Reflections

This last year has been a journey into the vast unknown for me. This is what I learnt:

I am not the black sheep I always thought I was. Yes, I once was a black sheep, but I have finally stopped letting that one moment of stupid define me. Mostly. Work in progress.

I am not the younger, weaker, less reliable sibling. Yes, in my life I have probably chosen or been manipulating into being that one, one too many times. That is not who I am. I have picked up a load that I would not have chosen for myself, and I have carried it rather well.

I empathize too easily. Far, far too easily. Sometimes, you have to let people deal with their own shit. Regardless of how much easier if would be if you did it for them.

I have more, and better, friends than I thought I did. Friends that take a mommy chicken when I can’t. Friends that bring me pretzels because I asked for them.  Friends that encourage and motivate and sometimes, just listen. Friends that go out of their way to be friends.

Making new friends is hard. So value the ones you have.

I need to sleep 8 hours minimum a night. If I don’t, the emotions in my head get too big for me. There is no fault in that, it runs in our family. Ensuring I get 8 hours plus a night, most nights, is me prioritizing me.

Losing a family is harder than I can ever tell anyone. But it is ok too. Loving someone means wanting what is best for them. Even if it doesn’t suit me.

It doesn’t matter how good you are, how loyal or true or kind or generous or understanding. Sometimes, because of the space that others find themselves in, you have to close a door and leave someone behind. Mourn the loss, forgive the hurt, remember the laughs. And move on.

Sometimes the load you carry feels like it will crush you into the ground. It rarely does. Unless you let it. Beyond all else, this year has taught me that actually, I am pretty damn fabulous.

Stronger than I thought.

Smarter and funnier than I believed.

Truer to my nature than others would have me believe.

Fat, fabulous, in control.

I think that sums it.

My weight is still an issue. Because I let it be. Because of massive doses of medication. Because I never learnt how to control it. But I keep trying. And despite what others say – trying matters. None of us are perfect.

Fabulous because I am me. And those that know me, will attest to that.

In control. Because what else is there?

Picture by Ann Gadd – http://artforewe.co.za/ and http://dogmaticart.co.za/

Fanatics – the quickest way to get me to leave the venue….

If there is one thing in this world that I believe in, it is that every single person has a right to be exactly who they are. Part of that is also a belief that each of us has a right to our beliefs.

Fanatics and extremists per se don’t really bother me. At various times of our lives, each of us needs to believe in various things, to various degrees. Sometimes to get us through the day, sometimes to get us through an event, sometimes just so that we can keep breathing.

I have some hard core beliefs of my own.

There is a responsibility that comes with fanatical beliefs, though. The responsibility to allow others the same freedom you afford to yourself. Tolerance. Patience. Love. They should always trump judgement.

I met one such soul today. And I couldn’t run fast enough. Their beliefs trump all else. Family, friends, government, God. Even reason and logic. Even love and affection. Granted. Believe what you chose. However, you do not have a right to tell me or anyone else who to be, who to be friends with, who I am, and what I should or shouldn’t do.

You do not have a right to discard people like things, because your absolute logic supposedly trumps every single thing that they are. Every single bit of themselves.

You do not have a right to force your belief onto others, in the egotistical belief that your way is the only way.

Yes, you do have a right to not chose me.

But doors swing both ways.

While you are so busy being completely right and righteous, you forget that I also have a right.

A right to surround myself with people who love me and enjoy me and care for me above and beyond what they might think I should be or become. People who accept me. Even if I am flawed. Even if I am wrong. More importantly, who love me even when they think they know better.

I have a right to run. From your intolerance. Your discard. Your opinion.

Some people are not good for you. And you are not good for them.

Circular logic.

Are either of us right? Are both of us wrong? Does it matter?

I chose not to be around someone who cannot fathom who I am.

You have a right not to be around someone that you believe doesn’t measure up.

Neither of us are less than because of the choice. Maybe we are better off.

I met a fanatic today. It did not matter what the belief was. All that mattered was the intolerance.

A fanatic met me today. It did not matter who I was. All that mattered was that I did not measure up.

Doors swing both ways. Always.

And being right, absolutely right, to the nth degree? Damn that must be lonely.

Nurturer

I am one of those indomitable (and truth be told, annoying) souls that are convinced that if you just love someone enough, they will ….. (fill in your most desperate wish here)….

Love you?

Accept you?

Treat you better?

Respect you?

Truth is, I believe anyway, is that to be a nurturer is to be damaged too. I have never come across one such as myself who nurtures only the sound of mind and heart, only those with a healthy ego. No, part of our condition is that we pick the injured, broken and damaged. Those souls that need saving. In our eyes anyway.

We offer our all to these less than worthwhile souls, breaking our entire being on the shores of their damage. We attach ourselves wholeheartedly to the unworthy and in doing so, perversely, base almost all of our worth on them. Their opinion. Their kind, or harsh words. Their indifferent actions.

And we break. If we are lucky, we do not shatter.

Stay in a moment like that for long enough, constantly trying to heal and help and clothe and feed the monster we create, and part of your soul goes black.

The best, and worst of a nurturer, is that we give. We give all. And the nature of the human condition is that we take. We take it all if offered.

Some souls do not want to be fixed. Some souls, as damaged as we perceive them to be, are not broken. Some souls enjoy the shattering of others. And some souls simply don’t care.

I have been blessed. I nurtured the hell out of a narcissistic sociopath. He was not broken. He simply was. And who he was didn’t care. Couldn’t care. His right, if I am to be fair. We all have the right to be who we are.

I broke my being against his nothing for an age.

But I came out the other side with an understanding of the human condition. And for that I am blessed.

I do not allow anyone to take advantage anymore. I still nurture, for that side of me is almost completely me. I mostly nurture my zoo. And my family. And the few special souls I have allowed into my orbit.

Never again will I break my soul against another. Perhaps that is part of why I remain single. Or perhaps the damage runs deeper than even I can see.

No matter.

I have learnt my lesson. Each of us, has a supreme right to be exactly who we are. Do not think you can change anyone. You cannot. Do not break your soul against another.

Rather find your place and your peace.

And be exactly who you are.