Day 49. I – as is the norm for me these days – woke up at 4a.m. As much as I would have liked to go back to sleep, it just didn’t happen. So, I open “The Language of Letting Go,” and come to today’s topic, which is: Being Right.
I read only that, the title, and I smirk.
Beattie says to “strive for love in relationships, not superiority.” (Though, I have to admit [ESPECIALLY IN RELATIONSHIPS]… when you’re right, it’s AWESOME.)
I began to think about my romantic relationships, and how I always strived to be just a bit better than the person I was dating. It wasn’t necessarily malicious; I just wanted something I could do well, something I could be proud of – and, in essence, something they could be proud of me for. Sometimes, I succeeded. Sometimes, I did not. I learned to be okay with it.
Then I thought about my friendships, and how – at one point in my life – I thought it was a big deal if you didn’t go to college. And then I went to college and came out with a bunch of debt and am working in a field that has nothing to do with my degree. So, I could scratch that one off the list.
And then I thought about my everyday dealings with people, about the way I react when something doesn’t go my way. First, a story: When I was 8 years old, my school had a partnership with a Book-It! program. I don’t know if such programs are around anymore, and if you’ve never heard of it, it goes something like this: Children were expected to read something like a book a week. You had to read the book, log it, and when you had a certain amount of books read, your parent/guardian would have to sign off on it. If you turned in a completed slip, you got a free mini pizza from Pizza Hut. And back in the day, Pizza Hut was the shit.
So, because I really wanted pizza (and also, I really loved to read) I read my books, I logged them, and then I asked my stepmom to sign the log. The process, I thought, was simple. I had done the work, I should get the reward. And for whatever reason, she didn’t sign it. And in all of my eight-year-old wisdom, I did the rational thing. I threw a tantrum. Not like a crying fit and some yelling, “BUT MAWWWWMMMM!!!!”. Rather, I threw myself on the floor and ripped my glasses from my face and threw those, too. And then I cried and screamed. Luckily, I did not have anything else I could throw, but I’m pretty sure that if you handed me the Eiffel Tower I could have thrown that as well.
I should mention that I rarely threw tantrums. I am also going to mention again that I really wanted pizza. I don’t remember how it played out. I probably was grounded. I might have gotten my slip signed but that’s REALLY unlikely.
The point is that that girl still lives somewhere inside of me. And while I’m not throwing myself on the floor anymore and my eyewear is a mixture of glasses and contacts which I do not throw because I paid for them, I’m still a little ragey when I get disappointed. I’d like to know that things are done right; I’d like to know that when something is wrong it is fixed the way I think it should. But, it rarely is. Life is not that cut and dry, nor should it be. It is again a reminder to let things happen the way they are happening (provided I don’t come across someone getting murdered) and it will all work out.
So maybe the key is to take the words “right” and “wrong” out of my vocabulary, and if I’m going to worry about something it should be me and only me. What works for me doesn’t necessarily work for you. This truly is a concept I understand, but I have a hard time looking past it. Like all things, this is a work in progress. In dealing with other people, maybe I just have to let things fail a time or two (my anxiety level is rising)! And maybe I could work on how I say things.
Such as, “It’s not that you’re wrong, it’s just that I’m right.”