The wisdom in “Okayest”
All of us have a positive self and a negative self. That can take many forms, depending on how you were raised. Some call it, “higher power/demon;” others, “maturity/immaturity;” some, “adulating/being childish;” and still others, “not an ass-hole/ass-hole.” In my Jewish Italian mixed up liberal hippie/yippie family, we called it any and all of these, depending on the day. In my work, I call it functional/dysfunctional. Whatever we name it, it is important to ask, “Is this helpful?”
Anytime we interact with others, it is easy to release our stress by speaking negatively, gossiping, or judging. But, there is a limit to how helpful that can be. I am learning as I get older, that part of maintaining relationships is not being an asshole. Huge realization, I know. It only took me 31 years…. (Cue eye roll). On most days, I am indeed being an asshole at least 50% of the time. If I include my critical self-talk, (my inner asshole), it’s more like 99% of the time. But guess what! The joy of being a human is that I can only do my best, learn from my mistakes, and try to avoid making the same mistakes in the future. I will make better mistakes as I go on, as long as I don’t let my inner asshole block me from growing.
So, if I made a mistake, be it at work, with loved ones, or at home, guess what: I can fix it. As long as I continue learning, I will get better. My lesson plan may not be perfect, my apartment may have a little more dust than I’d like, my photos may be too pixelated, and I may have missed a button, but goddamn it, I’m good enough, and I deserve as much of a break as every other person on the planet. Maybe it’s time to throw away the gold medals, A++ papers, and all those gold stars and remember that “World’s Okayest” is what matters, as long as we are all safe, loved, and accounted for.