Sibling Irony

Something I’ve often heard is that having siblings teaching children how to share.

As an (older) sibling, I can honestly say whoever started that belief deserves to be punched.

Having a sibling did not teach me how to share. It taught me how to hoard and hide my stuff because I didn’t want to share. I hated sharing anything with my sister. I didn’t become better with sharing until I was in my late teens and, ironically, didn’t have to share anymore because someone told me to.

But the effects of having a sibling had already been done and I genuinely feel like having a sibling, and specifically being the older of the two, is what contributed most to my lack of any desire to be a parent.

Like most older siblings, I was often responsible for my sister. I don’t solely mean babysitting. If she did anything wrong, somehow, it was my fault. I was expected to know better because I was the older sibling, but somehow, she never was, no matter how old she got. I was actually aware enough as a kid to point this out, but it’s not like I was ever listened to. The bottom line is I very much resented being given the responsibility of a child I had zero part in bringing into the world, and I’m positive merely being a babysitter a few times would not cause that feeling.

Of course, this varies. Some oldest siblings willingly go on to become parents, and my boyfriend is the youngest of his parents’ three children and doesn’t want kids, despite being the typical “spoiled baby of the family” (until a certain age). This came to my mind because I found it ironic and somewhat hilarious. What was supposed to teach me about sharing and being responsible became the biggest factor in why I want nothing to do with parenthood.

More so, my sister has a rather idealized idea of caring for children. She wants kids of her own someday, and I do not knock her for that, but she knows next to nothing about taking care of someone smaller than her. She once asked me how I couldn’t want kids and while I know this is a question sometimes shared by parents, in this case, it came out of the mouth of a 16-year-old whose closest experience with caring for a child had been looking after a baby doll. That question is annoying, no matter who it comes from, but it makes more sense out of the mouth of someone who is a parent and knows they like the experience than someone who’s never done it. Granted, one could argue I’m not very different in that I’ve never been a parent and am saying it’d be terrible for me.

However, there are two differences here. I’m talking only about myself. I’ve never said no one else shouldn’t want to be a parent. I’m saying nothing more than I don’t. The other is, as I said, my sister has never been responsible for any children, whereas I have, and not just her. I can remember being left to after a small group of daycare children when I was about 8 or under (yes, my mothet was present). Her idea of parenthood comes from what she thinks it is. Mine comes from what I’ve done, and with no say in the matter at that.

Today, as an adult, I don’t hate children and, to an extent, I do enjoy looking after them. There are times when I’d genuinely prefer a child’s company to an adult’s. Occasionally, children who come to my register with their parents will talk about something, and one child surprised me when she was so quiet while waiting in line, but started chatting with me the second her parents came to my counter. It’s rather cute, even if I have no idea what they’re going on about, and heaven knows I’d rather hear that than be yelled at by a customer for the fifth time because I can’t do their return.

But all of those are temporary. At the end of the day, the children are gone and I go home. I can have patience with children precisely because I’m not around them 24/7. It’s easier to remember they’re children and they’re acting like children than it would be if I were over-exhausted and hadn’t slept in three days. I’ve heard parenthood can teach you patience – likely because you have no choice except to learn – but it could also very well double my temper, which happens naturally anyway. “Doing your best” isn’t an excuse when what you do causes you to scar your child. I didn’t realize until I was an adult my own mother was practically winging parenthood the whole time. She tried, but her “best” was only good when everything else was good. If not, hell reigned upon us.

In the end, along with lack of interest in parenthood, I’m not interested in playing Russian Roulette with someone’s life. At least, I can argue I wasn’t willingly given the responsibility of my sister. That was my mom’s doing. But my child? 100% my fault. No room to complain about having to share then! I’d brought that kid into the world. I’d better share!

Millennials: The Only Entitled Generation?

I came across a rather interesting article yesterday.

Supposedly, 40% of my generation doesn’t eat cereal because it’s inconvenient. At least, 40% of the millennials they surveyed because I’m positive no survey has ever gotten the opinion of absolutely every person in their targeted group. I certainly wasn’t asked any questions about my breakfast choices and the reasons for them.

What’s more surprising is it seems something as simple as not wanting a certain food for breakfast is further my generation is lazy, spoiled, entitled, selfish, and can’t do anything for themselves. Except for those who are Republicans, of course, because they believe in work. Aside from them, my generation is worthless. I’ve yet to make friends with anyone my age who cares about politics and identifies with any party, and I certainly don’t consider myself any of the parties that exist because I despise politics as well, but okay. I’ll run with it.

