I come from a long-line of negative people. My people have a history of finding the cloud in the silver and turning the whole damn thing into a thunderstorm. I've never seen anything like it. Having been raised in a family like that, it swallowed me whole, too. It doesn't help that I'm mouthy and often speak first and think later. I spent years focusing only on the negative. If something good happened, I set it on a shelf and squatted down with my catcher's mitt waiting for the crap that was inevitably around the corner. I was rarely disappointed.
Because I brought it on myself. I expected shit and I got it. My 20's were full of great things - but never once did I appreciate it. Not. Once. I was too busy focusing on the wants instead of the haves. I surrounded myself with drama - from myself, from my friends, family, co-workers, neighbors - the list goes on. I thrived on the chaos and hatred that drama brought my life. If you can call it that, anyway. I wouldn't say I exactly I "thrived."
I don't remember what the catalyst was that made me open my eyes, but at some point in my thirties, I looked at my life and the people in it and realized that I didn't like any part of it. I literally cut out everything toxic in my life. I turned my back on friends and family I'd known all my life. I stopped returning emails and phone calls. I didn't make plans with people anymore. I shut myself off from the world so I could reevaluate where I was, where I wanted to be and who was "safe" enough to be there with me. It was the scariest thing I've ever done.
And it was the best thing I've ever done.
I started going to new places. I met new people. I was very cautious, of course. With my mouth and penchant for saying the wrong thing, I had to be careful who I let my guard down with. Sometimes I'd test people to see just how far they'd drag me. The minute I felt myself going under, I'd grab a life preserver and swim for shore (and promptly slam the door on any type of relationship with that person). The transition was much like I imagine the witness relocation program is: cutting out everything you know and replacing it with new. It's exactly what I did.
Drastic? Probably. But I did what I felt I had to.
Over time, I realized that there were still a lot of people from my past that I was able to have healthy relationships with and I've rebuilt that with those people, but there are still some people (even family) that I keep at arm's length. The minute their lives become too chaotic for me, I step back. I've always been a fixer, so this aspect has been the toughest to break myself of. But now, several years later, it's become second nature to me.
I still have a mouth and my defensive nature. I'm also an explainer (hence this blog) because it's important (for some fucked up reason) to me that people understand my actions. I forget, of course that some people will never understand me no matter how much I talk things to death, but I digress. Sometimes, its easy to still get caught up in drama. Lord knows I've had my share. But I'm doing much better about bowing out when I see the boat starting to capsize.
There are still people who want to see me fail. They want to see me miserable. Humiliated. Unhappy. This used to bother me greatly. In fact, my defensive nature would rear up and I would spend days/weeks/months trying to convince these people that I'm a good person and didn't deserve their hate. In the end though, I realized that I was the only one who needed convincing.
At the risk of sounding like Stuart Smalley, I really am a good person and people love me. Not everybody, of course (because let's face it, I am a snarky bitch.), but I'm surrounded by friends and people who do appreciate me.
So to those of you who want to see me cry - who want to see me get my dander up - who want to see me go off the deep end and get sucked under: thank you. You remind me that I'm doing something right. You're jealous. You're bitter. You're like I was. You remind me how far I've come. You remind me that I'm better than I once was. You fuel me to keep on keepin' on.
That being said, why are you the way you are? Do you find happiness in hating? Is your life more full by focusing on the negative in it? If you don't like someone or something, why bother keeping it around? Let go. Seriously. Just let it go.
I have. In fact, I unfollowed someone today whom I like very much. She's a darling person, but because she retweeted something from someone who was a VERY toxic part of my life a few months back, I cut her out. That is how serious I am about removing the negative. I may be perceived as the ostrich with my head in the sand, but the truth is, if I don't see it, then I don't know about it. People can talk shit all they want. They will anyway, so why bother myself with seeing it?
Do I still get pissed? Yup.
Do I still get defensive? Yup.
Do I still have my moments of negativity & depression? Yup.
But, I'll let you in on a little secret about me: I'm human. I make mistakes. I have real emotions. I hurt. I get mad. I get sad. I slam doors. I talk shit. But once I say my peace, I'm done. It's over. I move on. That doesn't mean, however, that I will let you back into my life. I may not hold a grudge, but you can damn well bet, I don't give second chances.
Some of you don't deserve to know the things about me that I've shared here, but many of you do. Take from it what you will.