Exhaustion got the better of me today, so I took the day off to rest and frankly, to think over my life. In pondering why I'm so angry, the final answer came to me, and when it did it was so simple that I was surprised it took this long to hit me. I've spent the last 3+ years changing my life and proving myself to people: proving that I can rise to this new life, proving that I'm trustworthy, proving my worth. But in this "epidemic of quitting" that's been going on the past few months, a realization has slowly been creeping up on me, so slowly that the fundamental question at the core of my anger just hit me over the weekend today.
How many of them have proved themselves to me?
Cue crickets chirping *here*
That's right, very few. Far fewer than have set this sky-high bar they expect me to clear, each and every day. Far more than come in my life wanting things. Far fewer than actually take a second to say "thank you" for my efforts.
I think it's perfectly fair for me to be frustrated and to set my heels and say NO, I will not do any more until YOU demonstrate to ME why I should trust you. I know what you want out of me, but what are you willing to offer that will enrich my life? I see what you get out of me "rising to it," but what do I get out of it? Are you supporting me as I support you? What will I get out of giving you MY all? Do you care about me as a person and my physical, emotional and spiritual well being as much as you care about the feelings you're trying to hold me hostage to? You demand a place in my life - okay, my life is changed. Now what are YOU going to do to show me why you DESERVE this place?
I think makes sense. There are a lot of demands on me and there's no use for me to bust myself up meeting them if there's nothing in it for the greater good. If it's about nothing but serving one person's selfish needs, then it's a waste of time. And the truth is, there are people online that know me better than people that see me every day. There are people across the country - and even across the world! - that are reading and commenting on my writing, and the person slinking up to me whining or demanding my help has never taken 5 minutes to read one of my short stories.
Well, it's time to prioritize my life. Trust is something that has to be earned, and I'm giving people until the end of the year to demonstrate to me why I should maintain the status quo. Why should I keep doing what I'm doing? Give me a reason. Show me why I can trust you and how you're committed to helping me or working together toward a common goal. Remind me of why I agreed to all of these changes in the first place. My New Year's Resolution for 2014 is to clean up my life: to make changes that will prune out what's not producing fruit in my life, and to feed what is. I'm at the stage of my life where time is the most precious commodity that I have, and I simply can't waste it on fruitless endeavors, or things or people that don't give a crap about anybody but themselves. I'm flushing the demon of selfishness out of my life. Nobody's got time for that, and I won't tolerate it any more.
Of course, there are some people that have always been true and trustworthy, and they have nothing to worry about. Nobody online has anything to worry about. This isn't about you. This is about improving my day to day reality and taking stock of what really and truly matters. If my trust is confirmed, then you have nothing to worry about. I will commit to working with you to overcome the things that present potential stumbling blocks on my end. I'll work on my distaste for travel, for starters, and being a harda**, and I have great hopes that the process itself will take me a long way in working through anger issues. But I need a reason. I've proven myself. Now prove yourself. It's not rocket science. Asking for 5 months of observable, consistent behavior to substantiate my trust and your purpose in my life is perfectly fair.
Of course, people will squawk about this because people don't want to be treated fair - they wanted to be treated special. But that's exactly the point. Respect isn't a free gift; it's earned. Anybody that wants a "special" place in a persons' life has to demonstrate it by being there for them in the tough times. Well, this is a golden opportunity to get in my "inner circle." If you're there for me over the coming months while I strive to work through my anger and the confusion it's causing, then you will have earned my trust. And believe me, I'm fierce about defending my friends. My inner circle isn't big, but if you're in then you have an ally that prays for you every day and will stand by you and fight for you to the end. But you have to get there, first. Now's your chance. It's a golden opportunity. It will be interesting to see who takes advantage of it.
I would like to thank you online friends and social media followers for hanging in there with me. I know that posting angry blogs and social media updates isn't generally recommended and that you get sick of it, but this blog is also about to be how the reality of my life feeds my writing. I feel I owe it to you to be honest because nobody wants to read sterilized posts, nor do they believe them. Hey, it takes some fire to keep things cooking, right? So far, this whirlwind that's been my life has had a huge impact on my writing. I think anybody will agree that my writing took a darker turn after Anywhere But Here, because that's when all of these changes started happening. I started to see a whole other dimension of reality, and it wasn't always pretty. But Splinter got a contract and people are buying and reading Move, so I know I'm not alone in feelings of anger and confusion over life just being, well, life. There must be others out there struggling with anger and confusion issues - especially given the amount of messages and reviews that describe how they can relate to the struggles my characters face. We all go through seasons of anger and confusion. I hope that, by reflecting it through my writing and telling the "story behind the story" in this blog, it helps others to bridge the gap in their own lives; to find the resolution so they can work things out and get back to a balance of peace and joy in everyday living. But thanks, to all of you online, for being there and your help and encouragement through various stages of this. Rest assured that this is about my day to day "reality" and in no way, shape or form is reflective of anything that's been said or posted on the Internet. I just hope that you find some help and encouragement for your own journey, or at least understand that my writing has rough edges because I have rough edges. I have flaws and right now, my big flaw is dealing with anger issues. I know it and thank you for being there while I work through it.
I will try. I will give working through this anger my very best shot and I won't quit because I'm sick of it and I don't want to be defeated. I want to be a whole person again, and I'm ready to start the process. But I need the people around me to do their part as well. This isn't a gauntlet being thrown down. It's a better way because I take responsibility for my part and give everybody else an opportunity to clarify their part, which I really do need right now. So bring me to life, folks, and in return you will get the best that I can offer. Because that's my policy: to do and give my best at all I lay my hand to. And now, since I announce this in a public, online forum, nobody has an excuse to say "I didn't know!" It's on the frigging World Wide Web. Anybody that really wants to know me doesn't have to look far to find me. Let's see who's seeking. Let's see who's listening. Let's see who's up to the challenge of demonstrating why rising to this higher ground benefits us all.
This isn't an easy journey, but I'm taking it. Now show me why it's worth it.
That's all today.