Yesterday, instead of writing (as I’m spending a whole month on NaNo) I had a day of making.
I have two types of friends at present: those who will be really pleased that I made their Christmas present for them, and those who wish I’d bought them some alcohol… or a gift token, or something else that makes me look like I’m not some kind of cheap-ass. Forget for a moment the amount of personal effort and thought that goes into my hand-made gifts. After a while, some people get tired of this and simply wish I’d spend the money. This year, those friends won’t be getting anything, because I am no longer caring.
There comes points in every relationship where inevitably the path forward (or not) is defined by the actions of the people involved. Sometimes, this can happen without you realising the other person is even listening. Over the last few months, as I have pushed myself forward and into new spaces, it has been obvious that some people whom I care about are not really as keen about me as perhaps they once were. It is totally understandable, considering the complex set of variables at play which define how you interact as friends, that variance will occur. However, then you reach the situation where it becomes apparent your path is not the same and that’s absolutely fine.
As I keep telling my daughter, not everybody in life will like what you are.
For those ‘friends’ who are online, sometimes the Mute button is all you need for a quiet life, except there are those people for whom doing this will cause more affront than currently exists, because they have no idea how much they annoy you. What ought to happen in situations such as this, and which rarely does, is that people have the balls to admit up front ‘yeah well I stopped listening to you for a while there because you really pissed me off but now I agree with you again everything is okay.’ Except for somebody like me, that’s quite hurtful. If you have an issue, we can work it out. If you don’t care about working it out, then maybe we shouldn’t be here to begin with.
The bigger, long-term issue with this selective hearing is that the serial offenders, people who have pissed off group after group of people yet still continue unabated, can keep doing that if no-one has the balls to go public with their concerns. More and more, the counter argument of ‘just don’t start drama, nobody needs it‘ is roughly akin to that bit in Pride and Prejudice where Darcy admits to Elizabeth that if he’d been honest about George Wickham at the start, he’d not have eloped with Lydia. Except, of course, without that plot twist our protagonists would never have become an item… so what is a girl to do?
This year will be remembered as the one when the past came back to destroy what many entertainers believed was untouchable popularity in a manner that is completely right and proper, considering the severity of the offences now becoming apparent. As I watch and slowly digest the manner in which respect and care was strained, ignored and flattened underfoot, it becomes even more important for me to maintain a personal integrity that reflects the person I am, both good and bad. I’ve made no bones about my mental issues, but some love to use them as a reason to control. Not any more.
I will do my best to be your friend: I can be polite and encouraging, perceptive and caring. However, there is a limit to how much shit anyone will take. Taking advantage of other people for your own end, parading them as your friend without asking permission, wilfully baiting or attacking their opinion to make a point or prove your superiority and then laughing about it in public… this is where I draw the line. You don’t use other people’s actions as a means to justify your own. Personal responsibility is just that. When I fail, I’ll make sure I pick up the tab. I expect nothing less from the other people around me. If those standards are unacceptable?
Door’s over there.