I’m nothing like the person I expected to be. Are you? Mornings bring bracing clarity of thought, I’ve discovered, at least since hangovers are no longer part of my balanced breakfast. Things my mind doesn’t want to see directly are right there on a velvet cushion under a featuring spotlight.
Five years ago, anytime there was a mass shooting that involved kids, I laid the blame squarely at the feet of anyone who spoke about the right to own guns. That shooting that brought us professional young douche bag David Hogg? I posted on Facebook that thanks to "gun nuts" many kids would not be going home that night.
This is just one example of how insufferable I was then. And it's not like I am ultra conservative now. I just SEE things that I did not see back then. I legit didn't see how manipulative the left could be. I was right along with the people who "defended" boys who wanted to be girls. I would reply to some Jesus-shouter (as my jackass self called conservative Christians) that they obviously would rather have a dead son than a live daughter. I did. I said that and I am really ashamed.
I was just full-tilt stupid. I wish I could apologize to some of the people that me and my Facebook pals trolled and mocked non-stop. Most likely, the ministers and other Christian topic groups were ran by people who couldn't give a crap about what we said.
I wore it like a badge that I got blocked by the Chick-Fil-A page back in about 2012 when the CEO supposedly gave money to genuinely sick anti-gay groups world wide.
When some famous woman Christian minister openly rejected her son because he was gay? I bought her a "membership" of sorts to the GLAAD organization. I thought I was so clever, and RIGHT.
So yeah, that's my whole point. I, too, figured I would be making much better money (I am) and would be able to contribute to my pet liberal causes. I am not opposed to contribute to some liberal causes, but I no longer make any judgements about any person who identifies as conservative or Christian, or anything even more right wing. I look in the mirror and recall what a queen douche bag I used to be.
While I give myself some time to ponder and respond to your question, I just want to say that I am very glad you are the person you are today.
I can relate. I used to be (so I thought) a leftie, greenie, feminist socialist. I wanted to live in a historic but large city and work in film, preferably as a director. I didn't even think much about kids etc.
Now I'm rather conservative and my main purpose in life is being a mother. I love being a wife too, and my husband and I have ended up replicating pretty traditional roles at home. I don't miss my old dreams at all and wouldn't swap for the world.
It is alienating though at times, especially when old friends now think you're an insane nazi/bigot/science-hater/whatever else that week.
I have what I always wanted but never got when I was younger. Security. I never thought I would be who I am right now. Not that I didn't want my current life, which is good. I was never expected to be anything other that in jail, dead or in some institution by the most important people around me from early on. I have done none of those things. Sure you shouldn't be proud of that, these are simple things you are not supposed to do in the first place but not ending up like that is an accomplishment for someone in my situation. Most of the adults around me tried to direct me into that life, very few did not and I am forever grateful to them. I didn't do what was expected of me, it got me in a lot of trouble, I'm still like that but the individuals around me had some questionable expectations. I never even thought much about what I would be at middle age, I was never encouraged to have a future, so having one is still something I am getting used to, but I'm doing well. Better than most of the people who thought I would never do much of anything.
All the things that were supposed to be some sense of support ended up being major disappointments. Most of all feminism, the one thing I can say I gained from it is that feminists are better misogynists that most incels. The worst racists alive are liberals, I also learned that one the hard way when the progressives around me realized I was not a pet and don't like being pitied. They became very dangerous when they realized people like me have ambitions of our own and are not interested in living up to our stereotypes. I never get that attitude from the conservatives I know.
Public education is mostly a place where those that cannot hang in the real world go for a secure government checks, benefits and a pension, and the ability to have control over vulnerable people while holding most of the populace hostage over money. School is for the adults involved, the kids get almost nothing and it is showing. I survived that system thanks to social promotion, got no real anything out of it other than a drivers license. There are a few good people there but not many if it was a business it would have the for lease sign going up in the front. Yet we send children there all the time, all day, I hope one day this changes. As for the government couldn't agree but don't forget city, county, state they are just as mafioso and useless as their federal cousins.
I never thought that living a rather conventional and traditional life as a wife, stepmother and stepmother-in-law would actually be fulfilling. I was lead to believe that was the worst thing you could do with your life as a woman from early on. But it is, I do plenty of other things despite all kinds of things I have to navigate around. Having very little real school is supposed to be the worst thing a person in our society can have but that is my life as well and I've done better without it, no debt, business owner despite what the government shoves in my way, homeowner in one of the most competitive real estate markets out there, again despite what the government has shoved in my way, a good marriage, great friends and great health for my age.