Ignoring 40% is less than 50, which would mean 60%, the majority, of the millennials they surveyed do eat cereal, though I suppose acknowledging that would make it harder to insult them, I’m interested in what politics have to do with breakfast and why, supposedly, my generation is the only “bad” one.

There is no one in personal life of any age who considers themselves to be part of any political party. They might discuss if it comes up on the news, but that’s it. Out of my friends online, I think only one has any interest in politics, though I’d have to ask to be certain. I know the others don’t. My own reason for disliking politics is I’ve learned it’s a subject that can never end kindly. I know there people are of my generation and older who care about politics, but at the moment, I’ve yet to become acquainted with any of them.

As for breakfast, I eat cereal, but I also eat other foods. There are a lot of breakfast foods out there. Pancakes and French toast are my favorites. Sometimes, I don’t eat breakfast because I’m not hungry or I don’t want to eat yet. I’m positive my brain is responsible for my hunger levels and occasionally missing appetite, not the year I was born.

On the bright side, there were several people in those comments who also thought calling a generation entitled for their breakfast choices, of all things, was ridiculous. Still, the whole article only leads me to this question: Why does it seem my generation is considered not only the most terrible, but the only generation with spoiled people? If anyone wants to meet people of older generations with bad values, I can introduce them to the racist family members I keep my partner from. Better yet, they can meet my grandfather, who believes the only races in existence are Caucasian-Americans and African-Americans, and every other race is “foreign” or “immigrant”, even if those people of other races were born in the US.

I’ve read every generation treats the generation younger than them like this. That’s really not comforting. All that tells me is too many people despise another group of people for their age, something they have zero control over. No matter how unhappy I may be with some ways the world is changing, I don’t ever want to reach the point of hating anyone because they’re younger than me. I will hate someone for treating me or others badly, but not for the smaller amount of years they’ve been on this planet than me. I consider this world to be a very dark one anyway, so I consider them lucky they haven’t spent much time on it yet.

No, I don’t believe my generation is flawless. Enduring over a decade of school bullying shoots that idea down. I know how terrible some of my generation is. However, if it’s true this will be said about every generation, what’s the point in the stereotypes? More so, how are menial things like breakfast choices any indication of if someone’s lazy or not? I know the article said those 40% don’t eat cereal because of inconvenience, but what exactly is the inconvenience? Are they in a rush? I don’t eat when I’m in a rush either. Are they trying to save time? When I was in school, I occasionally skipped lunch to start on my homework to avoid having to do all of it at home.

It’s only cereal. It’s really not a big deal. Most of them aren’t very healthy anyway. That said, if anyone takes away my Honey Nut Cheerios, I’ll bite their hand off.

Never Good Enough

It’s funny how no matter how much goodness there is in the world, it still pales in comparison to the opposite, whether on a massive scale or a much smaller, more personal one.

I don’t consider myself a horrible person. I’ve never broken the law. I’ve willingly helped people and enjoyed doing so. I’ve helped out at community events, helped clean up a beach, volunteered my time at a food bank, and looked after others’ children. I’m kind to and have helped my best friend and my boyfriend. I’ve stayed up all night multiple times to be there for someone I cared about dealing with a rough night, online and offline. I don’t have any bigotries.

I don’t sound like an awful person and I would hope I’m not. Yet I deal with feelings of worthlessness all the time for one reason and one reason only: I’ve never had a job.

That fact alone makes me feel like I am little more than a plague on society who’d have been better off not existing. I don’t think about it when I’m around others, but when I’m alone, the thought often creeps in and I question if any of the above really matters. I fear losing the positive relationships I have due to losing the respect of those of I care about for being jobless. I question why, if I could make the action to end things painless, I choose to remain alive. I question why I can’t do this one thing it seems everyone has done multiple times by my age, no matter how hard I try. I question if I’m really worth anything, and if what I listed above are merely distractions or ways to make up for my lack of being a contributing member to society.

I’ve lost the ability to see myself in any position different from the one I’m in. This is the only way I can picture myself when I’m 30, 40, 50 years old, assuming I live that long. A small part of me doesn’t want to see any more future birthdays, not even 2017’s. I fear reaching yet another age.

Then, there’s a part of me that feels very selfish. I visited my best friend this past Friday and she briefly vented to me about her job. She has had her job for a full year, but she abhors it and wants a different one. Shortly after, she showed me the new phone she’d gotten. While I still felt sympathy for her troubles at work, a part of me still felt envious solely because she has a job. One she hates and could never live off of, but a job nonetheless. Of course, I kept my feelings to myself and didn’t tell her, but the truth is would it not leave her jobless instead of me, I’d switch places with her immediately if it were possible.

