I feel guilty about having neglected my personal attempt at blogging daily. I just haven’t felt like it, and that’s not a bad thing. It’s strange because I used to have to write everything down, all the time. Maybe though, back then I had so much to defend and now I don’t. I don’t have to defend myself because I don’t anyone to even be a tiny dot out the outskirts of my range of vision who would put me in a position where I would need to defend myself. The moment I sniff negativity it either gets resolved, or it gets gone.
Which brings me to today. Halloween, 2016. Despite it being a Monday, it was a really good day. It wasn’t good because anything particularly good happened, nor did anything bad happen. It was just a day like many others have been lately, and yet, my eyes were open and my appreciation was abundant.
A friend of mine is going through a hard time. A very hard time. The kind of hard time where you think the brink of bad things happening to her has reached its climax, and then something even worse happens. I was so sad for her, and a bit angry at the universe for doing what it just did and putting her through such a horrible thing on top of other horrible things she’s already going through. I can relate to that. It’s happened to me before as well. I know there isn’t anything I can say or do when it comes to my friend that can really make a difference, all I can do is tell her that I am here for her. What I haven’t said to her, but what I do hold in my heart, is that the universe now owes her a debt, the way it once owed me. It may not be today or tomorrow, but eventually, it will open doors for her that don’t even exist in her vision right now. It probably won’t open the doors she may want or anticipate, but karma will realize she got shafted, and it will help pick her up when the time is right.
I talked briefly about it with my co-workers and friends today and told them this. The way they spoke about her, and what she is going through (I want to add that this was NOT a gossip session, this was just a small room of people talking about our own feelings and how much we all care about this person) reminded me of how grateful I am to have them in my life.
I’m still very affected by my past. I guard my privacy and my trust very carefully. Allowing people to get even remotely close to me is a snails-pace, but I am also an introvert at heart who actually enjoys my personal space, so I’m content to have friends but also have adequate space. Sometimes I even turn down invitations to be social, not because I’m afraid, but because I feel content in my alone time, rather than isolated by it. I suppose a lot of true creatives are like this, we need our time to do what we do whether it’s writing, art, reading, Netflix, spending time with our pets, or all of the above.
Another thing I am grateful for today is that the people of my past, especially those who hurt me to the point of near-suicide at a few points, still linger in my mind but in a different way than they used to. They don’t haunt me anymore, and I can genuinely say that my feelings toward them have turned from resentment and hatred to pure pity.
Today, one particular person, one of the two main antagonists of the novel that was my past, a girl named J, entered my mind. This happened because as kind as her friends/supporters claimed she was, even when she was at her worst with attacking me, defaming my character, calling me names and putting me down in some of the most hurtful and personal ways anyone ever has in my entire life, I watched the people in the room around me and I thought to myself, “I have never heard any of these people ever speak about another person the way J spoke me, and to others, about me.” I don’t say to myself, “They’re kind to ME, but wow I’m glad I’m not person-x because they REALLY get down on person-x.” The cliche says, and for a good reason, “If someone is trashing another to you, they are trashing you to another.” You are never the exception. The low, cruel places J went in judging and trashing me stays with me as a bar of sorts, an example of behavior that allows me to of which to compare others to.
The low, cruel places J went in judging and trashing me stays with me as a bar of sorts, an example of behavior that allows me to observe others and to know that if I ever see that behavior, I want to stay away from that person. I’m so grateful that the people I spend my days with now are nothing like that. Their kindness isn’t conditional, it isn’t depending on their judgment of another, and they certainly don’t put someone down and then claim justification in doing so. I don’t have to defend myself against the accusations and cruelty of J anymore because karma has shown me that I am nothing like the person she accused me of being. I am not perfect, no one is. I’ve made mistakes, I’ve been stubborn, I’ve sometimes thrown fire back and fire thrown at me. But we learn and we grow. I’ve apologized to people I may have hurt in the past. I’ve taken responsibility. I can’t control J, or anyone, but I can be the kind of person I wish they were, and I am so grateful that I found the strength and resolve to take such a hurtful person and to use the pain they caused me ot make myself stronger. For a very long time I felt too overwhelmed by the pain they deliberately caused me, and I didn’t think I could overcome it. Karma showed me that wasn’t true.
