Ok. Ok. Okay okay okay. I will preface this by saying that I know how TOTALLY lame it is that this sort of thing is new to me.
Some people learned this lesson the first time a toy was taken from them by a peer. Others maybe some time back in middle school. Still others in the course of their first, or third, or fifth relationship perhaps (?)
And then there's me.
Today's New Activity: Fester Not
Today I was bothered by something my friend did. A short while later, I communicated my feelings to my friend. My friend responded appropriately. The end.
You feel like you missed something, right? Something in the middle I may have left out?
You didn't. That was it. That was the whole story.
Oh, maybe I can clarify by expounding upon what didn't happen. I didn't ruminate on all the reasons my friend might have done the bothersome thing. I didn't let it grow into something ugly or unpleasant in my mind. I didn't seek outside input on the possible meanings/motivations behind the act. I didn't spend two and a half weeks sitting on it and wondering how to bring it up, only to let it get to me off and on and ultimately fizzle out.
How can this be news?
When I set out on this project, I knew I'd learn things. I even knew I'd learn a lot of things that didn't have to do with the immediate activity of the day. I knew that divorce alone would teach me certain lessons about the experience called life, some welcomed, some having beaten down the door. But I guess I didn't anticipate that my mere presence at and openness to the idea of new--be it activity or outlook--would have the power to overwrite some deeply entrenched (bad) habits/character traits.
I'm the kind of person (don't you just love those statements? So sweeping and fatalistic) who immediately assumes everything is my fault. If somebody is mad ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD I can figure out a way for it to be my fault. And yes, I realize how not only misguided but completely self-centered this outlook is. Was.
From now on I'm going to assume that NOTHING is my fault, ever! Kiiiddding. But I have finally absorbed the truth that it is up to people to share their feelings, positive or negative, directly with the party involved. It is not up to anybody else to guess at, sidestep, coax out of or read through the lines of another's genuine feelings or emotional tantrums. And what better way to demonstrate this new knowledge by living it myself?
In case you've similarly had your head in the sand, here's how it *can* happen:
"Hey, I felt sad when you _________."
"Oh, my bad."
"Wanna let's get some pizza?"
Who knew life could be so simple.
And of course it won't always be. Friendships and relationships worth having are worth putting more work into. But sometimes, when you nip something in the proverbial bud and are freed up to just go back to enjoying things as they were, you wonder how/why it is you could have ever let it get more complicated.
And this is starting to feel a little more Doogie Howser than I'm comfortable with, so I'll turn off the odd, synthesized journal-time music and leave it at that.
On that note, here's a lil flashback for you...