My boss said something this morning that finally clicked in my head. I was getting the “tone down the sarcasm” speech again. I bungled a situation with my coworker because I wasn’t sure how to approach it. I don’t mean to come across as condescending or mean. It’s just how I talk. I’m not about sugar coating or “How are your feelings?”. I want the facts and I don’t really care about the details. As I was walking out of his office, I said the bitchiness gets worse when I’m tired. He replied “you act like you’re the only one who’s tired”. *lightbulb goes off*
Copernicus called. The world doesn’t revolve around me. I get wrapped up in my problems, not being able to drive, feeling like dead weight, and this, that, and the other. I forget that other people have issues that maybe aren’t apparent on the surface. I’m a very open person (quel surprise). I don’t really care who knows what and why. I’m terrible at keeping secrets. If you don’t want the world to know, don’t tell me. I don’t really understand secretive people. I used to think it was because they were hiding something or being otherwise shifty. That isn’t necessarily (and probably rarely) the case. Some people just don’t put things out there the way I do. That doesn’t make it wrong. They’re just different. I know my coworker has been having issues with her health, her daughter’s father, and her car. Who knows what else is going on that she hasn’t shared. Just because someone doesn’t look sick or stressed doesn’t mean they aren’t. It would serve me well to keep that in mind.
Boy is a prime example (sorry dear, but you’re useful in making my point). I know him the best of anyone in the world. Even then, it takes him a long time to work up to telling me things; good, bad, or indifferent. I used to get upset because I felt like he was hiding our relationship. In reality, that’s just how he rolls. He’s not ashamed of me or intentionally hiding our relationship. He operates on “don’t ask, don’t tell”. After all this NSA business, he’s put all kinds of locks and stops on his online life. It’s not like he’s a CIA operative with sensitive information. He just doesn’t want anything available for public consumption. He’s the kind of person who doesn’t want people knowing about his birthday because he wants it to float by unnoticed. His worst nightmare would be a surprise party where he’s the center of attention. I’m the exact opposite. I love making a big deal of my birthday. I enjoy being the center of attention. I’m comfortable with that. He’s not. That doesn’t mean either of us is wrong. In fact, we balance each other out nicely. It’s easy to get wrapped up in your own little world. It’s easy to forget that other people have their own struggles and burdens. Mine is more out in the open because I have to constantly ask people for rides, adjust my plans based on who can take me where, and the like. Most issues are quieter and less obvious. People have their reasons for not putting things out in the world. It’s not my place to judge.
I’m dealing with a temporary inconvenience. I’ll be able to drive again in less than 4 months. I’ll have the epilepsy the rest of my life, but the meds are doing a good job of keeping it under control (though I about gave myself a heart attack in Starbucks this morning, but that’s another story for another time). A few doctors’ appointments a year, especially with the new insurance, aren’t a big deal. My family and friends are healthy. I live comfortably in a first world country. I don’t wonder where my next meal is going to come from. I’m not tied to someone I strongly dislike because we had a child together. I have a wonderful, happy, loving relationship with someone I would do anything for. And he would do the same for me. Other than the epilepsy, I’m healthy. All my other vitals are perfect. I get to watch my friends become parents and my surrogate nieces and nephews grow up. I have the benefit of learning from them before I embark on parenthood. I know myself well enough to know I’m completely unprepared to be a parent at this stage in my life. I’m content with my job. I don’t dread getting up and going to work every morning. I have a boss who isn’t afraid to be honest with me, positive or negative. I make a good living. I’ve made mistakes along the way, as has every person, but I learned from them. I keep picking myself up. The only true failure is to give up completely. I have no idea what tomorrow brings, but I know my attitude will account for a lot of it.
Here’s to being a little kinder to those around me. I don’t know what they’re carrying around. At least I won’t pile on top of it.