I’m always behind on the new slang “the kids are using nowadays!” I say that jokingly, but I really mean it. When I catch up, my husband usually already knows what it means so he’s my dictionary for stuff like that. Here’s my least favorite: “So extra!”
I really don’t like this term for a couple of reasons:
- The meaning it encapsulates
- The fact that I think it just sounds stupid. Say it out loud. Say it in context. Here’s an example: “She did so much for her kid’s birthday party. That’s so extra!” Does that not just sound really stupid out loud?
Here’s why it really bothers me. It’s a putdown. It’s a knock. It’s saying someone’s effort at something is “too much.” Why? Because this person who is putting them down wouldn’t work as hard as them in the same situation? Probably. Does it sound petty and a little jealous? I think so.
As a Texan I can say, most of the best things in life are extra. Guacamole. Queso. They are extra, and when you add either in they bring a magic that would otherwise missing. That’s a little joke, but why would anyone want to knock someone else for doing more than you would?
Look, I’m not about putting others down because they do anything differently than me. I’m not about looking at HOW someone tends the garden of their heart. I’m all about keeping my eyes on mine, and watching how I’m cultivating what’s growing in me. When something blooms in someone else, I want to look at that beauty and celebrate with them, and I don’t care how those blooms came. If those blooms came through different talents or different means, it shouldn’t cause someone to want to pluck the petals in someone else’s garden. That’s what you do when you talk about people this way. Even if you don’t have the guts to say it to their faces, if you say it to enough people, it will get back to them, and it will hurt.
Why would you want to hurt someone or ask them to diminish themselves? What about that could ever be okay? Look, we are all really good at not seeing the best parts of ourselves. If someone does see this as a good part of themselves and you criticize them, you could level that garden in their heart with one blow!
Here’s the deal: I am that person. There’s not been anything in my life that I’ve not had to work really hard for. I have worked and toiled and labored for everything. Being all in is the only way I know how to do anything. You may not know that’s my story. Here’s another part of my story.
We never really got to have birthday parties. Our family just couldn’t afford it. We had everything we could for our birthdays, and I’m thankful for that. As the parent now, I go big at birthdays. I love to throw my kids parties! I love to have fun things for the kids to do, I love decorating, and cooking for our guests. I love to give them a day where they know that we love them and want to celebrate them. Maybe I want to give them what I couldn’t have. You need to know someone’s story and why they do what they do before you put them down. I’m thankful for their lives, and I want to celebrate that by going big- it’s the only way I know to do it, and I’ve never regretted it!
I realize that everything about the way I do this and other things would cause people to call me “extra.” Here’s the deal though: I am a confident woman who is very comfortable with who I am and why I do what I do WHICH MEANS I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT IT. While these people are busy being petty, I’m busy enjoying my life without a need to rob myself of joy through comparison. Expend your energy on something positive for you instead of using it up putting others down. Does that make anyone feel better? If that makes you feel better, really look at the deepest parts of yourself because that’s not okay.
Can we all as adults just agree not to talk about each other this way? Maybe that’s why this is something the kids are saying nowadays- it’s immature. It does nothing to build anyone up. It does nothing to contribute to your soul. It does nothing besides grow a discontented spirit that needs to put others down because you are not willing to work hard in the same ways or on the same things.
Maybe these people need to be a little more extra. Maybe they wouldn’t put others down if they were willing to get up and give all their effort to something. Maybe they need a little extra dose of grow-up-and-stop-being-petty!
In the end that’s what this is. It isn’t really an issue with the mom throwing the birthday parties or making fun snacks for the class or the person who does whatever their soul loves to do. This is your issue, and it only reflects what’s really in your heart.
Grow something better. Cultivate something beautiful instead. That’s what we all need. In the chaos around us, we all need to be about growing and giving each other something to celebrate. Be willing to celebrate someone else even if it’s not what you would do or how you would do it!
Now someone pass the guacamole. Don’t forget the tortilla chips!