In the spirit of life being incredibly short and all, I have stumbled on some principles of living that have helped me très much. I have since stuck with them. Forever and always. You have to understand, that the kind of life that I have lived, I have had to rely on me… my instincts(read: guidance from God whom I believe so much in), for almost everything. Relationships with people, spending, literature, art, music, clothes, everything! There was no one to ask or compare notes with. If it feels good deep down in my soul, I’m in. Like in the theory of the evolution of man, I have evolved from seedling to tree. I have always done and still always do what feels right to me regardless of how it might alienate me from other people. As a matter of fact, the more likely a thing is to make people not understand me, the more likely I am to do it. Not because I am not a people person, nooo… only because I want the right kind of people around. So I become a filter. Not an unnecessary crowd, but the important few. That’s all. Like Charles Bukowski, I have come to appreciate the finer points of being on my own, the part most people skip or are scared of. Mostly not by choice to be honest. For I have come to understand that there is a soul difference between alone(on your own) and loneliness. Almost all my life, I have been jumping off cliffs without parachutes. If I didn’t know a thing, I would ask google. Heck, I learned how to make prime pizzas on there!
That type of raw self discovery that leads to confidence in self not because of a certain type of arrogance but merely because myself is all that I have ever really had and so no choice but to root for me. I see now that I could’ve maybe sought out my mother’s opinion on a couple of issues but the impulse to hone my own ‘skill’ was always so overpowering. What to do when she won’t be around to rescue her baby girl? And she had her own troubles… I didn’t want to add mine. I didn’t want to be the cliché type of only child. Spoiled and blah blah. I had to learn the art of living somehow. And so in the process of living this here life, I have flown, walked, crawled, run, stumbled(too many times)… and now, me issss flying steadyyyy(humility in tow because it is never by my own doing but by the doing of that same God… the one who put the fat lady up in my head, you see).
I was dating this guy my first year of college. First boyfriend and all. I was like a newly hatched dinosaur. Strong yet very unskilled. He was nice, yet very… all over the place. Very sanguine. When he would do something that would piss me off, depending on the severity, I might or might not get an apology. Now, I had a very prim and proper upbringing. If I did something wrong, no matter how small, I would apologize properly. Typically, I expected the same behavior from him. Even if all he did was forget to shut the door behind him, or slam it on his way out, I expected a perfunctory “sorry about that”.
But oooh boy was I in for it. Sometimes I got it, the “I am sorry” I mean, most times I didn’t. I hated it. I thought it was callous of him. I would sit and stew over something that he had apparently done to me, he would see me stewing, roll his eyes, ignore me, and proceed to make a joke about how he thought I had really nice ankles.
Later though, when I would sit and think about stuff and listen to music as is my habit, understanding would dawn. My mind, the fat Lady I mean, has a funny way of being logical when judging matters and even though it puts me in the wrong sometimes, she don’t care, aye. I mean, the way he(my college beau) and my mind saw it, I was his personal person. He loved me. And when you love a person, you don’t hurt them on purpose. He expected me to understand that all the pissing me off(which included not cleaning up the crumbs on my well swept rug after a sandwich meal) wasn’t intentional. It was just a ‘harmless’ personality trait that he thought I should overlook. He didn’t think a formal apology for every wrong was needed. All that apologizing… for every random wrong… how many times in a day would that have to happen? For him, probably a kabillion times! Whew!
And while I thought he took too many things for granted, there was actually something to be learned from that.
Eons later, I now belong to that school of thought. And while I still apologize for wrongs done(great and small alike – I cannot help it), I do not expect it of others. As a matter of fact, I almost never expect it. I mean, you can always tell when a person is sorry. I’d rather not stress myself expecting an apology. I’d just prefer to skip it and move on to the “back like it was before” stage. Proper apologizing is awkward for some. And while it seems like good manners to be on point in that regard, not everyone can manage it.
So what then do I do?
I watch for the apology signs.
Mental astrology on point.
That glance, the awkward beginning to a conversation, too loud laughter, a surprise gift, weird silence… and in the case of my father, the telling of a good joke… and hey, I let it go. I have absolutely no choice in the matter since my heart pretty much melts after noticing all that anyways. No stressing. Non-verbal communication at its finest.
What am I rambling on about?
Some of us, through no fault of ours since we were after all wronged, will see the ‘apology signs’ and still hold on to a grudge. Like paper to glue.
What for, then?
What will it achieve?
A fatter wallet, a flatter tummy?
Neither of course!
So hey, why not look for the damn signs! They most likely are there. Identify, accept, move ahead. And even if they are not there, for some random wrongs, imagine up a sign. No time. Marriages will be saved, friendships will be prolonged, and peace of mind will reign supreme. There are so many things out there that make life hard… the external factors… but between us and internally, we shouldn’t make it any harder.
This new year, I am advocating for stress free living. In all its forms. And apology signs? Great help. I have been worshiping at this altar for a quite a bit and to be sure, it is Yea and very much Amen. People will feel at home around you, and you… you… will feel as light as a feather all the time. I mean, it makes you practically ‘unoffendable’ (if there is anything like that).
I am not asking for the impossible…
I am not even asking that you overlook everything, become a pushover of sorts…
I am only asking you to live long… To choose your battles wisely. Do not engage in every ‘battle’ that presents itself. Not every battle must be fought. This new year, I beg you, let all the unnecessary weight go… and hey… live long!
HAPPY NEW YEAR ahead guys!!!
May it be creamy smooth, peach soft, great like fine wine, and the odds… the ever-present odds… may they always be in our favor. Aye.