Author: Justin Mckibben
So, people kept telling me for the longest time that nobody’s perfect, and I was kind of confused… how hadn’t they heard of ME yet?! I was pretty sure my life was cooler than driving a Cadillac Bat-mobile while sipping Capri Sun through a silly straw in the fast-lane to Awesomes-R-Us (consider the mic dropped)! But then slowly but surely my teenage years faded into a social life that was something like arm-wrestling a microwave, it didn’t make sense and I didn’t realize I wasn’t winning until it was already put on YouTube.
There all some parts of us that we are less than likely to admit we have, and even harder to accept, but becoming an adult means recognizing these parts of ourselves and embracing them. Not necessarily saying we have to allow our quirks to dominate us, but knowing is half the battle… or something.
- The ‘Know-it-all’ Part
Speaking of knowing, that part of us that is constantly wanting to pretend that nothing is new to us and everyone else is stupid for not having realized it, that part is definitely there… duh!
We all have a part of us that wants to offer useless advice or assumed knowledge on topics that we aren’t exactly experts on, but hey, at least we read that blog that told us some cliff-notes and… wait a minute…
- The Intolerant Part
We all want to pretend we are totally tolerant and open-minded about the opinions of other people, like I have friends who hate chicken and I haven’t completely disowned them… yet.
In arguments about heated topics like:
- Whether that one dress is Blue/Black or White/Gold
- Is Justin Bieber terrible, or just plain awful
People tend to get a little bent out of shape when they have to sit and listen to someone who opposes their beliefs. But in pure opinion-based conversations, there is no ‘Right’ or ‘Wrong’. Yet since we get so fixated in the idea of “correct” and “incorrect,” it’s become almost impossible to discuss without having a debate, even in the most subjective interactions.
At the end of the day we are unlikely to let go of some of these beliefs, even if deep down we have conflicting feelings about the facts. But when can recognize this, we should try and give others some consideration, and remember that we still don’t know it all.
- The Part Where Not Everyone Likes Us
A lot of us struggle with this, even those of us who make a conscious effort to convince the world we don’t. You might not care all the time but surely there was a time something happened, like when the cute barista scribbled your name wrong on your espresso cup, you cracked a joke about it and she looked at you like you had just set her hair on fire… why doesn’t she like you… WHY JESSICA? TELL ME!
Honestly, it really doesn’t matter because not everyone has to. And now that you think about it you don’t even know why you care so much, she may not even know why. Once we come to terms in early adulthood with the fact that we don’t need to be liked, it allows us to value the relationships we have, and not waste time trying to fit into relationships that don’t suit us or others simply to feed our ego.
- The ‘That Awkward Moment’ Part
While writing this I’ve felt like I’m funny for some weird reason. In my head I’m what you’d get if Dave Chappelle and Louis CK had a baby (with a ginger beard and history of drug use). However there are surely numerous people out there reading it who think I should have my fingers broken for writing such bad jokes (please don’t… I need these to type stuff). For that I am truly ambivalent.
What I’m getting at is that we have to come to terms with the fact that we may be on a role where we say all the right things and have all the best jokes, then a minute or a day later we are getting booed off the stage of life. We can’t be at the top of our game all the time, we have to shed the spot-light once in a while. Not being at your peak level of social, intellectual and personal performance 24/7 and 365 is actually acceptable. That awkward moment will happen, without fail, and we should be ready for it. You can’t win all the time.
- The Inner Jerk
I have a group-text that is a continual venting platform for me and a few close friends, and it is one of the best tools I have today for keeping my inner-jerk subdued.
Basically, I am not always as nice as I come across. At times I may simply seem dull or troubled, or calm and concentrated, but inside there is a stock-pile of arrogance, anger and self-importance. I want to tell that person who knows-it-all to keep it to themselves, or tell the idiot who thinks the dress is white/gold to try this new thing called a color-wheel, or track down Jessica and knock over all the cups at her coffee shop!
But I have to maintain that balance of self-control, and this is where the understanding of all these other aspects of myself really can come in handy, too. As I want to be a jerk, I try and ask myself:
- Am I being intolerant?
- Am I being selfish?
- What don’t I know about this situation?
And thankfully when I fail to see that, someone from the group-text will reminded me I’m a jerk, usually accompanied by a monkey emoji.
- The Lazy Part
I’m done (yawn)… you got that…
We are who we are, that much is without a doubt non-negotiable. What we can talk about is how we identify our strengths and weaknesses, and how we can rely on our weaknesses to keep us accountable and provide us with humility, insight and a contrast between us and the social world around us. In active addiction, we often don’t learn how to identify these things, or we block it out because we stop liking who we are. But we are all amazing, and we all deserve a chance at a better life. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135