“But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve for daws to peck at. I am not what I am.” ~William Shakespeare (Othello, I, i)

It’s hard work sometimes this, trying to be UNunhappy most of the time. And probably not very realistic, although I’m giving it my best shot. I definitely feel that I’m in a better place than I was a year ago, and I don’t regret any of the recent changes I’ve made. What’s frustrating to me though is that I still find myself in some of the same old emotional sand pits that I’ve dug my way out of in the past.

To be more specific: I seem to have a problem getting along with people. Not all people. Not even most people. But definitely some people. Idiots, for example. I definitely have a problem getting along with idiotic morons who have no sense of right, wrong, or personal responsibility. One of my uncles put it very eloquently once when he told me “Kristi, most people in this world are idiots.” Pessimistic? Maybe. But a lot of the time I think he was probably right.

I also cannot get along with people who patronize me and others, or people who exhibit no class or boundaries or manners, or people who micromanage me and talk down to me. In pretty much every single job that I can remember, there’s been at least one person with whom I’ve worked that seems to be able to push every single one of my buttons and grates on my last nerve until I emotionally implode. One of my friends said the other day, after I described the latest and yet another thorn in my side, “But isn’t that sort of ‘your thing,’ you know, having that problem at every job?” Oof. The truth does hurt sometimes.

While others seem to be able to take these fairly normal (and unfortunately all-too-common) encounters in stride and either just ignore them, laugh it off, or assertively confront the person who is making their life miserable, I have a hard time doing any of those things. I wish I knew why. Instead, my internalized turmoil and frustration eventually bubble to the surface in some weird passive-aggressive display of bothered disdain (and do a pretty good job of eating holes in my stomach lining). This intense annoyance is of course apparent to those around me, even though I do my best to disguise it most of the time, and then leads to even more tension.

One of my faults that bothers me the most (and impacts my ability to deal with life’s daily disturbances) is my severely-underdeveloped funny bone. For better or worse, I’ve always just been a serious-natured person. I sometimes feel that I was born without a sense of humor, which has necessitated a lifelong scavenger hunt to patch together tiny pieces of one here and there. I’m also usually the one that doesn’t get the joke, but am too embarrassed to admit it. People with a great sense of humor usually seem so much happier in general to me, and I’m always very envious of those who are lucky enough to be that kind of person.

So when I made my conscious decisions a few months ago to pursue my true interests and follow paths that I thought would lead to satisfaction and contentment, I guess I thought I’d be leaving all of life’s proverbial idiots behind me. I know, I know – what was I thinking?! They’re still out there, and always will be.  They pick up on my discomfort and annoyance and malnourished sense of humor and purposely decide to run with it; they twist the knife a little bit more with constant snide remarks and thinly-veiled insults because they can tell how uncomfortable it makes me.

And now that I’m wearing my heart on my sleeve in more evident fashion by taking these very deliberate (dare I say serious) steps towards a life fulfilled, I feel that I’m making myself even more vulnerable to emotional injuries inflicted by the pecking daws. A daw, by the way, “is a common black-and-grey Eurasian bird noted for thievery.” How appropriate. With every cheap shot and class-less commotion, the bullies of this world will try their hardest to steal away bits and pieces of your self-confidence and spirit.

Daw

I know I have the power to not let this happen. I just need to not let it happen more effectively. More calmly. More patiently. I purposefully held off on writing this week’s post because I was too angry and upset at the time I normally write, and I knew that if I penned this right after an emotional hijacking, I’d end up regretting it later.

So when I arrived home in the middle of a mini-meltdown, I focused on acting purposefully: to do what makes me feel better, what makes me feel more present. First, I imbibed of some green chile queso and chips (one has to stay nourished to be purposeful). I watched an episode of The Office to just laugh. And then, I created. Arranged. Designed. I surrounded myself with no less than five new outlets of color and calm.

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And it worked.

Therapy in a vase. Or in this case, five vases.

À la prochaine!

Ant Kristi

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