I Forgive You

This is a toy Ferrari. Because I am a small person.

This is a toy Ferrari. Because I am a small person.

What do Ferraris, cake, and a Liam Neesen reference have in common you might ask? Nothing, actually. Except me. I happen to bind these unalike things to each other in one strange shaped forgiveness metaphor. Because that’s what it takes to forgive a horrible person sometimes- a certain set of skills, a fast car, and a whole lot of cosmic justice.

So, here’s the thing: I can get angry. When I say angry I mean smoldering rage angry. My emotional scale is basically the speedometer on a Ferrari. Zero to 12,000 and crashed into a tree in under 2 seconds. I’m usually at a low boil… all of the time. It’s my default setting. So, I’m that rich jerk next door that revs his Ferrari’s engine at every stop light. In a suburban neighborhood. Every day. Because I can. Ferrari.

For the record,  I don’t actually like being angry. I’m just really good at it. Blessed and cursed with a high sense of justice, it has always infuriated me when someone lies, misleads, or does wrong for their own gain.

Once, in 2nd grade, a girl stole a slice of cake out of my backpack. My mom and I had baked it, the day before, from a recipe we found at the back of a library book we read together. I was so infuriated that this girl blatantly stole from me that I brought 2nd grade in Mrs. Nachbar’s class to a stand still. I remember my teacher’s tenuous grasp on patience. Couldn’t I just let this go? This one time? This isn’t a fight I have to fight is it?

But it was. It is. I’m a sink my teeth into the neck, shake it until it’s dead justice seeker. And I’ve got a lot of rage for a lady who’s grown up in a loving, middle class suburban home (I think it comes from the chemical mix of my heritage:  Irish- fly off the handle passion and Hispanic – cool, bide your time rage).

So the answer was no, Mrs. Nachbar, I won’t let this go. I didn’t relent until that poor little 2nd grader admitted she lied. I ate my cake smugly over lunch.

Not much has changed about that little cake eating vengeance swearer. I didn’t get much taller and I’m still undeniably angered by things that aren’t fair. I no longer bring immediate situations to a standstill though, even when I want to. Thanks, maturity and adulthood!

Vengeance will find you and kill you. Liam Neesen style.

Vengeance has a certain set of skills Liam Neesen style.

In the past several months I’ve experienced a new to me phenomenon: Grown adults who make horrible, terrible, no good choices and then blame the fallout of their actions on other people. I went through high school and teach middle school so I am well equipped for immaturity. This is next level, though, even for me. Sometimes people just aren’t who you think they are. They make choices and become someone different. Or rather, they show you who they really were all along. They reinvent themselves and tell a different narrative because they can’t accept responsibility for themselves. I’m finding these types of people can’t hide from who they are for very long, which is why, eventually life catches up with and then implodes on them. I’ve been weirdly zen about this pattern even though it infuriates me that these bad choice making adults hurt the people in my life.

I’ve realized something though, as a few lives around me have caved in. As mad as I can get about injustice and as much as I might want to have a personal hand in seeing someone get their comeuppance, the universe just seems to have a way of taking care of things itself. I’ve come to believe that what you send out into the universe you will get back tenfold. I like to convince myself that this is more Buddhist than ‘Liam Neesen in Taken Seeking Revenge’ but, no, let’s be honest- it’s exactly that. Most of the time, people get what’s coming to them (that sounds a little Buddhist, doesn’t it? Maybe? Angry Buddhist?) because if you’re the kind of person who has to lie, rewrite the narrative of your life, pin the blame of your decisions on someone else– Well, you’ve already got your recompense, don’t you?

You have to wake up every day and be you. The kind of person who lies, is the perpetual victim of their own making, hurts others. That is how you spend your life

What a miserable existence.

That understanding -that this is the way some people live their lives (their entire lives!) – helped me figure out the thing/person I was most angry at and squash them, their words and speeches down into something amusing and ridiculous and just plain sad.

So. Now that I (finally) have your attention, I’m going to leave my very last thought on you right here. Maybe someday you’ll read it. Maybe not. In any case, I wrote this for you:

I am truly sorry for you. Some people do not possess the strength or integrity to accept their worst decisions and parts of themselves. I’ve learned a lot about those kinds of people this year and I think I finally understand why you continue to make the choices you do. I know now that you can’t accept yourself and be happy and so, I feel you should know, I’m not angry any more. In fact, I forgive you for the insinuations, for bending the truth, misrepresenting, lying.