I don’t believe I will ever fit in as a functioning societal member and it’s not a thought that makes me happy. I want to work and I want to be a contributor, but so far, my efforts have resulted in nothing more than rejection and more questions of my own worth. Yes, I’m aware many people experience joblessness, but I believe most of those people had already worked a minimum of two jobs by my age whereas my work experience is absolutely blank.

I hate I have this feeling. I hate the feeling of everything I do meaning nothing because it doesn’t compare to me working and paying for myself to the extent a job would allow me to. I hate this feeling overshadows everything. I know a job is nowhere near fun and I’d likely feel the same as my best friend if I did find a job. I know the difference between imagined expectations and reality, as it’s led to changes in what were my long-term goals. In spite of that, my self-worth is still in question due to my lack of any employment within my lifetime. I feel I could save someone from certain death, and still see myself as having contributed nothing to society when I later returned home.

I remember being a child and believing adults had everything figured out. After all, that’s why adults were in charge of children instead of the other way around. At least, that’s essentially what I was told. I’ve already been looked down on for my age multiple times and I know I will always be sneered at for it by people older than me, no matter what age I’m at. I’ve seen adults whose maturity was outmatched by children look down their noses at me for being younger than them. Age means a lot beyond the laws in society. I’ve not yet found the age where I’m an adult who has everything figured out like the adults I met as a child did. Supposedly, that age does not exist, but I wonder if it really does and I’m one of those people who hasn’t caught up to it yet. I really don’t know what adulthood is supposed to be, but I know I’m doing every ounce of it wrongly.

Handwriting: Outdated Now?

When I was attending my second high school, one of the rules was handwritten homework isn’t allowed. Anyone who turned in handwritten work failed the assignment, regardless of if they would’ve passed otherwise. I always thought that was a strange rule, especially since we did most of the classwork with paper and pencil until the school gave students iPads during my second year.

I asked this in a Facebook group of mine and got this question in response: “Would you turn in handwritten work at a job?” My answer to that question was unless I was told otherwise, I would give handwritten work.

Apparently, that’s not a good idea. Handwritten work is seen as unprofessional (despite that writing takes more work than typing…), so it isn’t acceptable in jobs. That leads me to this question: why was handwriting ever taught to children in the first place?

Yes, that’s a serious question. If school is supposed to prepare children to hold jobs as adults, why was handwriting taught when I was growing up? My elementary school years were a decade ago, so not that long. Shouldn’t I have never been taught how to write in the first place if it’s unacceptable? And why is it still being taught today? I once read an article about how many recent high school graduates have poor reading and writing skills. I don’t know about the reading, but if handwriting is no longer acceptable, it makes why they’d have poor writing skills. They don’t need them.

I have to admit it’s something that makes me sad and little less optimistic about the future. In another decade, maybe less, handwriting will be an obsolete skill, if it isn’t already. That means there will someday be a whole generation that has never learned how to write or has never heard of handwriting. I understand why if it’s a needless skill, but I can’t say it doesn’t make me question my own early education years. Since I don’t plan to have kids, this isn’t I need to be concerned about. It’s merely me trying to adjust the world becoming more and more digitized. I was prepared for typing to be alongside handwriting, not its replacement.

I can’t find it right now, but I remember seeing a political (?) cartoon where two kids were in class and had books. One kid turned to his friend and asked what it was and how to turn it on. I initially rolled my eyes and scoffed at it, but maybe the artist of that cartoon isn’t so far off the mark. Sure, books are typed instead of handwritten, but I can see a kid looking at handwriting, perhaps finding a picture of it on the internet, and asking how they type it instead of how they write it.

Handwriting becoming obsolete also makes me understand giving very small children tablets. I always found that weird because tablets, even ones specifically designed for children, are expensive and small kids are gluttons are clumsiness and accidents. But if they’re going to type their work, whether it’s on an iPad or a computer, instead of writing on paper, little kids do need tablets. At the very least, they have to learn how to type somehow and somewhere.

Personally, I can’t imagine not knowing how to write and despite it becoming an unneeded skill, it’s one I don’t want to lose. At the same time, I suppose it doesn’t matter. If it’s not needed now, it certainly won’t be needed when I’m 30, 40, 55, and so on, assuming I live to those ages. I probably wouldn’t realize I’d lost the ability to write if I ever did, so maybe it’s something I shouldn’t be thinking about at all.

