It’s a pretty common thing to hear me say, “I have a policy against… (fill in the blank with some completely arbitrary rule that I created for what I perceived to be good reasons).” Mostly my friends and family just roll their eyes at me when I say this but I have these policies for good reason. I’m a little too impulsive which means that I need structure in which I can be impulsive and not be stupid. It works for me.
Most of the policies are safety related, “No matter what I’m doing in the day I go home and sleep in my own bed,” fashion related, “No leggings or pointy toed shoes,” and health related, “If you must smoke it, I won’t do it.” Others are just completely random, “I won’t tell my name in clubs.”
Policies generally begin in a process that looks like thus:
Step 1: Something annoys me.
Step 2: I brood over said annoyance
Step 3: Said annoyance pops up in my daily life
Step 4: I swear off said annoyance.
Step 5: Someone makes a comment to me about said annoyance
Step 6: Annoyance hits boiling point, policy is solidified
Obviously the process changes slightly depending on the particular policy, but the pattern is pretty accurate. It’s similar to how I started my vendetta against Jason Derulo and I DO NOT let go of these annoyances and policies.
In the last few weeks, though, I’ve broken several policies. First it was “No animal prints,” when I purchased the zebra print shoes, then it was “I don’t wear edible items,” when I wore not only a ring pop but also a candy bracelet at my niece, Fraggle’s, birthday party. It escalated a bit when rules like “No kissing” and “No impulse road trips” were blasted apart by making out with two guys whose names I never even knew (I know…) and me going to California next week to see my BFFs.
The thing is, it doesn’t bother me that I’ve shattered these policies. I’ve always seen things in black and white but I’m starting to see things in shades of gray. My strict policies are turning more into guidelines. Overall I think that’s a good thing.
I’ve mostly tried to avoid talking here about my faith, losing that faith, the existential meltdown that ensued, the angsting that resulted from the existential meltdown, the search for a cohesive worldview and moral system to replace the lost faith, etc. It’s a big messy circle that others don’t need to see but its relevant now.
You see, I’ve used that faith and worldview to justify strict policies and a sense of responsibility for EVERYTHING. The pressure I’ve put on myself is ridiculous and it led to me never actually liking myself. After chucking it, my moral system, and my general worldview, I’ve been able to step back, look at what I’ve actually been doing, and realize that I’ve been stupid.
I do NOT blame faith for my interpretation of it and for the pressure I put on myself but I’m not ready yet to move from the stop I am now. It’s a good place to be. Sure, I’m doing a lot of things that I have a policy against but the breaking of these policies seems to be a good thing.
It’s helping me reassess and take an outsider’s look at my past behavior. Doing so, I’ve realized that I was the flaw in the plan. So, in the spirit of the Change It Up Challenge, here’s one of the major changes I’m undergoing.
Besides, turning my policies into guidelines makes me feel like I’m writing my own Pirate’s Code. That’s badass.