Lessons To Learn

fall edit

Life is such a silly thing. It’s over so quickly. It goes by with the snap of your fingers. Even 80’s are still young these days. My grandfather was 84 when he left my family last week. He came and went and left his mark. I loved him with all my heart. He made me really think about life in a different way. How to cherish someone else with all your heart, make them laugh, make yourself laugh, be boisterous and happy, be loud, be a jokester, be someone that everyone wants to know. That’s who he was, and although he’s gone he left those very special traits to absorb into my own life and make my life just as happy, just as fun.

After his funeral, I was more aware of people who treat life with such disdain and unhappiness. They put up with things that are so unnecessary. They put up with relationships that are complete shit, they hear things from selfish people, they put up with a shitty job, they don’t do what they want, they don’t say no. I see these people everywhere. I hear what they are told, and how they are treated. I’m blown away by how much they go through just to go through it. Why?

This year has been a transformation for me. So many different experiences have shown me how little time we have to deal with others who want to just bring you down and make you unhappy. I was in an abusive relationship once. It almost mentally destroyed me. I was put down, and I put up with it. I was told I was nothing, and I was continuously badgered for years to come, even after we broke up and separated. We lived in different states and he still could call me up and make me feel 2 feet tall again. I put up with something that someone else was too weak to get under control, too insecure, too selfish. He would constantly try to wiggle back in as “friends”. A friend that would make me feel worthless, and that I wasn’t good enough. I finally said enough was enough THIS YEAR. I finally asked myself, “Charlotte…what the HELL are you doing?” I stopped all communication. I walked away. Now that I’ve turned away, I see other people going through the same thing that are just sitting there taking it. Hurting, and wondering what’s wrong with them. Trust me, it took me a long time to realize that what they are saying is not about you, it is a reflection of how they feel about themselves thrust at you in a malicious comment. Get up. Get OUT.

Other people deal with shitty jobs just to pay the bills. I do it right now, but in 2 months that will change. I will no longer deal with the masses of bosses who don’t care about their employees. The ones who only care about money for themselves while you work your ass off for tips because otherwise your paychecks accumulate to 34 hours of $2.12 an hour. Bullshit. Don’t put up with it. Leave. Go be better than that. My grandfather worked on B36 Bombers for the Korean War. He was an engineer. When they tested the atom bomb he said he covered his eyes with his arm, and when the sky lit up he could see his bones through his closed eyes, through his arm. He was a history teacher, he was an FBI agent. He told my once that when he was at a shootout, his partner shot the assailant with a shot gun and his head popped into the air, clean off. Gruesome stories, funny stories. Stories about where he and my grandma Neva spent their honeymoon, to which he replied, “In Neva’s bedroom”. He was such a lover of life, damn I miss him, and I no longer want to put up with things just to put up with them, like he never did. And I’m trying to tell you all to do the same. Right now.

Don’t put up with people telling you rude things, being mean just to be mean, taking your happiness away. I was told something rude today. And I didn’t take it. I called them out. I told them that what they said was rude, and uncalled for, and unnecessary. They don’t have the right to take your happiness away. No one should be able to take your happiness away. No one should be able to remove your smile with a remark, only because they lack common emotions of graciousness and love. These selfish people so absorbed in themselves don’t get to continue on without being stunted. When you hold open the door for someone and they waltz right past you, never acknowledging you, never saying thank you, it drives me crazy. Where did manners go? Saying thank you, you’re welcome, please? Picking up after yourself and not littering?

This year is almost over. Two more months and it’ll be 2016. We’ve made it so far, we are so evolved and intelligent for a species, and yet, we are treating eachother more and more like shit. Like no one matters unless they’re in your group of friends. I went to school with a guy who I saw recently at a coffee shop. We didn’t know eachother well in high school, but I knew of him by his current interests in photography and we had mutual friends. I went up and said hi and that we had gone to high school together and that his photography was really good. And he completely blew me off. He was a total jerk, and basically laughed at the fact that I knew of him and he didn’t know me. He was the definition of asshole. And you know what? It made me realize something. All of these people who think they are so high and mighty, who think they are popular, or wealthy, or successful. Guess what? No one gives a fuck. Honestly. The people outside of your tiny circle of photographers in Utah don’t know you. They don’t know who you are, or your name, or your photography. They don’t give a shit about your house, or your car, or where you went last summer on vacation. No one gives a fuck. Because we are all fighting the sea for ourselves. We are all just trying to make it. We are all running in the same direction towards the top, hoping we grab the hand of a pretty lady or handsome man in the meantime, and spend time with them, and wear a smile on our faces, and make a little money to get by, and make mistakes, and love, and live, and someday die.

These things. These people that try to dampen us. These situations that bring us down, these memories that keep us humble. Everything happens to every single one of us. So why the hostility? Why the rudeness? Why are we so mean to eachother? Why can’t we all just help eachother to the top and not step on eachother along the way? Because one day, we are all going to perish and we are all going to realize at that moment as we close our eyes and cease to be that we are all made of the same material. Our hearts beat, our lungs inflate, our veins pulse, and we are all just bags of bones parading the planet together. So stop being so goddamn rude to eachother and start making yourself happy. Because honestly, if we can be gracious and delicate with everyone’s life around us then in turn they will do the same and this life will be a much more pleasant one. But it all starts with stopping the things that cause you harm and focusing on the things that make you feel good to be alive. Because it’s a miracle that we are.

-C