Well kids, the little kitten is not so perky today. But fear not. It will pass. One great truth that you only learn as you survive tough times and negotiate the worst of what some people have to offer is that when you see the ugly again, you already know it and know how to get through it, or step around it, or laugh at it, or shake your head in empathy as you pass. Even better: you know you will do those things. Because you have. The first time I broke my foot I drove to the hospital (pushing a clutch the whole way on said foot. I don’t recommend it.) and got x-rays and Lortab and hobbled around on crutches for two weeks and a boot for four. Two years later when I broke my foot again in dance class, I went home, took a buttload of advil, dug the boot out of the closet and just carried on. Even continued going to dance class and playing softball. My recovery time was quicker in round 2. That’s how it works.
I wish I could hand that experience out and cushion the blow for others. But I can’t. And I wish I could I impress upon people I care for that the phenomenon of “paying it forward” works both ways. When my older sister was mean to me I turned around and was awful to my little brother. And that this concept is at work all the time. And that Dan and I had to have a serious talk as adults about all that and how I still carry the guilt of it and that I will never be able to apologize enough for how I hurt him. And I did awful things and I believe I’m paying for them. And that our relationship today might be a different and better thing had I been aware of that concept as a child. But you have to learn that stuff. And I was just a child and so I try to forgive myself. And it takes some people a very long time to learn it, well into adulthood. And sometimes the best thing you can do for people is let them live the lives they create, develop the friendships they deem worthy, experience the highs they seek and let them swim in the consequences. And try not to show up on the doorstep of the ones who hurt the people you love with a fucking bat and bad intent. That’s the hardest part for me. But I know the cycle of handing out the beat-down is one I’m not interested in.
The weirdest is that strange feeling that comes with doing something right. You know it was right and it’s hard to feel bad about doing it. Especially since the right thing very likely ensures that the nasty little boggart (you’ll have read Harry Potter…) that was trying to creep in gets a door slammed in it’s ugly little face. Move along ugly little thing. The inn is full. We only accept the awesome and inspiring here.
Hmmmmmm. Anyway, keep moving forward little kitten. There’s some funny shit up ahead and the road is pretty dark behind, full of using and confusing and denial and a basic lack of understanding of what constitutes satire and what’s downright fucking offensive (There’s no place for people who don’t understand that distinction here). And as you go, here are the take-away lessons (always important to get those memorized): 1. should you ever feel the need to ruin someone’s day just because you need a little mood pick-me-up (especially when circumstances would dictate you should be having a great time), you are likely unhappy, dissatisfied, and probably need to check around you to see what things in the immediate vicinity are causing you to behave like a raging ass. And then get rid of them. Because people at peace don’t do that. And people surrounded by chaos makers are never at peace. 2. Sometimes when you win, you lose. So always be very, very sure you know what it is you’re fighting for. and 3. don’t sweat the small people. Even if they try to convince you they’re big. Get better at knowing the difference.