It is important to surround yourself with people who have a higher expectations of you than you are willing to realize. Often times in life, people form impressions and expectations about others, and these expectations will generally drive all of their future interactions with an individual. A bad first impression and low expectations of an individual can damage a relationship before it even begins, but it also has to be said that having high expectations of a person can also have adverse effects on a relationship. I wouldn’t say thinking too highly of someone is as bad as having low expectations of them, but I would say that having high expectations leads to a higher chance of disappointment. In the case of surrounding yourself with people who expect much from you, it is extremely beneficial to growth and success. If you respect an individual and they hold you to a high standard, you are much more willing to try to live up to that standard in order to avoid disappointing the individual. A valued person has the ability to push their loved ones to better themselves by merely holding them to a high standard. On the other hand, if you are given low expectations by a respected individual, the respect won’t last long. Low expectations are not always a matter of malice, since some project their low expectations of themselves onto others, but whenever a person is faced with external low expectations it almost always seems disrespectful. Even though it is not always intentional, low expectations should be avoided like the plague. It is important to make and keep friends that will hold you in high esteem, and desire for you to continue growing. It is not easy to break friendships, but if a friend expects little of you, and doesn’t understand why that is a problem, then they most likely don’t deserve to be your friend.
Younger siblings are great, as kids they are playmates and living action figures, but as adults they can be somewhat annoying at times. I am speaking as a middle child, I know how it feels to be a younger sibling as well as an older one. I don’t necessarily hang out with my older siblings often, but when I am around them I kind of expect them to give me stuff, or pay for me, and as an older sibling I don’t mind doing any of that for the younger ones. It is almost as if we are conditioned to always treat the “babies” like babies even when they are older and doing pretty well for themselves. As a younger sibling, I respect the older ones and use them as a reference, I remember their mistakes and I ask them for advice, even though I rarely heed their advice. I am sure my younger siblings don’t listen to me either, but it is always a treat when they ask me for advice so I can see how their situation ends up when they ignore it. Older siblings can be seen as extra parents who often happen to be more lenient, you can speak to them about more than you feel you can speak to a parent about, and you can expect a more practical approach to life’s many issues. A younger sibling is like a “practice child,” it is almost as if you have a hand in raising them, but are less liable for the mistakes they make. I have the joy of being a middle child, and while there are many negative things said about this birth position, I am happy that I have a chance to take a step back and interact with my family in the many complex ways that are only possible when you are born in the middle.
Today, I started a new job in the city, and while I am still somewhat convinced that I will not end up living in New York for long, the city always seems to have a way of keeping me around. It has been a while since I worked in Manhattan, and now my days of driving and enjoying the relative serenity of the Bronx are going to be limited to weekends. Whenever you start something new there are obvious apprehensions, but with time and patience things can quickly become the usual, and that is the great thing about adaptation. Adaptation is the ability to get acclimated to a new situation in such a way that the stresses that were once problems are now handled with ease. I understand that it is difficult to get used to a new home or job, but when you consider the fact that humans are not the only creatures that go through active adaptation, it makes the whole process seem less difficult. One of the most common examples of adaptation in the wild can be seen in many forms of plants. Most plants grow towards the sun in order to increase their light intake, this usually involves bending and stretching to a location with better coverage, a tactic plants in brighter circumstances wouldn’t need to employ. Adaptation is not exactly a necessary trait in humans, but in order to survive a difficult situation it must be part of a persons working repertoire. Right now, it may seem like I have less time to blog daily, but I’m sure that I will be able to adapt to my new schedule shortly and get back on a pace in which I am better accustomed.