I forgive you. I forgive you. I forgive you.

I have already forgiven you. Because really, at the end of the day? The only person you’re lying to is you, and if that’s what you need to do to live with yourself, well, you can have my cake and eat it too.

From the bottom of my little prone to rage heart:  I forgive you. And I wish you luck. You’re going to need it.



Hole in a Wall: The Confidence Issue

Sassy PantsI took a confidence test online the other day.

At the end of the test a box appeared that declared I had “high confidence”.

I could have told you that, test! I disdained, and then laughed, because really, there’s my answer right there.

I know myself. I’m sassy. I just kind of do things because I know that I will do them well and they’ll pretty much work out. This doesn’t go over so well for me when it involves a hammer and picture hanging. No joke, Chris came home once and I greeted him at the door with this line :

I made a hole in the wall… it’s a little bit big.

Well, I made a lot of holes in the wall because I was sure I could hang this damned shelf. I was wrong. I know now that I shouldn’t be in charge of hanging things unless there is easily removable wall velcro involved. Voila! No holes!

The older I get the less patience I have for self-doubt… both mine and yours. I’d rather swing a hammer and see what happens than sit back and think I can’t do something. This whole attitude has helped me develop a view on life where I think: I want to go to POINT A. And then I do things that will pretty much get me there. Sometimes these things don’t go as planned and I think: THIS WILL WORK OUT IT WILL BE FINE JUST KEEP DOING YOUR THING. And, usually– naw, I’m going to say almost always– things work out the way I planned/wanted them to.

For all the reasons listed above, I  just don’t understand the kind of insecurity that bleeds into someone’s life so much that I can pinpoint it when they walk into the room. This is probably because, since the time I was 5, I just did whatever the hell I wanted to because I knew what was best for me. All of this may make me sound callous, but I don’t mean it to. If you were to meet me beyond the screen you’d see I’m a terribly blunt, call-it-like-it-is, pulls no punches kind of gal. I’m also stubborn and it’s a huge strength and, lately, a flaw as well.

I’ve really struggled this year to find some understanding, compassion, patience, <insert more positive actions here> for people who are highly insecure. Frankly, I’ve come out the other side  of this struggle exhausted. I just don’t get it when someone isn’t comfortable in their own skin, when grown adults wear their insecurities like a coat and it seeps into everything that they do.

I’m going to admit something less than perfect here: there have been times in my life when I have spotted insecurity in someone and immediately lost respect for them. I don’t like weakness. I don’t have the time or patience for it.

I know. It sounds bad. It might be. I can let it be. I try not to. I also don’t think that I should have to put up with someone else’s baggage, especially if they aren’t a friend or family member. I have found that I have no empathy for someone who wastes my time because they are not secure in themselves. I am not a therapist, a best friend, a sister. I do not owe you the luxury of endorsing your insecurity. This may make me out to be a bad person, and if you think that, frankly, I don’t care (see, there’s that sassy thing again), because the best advice I have ever received was this:

The greatest luxury in life is being able to choose your friends.

Yes, yes, yes. What a freedom there is in that choice. I choose to surround myself with people who make me laugh, who are confident in themselves, so much so that they are unapologetically them. I have made these choices unconsciously, but with 100% accuracy every. damn. time. And this year, when railroaded by someone’s (remember: not a friend, not a family member) inability to believe in them self, I just became beyond frustrated and angry that I had to deal with the ramifications of their insecurity.

See? Flaws. I have them. I’m not so assured in myself that I can’t admit to them. And this one is apparently huge, because I asked for a partial work transfer just to get away from someone else’s bleeding insecurity because I couldn’t stand it, it was suffocating me.

I don’t have an answer for someone who wants to have friends, who wants to know how to wear funky on trend- clothes, who wants to get invited to happy hours, and be included in the team, have the most facebook friends, feel good when you look in the mirror, be ok with all the stuff those terrible people in your terrible high school said to you. I don’t know how you figure out your life so that you are happy and confident. I don’t know, I don’t, I really don’t. I’m just as unsure about how to be more compassionate to someone who drives me insane because they can’t figure this exact thing out.

However you do it, you have to eventually be ok with you fat, skinny, pretty, mean, nice, blunt, on-trend, sad, insecure, whatever. At the end of the day always, always, always be ok with yourself no matter what the world is telling you.

Everything else, holes in walls included,  won’t matter at all.