People surprise me. In a lot of ways. Sometimes I am surprised at the kindness and generosity that comes from an individual…and other times I am shocked at the nastiness that comes out. To be honest, I was raised in a very sheltered environment by parents who very much believed and saw the best in all people…whether it was warranted or not at times. I’m very thankful for this, however it caused me to be a bit, er, naive in certain areas of my life. I think the level of shock and awe that I have experienced when people actually turned out to really and truly have BAD motives, was partly due to this fact. It’s a hard line to walk…to really give people a chance (because we all deserve that right?) and yet to be discerning when you can sense that something may be off.
When I began blogging and posting on social media, I honestly was very very afraid of what people’s reactions may be. I mean, I know that the more followers you have, the more readers you get…the more likely it is that you may get a few negative reactions. Plus, social media is the perfect place to be mean. It’s relatively anonymous and as you all know, it’s way easier to say things in a text or on a post that you would literally never dream of saying to someone’s face! And truthfully, I have to say, that at this point I’ve really gotten nothing but love, encouragement, and a surprising level of support…save for one or two personal comments that were a bummer, but really had to do more with the person making them than with me. That has been AMAZING. I mean, you guys, especially the ones who are actually reading this right now…just need to know how much I love and appreciate you. I’m never gonna stop saying that! The reason I’m writing this post though, is that I’ve lately seen a few girls on my instagram feed posting about some not nice things that have been said and done to them lately. One of those girls is going as far as actually quitting blogging because of the things that have been said. Woah. I saw that this morning, and thought about what my response would be to this girl who is absolutely paralyzed by this cruelty. And the only way I know how to respond is by writing my own story. (In a lot of words, I can’t do anything short and concise!)
When I worked full time before having my kids, I did love my job. I really did. However, it did require me to sometimes make decisions that made people unhappy at times. As any boss or leader knows, sometimes there is a person on your team or under your charge who is…struggling. You know it, everyone else knows it, but that person themselves will deny it, and blame it on everything else around them. I think a lot of us have seen this behavior before. (Geez…I gotta say, even after all these years, writing about this still gets me. I guess that’s what I get for being sensitive…) So attempting to make a long story short (yeah right!) I had to make a decision that was very hard and emotional for me because whenever things have to do with people, it can be quite painful. This decision caused some other people who were outside of the situation to be very angry with me (unbeknownst to me) and the aftermath was horrendous. I got accused, screamed at, and had people siding with them and saying stuff to other people behind my back…you guys, I have NEVER EVER been in a situation with this much drama before. I mean, it was UNREAL to me. I was so stressed out, anxious, and miserable that I had to have two of my dental crowns replaced because I was grinding my teeth so hard. It was gnarly for me. I had to sleep with the tv on because I couldn’t fall asleep at night. I cried every single day and didn’t understand why I couldn’t fix it, why they wouldn’t believe me when I apologized, and what on earth was happening. I was quite naive I guess, because I had literally never seen this type of behavior or this level or malicious unforgiveness in action before. I went through stages of anger where I wanted to lash out and get back at them. Fear where I was scared to leave my house in case I ran into them. Frustration where I just wanted to do anything I could to fix it. It’s amazing how this kind of stuff can actually physically “paralyze” you in a sense.
So here I am, a few years post-this-situation, reading this girl’s letter about how she can’t go on because of what’s been done to her. Here’s my response to anyone, everyone who’s ever been bullied, misunderstood, hurt, and paralyzed because of someone else’s malicious behavior. It’s not your problem. Like really and truly, they’re crap is not your crap. It may come out sounding like it’s yours. But it’s not. You and I cannot, nor ever will be able to, control what other people think of you. And you know what? That is OKAY. (Can you tell I’m talking to myself here??) I have been the queen of wanting everyone to like me. That is partly why it was so devastating when it happened to me. The thought that someone thinks something about me that is untrue was WAY more earth shattering to me than it should be. The best thing that we can do is to show love and kindness to the person who is being cruel or however they are being…and then to move on. I’ve learned that behind the mean behaviors ALWAYS lies a story, an issue, or a hurt that has manifested itself into a vicious action. It’s not fair that it comes out on you, but hey, at least this helps understand why they’re acting as such right?
I never will be able to really understand it when people aren’t nice or can’t seem to see from another’s point of view. I’m gonna be honest with you though. It would have been easier for me to move away after a lot of the stuff I have been through. I wanted to move away. I considered it for a time. And then I realized that the location is not the problem. There is something to be said about walking through something, standing when you feel like you’ve been knocked over, and making the decision to be okay when you’re not. I will never advocate going through hard stuff if you don’t have to…I mean, if it had been the right thing for me and my family to move away, we would have done it. But it just wasn’t the best thing for us, so that meant having a fresh start in a place where there has been quite a bit of pain for me. It is not easy. There are a lot of faces I’d rather not see, places that remind me of hurtful things that have been done to me, and times when I just don’t want to deal with the memories of it all. But I’ve decided that I’m okay on the days when I’m not, I’m standing when I have been knocked down, and I’m not going to carry the things that were said and done to me along with me for the ride.
If you’ve been through hurtful stuff, I’m so sorry. If people have said mean and weird and unfounded stuff to you…hey, I’ve been there. But you are not those things, YOU are still YOU. I’m standing with you and I’d take a wild guess that there’s a lot of others standing with you too!
And if you’re gonna walk through stuff, might as well do it in a great outfit right? I’m not even kidding…often times just dressing fun and confident will help you feel like you can kick butt. Even if you’re a complete wuss like me! :)
I have been saving these sport socks for the right pair of cowboy boots! (Because that sentence sounds completely logical right?) I finally found these Dingos at Goodwill for $13…yeah you read that correctly!! The top I thrifted from Goodwill as well and the shorts, well they’ve just been chilling in my closet until I find the perfect vintage track shorts (been on my list for a loooooong time now).
Go forth, stand strong, kick butt (kindly)! I believe in you :)