Saturday, March 24, 2012

Lesson learned.

This has been an emotionally exasperating week. I've been putting together a lot of complex puzzle pieces that I'm hoping will eventually fit together and make a nice portrait of my intrinsic nature. (That's a term Spencer taught me -- it means, I guess, the things that I would be if I were boiled down and distilled into just a handful of qualities and ideologies.) At any rate, it's been both a positive and stressful experience. I think I'm really starting to get a handle of my "Hannah-ness," which is good, because my personal identity is both unusual and sort of intense. I've learned a lot about me, as well as who I am in relation to other people -- which is, of course, where the fun begins.

My mom always says that dating is a tool people use so that they can discern what behaviors they're willing (or unwilling) to put up with in other people. Personally, I'd say friendship has been my most enlightening exposure to unseemly or undesirable habits and idiosyncrasies. Over time, I've made a pretty thorough list of deal-breakers -- all of which were culled from former friends. The first five items on this list? Dishonesty, pessimism/negativity, laziness, disrespect, and selfishness.

At this time, I'd like to add to this list "using others."

What I'm about to say is going to come across as totally bitchy and self-righteous, but I don't care because I truly believe it:

There is very little that disturbs me more than one person's willingness to manipulate, deceive, or otherwise take advantage of another person for their own gain -- whether that gain is financial, physical, psychological, spiritual, etc.  That level of self-absorption appalls me. I am especially agitated by  the practice of excluding, avoiding, vilifying, or otherwise discriminating against someone in order to feel better about yourself.

I don't want to be in any kind of relationship with a person who does those sorts of things. I don't want to be associated with anyone being treated poorly. 

The thing that kind of blows about adding that item to my list is that, now, I have to do some weeding in the garden that is my social life. It's not meant to be judgmental, although that's how it will probably be construed. It really just comes down to my perception of what it is to have integrity. It's not that I'm above that sort of behavior, it's that people -- the people I believe exist, underneath all this universal apathy -- are above that sort of behavior. 

We're all connected by the over-soul, which I believe to be the light of Christ, and doesn't that mean we should hold ourselves to a higher standard?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

No mean feat.

Today I'm feeling quite accomplished, because I finally managed to do something that I have great difficulty with, as a general rule: I stuck up for myself. Not with physical violence or anger or anything -- it was just a calm, precise "I'm-not-going-to-do-that-thanks" -- but it seemed like I'd climbed the tallest mountain in all the land.

Despite the fact that I've got a fairly strong personality, I'm a notorious doormat. I think it's a combination of my oldest child/blue/Virgo personality traits -- I want to make other people's lives easier; I want people to need me; I know that we must sometimes do unpleasant things if we're to be considered responsible people.

There's also Ralph Waldo Emerson, who came into the equation late in the game (11th grade -- I blame you, Mrs. Madsen!) but had a pretty intense impact on my social ideology -- especially his essay "Self-Reliance," which contains the following adage: "Discontent is the want of self-reliance: it is infirmity of will."

Heavy stuff.

As a fellow transcendentalist, I got what he was saying -- "you've gotta work to be happy" -- but it kind of added this weird layer of self-deprecation to the way I experience... well, discontent. It's like if I feel taken advantage of or abused in any way, this voice in the back of my head goes No, no -- you're not the victim of any wrongdoing, you silly. You've just got an infirm will. Toughen up!

Today I told that voice that I was tired of toughening up, and that it was someone else's turn, and I feel totally liberated from the responsibility of being a good friend/student/person.

For once, I think that can be someone else's problem.

Unicorn Head Profile Clip Art