My autopilot, my instinct, my gut … why does it sometimes betray me and some of the personal values I hold most dear?
I grew up in apartheid South Africa. At that time I was not very politically conscious, I still really don’t care much for politics. Politically apathetic at best. But as I aged I became more and more aware of the inequality between races in my motherland. It’s something I always hated. Life to me must be filled with variety and that includes friends. I befriended people of various races and loved them for who they are not the colour of their skin, the money in their pocket, their sexual practices …. When I moved to Europe this became much easier. Here there is no underlying uneasy tension in the air when two or more people of mixed race are socialising in public. When apartheid ended in South Africa racism didn’t magically disappear. In that new South Africa a young mixed race couple could now freely walk hand in hand down the street. But the looks and scowls they got didn’t change. I was quite happy to leave that shit behind. I deplore racism in any form!
Which brings me to that autopilot of mine. Say I am driving around town and there is a bad driver in front of me, making part of my journey more difficult than it should be. If as I finally overtake them and look at the driver, I see a black person behind the wheel, the little hamster in my head says “Awww fucking black person, typical!”. WAIT!!! WHAT??? Where does that come from? That really isn’t me. How can I think like that? It disgusts and distresses me that deep down in my core there is a racist little fucker!
But it’s not only racism. I am quite an old soul. Morally I am grey at best but I respect and value the older generations. I will always have time to help or listen to an old member of society. But as with the little racist buried deep within me there is a little ageist.
As is the case with the sexist me. I don’t believe I am sexist but occasionally it shows its ugly little head. A few weeks back after a club night out dancing I headed off to the bus stop. Sitting at the bus stop was someone I can met a couple of years ago but hadn’t seen in ages. We started chatting and it turned out we lived a few blocks away from each other. We went back to hers and spent the next few hours chatting and drinking. I was trying as best I could to get into her pants and was doing quite well. I told her that I had gone to a restaurant a while back and the waitress looked just like her. At that time I couldn’t remember her name so asked the waitress hers. It said … “IT?” She turned to me with a shocked look on her face. “IT?” Yes I had said it. WTF!!! Do I really objectify woman that way? **face plant** Needless to say them panties never came off and I eventually left questioning my inner self.
Discrimination of any sort pisses me off!! But deep within me there is an autopilot of sorts that can be racist, ageist, sexist, classist, sexualist, creedist … I suppress that whenever it gets triggered. But why is it there?
Another heartbroken night … time marches on
Another sexless month … time marches on
A holiday abroad … time marches on
A new friend … time marches on
A new job interview … time marches on
A night out dancing … time marches on
Dreaming of out of reach love … time marches on
Deadline after deadline met … time marches on
Dinner with a friend … time marches on
Domestic arguments … time marches on
Kids acting up … time marches on
Peace of mind … time marches on
Queuing … time marches on
Sick again … time marches on
Unattainable dreams … time marches on
Unending traffic jams … time marches on
Vegetating on the sofa … time marches on
Waiting for freedom … time marches on
And time marches on … another step closer to expiration
Other peoples advice on my personal life is something I have always found difficult taking. Even when it comes with the best of intentions. Even when it came from the woman I am madly in love with about our relationship. My brother is the type of person that piles up layers and layers of philosophically drenched advice like hot syrupy pancakes on a plate. I tend to ignore the words out of his mouth before they are even spoken. Or even from the insightful keyboard warrior who’s writing I treasure. It’s my life at the end of the day so thanks but I am going to do it my way …
Yet when people mention getting married or having kids I find myself advising against it every time now. I have become so disillusioned with my own life that I want to protect others from making the same mistakes. But what right do I have? Just because I have experienced both, it doesn’t make me a guru on either. Should I just shut up and let people live these two important aspects of their life without my 5 cents worth? I often hate myself for doing it. Especially for being negative (this is something that extends to other aspects of my character too). I wish I could just smile warmly, congratulate them and wish them all the best with this fantastic decision. But that’s not me.
You so often get people who have not experienced something offering up advice on that subject. I have never suffered traumatic sexual abuse or attempted suicide, so I would never offer advice on either of those subjects. The second I hear advise on parenting in particular from someone who has never had kids … “piss off mate, just shut up”! Advice on anything like parenting from someone without either the experience of being a parent or at least a career around parenting isn’t worth listening to. Sorry! But should negative advice based on bad personal experience be handed out to anyone that brings up the subject? If I mention a restaurant to someone and they come back with “Ohh no, don’t go there. I was there last week and …”. I would be inclined to take their advice. If I go there it may be a completely different experience for me, but I would most likely avoid the restaurant based on the advice I got. Parenting and marriage is a step a little more serious than the next restaurant you choose to eat at. How important is it making people aware of the potentiality negative consequences of either of those decisions? I don’t wanna be a cunt but I am gonna tell you to proceed with caution on both.