Putting Away Childish Things… (a rant)

For most of my twenties I had the sneakiest, underlying suspicion that all adults felt like children trying to play the role of an adult. I never felt as grown up as some of my responsibilities seemed to imply I should feel. I always felt like I was getting older….but not necessarily grown up….

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However, the past year I have felt a difference – a shift – and it has got me thinking a lot about how exactly we define maturity. Is maturity having a stable job and income? Is it graduating with a college degree? Is maturity living on your own? Owning a home? Paying for things like sewer and trash pick up? Is maturity getting married? Having kids? Is maturity leaving childish things behind and, if so, what exactly constitutes “childish things” and who gets to make that determination?

The whole not having kids thing has certainly made me feel like I am “behind” in this thing called adulthood. Not that we’re racing, but that I have somehow not crossed a threshold of mature womanhood as have 99% of my friends. It also gives people the assumption that they can butt into your life with a host of very personal questions and still feel like they had every right to do so. Every time someone ask me if I have “any news” yet, it just reinforces the pain and overwhelming feeling that I am not measuring up as an adult – as a woman. To those people I say: READ THIS. Do it. For my sake and the sake of others, stop what you’re doing and READ THIS.

Last night Chad and I read through a Facebook rant between my Aunt, my cousin, my Uncle, and this random lady I don’t know. I don’t want to make light of the argument that occurred, but considering the topic how can I not? The whole conversation was so over-the-top ridiculous and a primary reason why I’ve gotten off Facebook. Not that my cousin could avoid being attacked for petty things, but that someone would attack her at all. People feel that the internet empowers them to say exactly what they’re thinking without any consequences or repercussions and that simply isn’t so. I will even go as far to say that it is an immature mind that not only causes strife over petty things, but also hides behind the internet to be condescending and rude.

The argument was over whether or not a mature adult should like things that are considered by some to be childish toys/icons for children. In this case, it was Hello Kitty, which has remained popular for a very long time with both children and adults, but seems to have especially risen in popularity in America in the past 10 years or so. (Always popular mind you – just even more so nowadays).

What are your thoughts? Can a mature adult collect Hello Kitty items/clothing? Can a grown up adult consider themselves actually grown up if they still enjoy youthful iconic cartoon characters?

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My personal opinion?

Yes.
Absolutely.

Here’s why:
There are so many other factors of far greater value evident in a person’s life that can determine maturity or the lack thereof. Whether a woman wears a Hello Kitty shirt is hardly the standard. In my own life and in the lives of those around me, I evaluate someone’s maturity (or immaturity) on one very important, often over-looked factor: someone’s capacity for awareness.

Awareness: noun. – Having knowledge or cognizance. To be watchful and vigilant.

How many adults do you know who have jobs and homes and careers and yet trample the people around them in their pursuits? How many married couples do you know (with or without children) who take others for granted or ignore the most obvious signs that their self-absorbed world is actually hurting others?
On the same note, how many children, teens, or young adults do you know who seem mature despite the fact that they lack the “evidence” of adulthood (career, home, spouse, etc) because they treat others with respect; they don’t steal other’s dignity over petty things; they overlook offenses; they forgive and forget and strive for peace; they aren’t quick to defend themselves, but quick to listen, etc??

So if you like Barbies or Hello Kitty or Garfield and your entire house and wardrobe resembles this – who cares?? Seriously. Why is this even a point worth arguing? Why should anyone even have the audacity to look at someone else and judge their maturity-level by outward appearances? If anything, the person judging has become the person being immature and petty.

Aside from rants and egregious arguments altogether, the question we should be asking when evaluating our own maturity is this: Do I think the world revolves around me or am I aware of the living, breathing, hurting, over-worked, stressed, tired human beings around me?? Does each thing in my day annoy me because it inconveniences me or can I remain patient in the middle of bumper-to-bumper traffic because I am aware that up ahead is a car accident that is costing someone dearly? Can I remain selfless and loving when a mother is dong her best to console/tolerate her screaming child in the store because I am aware that this might be her only chance to purchase diapers for the week despite it being way past her son’s bedtime?? Can I overlook someone’s bad attitude at work because I am aware that today might just be a bad day for them and we’re all human? And that is the point: we. are. all. human.

Being an adult is not about the clothes you wear (unless you’re in a 9-5 job interview haha) and it makes no difference whether or not you like Hello Kitty or the NFL or gourmet cooking. Being an adult is being able to go through life fully aware that the people around you are people with the same capacity for love and pain as you. They do not want you judging them. They do not want you bullying them. They do not want you prying into whether or not they’re going to get married, have children, or “what they’re doing next with their lives.” They certainly don’t need you overlooking them and trampling them into the grounds while you selfishly pursue your life.

They need love. They need patience. They need compassion. They need you to be aware of them, see them, hear the things their eyes are saying, and acknowledge them.

