I’ve been considering my life, wondering what I should be doing and what I shouldn’t be working on. It occurs to me that my problem is my relationship with reality. Back in 2006, I was a college freshman at Middlesex Community College. That’s where I took my first Psychology class. My professor was a short, brunette woman in her early forties. She spoke with a southern accent and always spoke frankly. It was in this frankly vain that she told the entire class about an important philosophy among professionals in the Psychology field.
“It’s your shit, not mine.”
The takeaway from that philosophy was that one should not let other people’s issues become theirs. For whatever reason, I hadn’t internalized that concept until just recently. I’ve been asking myself if I was the one who was crazy, if the way other people behave was logical and I was the one running around, being illogical. I’ve decided something when I returned to that philosophy I heard six years ago. I’m going to do what works for me and I’m gong to let others do what works for them, regardless of whether it seems to be working or not. I’m writing this to remind myself to this fact.
I feel like I’m getting old at the age of twenty-four and I look at other people at my age and people older than me. They seem so much younger than I am. They walk through the now chilly streets of Lowell, seemingly obvious of the world around them. Other twenty-four years don’t slip their hands into their pockets and switch off their headphones to covertly listen in on other people’s conversations, making sure that the conversation isn’t ebbing in their direction. I do.
There was this argument in my house. Due to the size of the argument, one would think it would be about something big; war, rape, murder, or credit scores. You’d be right in the latter case. The question was posed, How do you find your credit score? I didn’t pose the question and I wasn’t there for most of the argument. I came in when the argument had duplicated. Two separate conversations were going on and the two men arguing were fighting with all the pointless passion that such a conversation demanded.
I noticed that if one of them just let it go, said, “This isn’t worth it. I’m going to watch the game.” Then the entire argument would fall on its face. Like seedlings about to break through to the surface, they were both almost there and then there was the accusation of lying. These two people who weren’t scared of being hateful and hostile to one another were suddenly concerned with each other’s opinion.
I’m getting caught up in this, mostly because it’s a fresh wound. I have to remind myself of why I’m writing this. “It’s their shit, not mine.” Why should I care if two people have a long-winded argument, loudly in the other room.
The reality of the situation is that these people were doing what worked for them, regardless of whether it was actually working or not. I have to do the same thing. I need to live a life without concern for others. “It’s their shit, not mine.” I probably should have learned this a long time ago, longer than six years ago, or even sixteen years ago.