Friday, October 12, 2012

My Shit-Throwing Monkey

Look, Here's The Thing:

It's a rare moment that another person's words get so far up my craw that they're literally stuck there for hours. Mostly because I'm usually more adept with the english language than the common neanderthal, and not afraid of the 'ol back-sass. But when the occasion arrises that the individual choosing to poke the shit-throwing monkey in my brain is a customer, all I can do is watch as the excrement gets splattered all over the inside of my skull. And it's pretty gross.

Today was one of those days. I was about to leave. I had 10 minutes left on the clock. And then this chick walks in, all UP IN ARMS about a minor traffic incident she just encountered. This is what she said:

"Yeah well I almost just got hit by a car. I live in the city, and it's not even that crazy there. People know how to drive in the city. Out here in the suburbs, everybody's all pissed off at how lame their lives are that they take it out on everyone else. All they do is go get coffee."

Oh yes, THAT'S why that person almost hit you! Because they could smell your superiority and they hated you for it! It is true, we all secretly dream of weeding your species out in order to claim our rightful place in this world. Suburbanite power! You fantastic being from foreign lands; you who knows the ways of the world and is far beyond going to get coffee. You, who I must rid from the face of the planet because I fear your vast intellect. I am not worthy, thou cultured, multi-tone haired, Urban Outfitters goddess! Please leave me and my Pabst Blue Ribbon in peace!

SERIOUSLY. I about shit my pants. Seething on the drive home, all I could do was wonder at what gives some people the cajones to say something with such flippant disregard to their surroundings. Not to mention the fact that the receiving party of her bile was a bunch of hillbilly midwesterner's ourselves.

So then later as I'm thinking about how the universe works in such mysterious ways that nothing shouldn't be counted for something, my own monkey landed a big one right square in my face.

I have worked really hard to get where I am today. It's true that it's taken a lot of triumphs and equally as many falls to come to the place of understanding I have now. I've spent many hours in therapy, let go of several friendships and gained twice as many in the process; smacked my own head in revelation and beaten myself up the whole way through. I'm pretty proud of who I am and the understanding I've gained through lots of paying attention. But sometimes, I get a little self-righteous, too.

It's easy to think that once you've figured a few things out about yourself that you have the right to let everyone else know how it's done. I have always been the type to lend a word in advice, and most of the time it's taken in graciously. But I have also shoved those words right down people's throats when it's really not wanted.

Too much has happened in the last few weeks for me to ignore this small bit of wisdom staring me in the face. That for as much as I know, I don't know what it takes for someone else to understand the same of themselves. I can point out things that make me uncomfortable or share what I think with those who are open, but it is not my job nor anyone else's to tell someone how their lives should be lived. And to be honest, no matter how much you uncover there will always be another rock waiting to be unturned. And sometimes there's nasty pile of worms under there.

So I'm following that circle back to my own beginnings. I am learning again to respect the process: that everyone's is different. I can choose to be a part of someone else's or not, but it's not my prerogative to dictate how it should go. Yeah, it's fucking hard -- patience has never been my strong suit. But then that's my own lesson, and a circuit I have only just begun.

How does that saying go? Live and let live?

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