I was recently searching through my old things in storage and I made quite a few interesting finds. Aside from the pop culture relics that are my old clothes, I found some toys and video games I used to enjoy. The things I found reminded me of a simpler time, a time when there wasn’t so much regulation on what was actually sold in stores. When I was a child everything was marketed to us, we had toy guns, candy cigarettes, and countless questionable role models. Looking back on life as a child in the 90s, as unsafe as it seemed, it was generally safer than it is today. I know the Internet is a huge part of the problem today, but I just don’t see how playing with certain toys could have adversely affected my growth. One of the toys I found was an action figure of the Marvel character, Punisher, and while I have fond memories of innocently playing with that action figure, I now know that Punisher was basically just a killer, who only targeted bad guys. Knowing what I know now, I would never willingly purchase some of the toys I once played with for my children, but the problem is that new toys and gadgets are being built everyday and they are probably twice as harmful as anything ever sold in the past. There are always studies decrying newly released toys and entertainment devices, but in my opinion, there is never enough time to accurately determine the toxicity of the items in question before they are replaced with the next batch. I would say that my generation turned out relatively well in spite of all the dangerous toys and games, and I believe that no mater what marketing schemes we were exposed to as children, it is our upbringing that ultimately defines our future life choices. As long as parents take an active role in every aspect of their child’s life, I’m sure the kids will turn out just fine.
“I remember when I was younger,” that is a phrase people will use multiple times during their life, I used to think I would always be “in the loop.” I knew what clothes to wear, and what was considered cool. I used to have a notion that I would never get old, and that I would always understand what is being said when “hip terms” are being used, but sadly age has hit me like a lightning bolt, and to be honest I’m not all that sad about it. Today, as I was speaking with my younger brother, I found that I had to ask him about the meanings of some of the slang terms being used today. As few as five years ago, I was under the impression that I would always know the meanings of these nonsensical terms, but as I have grown I have found that they are unnecessary to living my daily life. Slang terms are words used to describe a situation or an individual, that have been created by children due to their ease of use. Slang can also be used as a method to fit in with one’s peers, and show solidarity as a group. I have no use for slang in my everyday life, because I don’t really find myself in situations where it is standard vernacular, and I could always just ask a younger sibling or cousin about the meaning. Today I gathered a realization of just how much people can change in a very short time. Growing up does not mean you are no longer “cool,” it just means that priorities change, and what was once considered notable knowledge has gone away along with the toys and the stickers.
What exactly has become of growing up? This generation has totally skewed what it means to be an adult, and perhaps it has actually crept into past generations. I ask the question because I have noticed an increasing amount of older people dressing and acting way too young for their age. When I say older people I am not referring to thirty year olds acting like they are in their twenties, but to fifty and sixty year olds acting almost like teenagers. I can not fully vouch for the past since all I know about it is what movies and my parents tell me, but it doesn’t seem like the older generations were so enamored with the pop culture of the time. In the 1960s people who went along with pop culture were considered “hippies,” and by in large scorned by the older generation, yet today I see older individuals trying to emulate today’s “hippy” who is in the form of a “hipster” or “thug.” Maybe I am too young to understand a desire to harken back to the days of my youth, but I already have a dislike for some of the trends of kids these days. Perhaps life is just cyclical, and in 40 years millennials like myself will be as disillusioned with the actions of the youth as “the silent generation” was with the actions of the “baby boomers” of the 60s, or maybe the next generation’s creativity will be less social and more scientific, demanding our time and attention. All I can plainly see is that, this generation has turned growing up into the next generation’s problem. I love growing at my own pace, and as crazy as this planet is, I understand social change needs to happen, but I feel like the current dominant generation is doing too much to shine a light on what needs to be changed and too little to make a change. The kids who are growing up today are going to have a laundry list of social and environmental issues they must tackle since today most people are just too busy tweeting about what needs to be done. I don’t want to bash millennials because I feel like we are a great, very progressive, generation, but I would love to see more older people getting into the habit of making change in the world. The world isn’t getting any younger, so I hope this generation will start to embrace getting older, I for one will do everything I can to make sure I am a respectable elder with knowledge to share, and not a sixty year old man, dressed like a kid, trying to get into a future club to hear robot music.