It was the case recently that Stars did something that upset me. Nothing major, but I was upset nonetheless. My usual reaction would have been to throw a small hissy fit, start an argument and if he didnâ€™t say what I wanted to hear or even if he did and I was in a bad mood, Iâ€™d just dead the whole damn thing.
Instead, I thought about itâ€”what the situation was worth to me. I saidâ€”not yelledâ€”what I wanted to say. We didnâ€™t see eye to eye, but he apologized for doing what he did if I thought he was wrong and because he didnâ€™t want me to be upset. Now normally I would at least pout for awhile, give him the silent treatment for a few minutes while I stewed. But I didnâ€™t do any of that. I took it in, realized his presence and company are worth more than the risk of causing a rift and what he did was nothing worth deading him overâ€¦. Let me back up, my ego is not worth deading him over, much less beefing with him because of it and I hadnâ€™t seen him in a week and wanted to maximize my enjoyment of his company. Plus, I feel like we are both trying not fuck-up. We both have extraordinary asshole tendencies and make an effort not to release the worst sides of ourselves on each other.
And so I took my beef in, breathed on it, and exhaled the whole thing. Rift over- just like that. I thought Iâ€™d feel like a punk for giving into him so easily, but surprisingly, I just felt well, happy. Iâ€™m training myself to look at all the disagreements that come up as â€œis this worth ending what could be built between us over?â€ And if itâ€™s not, then I suck it up and maintain. I think of it as showing humility in support of the greater good and the big picture.
I realized when I did it that this was some major growth on my partâ€”and being the overthinker that I am, I had to figure out where it came from.
It was the case in January that a friend invited me to go with her to see Chris Brown at New York’s Madison Square Garden. We were supposed to meet up beforehand at a colleagueâ€™s birthday celebration at Pop Burger. I didnâ€™t get the original invite, but she mentioned the locale and I assumed it was the one in the Meatpacking district, but it was actually the one in Midtown. I call her to complain I canâ€™t find her and she informs me of my error. She tells me to meet her at MSG, that sheâ€™s on her way there in five minutes, sheâ€™s about to hop in a cab. I get to MSG 20 minutes later and thereâ€™s no sign of her. Of course, she has the tickets, so I canâ€™t go inside. I chill in Borderâ€™s to read magazines. 30 minutes pass. Still no sign of her. Iâ€˜m tired of waiting. Pissed because I went to the wrong location and missed the fun and this chick is taking forever to get here. I call to tell her Iâ€™m leaving.
â€œYouâ€™re punishing me for you going to the wrong location?â€ she asks, her irritation very clear. â€œThatâ€™s not fair!â€
Itâ€™s not about fair. Sheâ€™s taking forever. Sheâ€™s being fucking inconsiderate, as far as Iâ€™m concerned, and I am not one to be inconvenienced, especially since I always make an effort to consider her. Still, something holds me back from re-declaring that I am out.
I sit on the bench, flip through another magazine as I stew checking my phone every minute waiting for her to call. I am getting more pissed with every passing sixty seconds. I really, seriously debate leaving. The only thing that stops me is thinking of the rift this is going to inevitably cause between me and her. Plus I wonâ€™t get to see Chris Brown. Is it worth it just to prove a point? (In retrospect, Iâ€™m not sure what the point was.)
I turn the phrase over and over in my mind. And finally, I decide no. Not at all. Sheâ€™s good folks. Before she was a colleague, she was a mentor. She can be habitually late, yes. But this is partially my fault. The potential of fucking up a friendship with her is not worth whatever super-ego I have thatâ€™s gone into overdrive. Sometimes you just have to take an L for friends. Iâ€™m sure Iâ€™ve pissed her off a time or two. (Weeks later, she let me have it for something totally unrelated, but a situation equally misunderstood. I pissed her off and she too sucked it up.)
I sit for another fifteen minutes. She arrives. Chris Brown hasnâ€™t hit the stage yet. I enjoy the show and save a friendship (one of my better decisions in life). Weâ€™ve partied and brunched and hung out 20 times since then. She was worth the wait.
In a totally unrelated matter, a month later, a friend tells me that sheâ€™s going to add me to the words of Godâ€™s wisdom she sends out every morning. Sheâ€™s only a couple yearsâ€™ older than me, but sheâ€™s wise beyond her age and she always seems to know when Iâ€™m need of some spiritual uplift. We donâ€™t talk regularly these days, but I consider her one of the Aces in my deck of friends. Some of the e-mails she forwards hit me, some I donâ€™t see the message in. Then she sends one a couple weeks in about love from Corinthians I. You know the one about love is patient, love is kindâ€¦? Yeah, that one. This one breaks it down in a way that finally makes sense. The quick summary of it goes: even when you are irritated, you can CHOOSE to be patient. Even when you are pissed, you can CHOOSE to be kind.
I think about Mr. Ex sometimes. And how a potentially beautiful situation crashed, burned, and was re-fried a million times over. I think about that blog I wrote romanticizing our woes and how I attributed it to not treating love with the same care shown in â€œmaking sure we dress in style, posing pictures with a smile, keeping danger from a child.â€ A loose definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. So thinking of that, Iâ€™m trying to treat my SOs and my friendships with that tender care.
All that has made me start to think more about how I react to life. I take an L on occasion and it doesnâ€™t do any damage to my sense of self and others perception of my worth and my time. Iâ€™m not in love, but as I practice patience and kindness, Iâ€™m starting to see life seems so much easier and has me feeling a lot less regret. It also makes life under the Stars (or at least his influence) much more pleasant.
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