Saturday, September 3, 2011

Understanding.

Listening to "Styrofoam Plates" and thinking about how we all have our parent issues.

I think about how my mom had a smile that could cheer a room. She could talk to anyone and make them feel comfortable. At the same time, was sad and always dreaming of something else. Literally dreaming of houses she would love to own, to decorate. I think about how she wanted to be a good mom, a homemaker, and yet was so strong-willed she couldn't be a wife. Needed to be recognized by other people. A husband's love wasn't enough for her. Neither was her children's. How her mother was always busy and trying to make everyone happy. How she was born when her parents were much older and she was used to being the cute one. She didn't know how to cook when she got married, only knew how to dance and be funny. I think about my grandpa. He was the product of an asshole, a drunken womanizer, and a saint, who raised four boys without thanks. How my grandpa recognized his mother's love and tried to live up to his mother's expectation, but couldn't help owning the anger of his father.

I think of my dad who was angry, always wanted us to follow his authority without question, but could be silly and hilarious. How his mother was his ideal woman. She married as a teen, and spent her life doing everything for everyone else. How his dad was short and had a short temper. Was a mean bastard to his family, but could play any song he heard by ear on the piano and tell a joke like no one's business. Was loved by all his friends.

I think of who my parents were, and how they affected me and how I am now. Who I am, who I want to be. We are all shits, products of the worst of our genealogy. And at the same time, we are those great things too.

I have a temper. I let things build and then freak out over nothing. I swear a lot when I'm driving and can be very mean if I don't watch myself. Then again, I am extremely calm in stressful situations and can think things through. I am hopeful and optimistic. A dreamer. I can play any instrument I pick up, I sing well, I tell great stories. And I remember everything.

My point? This line, "He was a bastard in life, was a bastard in death," gets to me. We are none of us all one thing. There are parts of us that are just the worst, and parts of us redemptive. Let's just acknowledge that.

5 comments:

  1. And just as a side note. I find it impossible to be angry with people. We all have our pasts to deal with, our hurts to reconcile. We all have histories that form us, shape us, that we may try to overcome but are in our make-up.... We live with our challenges. We aren't always successful in overcoming them. It doesn't mean that we want to fail, just that we're human. Fallible.

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  2. Then again, I hate that I'm understanding. I wish I could be angry. Life would be easier.

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  3. I'm too easy to forgive and forget and I get taken advantage of because of it.

    As a writer, I love to explore the multi-faceted personalities of characters because you're right. We are many parts of a whole. And I find it fascinating.

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  4. I think recognizing who and what we came from gives us the power to make choices about who we are. My father is a lovable man, but irresponsible. My mother was a brilliant teacher, but left all her patience in the classroom and had none left for her own kids. She also expected me to be her, small, petite and blonde...I am none of those things.

    I have learned to accept myself and have seen my parent's faults in my own personality. I've decided not to be those things, and play on their strengths instead, just as I want my kids to play on my strengths and not my failings.

    I'm not angry, just resolved regarding the gene pool.

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  5. Denise, yes. I don't think I get taken advantage of because of it, though, because my eyes are open the whole time. I suppose I do hope that people are as contemplative of their selves as I am, and that's not always the case. But it does make it easier to write more full characters. We all have a motivation.

    Jeannie, and isn't it funny how we see our parents' weaknesses and decide not to be those things, but find they come out anyway? We are who we are, but we can choose how we behave. If we are resigned to our failings or if we fight them.

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