The Masters Of Illusion
Our experiences and our relationships are what mold us into the people we are whether they are positive or negative. While I have learned a lot in my 35 years and so far the good outweighs the bad, the bad still had the most memorable impact on me.
Things are not always what they seem, and neither are people. There are impostors out there who have mastered the art of illusion, and the facade they put on is top notch.
I am somewhat naive, and I desperately want to see the good in people so as you can guess I have set myself up for failure a few times. Probably the most frustrating part is that I know I am an intelligent girl yet I allowed someone to betray me. It rocked me to my core and changed me as a person, and as a result, I built defense mechanisms so that I wouldn't ever have to go through something like that again.
The signs were there I guess I just didn't want to see them. Anytime someone tries to control, isolate, manipulate or blame you for everything or when they can't find anything to accuse you of so they make things up and run a smear campaign against you, those should be red flags that send you running in the opposite direction!
The only way to deal with this type of person is to sever all ties and cut off all contact, and the sooner you do it, the better. You still might not be in the clear though because now winning you back has become a challenge and they want nothing more than to win.
They will go to great lengths to try and convince you that they have changed or that they will do whatever it takes. They will probably even admit to seeing the error of their ways even though it is a complete lie. After they have tried everything they can think of their final attempt will be to try and remain friends. To them you are not a person, you are a piece of property, and they desperately want to keep tabs on you.
I built up walls so high I didn't think I would ever let anyone in again but then I met Andrew. He has taught me what it feels like to be loved, appreciated and accepted. He broke down the walls and reminded me of who I am and helps me every day to be a better version of myself than I was yesterday. I am a lucky girl.
I do things with passion and give it my all or I just won't do them at all, and I once cried over a Folgers commercial, so I think that qualifies me as being emotional without even using the stereotypical fact that I'm a girl.
I believe that logic and emotion are not mutually exclusive, they work best when used together. My knee jerk reactions tend to be based more on feeling rather than thinking but given some time to digest; I usually become reasonable which is probably why my apologies have gotten better as I have gotten older.
As time has gone by and I have experienced more interactions both professionally and personally, I have slowly learned to communicate better by pausing after my initial reaction to something someone has said and let my brain reason with the information. Before I started doing this, back when I would respond off the cuff, I had many regrets after conversations because I hadn't taken the time to think things through.
These days I do have more successful interactions and by actually listening to what others who believe differently than I do have to say, I have learned a lot. We are all unique and have something to offer if others are willing to accept.
Beyond just making decisions balanced between emotion and logic there are still obstacles to overcome. Staying open-minded and accepting of others thoughts, feelings, rationale, and emotions add a whole new level of potential problematic variables because you can only control you. You can't make other people open to what you are saying, thinking and feeling.
Without going too off topic, I will venture to say that these are the same reasons it 's hard to talk about politics when different beliefs are involved. Surely there is a better way, a more successful approach. I just haven't found it yet.
THE PRICE OF PERSEVERANCE
When someone pays me a compliment I usually down play it or shrug it off because for whatever reason compliments make me feel uncomfortable. Someone told me recently that I know how to persevere, and I just nodded in agreement at the time, but I've been questioning whether or not they were right about me.
Perseverance is an admirable trait to possess, but not always a glamorous one. Overcoming adversities in spite of difficulty, obstacles, or discouragement is hard work, and the reward doesn't always feel good because to be successful you have to make tough decisions that others in your life may not agree with.
I am straight forward and blunt about most things, and on occasion, I lack tact. Chalk that up to working in a predominantly male environment all of my adult life and the fact that I have mostly male hobbies I guess. Whatever the reason, I usually spend a lot of time playing defense after I've said something in the wrong tone or at the wrong time or it gets taken out of context. I feel like the details of how or when or why I deliver a message shouldn't matter as much as the message itself, why get lost in the details?
I realize that not everyone else thinks this way, but I like to think that those who know me well are at least willing to give me the benefit of the doubt and look at what I'm doing rather than how I got it done. I also believe that I am open-minded and smart enough to admit that I won't get it right every time which means I need help. I need feedback and advice, thoughts and suggestions, and sometimes I just need to say it out loud to hear myself think.
Things don't always have to be done my way, but they do have to get done. I wake up every morning with the best of intentions, not with a plot to piss anyone off. My mom had a rule that I have and will always continue to live by which is "don't complain unless you can suggest a solution or you are willing to work on finding one."
I would like to say that I'm adapting well to all of the changes. I'm still learning that it is not possible for me to be three different people but I can adopt some of the traditions that were most important to them and make sure those continue. I allowed myself to believe that I was gaining some life balance, but that is not the case. Instead, I think I have adjusted enough to free up the brain capacity needed to see that other things have changed too and not in a positive way. In all fairness, some of it was probably there all along, and I was either too naive to see it, or I refused to acknowledge it because doing so would mean that the foundation I have built upon and the values I believe in are just smoke and mirrors. Unfortunately, once you open your eyes it is not possible to just close them and forget what you saw and since I am not capable of just ignoring things I am forced to address them.
My family is sacred to me. They give me strength and power and most of all they give me courage. I remember starting my first "real" job, and one of my co-workers mentioned that he had not spoken to his family in over a year and honestly, that completely blew my mind because at the time I talked to my mom, dad, sister and brother on weekly, sometimes daily basis. For the life of me, I could not begin to understand what could keep someone from communicating with their family because my family is such a huge part of my world. While I hope I'm wrong, I am starting to think I understand how that can happen now.
Adulting Is Hard
I like to think that in general, I am a decent human being and that I have no enemies even though it's not realistic. I don't always do the right thing and I know I've made some epically bad decisions over the years, but I also know that I try hard to the right my wrongs and make amends when possible. I still get the (not so subtle) reminder from time to time that I am relevant enough to have haters still.
I am hard headed, and it takes me a while to learn life's lessons, usually because I refuse to take the easy route. I have found a new appreciation for peace and peace of mind as I get older and I think I have reached a point where I am now able to self-reflect and in turn, take responsibility for my actions (and even admit when I'm wrong on occasion). I am smart enough to know that I don't have it all figured out and honestly I never will because I won't always get it right, mistakes are bound to happen.
After many years of arguing my side of things thinking that if I just explain it the right way, I can get my point across. I learned that fighting is a competitive sport and most people will do everything they can to win even when it means losing sight of what the argument was even about in the first place. So now I know that it isn't worth fighting every battle that presents itself because sometimes winning is not a win. The only thing that matters is the risk and reward and whether or not I can live with the consequences that come with each outcome.
Taking the high road is not easy, but I do take it more often than I used to. Even when deep down I would like nothing more than to use the extensive vocabulary I have acquired (thanks to dictionary.com) to annihilate my adversaries. The funny thing is that it only takes a few "be the better person who doesn't play into the drama" experiences to realize that the best revenge strategy is not giving them what they want, which is a response.
Mean girls suck
If you are a mean girl, you suck! I forgot how immature and catty women can be until recently when out of nowhere came a blast from the past. While the reminder itself was fun for me because I adult just well enough to know that not responding and playing into someone's drama is the absolute best response you can have. And since I have a website of my very own I can post what I think and control the response! Haha, that was probably a joke.
It reminded me that there are still so many unhappy, insecure women in the world who probably don't even know who they are deep down. They are like Julia Roberts in the movie "Runaway Bride" especially the part where she realizes she doesn't even know how she likes her eggs.
I don't envy these ladies, not one bit because I was the same way at one time. I hope they eventually learn that there is no need to be malicious or vindictive because it only makes them ugly inside and out. That they learn to love themselves no matter how evil they've been so far in life, there's still hope to turn it around!