Growing up is hard, but so is still feeling like you're in the dark about things you should already know as an adult.
Here's a secret: We're all just trying to get by. I used to marvel at the adults around me and wonder how they managed to figure it all out. They actually never did! Shocking!
Today's burning question comes from Redditor TotallyNotAPlant, who asked the online community: "As children, we were often told "you'll understand when you're older." What's something that, even now that you're older, you still don't understand?"
There's a lot, okay? A lot.
"Why I was told..."
Why I was told I had to remain loyal to my family. They aren't good for me and I'm not good when I'm enabling them soooo... why?
"I questioned it."
Physical discipline. I was "spanked" a lot growing up, and I never understood it. I wasn't allowed to hit anyone, adults weren't allowed to hit other adults, but somehow it's okay for adults to hit kids?
I questioned it. Which earned me another spanking and a firm "you'll understand when you have kids."
And I gotta tell you, two kids later I'm still stumped. I've never hit them and they're amazing kids. Yes, I taught them right from wrong, and discipline them when necessary. It's an ongoing process when they're kids. I firmly believe our parents were looking for a fast out. "If we hit them they'll never do anything we don't like again." Which is inherently wrong. I did plenty. I just made damn sure I didn't get caught.
"Why swear words are 'bad'..."
Why swear words are "bad," even though they mean the same thing as their non vulgar counterparts. For example, if I'm not allowed to say sh!t, why can I say crap, feces, and poop?
"Why I wasn't allowed..."
Why I wasn't allowed to do things my brother did just because I was a girl.
Yelling at your loved ones when you're mad or upset or just having a bad day. It's not that I don't get upset with people; I just don't get the urge to do that. I'll never understand why my parents would yell at me for things like literal spilt milk.
Why whenever someone asks how you are, you have to say good/fine.
"Why do we..."
Why do we treat children and teens like they are undeserving of equal respect and honesty as adults?
"Where other people..."
Where other people get their money from.
I honestly have no idea how other humans "do it."
I'm always broke.
Everyone just throws that word around and nods. How they hell do I even get started on that sh!t?
"Oh talk to a broker or consultant at your bank, they'll take care of it for you."
No, they ask me questions like, "How much risk are you comfortable with?" which I have no idea how to answer. None? I'd rather have no risk - is that right? Oh i need a little? OK, then lets do risk. I don't know how much - what does everyone else do?
"Do you want GICs, mutuals, [other terms I conceptually understand by have no degree of knowledge that lets me make a decision]?" Sure? Yes? Do we do them all a little bit? Should I just say thing like, "The Chinese Tech sector is gonna blow up, bro. I want an international fund that focuses on that with 2 year terms" and hope that makes sense?
I have no idea how anyone makes and informed decisions on investing, I think everyone is just pretending they know what their talking about and hoping for the best.
I'm 34 and still trying to understand this sh*t.
"I remember being made to apologize..."
I remember being made to apologize when I didn't know what I was apologizing for or didn't understand an apology meant/should mean. Now I over apologize (especially at work) because the words don't mean anything to me but they seem to make other people more at ease.
"I don't get why..."
I don't get why crying about something meant automatic guilt.
Seriously, as someone that grew up with anxiety and PTSD, why in god's name would me crying be an admission of guilt? After all, it's terrifying when someone a foot taller than you and twice your weight has an angry look on their face.
"Why some shows..."Giphy
Why some shows are just for kids?
Now that I am older I especially love the shows more geared towards kids. There is no designed drama or some confusing pull-at-the-heart topics. They are usually easy and wholesome and just go for humor.
I love the kids shows now more than I did as a kid maybe because I can appreciate them now.
"Why are we taught..."
Why are we taught to "don't hate the player, hate the game", when the players perpetuate the game, and no one wants to do anything to permanently improve it.
"How people mistake passion for love."
How people mistake passion for love.
If you hate someone who has different needs and goals than you, who makes you a worse person when you're around them, who isolates you from people who are good in your life--why the hell do you think you can't live without them?
Passion means you feel stronger around someone. Passion means you can't live without someone because they make you better, drive you to be the best version of yourself. Passion means you care enough to fight, not that fighting is the default setting.
It drives me insane to see friends stuck in this. It doesn't just apply to romance, either. I've got friends in friendships that they think are meaningful because "they've been through so much together", when in reality the only thing they've been through is the toxicity they create in each other.
I don't get it. When I was a kid I asked questions and everyone told me it was because I'd never been in love. Now I'm 28, and I've been in love, and I've felt passion turn toxic. I don't mean abusive partners--I've had those too, and they play mind games, I completely understand why people stay in abusive relationships.
But ones that are just plain toxic? Bad friendships? Romances that just don't work? I don't get it. I've never felt better than after getting rid of someone in my life who's terrible for me.
"Why rock music was evil."
Why rock music was evil.
My dad was convinced of it. Ordered me to get rid of my vinyl album of "Tommy" by The Who. So I did. Then promptly went out and bought another copy and hid it from him and listened to it anyway.
Now my daughters love The Who, Queen, David Bowie, etc.
One thing I learned: If you forbid your kid from doing something, they'll just do it behind your back. A valuable lesson learned that caused me to parent my daughters much differently from the way I was parented.