I have, as you may or may not have noticed, been going through a difficult time emotionally. Shawna attributes it to Ironman blues- the lack of endorphines. I really believe I’m having more of an existential crisis. Not so much a mid life crisis. Just a recognition that perhaps I am not as good at reading people as I once believed.
I used to think I could spend a few hours with a person and have a very good idea of who they were- where they stood on that tenuous line between friend and foe. I’m not so sure anymore. Several things have happened over the last few weeks that have really made me question my judgment.
Don’t get me wrong. I know that I am fairly intelligent and a good strategist. I guess I am just waking up to the concept (probably a little late at 45, right)- that not everyone is motivated by what is honest and for the greater good. Not everyone is concerned with hurting other people or sacrificing long term relationships to their immediate desires or a whim that holds them in a mere moment. People will hurt you. And they won’t care. They will find you pain to be an annoyance. Some people can’t empathize.
The worst part is you can have spent hours helping them. Difficult cases you took because you believed it was right can end with a client refusing to shake your hand because you can’t afford to do endless appeals without compensation. People who you believed to be straight forward friends who cared about you can tell you with painful honesty that they really never cared that much. It’s Darwinism in practice for some folks. They do what serves them best at that moment with little or no regard for the consequences to those around them or for their own word.
It’s just terrible really.
So as recently as this morning I’ve had to ask myself who I was and how I was going to respond. Should I stop helping people with little or no money because of one person’s temporary gratitude? Should I stop letting people in or caring for or trying to help people because one person undermined my confidence as a friend and told me nothing I did mattered. I really thought about curling into a little ball and just not being me anymore. The funny gregarious woman who wants to think the best of people. Who wants to help?
Not a chance. I am what I am. Set backs? For sure. But I love Elizabeth Parmer and so should everyone else. So, if you don’t want to shake my hand…if you call me a fucking liar…if you tell me I’m nothing, I will turn it around. I’ll use my hand to lift up other people- the hand you wouldn’t shake. I’ll speak the truth from the highest mountains, because it’s my story to tell. I will be more than you every dreamed of being- love more than you knew was possible. In short, I will live my life.
I have hundreds of people who love me and care about me and would do virtually anything for me. That’s the difference really.
Put that in your collective pipes and smoke it.
Now, on to New Orleans but first my 18 mile run Saturday. Crap.