I still have no idea what I am supposed to be but this half of my life has been much better than the first.
I would like to say I haven’t changed that much. But until the last few years I didn’t think that so much of our country was filled by certifiable nuts and ran by evil megalomaniacs. So has the world changed or has it always been this way and now, mostly due to social media , I can see it for what it has always been? I have always believed in taking personal responsibility for my own actions (too many of which I have not been proud of). My views on the viability of life in the womb changed after I became pregnant the first time. I like to think I became more responsible after becoming a mother but that is still up for debate over 40 years later. I have become even more reclusive and I do not care as much what people think of me. I know I am much happier in my personal life since my second marriage to a man who values me as I am, warts and all.
I think there’s something in everyone that seeks truth. Stronger in some obviously. It gives me some relief to see that average (speaking for myself) middle age men of both sides of the political spectrum are seeking common ground rooted in realistic solutions based on facts. In the past 10-15 years progressives have redefined the political spectrum in the west. They’ve stretched the left limit of liberals up to and beyond even communism. That left people who were once much closer to being near the far limit of what was norm to being somewhere much closer to the middle. I think the inherit problem with this is it may also redefine the middle. Conservatives make too many concessions based of the hysterics of the left.
I became a Leftist because I was against the forever wars. I am an Arab-American, (my father immigrated here, and my mother is from a farming/ blue collar background.). The
re was a lot of conflict within my narcissistic family. As the scapegoat, I was at once rebellious and desperate to belong to something. What could possibly go wrong with that?
From 3rd grade through my sophomore year of high school, I lived in 2 Arab Muslim countries. (My father had teaching jobs)
My adolescence was pure Hell.
So much of my personal development hinged on Pissing Off Dad. Blind rebellion led me down a very self-destructive path, almost like I was saying, "You think I'm a *slut/*druggie */piece of shit?!? FINE. Hold my beer"...
It wasn't until I discovered the Narcissistic Abuse Recovery community that I realized what was going on. I thought that after my narcissistic father died, I could have a better relationship with my siblings, but the scapegoating has only deepened since Golden Child sister has taken over the family.
I accept that I can't win, and I no longer want to be accepted by them.
I never thought I could heal.
But I can.
It is freeing and gives me hope.
I think some parts of my younger self would be horrified at the politics of my older self but really, the big libertarian streak in me was always there. Literally, while in high school in the late 80s, I wrote a paper arguing that the new seat bell law in Michigan was unconstitutional and people had a right to risk their own lives while driving if they wanted to.
But mostly, I'd be very horrified and disappointed to find out that all my dreams would be shattered, that I never found my soul mate, and that I'm struggling with a mysterious neurological illness at 53 (NOT vaxx related but a big FU to fluoroquinolone antibiotics). Oddly, despite the health anxiety and how crappy I can feel on any given day, I'm also far more resilient than I ever imagined I could be, much calmer, and way less neurotic. I'm less angry, and thankfully no longer obsessed with men, which was unhealthy and frankly a waste of my energies. Spiritually, I'm doing much, much better overall.
So what that you would have hated who you became? You knew less back then. Way less. You were probably more interested in doing and thinking what everyone else was doing and thinking than in doing meaningful things, and thinking true thoughts.
I look back at the asleep being that i was and can't believe the difference between then and now..and...now i reflect, how awake am i now? Am I still 1/4 asleep, 1/3 asleep...what does it mean to be awake, aware, fully conscious...for me, its all been a great big lesson in learning about the human ego...its incredible need for wanting to be in charge, to be right, to be unconscious, to be undisturbed...only to grow in rigidity and inflexibility but to suffer a form of terror when that Universal force of love...Essence, Mystery, God, Presence...starts to undo it all...
As a gender-critical G in the LGBTQ+, it was admitting that any notion of trans affirmation that I had ever uttered was masking a fundamental disbelief in the entire phenomenon. And in fact, seeking out voices that were telling the truth has led to a real political and philosophical and emotional evolution over the past year or so. Post-pandemic, I find myself now asking, of everything basically: Who is lying to you? And who is telling the truth? The Right tells lots of lies, too, but on things that are becoming more cohesive for me as I grow older, if they're not always right, they're not always wrong, either. While the Left is celebrating trans affirmation like it's going out of style (and hopefully it will, sometime sooner rather than later). If this has revealed me to be more or less aligned with people I never thought I would be (my father chief among them), it's not my fault I was raised right.
