Friday, August 10, 2012

Fifty on Friday #3

I kind of slacked off on last week's post. There were obviously Very Important Things going on that prevented me from even pre-writing it and scheduling it. The most important of those VITs was spending time with Jynni, because the whole "long distance" thing means it will be a while before I can spend time with her again. Instead of this installment of Fifty on Friday, you got forced to endure treated to an amusing/embarrassing story!

Never fear, though, because I'm back with it this week, despite the fact that I'm missing the buttons for my shift keys. It's much more annoying trying to use the little nubs that the buttons were designed to press down on... I think I need to see about getting the keyboard on this netbook fixed.


#18: Are you holding onto something you need to let go of?
Actually, as of this writing, I'm not. I've learned that holding grudges is kind of like letting someone live in your head, rent-free (thank you, Evil Wil Wheaton, for that analogy). Unless we're talking physical things, in which case there are probably a few things that I could do without, if I felt that getting rid of them was a necessity.

#17: What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? What's holding you back?
The quick and easy answers to this would be "get tattooed" and "dye my hair unusual colors", both of which are being held back by finances. In the case of tattoos, it's because those bastards aren't cheap, and in the case of oddly-colored hair... that one is just because bosses in customer service tend to dislike that, and I can't really afford to have any workplace punishment meted out, like a write-up for dress code violation or something stupid like that.

The harder answer would be to tell my family, proudly, of my atheism. I've never been sure how they would react, and wouldn't want to lose those familial relationships, just by being a bit more socially liberal, and by not believing in anything. You can repeat the "if they'd hate you for it, why keep them around" rhetoric that I've heard a dozen times... they're still my family.

#32: If not now, then when?
This question's pretty appropriate for a few situations in my life, as well as for the above question. Most of the situations boil down to "when it's financially viable", and "when I haven't got as much of a burden on me". If you know my situation, you'll be able to intuit how those responses apply.

#9: To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?
100% of what led me to where I am now, I had some modicum of control over. To quote one of my favorite teachers from high school, "The only thing you have to do is die. Everything else is just puzzling choices". Some of the choices had highly undesirable alternatives to what I chose, but still, it was a choice. I didn't have to move in and help mom out financially. I didn't have to wait until junior year to give a shit about high school, preventing me from graduating on time.

My entire life, both the good things and the bad things, is my fault. And I'm okay with that.

#45: If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?
As a culture, we have an idea of perfection that we've burnt deep into our brains. Because of that, we associate mistakes with failure, and failure keeps us from perfection. Until we can get over that, nobody will want to make mistakes, even if they learn from them.

While I don't enjoy making mistakes, I've overcome that societal programming enough to learn to accept my mistakes. I try to use them to better myself, however I can. And I'm learning to reward myself for my successes, because I spent way too long being down on myself, and too harsh a judge of my mistakes.


Anonymous said...

re: #45 ~

I agree. As much as folks trumpet the "it's the journey, not the destination..." mantra, they don't really believe that. We are continually 'should' on.

Very hard to buck the societal view of what we should be doing or, son, are doing a fine job. Carry on.

Justin Barlow said...

I appreciate the kind words, my anonymous visitor, and hope that you continue to keep reading. Having bent the fabric of time and space for my advantage, I'm going to guess that you'll probably like what Justin-in-the-future types up for the five questions next week!

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