A few weeks back I was feeling a bit shitty about stuff. I quite literally asked, “if things don’t work out by next summer (NZ winter), can we please go home?”. It was that curled up on the couch, stuffing my face with biscuits kinda low and i just wanted the comforts of home and normality.
But I’ve come to realise that I’m much more resilient than I give myself credit for. I truly do believe that the only way to improve on yourself is to reflect on your experiences – good and bad – and to learn from them. And thats what I’ve done.
If I’m to be honest, it probably shouldn’t have been a big surprise, but I’ve come to realise that I expect too much from people (well…. I’d be lying if I didn’t say it’s been pointed out to me in the past. But I’ve only just come to understand it now).
You see, my family are ridiculously close. I was incredibly fortunate to have grown up with both sets of grandparents and all my immediate family within a 20km radius. If you ever needed anything, there was always someone to help you – siblings, parents, cousins, aunties, uncles, grandparents at the very least, and beyond that you have 2nd cousins, parents’ 2nd and 3rd cousins, family friends… the list goes on. There was always someone.
So I guess I took these kinds of relationshps for granted. It’s also why I find it hard to build relationships and then let them go. If I have a connection with someone I try to maintain that relationship, regardless of distance or changes of circumstance. I may not be the best friend a person could have, but I really do care about each of the relationships I have.
I didn’t ever think I expected too much from my relationships. But I certainly don’t expect to be taken advantage of either. So when that does happen, it makes me feel like shit. Like the lowest of the low. And thats a large part of the reason I felt like crap a few weeks back. I feel things really passionately, so yeah…. disloyalty is like treason to me. And I admit, I have a hard time reconciling myself with the idea.
But I’ve also lived with the anger, sadness and resentment that can grow when you harbour such strong and negative feelings, and I know very well that it wastes your time and energy. The only person you end up hurting is yourself and from personal experience, it can turn you into someone who is equally destetable. So I choose not to hold onto that kinda crap, for my own wellbeing than for anything else.
Unfortunately it doesn’t resolve the underlying situation. But at least letting go of any negative feelings allows me to feel empowered. At the end of the day, we are all human and just like I fuck up, so too do the people I love. For that, I can find room for forgiveness.
But trust. Well, thats another thing altogether.
The biggest thing I’ve learnt from this incident is that people will often look out for number one first and foremost, no matter the consequence. That being the case, I’ve learnt that I shouldn’t expect too much from others. I also realise that I shouldn’t rely on anyone else to act in my best interest. Which in some ways makes me sad, coz its just such a limited idea of family and community. Its now how I grew up anyway.
But at least its real. At least I know where I stand. I trust that much.
So anyway, it was a shitty lesson to have learnt. But at least I finally get it.
Post script: This was written in 2015 but only published in February 2017 after having viewed archived posts.