out with what we would do.

That's the problem, its not what we would do, most of the time it will never affect what or who we are. but we treat it as though it will.

I recently had to tell a few folks whom I know love me, even if its way way down deep underneath the underbrush of the underbelly of their hearts, to back off. I'd made a comment about some career decisions and suddenly it was "Wabbit Season". 

Everybody had an opinion on what I should do,

they reminded me of what happened the last time I did X thing and it didn't work out well and lost all that money and had to go live with my parents and went on welfare for a while and then I didn't get another job for almost a year.

"Uh...thanks?" I think I'll just go hang myself now, can you hand me that flaming bottle of kerosene so I can torch myself while I do it. 

Appreciate that

One person even said "O you're still doing that, man I thought you would've have learned by now". For a few very interesting moments I sat there in this out of body experience moment.

You know the one.

Where everything is in slow motion and the voices are slowed down so you can hear every syllable and your head is dramatically whipping from side to side as your mouth hangs open waiting for the chance to insert your foot because it was all your fault for opening up your mouth...yeah it was like that.

Finally I had to say very politely..."but I didn't ask you"

Now you would think that at this point in the conversation somebody would look at me like Fluffy, the overdrooling St. Bernard and say "O okay" and take a sip of wine as they retracted momentarily from the dig and retraced our relationship lineage to see if it were worth saving. 

BUT NOOOOOOOO!

that did not happen, in fact just the opposite

they continued the conversation as though I wasn't even there, I finally put my hands on my hips and said rather abruptly. "but I didn't ask you"

Now all the heads turn and look at me as if I've just bitch slapped the crap outta granny in the corner.

But the truth was, it wasn't a question, it was a statement

and yes, Virginia there is a difference

"You don't have to like the choices I make, but you will respect the decisions I've chosen" and I went on to remind them that I'm a grown ass woman who has pretty much been taking care of herself for at least 10 good years now and none of my children, plants, animals or significant others have been harmed, maimed or died in the process.

ok there was that one time years ago when I mistakenly put bleach in the planter...but that was one time and technically Rupert was begging for it...he wouldn't give up a single flower unless I  played Votaire and sang to him at 5am...I don't do 5am for nobody especially not some overwatered petunia with a god complex and no buds.

He was grateful for that damn water bucket after that little incident....he let all the other plants know too..."don't fuck wit her before 7.... it'll cost cha"

But that's beside the point

The fact that I choose to live my life a particular way is what's best for me and mine, how you choose to live yours is whats best for you. 

We are not the same, and what works for you may not necessarily work for me

I have family members who have become offended because I tell them I'm not cut out to work a gov't 9-5, it eats at my soul.  they even went so far as to say "yeah I was gonna tell you, you got one more time to say that one before I said something".

Pumpkin, I hate to tell you this but it ain't about you. I'm not trying to offend but this ain't about you

...its about me!

My universal theme song!

If you're path is to work for Mitchell and Roebuck for 40 years that's your path, I ain't knocking your hustle.

But when I tell you, I can do 2 maybe 3 years in the corporate sector before I have the urge to tear my eyeballs out, seek therapy and leave then where does that reflect upon you.

What about my acknowledging my truth has anything to do with you acknowledging your own.

Mine isn't any better or worse than yours, I commend you for spending that much time at one place....because it works for you . But my path is something different, something that I haven't been able to recreate yet so that it pays me enough to make my rent, pay for groceries and a car note.

Don't get mad at me because your blues ain't like mine

I'm on a roll now ya'll 

I have lived a good portion of my life trying to please other people, trying to be this shining example of what they believe a responsible human being worth substance is, shadow their movements and recreate their lives within my own home. 

the problem with that is 

its not my life, its their's

I like my house a little messy....it makes me feel good because its lived in...

some people need to clean their house every week in order to get that same feeling

You spend the early part of your adulthood looking for what feels good, testing out the fragrances to see what smells better, what makes you smile more. that's what its there for.

For the first time in your life, these are your choices not your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, girlfriends, boyfriends, teachers....they're yours.

You are suppose to fuck up, thats how you know what you don't like.

I always tell my children....tell me what you don't like....lets start there, it gives us something to work with

and if you make a mistake....you know what NOT to do next time.

it takes awhile to discover who you are and what you want to be

but it only takes a second to discover who you aren't

The 20's of your life is getting to uncovering that, but when you grow up and look at yourself in the mirror stop cross referencing someone's else life with yours.

Stop allowing their decision to eat popcorn make you put away your cheetos.

We are not one in the same

the universe made us different for a reason

and if we keep allowing others people opinions to become our existence then we are doomed to live a life of unfulfillment. You know those people who find no pleasure in anything...even the ice cream they eat has no flavor to it. They're constantly telling you what they used to do back in the day, where they used to go, what car they used to drive, how they wish they could run off to Brazil and live naked on the beach.

Thats what you get when you allow other people to repeatedly remind you of the choices and decisions you made when you were growing into who you wanna be.

Its ok to not walk down memory lane, to regret some choices and not want to relive moments when you were a complete asshole or idiot 

but the beautiful thing about growing into yourself as you know it

is that you're not there anymore.....and don't you forget it.

"there's been times in my life....I been wondering why..."

There have been times in my life
I've been wondering why
Still somehow I believed...

You think that maybe it's over
Only if you want it to be
Are you gonna wait for your sign, your
miracle
Stand up and fight
This is it
Make no mistake where you are
This is it
Your back's to the corner
This is it
Don't be a fool anymore
This is it
The waiting is over
No room to run
No way to hide
No time for wondering why
It's here
The moment is now....

Stand up and fight
This is it
Make no mistake where you are
This is it
You're going no further
This is it
Until it's over and done
No one can tell you what you know
Who makes the choice of how it goes
It's not up to me this time
You know
There comes a day in every life
This is it
Make no mistake where you are
This is it
You're going no further
This is it
Until it's over and done
This is it
One way or another
This is it
No one can tell what the future holds
This is it
Your back's to the corner
This is it
You make the choice of how it goes
This is it
The waiting is over
This is it
No one can tell what the future holds
This is it
You're going no further

THIS IS IT....Kenny Loggins