I hope this note finds you well. I'm taking a break from posting excerpts to tell you how much I appreciate your tuning in each week or so to read this blog. This project began in 2008 on April 23, early in the morning. You may recall that I reported a most wonderful dream at that time. Now, it is six years later and I'm still working on that story. I owe the most casual of reader as well as my writing groups a big THANK YOU for feedback along the way. It's a lot of work to get a story in your head onto paper.
Six years and more have taught me so much. The best lesson I've learned is to keep negative people at bay while welcoming the good and positive influences. Learning to see when people manipulate you is a lesson everyone needs to learn. I caved to a few people I knew in my twenties and kept them in my life despite my desire not to be around them out of some odd kind of "loyalty." In truth, all I did was prolong the inevitable and keep the truth of the situations from myself; namely, that these people were not supportive of me at all, and that I was not a bad person for letting them go. Why not let someone go who badmouths you and puts you down? It makes perfect sense.
Of course, manipulative people don't want you to ditch them. They use charm, guilt, and everything else in their arsenal to convince you otherwise. I am not sure why. Some clearly have egos that need to be fed. Others want to leech ideas, energy, and whatever else off of you and then take credit for it. Whatever the case may be, it's nice to be free of that obligation. (And they offer great inspiration as you characterize antagonists!)
Sometimes in the best of circumstances, it's finally safe to look back and assess the past. That's where I find myself now. I live in a safe and happy environment and get to start over in a new place. Of course, the lessons follow you, and sometimes they haunt you. There have been many times when I've given thanks for the ending of one situation or another.
Times of stress bring out the best and the worst in people. That's a universal truth. At my most recent employer, people are banding together while the department is being closed down. We are in touch on LinkedIn, endorsing each other for all the skills we displayed when we worked together, and passing on headhunter information to anyone who needs it. I worked with some very smart and kind people there and I do miss them. On the other hand, at other times in my life, I've come across people at work (with job security) who make trouble and go out of their way to put stress onto their coworkers, and it baffles me. Who needs that? As that lady on the Internet said, "Ain't nobody got time for that!"
In any case, let's try to emphasize the good and learn from the bad. I am reminded of this every year in April when I remember that wonderful dream and the feeling of peace and love that accompanied it.
As the Catholics say, Peace Be With You.