Monday, September 20, 2010

We Were Born This Way

Do your parents and/or sibling(s), even childhood friends, still view you as your 12-year-old self? Does your spouse or lover or boss only view you as the person you are, and not the person you've become?

When I used to ask my dad if life got better, or if I should enjoy [insert stage; e.g. middle school, puberty--or the lack thereof--or, what felt like the grips of mean girls akin to a Courtney Summers young adult novel], he said, you have something to look forward to--he said it convincingly, but slowly and cryptically, as usual. Hm. I think about that at least once a year. And starting with my year abroad in college, he was right. It just keeps getting better. Wiser. Secure-er. Exciting-er.

With each new life step--steps that mean you get to organize your own bookshelves, till your own garden, part your hair however you want, wear your favorite T-shirt over and over if you want--you pave your own way. But there's even more--I know it's hard to believe--but there is. You get to pick exactly who you hang out with. What you do on the weekends and in the evening. What you do and who you live with. Whether you play the piano or on the computer. Whether you sit there and do nothing or run around like a tailless lizard. We could go on and on, couldn't we? Steps that lead you away from annoying people and into the arms of people who haven't had the chance to annoy you yet. Into a state with seasons, or a place that skips the shitty ones.

But the dark side of a new moon is that your accountant wants proof you tallied your invoices right (good idea); your workplace demands consistent excellence and sweetness; your newfound friends need to know you're not a snob or a prude or an idiot; your in-laws want to know about the baby stage; your neighbors about the dog that barked and is now three-legged; your new lunch spot your new usual. New, new, new.

So it's a toss-up, between nostalgia and newness. And as we age, the former seems to get worse. The memories and catchphrases repeated too often. The throwbacks to the good 'ol days and the obsession with death. Enough. Politicians are always fucked up and music is always pushing the envelope.

Image courtesy of Fridinger BBQ 2.0
We were born this way, baby, Lady Gaga growls pitch perfect as she claims one of her 8 moon men at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards and preludes her next album. Though I walk the precipice of artist intent, I daresay, we were born screaming and imperfect, stuck but in an oyster. We grow into humans that choose meaty rib cages or Paradoxical organics and vegan foodstuffs, create companies like Lockheed Martin, and question everything, including the end of the world and why it's not fun to hang out with people who suck the life out of knowledge and objects, therapy and conversations and charity.

Grow with grace, little monsters. And keep asking, "How did I get here?". Because you don't want to end up but be reborn.

Courtesy of Dezign with a D


Pritchard Orthodontics said...

The moral of the story? As a parent, pray daily that the words you speak are true, genuine, heartfelt and inspiring. Hopefully, you have developed a talent for selective memory. Thank you for being you. Love you always, Dad

Aly said...

Selective memory, check.
And love you more.