Ten Life Lessons I’m Learning from Enslavement
1. Patience is a virtue, and good things come to those who wait. – I have always been one of the most impatient people I’ve ever known. Though I was raised in the south, I still have quite a few Yankee traits. Everything has to be done now. Right now. Right the fuck now.
Mostly because if it’s not done right the fuck now I don’t want it anymore because my tastes or desires or opinions have already changed. But also because waiting, quite frankly, sucks ass.
I’ve learned, through M’s careful tutelage, that just about everything gets better, if only in how it’s prepared, with time. Relationships, friendships, medicines, cars, electronics, stews, sauces, wines… The longer you wait, the more the kinks iron out, and the better they are.
2. Humility gets you farther than arrogance. – I’m always hearing things like, “Don’t sell yourself short.” and “If you believe in yourself, they will, too.” and “Confidence sells.” And it’s true. If you act like you’re something, people will think you’re something, and jump on the bandwagon of singing your praises.
But there’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance. And if you cross it, those same people will spend the time they’re not spending with you talking about how much you suck.
As a slave, I am no one special. I could be the coolest person in the world. The funniest. The most beautiful. The most talented. But I’m still a slave, and as such, I should maintain some semblance of humility. For all you free folk out there are still higher than me on the food chain of life. And my place, regardless of my talents, is to serve.
3. You hurt the ones you love the most… and usually unintentionally. – I don’t know how many times M’s approached me with a problem I had no idea I was causing, but I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve had arguments of the like with acquaintances. Partly because an acquaintance rarely questions your motives (it’s just not important enough), but also because the ones you love are always under foot.
We tend to say anything, and everything, to people we care about. Sometimes without thinking. Or, at least, I do. And I always assume M won’t take offense because He knows me. But sometimes, no matter how much you know someone, it’s difficult to tell whether or not they’re on the attack. And feelings get hurt.
4. Being wrong isn’t the end of the world. Neither is making a mistake. – I hate making mistakes and being wrong. It makes me feel stupid. And it embarrasses me. I have always had a seriously difficult time with embarrassment. It’s one of the main reasons I run.
But you know what? There’s nothing wrong with not knowing something. You gotta learn some time. And making mistakes is just a part of life.
I make a lot of mistakes. And I have no choice but to pick myself up, dust myself off, and try again. It’s the humble pie I have trouble choking down. Which brings me to the awesome fact that…
5. Embarrassment is easily quelled with a joke. – Not a mean-spirited one! But, you know, an, “I’ve done that before! It’s dumb, huh? We can join the ‘I haz a dumb! Club’ together!” joke. The kind that’s meant to tease and lift someone’s spirits, not kick them while they’re down.
6. Running is not an option. – Not now, not ever. No matter how embarrassed I am. No matter how much I want to avoid conflict. I’d rather stand up for myself, or apologize for being wrong, or… whatever, than run from whatever stupid thing I did.
Being spineless does not become me. Or anyone, really.
7. Keep it simple, stupid. – No, really.
I have so many friends who over-complicate their lives.
One who rushes headlong into relationships before figuring out what went wrong with the last one, and then can’t figure out why there’s drama. Another who spends so much time organizing and re-organizing her life that, by the time she’s finished, she’s too exhausted to actually do any of the shit she was trying to make time for. Another who lets himself get so worked up over other people’s bullshit because it affects him in some way that he has a hard time not letting it affect the rest of his life.
And then there’s me. Who works better when it’s crunch time, and uses that as an excuse to procrastinate, and then can’t figure out why I’m so god damned stressed out.
8. Life is far too short to spend it with someone you hate. – I had a lot of guilt over leaving my ex. Trust me… you don’t have to tell me how dumb that is. He was a dick. But I wasn’t exactly a peach myself. And regardless of how much bullshit he put me through, I spent a lot of time going over and over how I might have caused it.
Most of my guilt stems from the fact that we have kids. That bs argument about how kids get on better in a home that isn’t broken, regardless of how chaotic it might be, or how unfit one or the other parents is, seriously fucks with me.
But when it comes right down to it, I’m not cut out to be a primary caregiver, and I fucking hate my ex. Fucking hate him. So much that I felt a great deal of satisfaction when I found out all the bullshit he did when we were together has taken a serious toll on his health.
Yes, I realize how horrible that is. No… I don’t really care. He fucking deserves whatever comes to him. Most of us do, in some way, shape or form. Karma’s a bitch, that’s for sure.
And that goes for all the drama mongers that bug the ever-loving shit out of me. I think I’ll be jumping on the “cutting them out of my life” bandwagon. This place was so much more comfortable when I wasn’t out there trying to make friends with everyone out of some misguided belief that I had to.
Obviously, this doesn’t apply to the people I love that I met when I decided to try to make friends with everyone, and they know who they are. And I still intend to keep meeting new people. Because I’ve come to the conclusion that the friends I’ve made while wading through the bullshit are well worth the trouble I went through to find them.
I love you guys. Truly.
9. Don’t sweat the small shit… – Getting upset over stupid little petty shit is so fucking dumb. It doesn’t help anyone, and some studies show it takes years off your life.
Yeah, I made that statistic up, but I bet it’s true! Some study somewhere shows that everything takes years off your life!
Is it going to kill you? Is it going to make you any less of a person? In the grand scheme of things, is it really all that important? Does it affect you right now in any way? Can you change it? Do you really even give a shit about it? Did you answer “no” to any of those questions? Then seriously… Fahget about it!
10. …and it’s all small. – Getting evicted, having your power turned off, having to skip a meal because you don’t have the cash, crashing your car… Sure, they sound huge, but they’re all fixable.
You know what’s not fixable? Dead. Dead’s not fixable. You should worry about being dead. But only when you are dead. When you’re alive, you should live like you’re never gonna die. Like nothing can touch you. And skid into home all banged up, with a grin on your face, and yell, “Boy howdy, was that fun!” Whatever “fun” is to you.
And that’s all I got to say about that.