I wrote the following quote down as I listened to a podcast last year. I then let it sit and ruminate, I suppose, within me. I placed this scrap piece of paper on a cork board in my bedroom. I see it frequently and it still packs a punch on my insides.
“We so often want to place judgment on the things that don’t please us.” – Lani Diane Rich, “The Light Bulb” 1/27/2016
I’ll be among the first to admit that I’m a snob. I’m judgmental and I’m weak. I readily see the faults that exist in others. I may even seek out those faults. I want to see others as flawed so that I do not find myself so lacking.
I judge others when they perform. I nitpick and tell myself where I would have done better. I should be praising these people for even have the courage to put themselves out there into the world. It is a hard thing to make yourself vulnerable to the criticism of others.
Last week I had a couple of experiences where this quote from Lani Diane Rich really came to mind. One where I was somewhat-silently judging a stranger and one where I was not-so-silently judging myself.
- On Thursday, I had a fairly long day. I ended up having to leave my day-job early because of a schedule screw-up on someone else’s part the day before. So, I ended up having to reschedule a couple of students from Wednesday to Thursday, in addition to teaching my regular Thursday students. I had been at this day-job of mine since 8:30 and had no break until I left at 2:30. I went straight to my knee doctor (another story for another day), and then straight to teach my rescheduled lessons. So, by the time I was done with those two students, I was starving. I had a little over an hour until I needed to start teaching my regularly scheduled students. I decided I needed to eat. Well, what’s a starving girl to do? I went to Wendy’s. I sat in Wendy’s, ate my meal, and was glad the place was pretty empty. As I went to leave, this car pulled up. This lady got out of the car and was approaching the door to Wendy’s as I was leaving. My initial thought was, “Ugh. Now, I have to be gracious and hold the door for this lady that is walking super slowly.” Like I said, I’m really not a very nice person. The lady thanked me for holding the door and I responded with, “No prob,” even though it was internally a big “prob” for me. I approached my car and looked at the car next to me – the car that was recently vacated by this lady that just walked through the door I held open. This car was filled, front and back, nearly to the top with old fast-food containers and trash. I stared. I opened my car door, took out my phone, and took a picture. I was amazed that someone could just pile the trash. Then I did what any judgmental snob would do. I posted it to Instagram and then shared that post to Facebook and Twitter. I received all sorts of comments on FB and Instagram. Most shared my reaction to seeing this car. A relative of mine made a comment on Facebook that I didn’t respond to because, well, I then started judging her (in a way). She said that this person’s normal is not necessarily my normal and that is okay. Dang. I had been called out. I felt okay posting this picture because I didn’t know this woman and her car was not distinguishable in any way. I wasn’t really shaming her, right? Wrong. The sight of this car did not please me, the entire day had not pleased me. So, I’m pretty sure I decided that I needed to make myself feel better by showing that I’m better than someone in some kind of way. Judgmental snob.
- My other example happened earlier in the week . I have no real specifics I can give you. There was nothing in particular that set me off, other than spending time with others. There were these comments that were made by the people I was with – nothing that any normal person would think twice about. It made my inner critic – that person that doesn’t like me so much – kind of go off on a tangent. All of a sudden I was seeing all my faults very clearly. I remember repeating to myself, “After all I’ve done, I’m still so lacking. Why do they always have to see my faults and where I fail?” Isn’t that interesting? “Why do THEY…” I am sure others can see my faults, there are many to choose from but the only one looking at my faults that day was myself. This happens a lot – more than I could even begin to tally. I’m a perfectionist and have been for as long as I can remember. Nothing is ever good enough, or fast enough, or just enough. I find solace in solitary pursuits because then if I falter, I’m the only witness. Life is rough, especially when your worst critic (yourself) never gives you a break. There is much about my life and about myself that displeases me. I see it every single day and this voice inside me never lets me forget a single moment or a single failure.
I’m a judgmental snob. I have been since before I can remember. When I was a kid, I judged my friends on their singing voices and other musical gifts, how quick-witted they were, how fast they could read, etc. Then, I decided how much trust they would receive based on how they rated during this continual judgement process. I was a picnic for a friend back then – probably still. As I’ve grown older, I have added other measures of judgment. I am not proud of this. I now place value on different aspects of myself and those around me but the judgment is there – stronger than ever. I do not want to be that person that is super critical of everyone and everything that surround her but how do you break out of rut that you are just starting to realize you are in? I lack in many, many ways. I am aware that I lack and will always lack. As I process my way through myself, I hope to a) come out on the other side and b) learn to be kinder to myself and others.
I’m a mean, judgmental snob but at least I’m funny sometimes.
I have my issues and I am struggling to work my way through them. It’s a process. I hope you bear with me because some of these issues I will be working my way through right here for the entire world to see and to place judgement upon. I’m a mess, you’re a mess, the entire world’s a mess. It’s time we realized this, started cleaning the mess up, and help to put each other back together.