Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Haters Gonna Hate

Confession: I love Bravo television. If it involves Housewives or OCD designers I am in. (Except New Jersey, those bitches be crazy.)
Last night by some stroke of luck I was Remote Queen for a day. Of course I watched the Real Housewives of New York.
(Sidebar Rant - do not feel obligated to read if you're not a fan of the show. How on God's green earth is that alcoholic super skank sociopath Ramona Singer still on and Jill Zarin, my beloved ginger truth teller, gone? Damn you Bravo!)
Anyway, the truly striking thing about the episode to me was the absolute delight the women were having talking about one another behind their backs. Oh the delicious drama!
I must say, however, it strongly reminded me of high school. And middle school. And probably even elementary school if I really thought about it. Which leads me to notice, not for the first time, that the world never really leaves high school.
Being in high school is what I call training for the real world. Because if you believe all the gossiping and shit talking that you and your friends did magically goes away because you got a cap and gown you are in denial my lovies. (Also, you're totally normal, I'm not hating on anyone for anything. I did that shit too! Like a boss!)
High school settles itself into the fiber of our being and it never really goes away. Because all that talking comes from a place inside of us that's very real. And if your work puts you in contact with any more than say, two people including you, you have most likely experienced some level of drama even in your grown up office. It comes from our attachments - to how we view ourselves physically, mentally, academically, and how we view other people - friend or foe? Competition or no? Are they prettier, smarter, richer, sexier, making more money, getting attention that we ourselves wish for? Are they better than us??
Not to mention - do they like us? Do we fit in? Our insecurities drive this behavior and we are somewhat passive passengers on the road of self doubt and, yes, envy. But of course we don't envy her/him! That's crazy! She/he is not that special!
Um, well, none of us are that special. I'm fascinated by a recent news story about a high school teacher who gave a speech at graduation and it's loud and clear message was, "You are not special."
I love it. Of course, he got all kinds of flack for it and will probably be publicly flogged and made to apologize for hurting the baby birds feelings, but the man had a point.
Nobody gets a free ride. Nobody has a perfect life. At least nobody I know or have encountered. And if I did meet someone with a perfect life, I probably wouldn't like them much. They'd be far too boring and I can't imagine much fun. You can't have bliss without having known suffering of some kind.
We are emotionally driven creatures. And a lot of that drive comes from our fear of not being good enough, not deserving good things, not owning our shit because blaming other people and giving ourselves really intelligent, well thought out excuses for our behavior is far less uncomfortable. We live in our heads and construct our own image of what our life should look like, how the people in our lives should behave - especially when it comes to how they treat us.
What we often forget is giving expectations to someone without communicating with them, without actually asking for what we want, is a set up for disappointment. And if you believe people will disappoint you, that is what will happen every time. Self fulfilling prophecy.
We as human beings are hard wired to want to be right. Above all else, we need that validation. We need to be able to say nobody got one over on me! That's right! I knew they were gonna screw up and they did!
I'm so mad at them! (But secretly relieved because I was right! Woo!)
I'm working on easing up on expectations, especially the unspoken ones. I get it that I have a choice. I can be right, or I can be happy. I don't get to have both all the time. Nobody does. And that's something I have to learn to make peace with.

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