Apr 2014
Josie Bungert

Not sorry for swearing up a storm

As Easter quickly approaches, I am once again tasked at looking back on this lenten season only to discover I once again failed miserably.

When I was younger, I would give up something for lent that didn’t matter. One year, I distinctly remember telling my mom I was going to give up popcorn, only for her to say “you don’t even like popcorn.” I thought I could slip under the radar. In high school, I would give up things that I thoroughly enjoyed (Lakeville North school cookies anyone?), and would work really hard to stick to it, knowing I would be happy with myself in the end.

Around sophomore year of college, I decided I would focus my energies on doing extra things instead of giving things up. Working out more, taking time for myself more, keeping plans in place, attempting to be a better person in general. You know, self improvement type things. One of those things that I tried to give up completely junior year was swearing like a sailor.

If you know me from class or from a professional setting, you may not know how much I swear. At least I hope you don’t, because I try to keep that on the DL in these settings. But if you know me really well, you know I tend to curse a lot, and often when it’s completely unnecessary, and at times, inappropriate.

Lent last year, I failed. I went a couple days, consciously thinking about it, but then I would be in a stressful situation or environment, and it would all go downhill from there. By Easter morning, I was disappointed in myself, and upset that I couldn’t cut something so unladylike from my life. I swore too much, and it was rubbing off on those around me.

So, this year, I said to myself, I really can do this. No one needs to swear. No one has to have a tough mouth in a tough situation, and no one has to relieve stress by muttering curse words while they smash chocolate chips into micro-sized bits while baking chocolate chip cookies.

Well, friends, I discovered something about myself this year: I need this outlet. I learned that by focusing my energy on not cursing, I was not finding a replacement way to let off steam (as much as baking does this for me, it isn’t always enough). I found that since I was being conscious of it, the times I did swear, I beat myself up over it. I also found that since I was being conscious of it, it felt amazing when I went on a random swearing rampage. Finally, I have known for the majority of my life that I am not a rebel, a strict rule-following Type A freak, and swearing is one thing that makes me feel rebellious.

So here I sit, four days before Easter, just patting myself on the back for keeping the curse words at bay while I am at the office or in class. That’s all I can ask of myself. Sure, I am ashamed that I am attached to a thing I am not fond of. But in two lenten seasons, I couldn’t give it up, and it taught me a lot about myself.

If you failed at your lenten resolution, consider why. Was it because that thing you gave up or worked on is a huge part of your life? If so, you chose the right thing to work on. But hey, even though you failed, you’re still a good human, and that’s all we can hope to be.