What once I opposed and resisted, today I embrace and welcome.
It’s tough being a REBEL. At least it has been for me. Especially a long-term one.
In my 20’s, I went out of my way to try and think different, live different. What manifested was a mantra of personal, “anti-establishment” ideals that became my unquestionable beliefs, never to be broken. Ever. Some of the flavors of my rebellion were as follows: never marry, never root down in suburbia, organized religion is for the weak, never eat dark meat chicken, etc. These were my sacred laws to live by till death did we part.
Oh how things change. Fast forward a decade (or two)…
Today I am married and I enjoy it. I think marriage is cool. It’s a constant maintenance challenge, but surprisingly rewarding. Today I dream of living in suburbia, surrounded by white picket fences and similar homes not too small and not too large. Today I think organized religion and/or a regular spiritual practice is a helpful, if not necessary, ingredient towards creating and living a happy and healthy life. And today, I eat almost exclusively dark meat chicken and the skin to boot. White meat what?
If you don’t mind, what is that thing you TOTALLY REBELLED against in your past that you completely embrace and fully live into now? What’s your REBEL hypocrisy? Please tell me I’m not alone… :)
* * * * * * * *
DHH: I was raised as a conservative, Evangelical Christian. So when I stopped doing that in college, I turned hostile to Christianity for many years. Today, however, I’m comfortable with many mainstream Christian denominations, such as Episcopalians, who are liberal, support gay rights & marriage equality, etc. I even attend service, finding that such churches both connect to a tradition in which I was raised, and reflect my values as an adult today. I’m still pretty hostile to right-wing fundamentalist Christians, though.
IRIS: I think I went in the opposite direction. Though my parents weren’t religious, I grew up very conservative, shy and naive. I watched my mom, who was very traditional, cook, clean and dutifully iron my father’s clothes. So, I thought that when I grew up, I wanted to have an ideal wedding like in “Sound of Music” with a long flowing gown in a gorgeous church and lots of people. I would also be a dutiful wife, cooking the best meals, greeting my husband back from work, ironing his clothes, etc. But once I got older, all of that sounded ridiculous. I got married in a more casual style on a beach with just a small group of friends and family, and it was certainly the best and most fun wedding I’ve ever been to. My husband does all the cooking, I bring home the bacon and if my husband asked me to iron his clothes, I’d probably throw the iron at his head.
ALFREDO: Back in college, I took my mom and stepdad to a little arthouse movie theater to see a depressing documentary about the Iran Contra scandal. And my stepdad fell asleep during the movie. I was outraged. Outraged! How was he not horrified at the evil on screen? In those years, I just had general scorn for lots of stuff: politicians; the middle class, etc. Having spent a few more years on this earth, though, I realize that when you’re nineteen, you think you’re jesus on a stick, you think you’re the first person ever to discover that the world is full of lies and scandal, you think no one else has realized how complacent we are, blah, blah, blah. And now? Well, now I’ve got the family, the white picket fence (literally, to keep the dog in), the cat, and I knee-jerk vote democrat, no matter what. Obama could be found with his dick in a pile of CIA-funded-cocaine being shipped to the Syrian government, and I’d still vote for him.
QUENTIN: I was very controversial and loved dropping bombs socially when I was young. Now I have become more pleasant, learned to laugh at stranger’s lame jokes and socialize. Sadly, I think I had more real friends when I was more of a rebel.
EMMIE: Sorry, Roger – I can’t think of anything that fits your criteria. The best I can come up with is a real estate purchase. I’ve always thought owning a home sounded incredibly unappealing – the maintenance/repairs/hassle, the commitment and being tied to one place, the attachment to a material thing, the risk, etc etc. I’m still not interested in owning a home, but I recently did a spreadsheet (home buying vs. renting) that showed it was better to buy, assuming you stick within your budget.
I guess I can also include cooking. I never ever wanted to cook anything, ever. Now I cook a fair amount, and like making dishes that are relatively tasty (to ppl in prison). I still don’t like how time-consuming it can be, though.
PHILIP: Yea, this is a difficult question. I’d like to think the things I rebelled against when I was younger are still things I feel the same way about. Maybe the only thing would be my “Asian American identity.” Growing up in a mostly non-Asian environment, definitely rebelled against some of the traditional cultural stuff that my parents emphasized. Now, I’m sorry I didn’t embrace that more fully.