This question shook me. Not because I am someone who I never expected to be but because I realized ( have begun to realize with more clarity ) in recent months that I’ve never had much of an idea of who “I” was, much less who I “should /could “ be. This is not to say I am nothing or feel worthless. I am not/ I don’t. But I’ve never really allowed myself to consciously, intentionally dream for myself. For others, yes. I have lived life as a “ lady in waiting”. Its been a good life in many many ways. But Im bone tired of waiting. Time to dream while awake.
Somehow through the years I got this idea that I shouldn't be so easily satisfied with who I am. I mean, was there no room for improvement? That part was a no-brainer when I realized that I didn't like some aspects of myself in my younger days. Part of the problem was simply that I was "green" in the way young people tend to be self-focused and indeed self-absorbed. Parenthood either makes a person better or makes them worse. Unless you are wealthy and don't have to choose how to spend your limited financial resources (I was never in that class), I found myself wanting to give priority to my kids' needs and wants. Good lord, I was actually thinking about somebody other than moi! Then I learned something about karma. Specifically, that we have a bigger role than we suspect of making our own good karma and bad karma. This is the stuff that acts like a boomerang and comes back to us in one coin or another. Admittedly, the results are unpredictable as far as timing goes so, but I learned something important that is absolutely counterintuitive: the more you give, the more you receive. Don't ask me how that can possibly work, but it does. Kindness, generosity begets more of it, but so does selfishness and greed. Go figure. I don't much care for the "old" me but I think I have made some improvements over the years that benefit my family, friends, neighbors, and just about everybody I encounter. But there's always more work to do.
I am very changed since i was a very young, kind of lefitist and somewhat angry, woman. I, wouldnt have liked the 20 year old me, if we were to meet on the streets 😀😉 But in never bought fully on. I was never a «feminist», though i was in those circles. I grew up in the very conservative countryside...not only consrvative, thats unfair towards conservative. My hometown tended to be narrowminded, envious and with a bully-strike towards anyone trying to be, or actually beeing at least a little bit different than a strict, dumb «norm». Very claustrophobic, and highly unfair...wich triigered a sense of unfairness to groups in me, wich i symphatized with, and also sometimes, romanticided. I find some of my symphaties still kind og valid, but some, obviously, needed to go. I thought big ol Oslo was gonna serve me many solutions, snd that i was gonna find my openminded, curious, truthseeking kindred people! I learned very soon that the people, from ecxactly the sane backgrounds as myself, are not openminded at all, an especially not supressed, wich they liked to pretend, in any way. Its embarrasing! Anyways, I did like the music and the art (and the parties!😀😉) following that scene, so i did, sort of homelessly ideolcily, hang around those people and their scenes. I also tried to be more extroverted then i really am, and found myself exhausted, and possibly exhausting too, and I am happy that i showed my pace down, and are more happy with myself, and are able to choose a little bit more wisely. 🙂
Hehe, but my friend and i used to have this saying...that we have turned in to those people we used to point at, with mild disgust, when we vegre young, rebellious kids. Cause we have in many ways. 😀 I even do yoga. My teenager self would not have looked lightly on that! 😀 Or for liking and listening to Matt Walsh...For moving to the countryside...I dont know, we might had many issues, Im sure. Somehow, that doesnt worry me to much. I would much rather offend and piss of every version of me inbetween years 14 to...24,5,6,7,8 ish, and possible longer, to be honest, than my eleven years old self. She was much, much nicer. 🙂😉
I don't know that I expected (politically) be be anything back in the day. I trusted media, didn't we all, I never got involved in the right/left thing cause it didn't effect me LOL. Although parents were staunch Dems and have one sibling that is the rest of those in the family are conservative.
Thanks for this thread. Politically, I am the same as I was at 17, even at 7: a freedom fighter. Because of the way and place in which I grew up, American-style leftism has never been accessible or comprehensible to me. Personally, I am much less successful and happy than I hoped I would be, although, looking at me, many around me would be surprised to hear it. Feels so liberating writing these lines.