Having Learned a Thing or Two
This has been quite a year. The wins were, or certainly seemed at the time, few, far between, and completely dwarfed in significance by the losses.
The thing about losses though, is that’s where the lessons live. I hurt a lot this year. I read somewhere that pain is weakness leaving the body. I think it’s more lessons joining it. So here’s me sitting myself down to remind myself of a few important things I’ve learned.
This isn’t, and isn’t supposed to be, advice for anybody else. This is just about me. Your mileage may vary. Or be counted in kilometres.
Things to remember going forward. To 2015 and Beyond.
Seriously, think of a time when you went somewhere, anywhere, where there was an opportunity to dance. Did you? And how did you feel afterwards? That’s what I thought. So why do you let fear stop you? You’re a fool whether you dance or not, so you may as well dance. Though if you can avoid sending your glasses flying across the room, whoever’s in the way will probably appreciate it. Maybe wear your contact lenses when you’re dancing, eh?
Quit apologizing for you.
I get it, those asshats masking rudeness, a lack of consideration, and outright bigotry with “I’m just being myself” or “I’m just being honest”, I remember them too. But you’re not them. You don’t have to apologize for your taste in music, food, movies, whatever. And you don’t have to apologize for your emotions. If somebody doesn’t want to see you cry, they’re welcome to leave the room. Sure, apologize when you fuck up, especially if your fucking up hurts somebody. Don’t be a douchecanoe yourself, but you’ve got rather a ways to go before you get there, darling. On a related note:
“Self” is not a four-letter word.
If you don’t take care of you, who’s going to? There’s a time and a place to put aside what you want to do in service of what you have to do. But it’s probably not as often as you think it is. And the fact that they’re your priorities doesn’t mean they’re automatically any less important than anybody else’s. Especially to you.
Apply the “Baby Sister” test:
Remember that time you offered to break somebody’s face for the way they’d treated your little sister or a close friend? Yes, you’re sometimes a bit of a blowhard, so there’s more than one instance to think about. Now think about the shit you’ve put up with. Why do you think your sisters and friends deserve to be treated better than you? You know what, don’t answer that, because whatever you’re going to say is going to be a pile of crap. Now, actually breaking the faces of people who treat you poorly probably isn’t the way to go, but that doesn’t mean you have to be a doormat.
That fear you’ve got? That paranoid thinking that the world is out to get you and that the only way to get what you want is to sneak it in spite of the world at large? That as soon as you say you want something out loud, the universe will conspire to keep it from you? You gotta get over that, darling. Yes, there are douchecanoes out there who will take some kind of perverse joy in hearing you express a want or need and making the opposite happen. But are your friends and family those douchecanoes? By and large, probably not, but even if they are, isn’t it better to find out and limit your interactions accordingly? Your friends and family are by and large, great, wonderful, fantastic people. And believe it or not, for the most part they want you to be happy and successful. But mind readers? They’re not. Think, just for a second, how many times you’ve heard someone you care about say “I had no idea that…” or “If I’d known, I never would have….”