A Conundrum of Contradictions

The musings of one born in the wrong decade

>Personal Challenge April 18, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — summerv @ 8:32 am

>If this keeps up I’ll have to rename the blog “Parking Garage Confessions”. I’m currently in the rat maze known as the Palazzo parking garage. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before. There are pillars where there should definitely be none, spaces tucked in between pillars and in tiny corners, and very few signs. I drove in the same circle three times, exited once (by accident), got back in (luckily), came to a dead end (charming), and finally found the ramp into the basement, where very luckily someone was just leaving (Thank you Lord). This is shock-creted hell – the whole place feels like a very large afterthought. At least there’s soothing music playing.

So I have a challenge for you: look yourself in the face, admit your most hideous flaw, and accept the consequences. Now spend the next 23 days doing everything in your power to correct that flaw.

Sounds simple right? How bad could it be? Well that depends on your acceptable level of human decency – most people’s is pretty low. I figured, at least until last Wednesday, that just about everyone else on the planet is a hypocrite – why should I be the only one going against the flow? Because I should. Because being a hypocrite shouldn’t be accepted as part of the natural order of things. Because we all hate other people when they do it, then we turn around and do it too, but somehow that’s ok.

Maybe you can admit your flaw. The twist is accepting the consequences. Most consequences involve harm of some sort to someone, usually your significant other or the people closest to you (i.e. family and friends). Since I’m using hypocrites as an example…it means you won’t do what you expect others to do, which implies you’re somehow better than them, and it breeds resentment faster than rabbits or dust bunnies. Hence the consequences being people think you have a superiority complex and don’t want to hang out with you. It also means you have to acknowledge and accept that fact as no one’s fault but your own. Not so easy after all, huh.

In theory, 23 days is how long it takes to develop a habit, good or bad. So if you can be conscious of your hypocritical self, and correct that behavior at every turn, in 23 days it should be second nature and viola! You’re a better person.

I will be the first to tell you this exercise sucks. When done properly, it’s an emotional rollercoaster with a lot of steep drops, too many to comply with the laws of physics. But nowhere is it written that there’s nothing wrong with you. We tell each other and ourselves that all the time, but it’s not true. We’re flawed, damaged, savage creatures that are excellent at pointing the finger and blaming someone else. You can be better than that.

Still too easy? Try admitting your flaws to someone you love, whose good enough not to argue with you or try to comfort you in any way. Once you’ve conquered one, do another, and another. Better yet, do them all at once; make a list, get in touch with how shitty you really are, and then change, become a better version of you.

Maybe I’m onto something…or maybe there’s no air down here and my brain is slowly cooking. Your choice.

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