Technology marches on.

Life Is Hard…Isn’t It?

Yes, it is, but for the sake of this question, let’s say it’s more in the middle. It’s not easy or hard. It’s just average.

When I was a pre-teen and starting to drift into adolescence, there was a time I feared becoming an adult. After spending every year of my life from the time I could speak complete sentences spouting how much I can’t to be grown up, that desire turned into one of fear. It seems when you’re a teenager, people love to pound into your head being an adult spells the end of any amount of fun in your life. That’s not an exaggeration in the slightest. I lost count of how many adults told me as a teenager, and a very impressionable one at that, how 18 essentially marked the end of any fun, pleasure, and joy. Telling me I had no choice in the matter, despite it already being a fact, did not help either. That only served to make me paranoid and further push me into a depression I was already struggling with.

I view it similar to how some people may speak about parenthood. Similar to the above, I heard countless times that having a child meant your life was over. Yet, the same people who said this either already had a child or asked why someone else didn’t want any. Gee, why wouldn’t I want any kids after hearing for 5+ years they spell the end of my life before I could even feel like I lived it? Yes, I know why people say this to teenagers, but the memory of those words don’t exactly vanish after age 18.

My frustration here is it’s apparently mature to make your life as hard and joyless as possible and I want to know why. Why do some adults push children and teenagers into believing adulthood means you never have fun again? Why is 18 treated as a magic age where you’ll suddenly know all the answers and you’ll do a 180 into an all-knowing, always serious person with no joy or empathy? I heard so many times during my adolescence that nobody cares about your hardships as an adult, yet I find more people care now than when I was a child! More people listen to me now! Not everyone, but more.

More so, what’s wrong with not wanting your life to be hard? Many people see someone who doesn’t want a certain responsibility – parenthood, the top of a career, etc – as lazy, lacking ambition, and a perpetual child. Why? Would it be better if they did those things and screwed it up? Why is a relatively lax life seen as a bad thing? If life is not supposed to be a competition, why the need to one-up someone else with who has it harder? If everyone is doing what they need to do, making their way, and managing in life, who cares who’s more tired than who? Everybody’s tired at some point. Go to bed.

Now, I’m not saying people shouldn’t be acknowledged and appreciated. If someone has worked 72 hours in a row, I’ll have more sympathy for their exhaustion than someone whose only exercise was getting out of bed once a day for the last week (assuming said person is mentally and physically healthy). I’m saying if life is hard, why make it harder if you don’t want to? Where’s the maturity in pushing yourself to the brink of exhaustion everyday because someone sees you as a child if you don’t? Most of all, where did this “adults don’t have fun” concept come from to begin with? If adults don’t have fun, why do R-rated movies and TV-MA rated shows exist? Why do bars and wineries exist? Why do nightclubs exist? I hope no kid is plastered on the dance floor at 2 AM!

The reverse is true as well. Adults also make Disney, toys, and video games. What I described above is not my favorable scene, so I stick to PG-rated fun. My bedroom looks like a child’s paradise and society can have my stuffed animals when they pry them from my cold, dead arms!

Unless your goals in life amount to being an axe murderer, or something similarly heinous, whatever you want to do with your life is fine. Aiming to travel to all the continents in the world? Good luck! I hope you get to them all safely! Comfortable in your hometown and like spending your days off at home? Cool! Me too! It feels great to kick your feet back, doesn’t it?

Unless you have the luck and privilege of being born into a very wealthy family, life is going to be hard in some way. Unless you want to, don’t make it harder than it has to be. Really, it’s not necessary.

I hate humanity, part 3

Happy Independence Day, everybody. Yay.

Of all days to find more proof the human race sucks, this day. If anyone ever asks me why I’d never bring kids into the world even if I wanted to, this is the answer.

I discovered this on my Tumblr dashboard today. Long story short, the author of this post went to a comedy club with some friends. One of the comedian made jokes about rape and sexual assault and when she rightfully called him out on it, he not only called her and friends names, but threatened them and got the whole audience in on it. She complained to the manager, but he just excused it, saying she shouldn’t come to a comedy club if she can’t take a joke. Yet I bet if any of these people had a loved one who was raped, it wouldn’t be so funny. Or maybe they’re the type of people who would blame that loved one for it.

Not only should that club be shut down, but that comedian should be arrested and charged for his attacks and threats, and the manager should be arrested and charged well for allowing and enabling it.

I. Hate. People.