you can’t have your public cathartic self-realization and eat it too. or something like that.
i had some negative responses to my entry on the 24th. i wasn’t so much surprised that i got them as i was at my reaction to them. i immediately started to back-pedal internally, trying to convince myself that i was making a bigger deal of the situation and that sure, i could somehow manage to be this terrific friend to all these people and not inadvertently leave someone hanging, or out entirely, as i have been doing.
this reaction made me angry, as soon as i got over my initial surprise. later i was calmed by the fact that some of the responses i got were incredibly straightforward; even though this wasn’t meant as a group brush-off, i was able to address those people who thought it was in the same, mature way they treated me.
i can’t ever forget that i’m writing in a public forum, but i do expect a level of decency on the reader’s part to avoid jumping to conclusions. we’re not anywhere near the final chapter; it won’t be the final chapter until i keel over dead, so none of us know where it’s ending up. documentary-style reporting is not my forté and i’m flighty, undependable as a narrator. i could take it all back tomorrow.
how easy it would have been to erase that entry, or to never write it at all.
this isn’t a threat, i swear it isn’t. but what do people expect, reading the compost-heap of my brain? do they really expect that i don’t ever get tired of being nice? i suppose there are people who are consistently sweet and nice and kind and never get tired of being so. i am not one of those people. nor do i really want to be. i aspire to have more patience and compassion, not to display faux empathy.
at any rate, i realized something funny. the only negative responses i got were from people i had no intention of “leaving behind”. i have established quite a reputation by my avoidance of confrontation, it seems, which i’m not upset about. like i said, i find it strangely amusing. (if only you could see how confrontational i am in my own head.) as unfortunate as i once thought this might be, i am getting more comfortable with confrontation on a daily basis. it’s not all that bad, really. some confrontation encourages positive change. the rest of it remains distasteful to me, but i’m dealing with that sort, too, gradually. of course now i’m defaulting to “i don’t want to be difficult; let’s all just get along” mode.
is that my stomach growling, or is it just me?