Experience(s)

There is nothing comparable to a first-hand experience….

The other day I was reaquainted with a former co-worker turned close friend. While he reminded me of what a realist I can be, he also mentioned how dark things can get and how it’s too much for him to handle. Naturally I took this as a flattering compliment but began to reflect on just what it is that makes the things I have to say so hard to digest. I try and keep the raunchy language to a minimum. My subject material while may not be family oriented necessarily is still on relatable topics. Ah! I think I understand now.

I can remember conversations with friends where I describe where my dark humor comes from. I try and find the line that separates what is too far and what is acceptable and find a comfortable medium on the fence between the two. There are times in which the line is undefined, in which I need to cross it to know where it lays. I would be lying if I surprised myself with disapproval in how far said line has been disregarded. Needless to say, I get a kick out of the obscure and all that makes us feel uncomfortable a primary social level. To expand on this idea, I am also open to considering any and all opposing arguments to almost all topics of discussion in hopes to find a balance to those who require balancing. Stay with me here. I am snowballing to a view I hold dearly that puts all these ideals into practice that I believe will enlighten those who may or may not live more restrictive lifestyles.

As the title of this blog suggests, experiences are a vital part of human (and all other species) development. If right now you are completely lost by all of the above mentioned speech, I offer you a phrase that may get you back on track. We learn from our mistakes. Not only do we learn from our mistakes, but we retain more learned information from our mistakes. If you consider yourself more easy-going and liberal in the learning process, then like me, you will be open to the idea of making mistakes to learn from. For most of us twenty-somethings, we’ve experiences the effects of consuming certain drugs or alcohols to intolerable levels. This may or may not result in dire consequences like legal infractions and public embarrassment. Thankfully for a personality such as myself, personal embarrassment is just as potent as embarrassment from the public. I sometimes catch people giving me odd faces when I show a look of interest when sharing tragic and unfortunate stories of loss and unfortunate circumstances. When asked why, my go-too response is that it’s a story to tell. If something bad has happened to you, you have a better chance at remembering it on your own than if everything goes honky-dory. I cannot begin to describe how thankful I am of my self-aware (and borderline insecure) tendencies keep me in check from making a fool out of myself. That being said, I am able to realize what a learning experience loss and failure can bring.

Having considered starting a colony of my own with a relationship that didn’t work out so well, I cannot help but notice parents and their behaviors with and without their kids. I’ve come to a consensus that the majority of parents in southern California want to steer their kids in the right direction until the time comes when they are physically and mentally prepared to make decisions for themselves. It is here where the lines begin to blur and one parent’s judgment of whether a child is old enough may be different than another’s. Thus leading to restrictive practices that I frankly can’t help but disagree with. If a bad experience results in the most amount of information retained with the least amount of redundance, then why not make this the standard parenting principle?

Right away I acknowledge that this is a radical view and can be fatal, or seriously harmful for the subject no matter the age. When scenarios reach extremes such as these, by all means, show them the way and keep that beating heart alive. Having said that, most other matters should be brushed aside in my opinion.

Having been raised by parents whose diets resemble that of teenagers, I was given no dietary restrictions as a child. Growing up in a household such as this made things less stressful and more enjoyable for a kid like myself who moved around and eventually no longer remained and only child, and underwent a separation of the two birth givers. To this day I can nearly recall the exact moment in which I decided that I need to get my life in check on a dietary nutritional level. During the transition from junior high to high school, I can remember consuming some type of fast food in which eating made my mood feel worse than before I had ate it. This on top of the social expectations that were stirred up by others on the proper way to behave in high school sparked a growing change in my character. As a result, I have made a drastic change in what I choose to put in my body. My parents sadly (mainly my father) have not changed much of anything in regards to their diet and exercise level and now are suffering the long-term consequences of said decisions.

Even on an emotional level I have learned that my parents’ way of showing affection was through jest in public settings made me realize that public displays of affection and any type of cheesy and raunchy forms of showing someone you admire their beauty give me legitimate anxiety and inevitable sadness. They didn’t refrain from showing their friends all the cool tricks they could make me do by reciting who the greatest dad in the world was in front of all to see. This attempt at justifying creating a child (a task nearly anyone, no matter the age or mental maturity) if attempted in the present day, will be responded with scorn and disgust. The point I am getting at is that all of these are experiences that I have learned from and shall never forget.

Experiences like these do not require constant reminders such as, “Don’t go out partying with those friends of yours” or “Don’t start drinking if someone offers you anything.” On the contrary, it’s crucial experiences such as these that our youth can learn from the most by having less restrictions. Parents love to pitch this romantic idea of them explaining to their kids all the troubles they’ve gone through to their kids and how their kids should retain all the information their parents choose to share as if gold was spewing from their mouths in a time of financial hardship and expect to be told one time and go on about their lives. The majority of the parenting experience is repeating yourself over and over again. What human being with a brain in their head genuinely believes that all of a sudden it isn’t going to take hundreds of attempts just to make something stick? I see young adults today working at a job they don’t favor and treat like a secondary priority and presume that once their big-time career they’ve been planning to do for the rest of their lives is going to spark some sudden change in behavior.

We are all grown adults here. Therefor we can all agree that the majority of us are creatures of habit. After a certain age (I believe it’s 25. Don’t ask me how I know) it becomes significantly difficult to incorporate new habits into our lifestyles. That being said, why not try a different tactic to solidify true and positive change in one’s character? Just because alternative practices may not be socially accepted doesn’t mean they are completely ineffective. Hell, there are people who still beat their kids because they believe it works over other teaching techniques. If there are still ignorant humans out there that still do this, why not consider other options in incorporating change to those around you big and small? Much like the drug addict that needs to hit rock bottom in order to change their ways, we too as sober (or maybe not sober) human beings may require such drastic changes to lock in genuine good.

That’s what’s been on my mind these past few days. That and an all too familiar sense of wanting to distance myself from everybody and feel numb in my own personal space. All of my thoughts and views reflect my personal character and allow me to truly identify who I am as a person. It may be too much to handle for some, and that is their own personal problem. For those that can stomach the subject matter, you are one step closer to an enlightened state. Until next time….

-dfj

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