I am no saint, and I am no devil. I just try to do the best I can. I try to have compassion for others. I try to not judge others because as “weird” as others may seem, everyone has a unique past and everyone is trying to cope with their own struggles. I see a guy on the streets holding a soaking wet cardboard sign (which happens often as I live downtown) and I run into Starbucks and buy him a hot chocolate because I know that there have been times in my past where, if I wasn’t lucky enough to have support, I could have ended up homeless, too. I realize in those moments that for as much bad luck as I have had at times, I have been blessed in certain ways, too.
I observe a neighbor whom I know is a little “off” and makes a lot of people uncomfortable. Instead of avoiding her, I talk to her, get to know her a little bit, and she tells me about her past. I can understand from the experiences she has had why she is the way she is. She doesn’t make me uncomfortable because I made the effort to get to know her a little bit instead of passed a judgment. I looked past her reputation and what others said about her and sought to find out for myself what kind of person she is, and I found out, unsurprisingly, that although she is definitely a bit socially off, she is not what others have said about her (others that probably never took the time to get to know her a little bit, I might add.) Given her past and experiences, her quirks make sense. No judgment needed. I did that for her because there are so many people who automatically treated me like crap because of things other people had said, without taking the time to get to know me or to find out if other people’s gossip was true – and it was very hurtful. It made me feel so small and alone. I don’t want to make others feel the pain that I’ve felt. Honestly, convincing others to hate a stranger is a very cruel form of sabotage. Isolating someone in that way is extremely hurtful.
My ex-roommate entered my mind today, also. As many things as I look back on and shake my head at when it came to my time with her, we had some good times, too. I do miss talking about horror movies, or laughing at corny jokes with her. But I can also still feel her judgment of me, and I still remember how little respect she had for our differences and how if she didn’t understand why something made me uncomfortable, she didn’t feel she needed to respect it. I think, to be honest, I probably made her feel the same way at times, too, although it wasn’t intentional. It was just a struggle, we were too different, and it’s sad that we couldn’t find a middle ground together and a way to salvage our friendship, but not everyone is meant to be in our lives long-term. Some people are meant to be a part of our lives only briefly, to teach us lessons. I don’t hate her, I wish her happiness, but I’m glad she’s not in my life anymore. Our friendship was not positive for either of us. I also hold my past experiences with her as a bar of sorts, as I don’t want any friendship to feel so frustrating and lonely as I often felt when trying to hold on to my friendship with her during those last few months we lived together. I’m not saying she’s the bad guy, I think we both were in our own ways. I just know that toward the end I felt so lonely, and that’s how friendship should feel. It should actually feel the opposite. I think we are both better off having gone our separate ways. I don’t have regrets about that.
It’s probably strange that I write about how grateful I am while reminiscing about the darker times in my past, but finally being an “adult,” having my shit together, a meaningful job that pays me a living salary, no stress about paying my bills from month to month because i make enough to comfortably support myself without needing a roommate or anyone else to co-depend on for anything, a social circle that is what I always wanted and rather than trying to turn people who weren’t what I wanted into what I wanted, and an opportunity to finally actually focus on one of my biggest dreams … it’s all such a relief to me, and I wouldn’t have all of this if I didn’t deserve it, I wouldn’t have all of this if I hadn’t had so much negativity in my past. So, yes, I am grateful. I am grateful for karma. I’m glad it opened doors for me and made me realize that I do deserve good things in my life. I am even grateful to those who hurt me so deeply in the past, because they taught me lessons, they helped me find my self-confidence, they helped me see that I am so much more than the nothing they tried to make me feel like. Sometimes to know what you want, you have to experience exactly what you don’t want, and those people gave me that gift and it lead me to the peace I always sought but could never really find before.
Nothing significant happened today, but I felt that certain small moments around me seemed to freeze in time and it made me emotional. They say that this day is the day when the veil between the living and the dead is the thinnest, but for me, the veil between my present and my past is what thinned. I’m no longer burned by the pain of my past, and I’ve waited a very long time to be able to say that, and mean it.
Onward we go.