This has been quite a learning experience. Learning is great. What kind of geek would I be if I didn't like to learn. The thing is that I would rather learn about Ancient Civs, Modern Marvels, Underground Cities of the World, and a bit more about the viability of the theory that everything we attribute to an alien presence on Earth is actually appropriated Nazi Science. I do not want to learn to go without certain things in this life: like a one on one relationship with someone that complements my life, whose life I complement. I do not really want to be a step ahead of everyone else because that just puts a target on my back and will make it harder to have friendships.
That is what my past has taught me anyway. Let me explain.
Yesterday I spent the day with a friend of mine from high school. He was considered the black sheep of his family and I mine. And only for the simple fact that neither of us was going to go down the traditional road of fame fortune or family. And neither of us was the slightest bit sorry for that. Oh sure, we were sad that we didn't fit in. But we were both unapologetically who we were. And it is that quality of being unabashedly, unapologetically anything that was the most troublesome. I sometimes thought that if I were sorry for not being "normal" it would make it better for the rest of the people around me. But I don't fake anything well for very long. And I just couldn't be bothered by things that were so trivial and unimportant as the "right" color of lipstick, nail polish or which ear the single earring was supposed to go in to communicate whatever meaning was meant. I had enough lab mazes to go through for my destined path I didn't need to worry about superficial crap. And that offends people. But I digress... during the course of the discussion I realized something important.
How I see me: riddled with flaws. Is not how others see me. The same things that I was attacked for within the family structure were the very same things that some people around me always envied or admired. My friend told me two things that were significantly important to hear yesterday given the personal journey that I am on:
1. I could tune everyone out to focus on important stuff.
2. I was always a step ahead of everyone else.
And that my friends is the thing that really puts a target on our backs as evidenced by some crap going on at work right now. The slow people who do not want to try to be better will target you so that they don't look bad. The slow people who want to improve will ask for help.
Sabotage is the most common tactic of people who feel threatened. It is sneaky and under handed. But look at it from that person's perspective. They percieve themselves as stupid, weak or ineffectual because of what their own family dynamic is. That means that they can not out-think you. They can't strong arm you. And they can not discredit you. The only other means of slowing you down so that they don't look bad is sabotage. And for that to work, they have to disguise their actions with an innocuous smile, promises of friendship. Therefore it should really come as no surprise that we feel like we have been tripped by our own devices. The only thing that a sabatour is good at is duplicity. We who are focused and not paying attention to the banalities of a trivial life are always surprised when we trip because we were doing what we were supposed to do and that roadblock wasn't there last time we looked. We think that we are safe because we are doing what we are asked/told.
I've been angry and feeling rather vengeful because I am being made into something that I am not to protect people who need a good cumuppance. Just like in middle school. I did not do anything to directly antagonize anyone and so I think that makes me immune from the kinds of things that keep blind-siding me. That is an error in thinking on my part. While I would like to say that the realization that this is just the way that the world works takes some of the sting out of life, I can not. I doesn't help.
And it is going to take me a long time to learn not to be angry about stupid people. We all have a choice. We can grow or we can stagnate. Fine. Chose what you will. But we also have a choice in how we deal with people. And that is the part that is not fine. If a person choses not to grow and then to punish others for having chosen growth then I will get angry. If you don't like being left behind try harder. Right now I am working with someone who is not trying to save her job anywhere near as hard as others are trying to save it for her. And I am being bullied because I won't let the wheels of commerce grind to a halt on top of me.
As I said before: stand up to the bullies. And I am. I am doing what I always used to do. It is not making me friends with the co-workers. But my conscience is clear. I am working to capacity. I am fixing the imbalance in our department and dealing directly with the GM because the supervisor doesn't want to deal with it. It is the same thing that got me in hot water with my classmates.
Here is the thing. If I am willing to do the work, lessen your load, and not ask compensation for doing so but only asking that I be allowed to keep the self esteem that I am building I do not see why I should be bullied or the bully be protected. I am willing to do the work. All I ask is that you keep people out of my way who would slow me down. And I ask as much for myself as for you who protect the bully. The simple fact of the matter is, that slow person makes you look bad. I need be told something once. Warned once. And I can self correct. The other can not be taught. And that makes the super look like an ineffectual leader. It is in the best interest to have my back.
That is not the way it works. Readers, friends, you will find that out as you keep going further out into the world. And the thing that I have learned is this:
1. You have to be who you are.
2. Knowing that there are people out there who want to punish you for being good at what you do does not make it easier when they lash out.
3. You may feel compelled to forgiveness because that is what you are taught. But Forgiveness, like love and anything else can not be forced. It comes when it comes.
4. If you throw out a life preserver to a drowning person and they do not take it then you are not responsible for their drowning. YOU CAN NOT SAVE SOMEONE WHO DOESN'T WANT TO BE SAVED.
5. Realizing these things... you just have to keep on keeping on.
6. You might have fewer friends than the "popular" kids. Fewer friends than those who you percieve as manipulators. But the quality of your friendships will be better.
Remember that if like attracts like then all the people who are friends with your personal manipulator are manipulators as well. Think of that particular G+ circle, Facebook clique as a snake eating its own tail. you might not feel better or less sad about having fewer friends but the relief at being left out of the drama totally makes up for that.
7. And for those of you who are reading this that fall into the slow category, meaning that you'd rather not work hard, improve yourself or you'd rather slander someone than praise them because it only highlights your short comings, I 'd like to leave you with this observation:
One of the things that you guys do is teach your offspring how to do the same thing to you that you do to us. You get frustrated with me and want me to stop, go back and do your work for you because you can not keep up. Why? Because it is definately easier for someone else to do it than do it yourself. But the funny thing about that is that you are setting yourself up. As an example:
When you get frustrated with how long it takes to teach your kids something like tying a shoelace, you get mad, huff and bark, "Let me do it." Because you won't teach them (having refused to be taught yourself) you will end up tying their shoes for the rest of their lives. Luckily velcro was invented. But what about all the other things that you are doing that you don't have to? Trash? Dishes? Laundry? It has never killed a child to take care of their own dishes, make their own dinner. But they whine, you don't want to hear it so you do it. You taught them that. And you get to do your chores, their chores and you will do the grandkids' chores because you will feel bad that they are hungry, dirty or whatever. In the end you have made 3 times the work for yourself.
And you are mad at me now because I won't let you keep making me do your work. When you are tired of the garbage in the corner you will take it out. I am not cleaning up after people who are perfectly capable of doing so themselves... whose job description it is to care for themselves. You can try to call me lazy. But I think you know that won't fly.
And friends, readers... It is okay not to do everything for everyone. It is okay to be ahead of the curve. If you are two steps ahead of people that means that you can give out the warning for pot holes and speed bumps. That others do not want to heed your warning is not your problem. You are two steps ahead. You take your time to look around for the booby traps and dog poop. Why would you want to walk through life with the rest of the lemmings? You'll just end up falling off the cliff with the rest of them.