I have had this post in my drafts for almost a month now.
I keep coming back to it and typing some words and sentences and paragraphs and then deleting them.
So yesterday, I took some time with myself to figure out why I kept doing this. Why do I keep passionately writing about this topic and then deleting it?
Here are my results:
I'm afraid I'm gonna be met with resistance from the people in my generation and older. And that's not based on random nonsense either, it's based on past experiences.
Y'all know me, I'm always hungry for something new. I love discovering things and then introducing folks to them. I also love testing and trying things out, but that's for a different blog. (Today I tried a new "energy drink" on my instagram though and it was really yummy.)
A lot of that discovery comes from people younger than me.
And when I discover something new that I love, I also want to shout it from the rooftops and share it with all the people I love.
Time after time, though, it gets written off as "young people stuff" or "I'm too old for that."
So for a while, I just STFU. It annoyed me. It made me feel bad for getting excited about things.
And even worse were the people who I considered close friends that would make fun of me for being passionate about something that's not "age appropriate". Or brush it off with an immediate, "I don't get it." and moving on.
That fucking HURTS.
Being open and vulnerable and sharing something you're truly excited or passionate about is hard so when someone does that with you... take some time with it.
Listen to your friend. I mean, they're your friend because you like them and you're interested in what they're saying, right?
So, listen. Be open.
Ok, so that's why I've been avoiding writing this.
Also, I feel like every single letter that gets pounded into the keyboard on this topic reads preachy and I do not want that.
One of the clearest examples for me comes from TikTok. I didn't save the video, so please bear with my terrible description.
The TikTok was a mom taking a video of her giving her son a gift he was thrilled to receive. He was sweet and squealy excited and it was lovely to see.
However, the mom's house was a mess, clutter everywhere, sink full of dishes, laundry everywhere. You could tell that she'd been going through some parenting shit.
I am a naturally curious person, so I often read the comments on TikTok to see how folks react to things. This video was no exception and I was equally touched and horrified at what I saw.
Half of the comments were people saying variations on this theme:
"How in the fuck can you live like this!"
"Someone should call CPS!"
"This is is so gross. I can't believe her kid is living like this."
And oof, y'all. Judgemental much? So I clicked through these profiles (I told you I was very naturally curious) to see what kind of people they were.
They were all my age or older.
And here's the thing, they're probably lashing out like this because that's the way we were taught.
They can't imagine a world where other people don't have to suffer the same judgements or uphold the same rigid standards that we did, so they try to force people into ridiculous, old fashioned, nonsensical standards.
If you find yourself in that camp, I urge you to think about how much easier and more relaxed your life might have been if you didn't have to live up to all of these unrealistic expectations.
BECAUSE, here is what the other half of the comments were:
"Hey, mama. He looks so happy. Do you need any help?"
"Hi! I own a cleaning business and would love to offer you a free cleaning to get back on track. Where are you located?"
"Do you have a venmo? I would donate to help you make that sweetie smile that big again."
They were gentle... and helpful. They understood how much work it is to raise a child. Alone or partnered. They didn't judge, but they offered help.
It felt nice.
So, again, I did the click through to some of the profiles... all of them were young. Younger than me and my generation at least.
And they treated her like a human, not a monster. Like a mom who was struggling, not a terrible mother who deserved to have her children taken away.
I mean, yes, I would still feel embarrassed about strangers on the Internet offering help to clean my messy house, because I should be able to take care of everything myself and never ever ask for help because that is weak.
But that's because that's the way my generation was raised.
Now? I think that's bullshit.
I think it's strong to ask for help... and give it!
I know this is not something I was good at in the past (asking for help), but I'm getting better.
How many of you can relate to this?
Have you been quick to judge a stranger or friend for something someone has judged you for in the past... for that reason? Like, I got judged for this, so I guess I should judge everyone else the same way.
I know I have.
Now, though, I'm trying to take a step back and figure out if they need judgement... or they need grace. Or effin' help!
Spoiler alert: it's very rarely judgement.
I see so many people from my generation (and older) nowadays doing mean hurtful things like posting people's dirty cars and making fun of them or shaming them for meal they made that night not being 'healthy' enough.
What the fuck good does that do? Make you feel superior?
Maybe figure out what hole you're filling inside of yourself by judging others. Then fill it with something positive.
And don't even get me started on all the yucking of entertainment yums that my generation does.
Fucking let people like what they like, PLEASE. We don't need your opinion on every single thing.
Don't like today's rap? Fine, but don't fucking shit all over it.
Don't like the latest food craze? Ok, cool, but don't make other people feel bad for enjoying it.
If you don't like it? STFU and move on. I am so bored at people making others feel less than for liking things.
OH! Even worse is people who judge you based on what you haven't yet been exposed to!
Ain't yet seen Good Will Hunting? It's not your fault!
Never hear a lick of New Found Glory? It's not your fault!
Haven't yet tried Theo's Fried Chicken? COME OVER AND LET ME SHARE IT WITH YOU.
In conclusion, I feel weird for this very long blog post about this topic, because I feel like I am only scratching the surface of all the things my brain wants to say about it.
I also feel like I am kind of judging people who's whole personality is judging things. But I'm just so tired of judgement.
I'm ready for acceptance to be the standard.
So I guess my point is, stop holding strangers up to these ridiculous standards we were held up to. Let them get joy where they can.
And instead of shitting all over things other people love, why don't you go find something to love yourself?
p.s. Also, who am I to say any of this? This is just how I want to move forward in my life. If this ain't you, cool, go on with your bad self. Don't judge me when I disappear though. lol.