I'm the kind of person who believes that I should always be able to look back at who I was at any point in my life, and think I was an idiot compared to what I know in the present. Not to say that I'm a genius now, but that I have learned so much, and become even more myself over time.
And lately, I've been thinking about how my surroundings have affected that, in many good ways.
I've noticed that I have the broadest span of people out of my family. I know people all over, and touch on many different circles and hobbies and groups.
My siblings tend to think a lot like my parents. They have a lot of the same abusive tendencies, and gaslight, and have no idea what healthy relationships are. They also have a lot of very racist and bigoted habits and views.
And, I know I started there at one point. I can think of a lot of points in time when I held views similar to them just because I wasn't taught that anything could be otherwise. I've had to learn how to treat people, and how I need to be treated, much less what I deserve.
There's been so much of me learning, the more and more I distance myself from my parents, and it shows how they've mentally stagnated over the last forty years, content in complacency and feeling as though they are perfect and eternally right and justified in their abuse.
And then as I experience more, and want to continue to experience more, I create that distance just from learning about people and the world and how to function around others.
I think we all need to continue to see things, and create that ever broadening circle in the world. To learn and mature and grow.
And when you settle into one idea, and push that on others, breaking free of those people is such an insane thing.