From an early age, each one of us had adults, probably our parents, feeding us a plethora of encouragements about the people we would one day become. Then again, maybe you didn’t and you were raised by a nurturing pack of coyotes. In which case, you’re probably a ward of the state. If that’s you, you probably can’t read or work an electronic device, so this doesn’t concern you. Move along. For the rest of us who are matriculating into the work and or postgrad world, we are beginning to see a trend that points towards the fact that 89% of those statements were grade-A bullshit.
1. “You can be anything!”
Every child hears this phrase. I know I heard it plenty of times. However, the reality is that you absolutely cannot “be anything.” Want to know what I originally wanted to be? Like many other young American boys, I wanted to channel my inner-Neil Armstrong and be an astronaut. I don’t know if it was the natural beauty of space that intrigued me, or if it was the fact that I wanted to participate in nothing short of American dominance on the world scene. What I do know, is that there was no way on God’s green earth that I was ever going to make it as an astronaut. I don’t even like spending more than an hour on a plane, much less a rocket that would be transporting me out of our fucking galaxy. 4-year-old me was one crazy bastard. This is all not to mention that NASA is basically out of commission thanks to the irresponsible jack-socks in Washington that can’t balance a budget.
This applies to everyone. Granted, there are CEOs and politicians whose parents were pretty close when they said their kids could be anything. However, I’m sure Chris Christie’s parents said he could be anything, but it’s obvious that a track star was not one of those possibilities. Either way you look at it, there are always people we know from grade school who never in a million years could have the mental capacity to even flip a McDonald’s burger. Yeah, that fat kid in your class who got caught masturbating in the bathroom stall during fourth period in the 9th grade, his parents told him he could be anything too.
2. “You’ll have all the girls/boys crawling all over you.”
The adults in your early life make you think post-puberty life will be like walking into a strip club with an unlimited supply of cash. The only difference for the females is the fact that their fathers cringe every time someone mentions those future prospects. If you’re a guy and your name isn’t Channing Tatum or anyone else of that mold, you know those were all lies. Girls, yeah, some of you actually fight off guys on the reg. So give us a break, we thought getting you would be simple, but in reality, we have to learn to talk to you. Some people would call this “game.” It comes easy for some, but for many of us, learning to talk to girls was like learning Japanese sign language. But then again, some girls are so hopeless that the only time a guy will talk to them is if he is 14 beers deep and their buddy just dared him to go over and speak to them.
I’ll be completely honest, I was ugly as shit as a kid. Buck teeth, skinny, awkward, and girls weren’t exactly interested in the fact that I was awesome at art class. However, I did come into my own, develop a nice athletic frame, and play college sports, but that still doesn’t cut it. Sure, I had my luck here and there, but damn if I had to work for it. Girls crawling over me? If I woke up and that was the case, I’d think I just fell into some alternate dimension. Unless you’re Johnny Football or someone who the media is obsessed with, you know that no matter how awesome you may be, girls simply do not “crawl over you” unless you are indeed at a strip club with plenty of cash.
3. “All that matters is that you tried your best.”
This is by far the most damaging lie some of us were told. Personally, I was never lied to in this regard. If I had a bad outing on the pitcher’s mound as kid, I had to listen to my dad berate me about the fact that walking the leadoff batter leads to giving up a run 80% of the time the entire ride home while I sat in the back seat with my throbbing arm. I never really got the sympathy card when it came to my performances, whether it was on the field or in the classroom. However, some people grew up getting credited only for effort regardless of results. As we all know, your resume doesn’t include a section that says how hard you tried. We were once a nation that was the best at everything, but many of our rankings are gradually dropping as generations of kids are only concerned with effort and not results. “Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.” Where is Vince Lombardi when you need him? Give credit where credit is due.
4. “Looks don’t matter. It’s the inside that counts.”
Before you label me as a shallow son of a bitch, I’ll admit that personality can go a long way. However, a great personality can’t make up for a face that looks like it’s been beaten several times with a hefty branch from the ugly tree. Think about this concept for a second. If you’re walking down the street and stranger smiles at you and they’re attractive, you’ll probably think “Oh, they’re nice.” If that particular stranger is ugly, you’ll probably want to scream out for help and sprint the other way. That’s science, and you can’t argue with science.