I think my brain/mouth filter went a little haywire when I turned 40. And I never bothered to have it repaired. There’s something to be said for just telling it like it is, although not everyone appreciates it. Especially in Seattle where it’s more common to cloak your point in about a thousand layers of woolly obfuscation. I’m actually OK with that, even though I don’t do it much myself, but I do get frustrated with people who can’t say anything to anyone directly, but get others to do their speaking for them.

As a corollary – one of the reasons I never got the filter repaired is that the older I get the less I care what the world in general thinks of me. Of course I care what my friends think of me, but because they’re my friends, our conversations are mostly positive and the filter wouldn’t really have much work to do. But, I don’t expect to like everyone I meet, and I don’t expect everyone I meet to like me. I kinda think if you get to your forties and everyone approves of you, you might not be fully alive.

I’m entering the aviation maintenance industry, where, I’m told, there aren’t a lot of women. Sometimes I hear men say things along the lines of “Woman X is a pretty good mechanic. I’m OK with lady mechanics if they’re like her.” And, I think, usually to myself, but sometimes out loud, “exactly how many men sit around waiting for permission to be the person they want to be, or waiting for someone else to approve of their taking a place in their chosen career?” Probably not very many. Boo for privilege. Hooray for equality and parity of entitlement for all.

Envy is a waste of time. It’s been said before – don’t compare your insides to other people’s outsides because it’s not a fair comparison. I’ll go further to say that even if the other person’s insides seem better than yours, envy is a waste of time, because they’re someone else’s insides, not yours. You’re you. Everyone else is them. It’s fruitless to envy someone else’s insides, outsides, or topsides, because you will only ever be able to be yourself. Work on being the best you that you can be and let others focus on being the best they can be.

I don’t care where you’re from. I don’t care if your favorite hobby is bowling, or scrimshaw, or parsing the Great Books. I don’t care how much your clothes, house or car cost, or what school you went to, or what neighborhood you live in. I don’t care if you make your living by pulling nets from the North Pacific, or conducting an orchestra, or digging ditches. I’m not a snob about any of these things, but I am, unapologetically, a snob about character. Show me that your character is lacking, and yes, I will think I’m better than you.

Posted by lesherjennifer

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