A friend posted a realization she had about herself this morning. It was a big one and a good one for her to make. This ear worm is just for her, it’s close enough to her story.
I was blessed with two wonderful parents, however there’s always that thing in the back of your head. You never want to turn into your parents. You don’t want to become the unhip square, the authoritarian, the alcoholic drunk (a good buddy of mine refuses to drink for that reason), it bites us right straight to the core.
There are definitely some things that are genetic for our personalities. My sister (who is adopted) and I prove that to a T. She recently discovered the family she never knew and it ends up that personality wise she was the spitting image of her mother. I on the other hand have been informed by my mom that when I go into a long rant I sound exactly like my father. Sometimes saying the exact same he said long before I was born and never would have heard him say.
At the same time I know my dad hated his parents. He absolutely did not want to be like them in any way shape or form. He had very few pleasant memories of his father and there’s a reason he hated yard work. When you tell your kid you’ll pay him for the work, and then never pay him it leaves a sour taste. To give you an idea of how split they were, I never met my dad’s father. The first time I met my grandmother Barnett was at my grandfather’s funeral. I was in 4th grade. My dad was booted out of the house at 16 because he was old enough to be on his own. My uncle, my dad’s brother-in-law took him in. I also know my grandfather was very upset I was named Barron instead of Duane. For you see, I was named after the uncle who took him in instead of my grandfather.
We all have demons of some kind. Some have demons worse than others. Some are afraid if they uncage the beast there is no going back. In some cases that can very well be true, addictive personalities for example. In many cases though that is anything but true. Just because I channel my father, at many of the times it’s probably for the better, doesn’t make me my father. Just the same as I’m sure my dad probably did something at some point in his life where he said, “Oh my god, I’m turning into my father.” The thing is, my dad hated and despised his father and he left those parts out. What I was left with was man that I only wish I could compare to. A man that I look at and say I wish there were more people like him. He wasn’t perfect, but the positive and good far out weighed the bad and even the bad isn’t that memorable.
While genetics might be a strong tie, so is will and determination. Just because you get angry or violent doesn’t mean you have to like it. It also doesn’t mean you have to be angry or violent at everyone all the time. I hate being angry, doubly hate becoming violent, which is funny because a lot of my friends tell me I’m really good at being angry. The thing is I actually hate it, I hate the feeling, but I know some times it has to happen. When it does happen, I need to make sure the rage gets channeled to it’s proper location. There are times however I wish I didn’t snap like a drill instructor. Anger alone can scare a lot of people quite quickly with the fear of you becoming violent, doubly so when they don’t realizing that being honest will quickly cause it to subside. But I digress.
The bottom line is this, no matter what our parents have had an effect on who we are. Both through genetics and our environment. They’ve had an effect, but they don’t define who we are absolutely. It’s a combination of the two that creates who we are in the very end. While genetics might predispose us to particular vices, we can choose to avoid them. We can choose to dislike or even hate them. We can also just the same realize that a particular trait is bad in one setting but OK, even valuable, in another.