Some days, the World makes me sad. The biggest problem, on reflection, isn’t everybody else either. It’s just me. Everyone else is enjoying what’s going on and happily just living in the moment, and I’ve picked up something that isn’t right. The problem is, because the vast majority of people clearly believe that what’s happening is great and fun and totally correct, there is automatically no wrong to be found. They all fit into the scheme of things without thought.
I can’t do anything without considering consequence.
It’s not always been this way, but I know now what happens when I don’t think, and allow myself to wander into situations without appropriate reflection. Bad stuff happens, REALLY horrible things that upset people and ruin friendships and often destroy the most important thing of all you can hold with someone else: trust. So, you make a judgement call: do you do something, or do you not? This morning there are two completely separate issues that have irked me, and having spoken to the wisest person I know right now (my daughter) she hits the nail on the head: you don’t make other people unhappy because you’re not feeling included. Let them do their thing, and enjoy what’s going on, and you go do something else.
Let someone else be the villain, not you.
The thing is, I know if I said my piece there would be people who agreed with me, but there comes a point in every situation where it isn’t about that assertion at all, this does not matter one iota. Pointing out fault is only worthwhile if you think someone will understand, for starters. You’re far more likely to not get what you want and potentially alienate the person you’re dealing with. If it’s something important, sure, but when its abundantly apparent the situation’s hardly life threatening or world changing? Using the same skill set for everything eventually breaks down. There has to be a degree of subtlety in approach, something I really struggle with. The last few days has shown that my outlook doesn’t mesh with a lot of the people who read me on some quite fundamental points of contention. Learning how to deal with this is hard when you never learnt those skills as a child.
Here is the bigger problem for me, and why I’m sitting here close to tears, because I grasp I am basically lacking in humanity I suspect most people carry with them without a thought.
When you grasp your social ability is lacking, what do you do? Is it easier to put a label on yourself and blame that? I could very easily play the introvert card here and justify everything around that. I could do what my family has tried to do in the past and find a syndrome or a disorder to try and categorise my depression and bluntness. But I know the truth: I am just what I am because this is how I chose to deal with the world for so long. I didn’t care about others thoughts and feelings, and I simply decided not to think about consequence. There is no excuse for being selfish, no means by which you justify your arrogance. You don’t even try.
Here is where the words end up saving me, as they always have, because I’m what I have become by choice. If I’m going to atone for a lifetime’s worth of arrogant dismissal because I couldn’t actually find the balls to address my own feelings? Then you have to look at everything as it happens, and learn to reassess the situations when they arise. Mostly, you have to find the means to communicate more effectively, which is what I’m now doing. Because what would have happened before is simple: I would have walked away from these situations and the resentment I didn’t make my point would fester, and then eventually it would explode. I’m done being angry at the world, because it won’t do what I want it to. Now I’m going to be different, and make the anger into something constructive.
It will change me into a person who understands tolerance above righteousness.
Mostly, I look at what I’ve now become: a role model. I didn’t ask to be one, but as a Mother that is now what I am. I’m always Bad Cop in my household too: I know both kids love me, but their father’s always the one who gets approached first for things, is the easier one to sway when they need a cash sub or the latest thing provided. I understand that if you’re going to give children an accurate sense of balance, there always has to be the dark and the light. Except some days I wish that NO wasn’t the answer nobody wanted. Sometimes, to stop and walk away is actually a better choice than simply throwing yourself into everything, and I understand now this is the lesson that I never fully grasped until well into adulthood.
Just because you can have everything doesn’t mean that you should.
In the end, as a human being, being single-minded in your pursuit of an ideal is ultimately a path to self-destruction. The only way you temper such endeavours is with pause and reflection, and in this modern world is is often very easy to ignore the warning signs, when someone is heading down a dangerous path. Today, I realised for the first time that this isn’t something that diminishes with physical age. Just getting older doesn’t mean you get wiser, you actually have to work at that too.
Some days, walking away is the best thing you can do for everybody.