A lot of the best life lessons are learned the hard way. It took me the better part of 20 years to figure that out. Even today, I still whine a little when things get tough. And then, I harden the fuck up and get on with it.
This is probably going to be somewhere between a rant and a pep talk. That's usually how it goes for me; I rail against the injustices and challenges, then start psyching myself up to smash them. I don't know about you, but I've always found something enormously satisfying about getting through the hard part of an ordeal, then completely blasting the last quarter of it. It just makes it seem even more worthwhile somehow.
I found out some rubbish stuff recently, stuff I can allude to, but not necessarily name directly due to the sensitive nature of it. This blog isn't about having a place to bitch about home, work or relationships, it's about making myself a better, more educated individual by using the goddess-given skills I was born with and putting them to good use. So, in saying that, I'll try not to be too obscure and hope you get the point.
Some people I get along very well with and some people I work with, and still others who I am very close to, have all recently decided, subconsciously I'm sure, to get together and be right idiots. Between them, they have managed to completely unnerve me, bewilder me, and downright distress me. In some ways, I have to give them points for that. A single person is generally unable to deliver that sort of all-encompassing blow, so I'm a little impressed by their unknowing unity in this arena.
As I get older and hopefully wiser, I'm baffled by the choices the people around me make. Perhaps when I was younger I didn't care as much, or maybe I was making the same choices so it didn't seem so odd.
The first equation involves one thing being said in believably good faith, but with obviously no thought behind it.
When someone comes to me with an idea or a plan, I try to take some time to consider it, even if my gut says it's crap. And so, if you tell me something out of the blue that directly affects my life, without having consulted me or obviously made an effort to warn me, I am, sadly, likely to go lose my cool. Usually in a most violent and/or unattractive fashion. Crying, yelling, sarcasm, and consumption of copious amounts of sugar are par for the course. Your best option in this instant is retreat. Quickly and for a reasonable amount of time.
I like to think I recover from such 'surprises' with a certain amount of equanimity, but that can depend on you. Do take this time to adjust your thinking, discuss options with me, and generally try to make this a group effort. Survival is far more likely if you do, and as a bonus, you may find I have a better idea, that doesn't leave you looking immature, as opposed to just absent-minded.
Equation two is trickier; people who genuinely think they are doing you a favour with their words and actions. To use a polite acronym; FFS. Please do not tell me you are doing this for my benefit, that you thought this was a cohesive way to move forward, that 'if this is what you want' when clearly it isn't, and any other appalling buzz words and phrases that happen to come to mind when you are smilingly screwing me over.
Even better (sarcasm, marvelous stuff); people who tell other people, especially peers and management, how much they are doing for you. I'm not quite sure how I made it to the point where I'm in a position where I have to be grateful for something I'm not sure I wanted to do in the first place. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to be looked after, but let's not do the dog-and-pony show of how hard you are fighting for me, how much you care. Because, let's be honest here; I either got to where I am 90% on my own, or you've all spent the last few years negotiating above my head. With all due respect, the latter option is very un-fucking-likely. Even with my foul mouth.
And last, but by no means least, the inner circle sting. This one involves people very close to you being more selfish, horrible, tunnel-visioned or generally insensitive than you even remember them being. In ages. And it doesn't even have to be towards you; these prize examples of humanity can behave like complete trolls to others, and then one night, boom. You just happen to witness it. Properly see it for what it is. Isn't it hateful?
This one makes my heart die, just a wee bit. Even more so than the two above. At least with them you can honestly believe that they meant well.
This lot give me the creeps. And also make me see red. I think you get to a certain age where selfishness should be confined to time spent alone, buying yourself those sexy heels, or occasionally making sure you get your point across in difficult situations.
Selfishness comes in all shapes and forms, slippery thing that it is. It can be sulking at public events, it can be 'forgetting' things that don't involve you, it can be making it all about you. The more of these combined, the more my heart dies.
So I guess I shouldn't be surprised if I've seen this behaviour before, that it all combines at one point, right? Not so much. Deep down, I'm a romantic. I'm a peaceful person. I like hugs and giggles and silly stories. It still comes as a bit of a shock when people can't make it about others for half an hour. It really does. Especially people I know really well. Or thought I did. And when I've stopped being all teary and sooky, I get absolutely, really mad. And then I get cold. And a bit clever.
Quite a few years back, this is where my mantra phrase came in; Harder. Faster. Stronger. Better.
Because with every challenge, with every fake friend or ally, with every selfish act perpetrated with indifference, I get harder. My skin grows a little thicker. My reactions become a little faster; I'm not so quick to believe the old bullshit.
My soul gets a little stronger, it retains all those memories and weaves a tougher suit of armor to protect me. I become better. Just better.
Not every day is a battlefield. Some days it can be the quiet challenges that give you the most grief. But remember, all of them, down to a single one, make you...
Harder. Faster. Stronger. Better.
***Get through Mondays with babes looking badass, two of my favourite things***