Twenty eighteen was a year where I hit one of those metaphorical T intersections. There was no way to keep going in the same direction. Various decisions needed to be made and the various outcomes would force change and re-evaluation which was not going to be easy. I knew that there would be some people that would be left behind. That being one of the costs.
By the end of 2018, I thought I would get a chance to take a break from confrontational decisions. Within days of 2019 starting, I was put in a situation where a confrontation meant losing a person in my life who no longer wished to associate with the person I was becoming. Fair enough. Having dealt with various forms of loss, I guess my skin was a bit thicker and I managed to keep myself fairly calm and together. It was not what I would have wanted as life has a habit of being unexpected at time however it was definitely a time of reflection and one that I will continue to grow from.
Being at peace with who I am
The feeling of peace within me had to be fostered and nurtured by me. That inner peace that enabled me to sleep soundly at night and smile during the day had to be controled within my own parameters. Not those of others. I needed to be okay with who I am void of what others thought. Again, that came at a cost with various levels of joy or discomfort. The one insight that made the discomfort worth it was an epiphany that if I don’t learn to be at peace with myself at the cost of pleasing others, I will always live with inner turmoil and we will end up lonely even in a crowd of familiar strangers.
Being a nice person
I used to feel good when people called me a nice person. It was as if it was an easy meter to make sure I was doing well as a person in society. That was until those same people would use it to pre-empt asking for something which kind of rendered the initial ‘compliment’ as void. Upon evalutation, being called a nice person is not necessarily a compliment. It can sometimes be another way of saying that you are easy to manipulate. Another interpretation would be that you are accommodating and willing to sacrifice your time for others beyond what (in reality) is healthy. I am learning that there are better things than nice. Such as being fair, supportive, definitive and truthful. Sometimes these character traits have to say something that can be challenging or confronting and that may be seen as far from ‘nice’. On the other hand, sometimes that is what is needed.
Each of us have to make decisions that has pros and cons. The outcome will always come at a cost. Those moments or days of mid-process contemplation hopefully facilitate an objective evaluation towards the benefit of the options. I have learned that some decisions take time and that it can go against the grain in a world where everything needed to be done yesterday. In times where I am being forced to make a decision on the spot, I am learning to stand my ground and work through the process at a reasonable pace. The good news is that I have already seen good results from putting this into practise. At the end of each day, I can be at peace knowing that I did my best where possible.
Making bad decisions
What is a bad decision? Been there. At the same time, a bad decision is better than no decision. At least by making a decision, the outcome not being desired enabled me to gave a more objective and insightful understanding as to how I can make better decisions and create more favourable outcomes that help me grow and hopefully work for others as well.
People aren’t going to like when I initiate changes that upset their flow especially when they like things the way they are. I have learned that real friends will be willing to adapt to changes even if it impacts on their own lives. The other side of it is that friends are not forever. I choose my friends as they compliment elements of my own life. At the same time, I should not have to feel guilty if being true to changes that I need to make dissolves a friendship. It is not a sign that a friendship failed, more that it moved in different direction.
While it sounds like I have gone through a number of painful battles and stand scarred, I’m genuinely okay and happier for the decisions I have started making. while some decisions have been hard to make, I’m getting better at considering my own happiness and the cost that it brings. When I close my eyes at night, as long as I feel that I have done right, I will welcome each day with joy and peace in my heart.