So let’s put away these childish things and choose instead to live life fully aware. Let’s be watchful and vigilant for those around us and focus less on ourselves and our own personal grievances…

I’d love to know your thoughts on this!! Please feel free to comment below…. πŸ™‚

THIS VIDEO IS AN EXCELLENT ADDITION TO THIS POST!

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Refocused

I thought I would miss Facebook and that it would be hard to feel so disconnected. The truth is: It has been great! I haven’t felt disconnected at all! I mean, I might not know something here and there with some of my long distance friends, but I feel more connected to myself, more connected with Chad, and more connected with the people I interact with through other mediums.

I finished one of my books. I’ve had a few long phone conversations to catch up with a few friends. I’ve made a lot of progress with some errands and projects. I even went to a friend’s house Tuesday night and visited IN PERSON with her and another friend.

IN.
PERSON.

It was wonderful.

Some things that have made me really happy lately….

Chad and I finally tackled cleaning/organizing our garage!! I could kick myself for not taking a “before” picture so you could see all the disorganized chaos and trash/empty boxes piled everywhere…. I went into “Monica Gellar” mode and we made our crowded, dirty, spiderweb-filled, chaotic garage into a use-able, organized space! YAY!

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* The garage after I Monica Gellar’d it:

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It’s probably better that you didn’t see a before picture after all…. πŸ™‚

I’ve also enjoyed celebrating recently with my friend Betsy who is about to have her first baby! They don’t know the gender (which is driving some people crazy) but all it really means is she isn’t bombarded with more baby clothes than actual needed items from her registry. Genius!

Plus it is really exciting not knowing! πŸ™‚

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I also was able to make her a kick-ass, gender neutral diaper cake! Their nursery is Grey and Cream/Yellow so I had fun with this one! πŸ™‚

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I re-wrapped the board it is sitting on to match as well. (Monica Gellar!)

This past weekend, we also got to see two of our dearest KC friends, Jason and Melody Morgan, finish a 1/2 marathon!! It was so exciting Β and inspiring to see them accomplish something that requires so much dedication! SO proud of them for doing this and I am 90% certain that I will be signing up for a 5k in the Spring!!

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One thing that does suck is that apparently anytime I am taking injectable fertility meds (like I am now) I cannot exercise AT ALL because it exacerbates the potential for OHSS in me. Super frustrating when you’ve just been inspired by your friend finishing a 1/2 marathon, but my doctor literally said “Absolutely no exercise at all. You need to rest!” after he measured yet another abnormally large cyst on my right ovary the other day.  😦

Thankfully I have so many other things to lift my spirits and foster a heart of gratitude inside me. Ever since I disconnected from Facebook, even just the past few days, I truly have been focusing on so much more of what I have in my life right now – rather than bombarding myself with what others have that I wish I had.

Also, cat feet are ridiculously adorable:

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I love that Maizie flips over onto her back when she’s entered a deep sleep. πŸ™‚

Hiatus from Facebook

I am hoping to be blogging more as I am taking a much-needed break from Facebook.

I just feel like what used to be a medium for connecting with long distance friends and networking/getting to know new friends has instead, for me, turned into a medium for drama or sadness.

To be honest, it has been hard for me to scroll through my news feed and see an overwhelming number of pregnancy announcements, sonogram pictures, and baby/kid photos.

Don’t get me wrong.

For some of my closest and dearest friends these are actually the highlight of my news feed! I love seeing photos of my KC friend’s kids and also getting to see them in real life. I love seeing the Bougher kids growing into little young men and baby Shine getting prettier every day. I love seeing pics of my nieces and nephews because every single one of them lives long distance from me. I love see Judah looking more and more like his Daddy and I love seeing Halle’s hair getting longer as she too gets more beautiful every day. I love the pics of my friend Jessica’s 3 kids, Janine’s little Micah, Michele’s two sweet boys, the Broussard family kids, and so many more….

The issue lies not in the pictures or updates themselves, but rather the fact that it now makes up 90% of my Facebook feed and every day I feel like I am “falling behind” in a journey that everyone else is taking. As much as you all include me, I am still left out. As much as I am over the moon with joy for you, I ache because my arms are empty. As much as I relish being a part of the lives of everyone I love that I can’t live near, I can’t tell you how many times I have just started crying from scrolling through my news feed.

Add to that the drama on Facebook and you have a recipe for a MUCH needed hiatus.

It won’t be permanent.
It will last as long as I need it to for my sanity.

I will be spending the time I am not on Facebook anymore catching up on the 10 books I have been wanting to start/finish.
The scrap booking I’ve put off for over a year.
The two blankets I have been working on for over 3 years!
The projects around the house I have neglected.
Intentionally hanging out with friends in real life here in KC without staring at my phone every 10 min. πŸ˜‰
Heck, even the shows/movies on Netflix I have been wanting to see!

I will be blogging more. Available by email: tashabcardwell@gmail.com and answering text messages. I will probably still check Facebook private messages every now and then, but you’re more likely to reach me by email since it comes straight to my phone.