Tag Archives: growing up

Wait a second, I don’t have to explain myself…but I’m going to.

Since my mom’s diagnosis, my family and I have had some discussions about things we’ve never talked about before. One of the topics that seems to creep around more often are our personality traits ~ who is more like who, etc. We probably all have some variations of opinions on this, but I’ve expressed to my parents that I feel my sister is more like my dad and that I am more like my mom.

One big difference is that my dad and sister will debate topics, while I have no desire to do so. I bring up this particular personality attribute because it’s been talked about quite a few times now, with me being told by my dad that I tend to get angry at him often when he tries to tell me things. My parents view me as the sensitive child…the weaker one.

I say “weaker” because in a conversation a few months ago about this, my mom expressed concern that I would let my sister bulldoze over me. I personally look at people who allow others to run over them as weak – the word “weak” was not used specifically in this conversation or any others after. My sister’s personality is big and bold – when she walks into the room, people notice her. I also have a big and bold personality, I just choose when and where to showcase it. I don’t view my sister as bulldozer and I don’t see myself as a doormat.

I’ve calmed down in my 30’s. There are a lot of things – ideas, opinions – that I realized I had spent too much time on. I had too much emotional energy directed toward things and people that really didn’t matter. I feel I was more sensitive then – I cared more about others, I cared more about being right, about being seen and heard; cared more about what others thought.

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Life kicked me in the pants in my early 30’s and I realized that, even by caring what others thought, people were going to think whatever they wanted to anyway. They were going to gossip; they were going to go about their lives in the way they saw fit, no matter what I said or did. So why was I caring so much? Why was I wasting energy I could use to focus on bigger and better things on things I could not change? Things that weren’t my job to change? Those things were unnecessary speedbumps in my life and I was sick of having to constantly replace the tires and wheels of my car.

So, no, I don’t debate. If you feel a certain kind of way, I will listen (as long as it’s not super unproductive, hateful or ridiculous), but it isn’t my job to tell you if you’re wrong. Life has a way of doing that to people; it certainly did for me.

I spend my free time trying to do things that bring me peace; no where in any of that is confrontation, conflict, or bad-feelings.

Is it perfect? No; life is not easy, but I think I have the energy to tackle it because I spend way less time on things I used to that created feelings of unhappiness and unease in my life. People have told me over the years that they wished they had the energy and motivation that I appear to haveThis may be why – it’s the road I chose and the one that works best for me. I think that when we find the right path in our lives, we care less about the thoughts and opinions of others. We become less volatile and more evenly-balanced. At least until it’s time for the path to change.

It is just strange to me that I would be viewed as sensitive and/or weak by those close to me simply because I often choose not to engage and that my choice to not engage and create a distance is viewed as “anger”. It isn’t anger and it’s not complete detachment either. Sometimes it’s disappointment; sometimes it’s a little bit of sadness for the person. I’d just rather walk away in some situations than argue through them; I’d rather preserve my inner peace and move on with my life. But I suppose I’m falling into an old bad habit here – caring what others think of who I am and feeling that it needs an explanation. It doesn’t.

So, where does my mom’s personality fall in all of this?

I see her in the woman I’ve been becoming in my 30’s. Content to let you think what you want without becoming attached to it; content to be quiet and have quiet hobbies. No real desire to argue or debate unless it’s truly of importance. More inclined to listen than speak. I see this in my sister, too.

But my analysis of things comes from my dad, I think. My dad’s personality traits in me created this blog post and likely all of my blogs in general.

Things change when you get older.

Looking back to, say, 15 years ago (let’s get real, I didn’t get my shit together until I was about 27 or 28) ~ I was loud and probably obnoxious to most people. I wore bright, flashy clothing and sky-high heels. (The more those heels resembled a pair a stripper might wear at work, the better!) I was rude, quite judgmental, and thought I knew everything. Everything about me was loud and screamed ignorance. One of the attorneys at my job, Claude, uses the word “vituperative” and that word not only sounds really awesome, it would be a word that would have accurately described me back in the day when I was apparently determined to be an asshat.

Fast forward ~ I’m 35 now. I’ve noticed some changes in me in the past number of years, especially the last two or three.

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I prefer nights in over nights out. I don’t bother with most people beyond politeness. My circle of friends is tight-knit and small; I don’t mess with people who have ulterior motives or who simply speak to me out of convenience. My life is very busy and full but I’ve calmed down so much. My life has been revved up but I feel more at peace. My nails have chilled out, too, for example. I went from doing whatever I could to stand out cosmetically to wanting my personality and my talents speak for me instead.

I don’t need to be the center of attention. Honestly, I’d prefer not to be. I don’t need to carry the weight of a conversation ~ I’m comfortable with silence. I don’t need to force relationships with people and I find myself less emotionally tied up when things don’t go my way. Instead of feeling like I know it all, I feel like the older I get the less I really do know and what right do I have to pass a lot of judgment? I don’t need to always be connected to someone or something. It’s okay to “miss out”. I don’t need to absorb the baggage of another person’s emotional well-being and/or their behavior. I can’t control anyone else; I can only control me.

A place in the background feels honestly perfect. It’s a great spot to grab a bag of popcorn and watch others flit about, figuring their lives out. It’s the perfect spot to see who the loudest person is – because I know from experience – usually the loudest person in the room is the one who feels the most insecure.