When I was much younger, approaching my teens, at that transitional phase when you realise that the whole world does not revolve around you and that life is not actually very easy, I had at least one memorable conversation with my cousin about the importance of being a realist. We had decided that we were not pessimists, we were not optimists, but we were, indeed, realists. Life was not going to hand out lollipops unless it was to lure us into a strange vehicle with the promise of kidnap and torture. The world was a dangerous place. We had seen sorrow, and confusion and heartache in the eyes of our parents when our extended family was torn apart, when someone too young was taken away; we had learnt that adults lied to spare us our feelings and sometimes just to hurt and manipulate; we were privy to ‘grown-up’ conversations they thought we couldn’t hear or even understand, and suddenly we weren’t quite children anymore.
I’m not saying our childhood was ruined; we had a grand childhood! Growing up with my cousins was amazing and no amount of disillusionment will be able to take the reality of that away from us. But what it did do, was allow us to realise that nothing really can be counted on. No relationship, no matter how special at the time can last forever in its original form.
It’s a tough lesson to learn while you’re growing up, perhaps, but better then, than now, maybe?
The point of this post is to highlight the importance of reality and for seeing the world as it is. Some people are simply stupid, ungrateful, unkind, vindictive, manipulative and dishonest. I would like to say that everyone has some good in them, somewhere and while that may be the case, it’s probably less of a waste of time believing that it is not the case than it would be trying to find that goodness.
Life is too short to waste on people who have no time for you. I’m not advocating selfishness and negativity, just a smarter way of living. Learning to count on yourself to fulfil your sense of contentment.
1. Move on from the people who have let you down, you don’t need to give them more than a second chance.
2. Accept that the world is not going to give you any hand-outs and in turn you’ll actually work to get where you need to get to.
3. Oh, and consider where you need to get to…the operative word is NEED…we would all LIKE to live in paradise and go snorkelling with the fish and mermaids and paint for a living (in my case, write!) but that’s not what we need…we need to survive, make a living, take responsibility for ourselves. There are too many people out there who are walking around with their heads in the clouds, reading books by Paulo Coelho thinking the universe will owe them a dream as long as they can dream it. NO! Get up off your backside and contribute to the flipping economy! Go out and help someone who cannot help themselves. (Not, ‘will not’, but ‘can not’)
4. Remember the people who are there for you and ignore the ones who just want you to be there for them. You owe them nothing, certainly not your peace of mind and definitely not you in the place of a doormat.
5. You don’t have to be like everyone else, to be liked. I learned this the hard way. I’m not sure I’m actually liked now but I haven’t got the time, the inclination or the energy to try to fit in. You should be happy on your own and if your own isn’t good enough, make it good enough, because at the end of the day, you’re the only one you can’t get away from!
6. It’s OK to be angry and negative and ‘moany’ from time to time. Shit happens. That’s the way of the world, unfortunately and you are not an automaton programmed to ‘happy’. It’s fine to get annoyed and irrationally burst into tears, because deep down, you know your tears are NOT irrational. There is a reason for your sadness and as human beings we need to address it, acknowledge it and then sometimes, live with it.
7. It’s equally OK to move on. There will come a time when, just for the sanity and peace of those around you, you will have to move on from your grief and disappointment. But please don’t feel like you have to don a rainbow and shower the world with flying kisses and magic hugs…just breathe and eventually it’ll be fine again…the sadness may never go away but it may begin to feel a little less intense.
8. And finally, don’t listen to me! Do what feels right with you. Some people are naturally sunshine in a bag. I’ve tried to be and it’s not for me. Do what comes naturally, even if that means being a little sulky and opinionated. Or if that means just not talking very much. Or even if it means seeing the world filled with goodness and light (you’re wrong by the way) but who the heck am I to disagree? We’ve all got our place in the world, our right to be. Just go ahead and be YOURSELF!