Monday, April 10, 2006

Who ya wit?

I've got one, I think we all do....that one girlfriend who is always making excuses for why her man isn't with her at this function or on that holiday. You know, that one person in your life who is always trying to convince you [or is it herself?] that things are going to improve in their relationship. My friend has been "dating" a guy for several years who has yet to meet anyone in our circle. He is never available to take her to functions when she needs/wants a date, he doesn't socialize with her family or friends; in actuality, I am doubtful that the brother even really exists except for the fact that she cries over him too much for him to be imaginary.

Another friend has a gift for surrounding herself with people who are simply put, TOXIC! Whether they are family members, significant others, or mere acquaintances, though seemingly normal at first, the majority of people in her life turn out to be just this side of being committed to the local looney bin. She is normal enough I'd say, but there is something about her that seems to attract people who wouldn't ever make it into my inner-circle let alone make it deep enough in to wreak the kind of havoc they have at times caused in her life.

Last but not least, I have family members who have adult children whom they have raised who for whatever reasons, have either never left home, or have returned home to live off their parents. Some even have multiple children of their own that they have brought along for the ride. This in and of itself is bad enough, but these same adult children have the audacity to expect their parents to take care of them even though they don't take care of their own children. These adult cousins of mine cuss out their parents, as well as disrepecting them in other ways, and in some cases, they even steal from their parents. Now what the hell is that about?

Even I, the great and powerful Ms. Just Write Now! did my own tour of duty trying to hang in there with someone for whom I was never a priority. On again, off again, I dedicated almost fifteen years to trying to make it work with someone who spent those same fifteen years doing everything and anything but trying to make it work with me. He loves me and I love him I'd tell myself....just give it time, he'll come around.

While blogging around the other day, I stopped in at one of my very favorite blogs, David's "Parrish, The Thoughts" , and in his comments section I stumbled upon the following:

Oscar In
".... if you can't change the people around you then
change the people around you..."

So simple....yet so very hard to do. NOT! Now many of you have probably seen or even said these very words before, and subsequently are thinking "big deal". I, on the other hand have never seen or heard this most valuable concept put quite so simply but eloquently [So please allow me my wonder].

"If you can't change the people around you then change the
people around you!"

How comprehendable, how precise, how very do-ABLE! So many times, we find ourselves caught up in situations that we know are not good for us. We spend precious time and expend tremendous energy trying to ""tweak", mold", "work with", "be patient", or just "out and out change" things, people, and situations that have absolutely no motivation for changing. We tell ourselves things like:

  • If I can just give it some time
  • If I can just be patient
  • He/She will come around
  • If only I had tried.....
  • Maybe if I.....
  • Things will get better when.....

The list goes on and on. The reality of the situation is that it probably won't get better! In fact it will most likely get much worse. The fact of the matter is that someone who cares so little about us that they would put us in these or similar situations to begin with has no reason to change. Peep it from their perspective, "Why change? What's in it for me?" As they are already controlling the situation and obviously not at our mercy, why should they change? What would be their motivation?

In every life, there must come a time when healthy self-interest takes over and makes us stand up for ourselves, protect ourselves, even claim a little piece of the universe just for ourselves. Every once in a while, we need to give ourselves permission to go on and be a little bit selfish. For me, that meant ending my dead-end relationship, getting my own place again, and investigating things that I loved doing like blogging, happy hours, and enrolling in school where I could exercise my brain cells and broaden my circle of friends. To me, I say "Hey! You only get one shot at this and you're wasting it here, doing this, with him? Your decision, but I never figured you for a damned fool!" Put more reasonably, "If you can't change the people around you, then change the people around you."

In the case of my aunts whose grown ass kids have obviously lost their minds, I say "Throw their grown butts out! You raised them. You fed and housed them and did what you were obligated to do. It's your turn to live...take it!" Put more reasonably, "If you can't change the people around you, then change the people around you."

In the case of my gurl whose people are toxic I say "Gurl move on. Let those people go! They do not have your best interest at heart and why you are giving them any part of your heart I don't know. I love you and I'm close to normal which means that other normal people can love you to! Go find them and kick these knuckle heads in your life to the curb!" Put more reasonably, "If you can't change the people around you, then change the people around you."

As for my other gurl...with the "Invisible Man" I say "Drop him like he's hot! Afterall, you don't even spend enough time with him to really miss him anyway." Put more reasonably, "If you can't change the people around you, then change the people around you."

Life is short. Change happens. When it happens, change happens used to do it this way, now you do it that way. Its that quick. It is immediate. It is now. Nothing gradual about it. If you are waiting patiently for change, you will be waiting a long time, as change doesn't take time. Change takes one making up one's mind to change and then doing it....JUST LIKE THAT!

Check out who you're with....If they're not the kinda people you want to be with, don't waste time trying to change them,



chele said...

Fortunately, I have never had a problem shaking off the dead weight. It's funny sometimes because months will go by and I'll get a phone call, "Where you been?" Minding my business, that's where I been.

I don't know if it's because folks don't like change, or if they are afraid of confrontation or if they are afraid of being by themselves but those types of situations always do more harm than good.

lyre said...

Hi, stumbled across your blog off of chele's blog. I truly needed to hear this affirmation of my decision to drop my own dead weight. Didnt wait 15 years but 8 was enough.
I'll try to come back!

LadyLee said...

LOL @Chele's "Where you been?" Minding my business, that's where I been.

Now that's funny... I'm like that too, Chele... People say I have a funny way of making myself scarce, i.e., won't answer the phone, won't make a phone call, NOTHING... just like I fell off the face of the earth... I want to tell them... "Take a hint, babes!"

My pastor said something interesting: look at all your relationships... They are either building bridges to your destiny or holding you in bondage in some way... Do yourself a favor and get rid of those relationships that have you in bondage... Now I thought that was a bit harsh. But you know what... It is oh so true.

Well, Sharon, you wrote something in a comment many moons ago on my blog that TOTALLY changed my perspective on things... It was a comment about my isshas with my mother... basically what you say here... If people are toxic, then oh well... That really stuck with me. Afterall you can't change folks... then change the homies you are around!!!

Shoot, I need to print that out and hang it on the fridge!!

The microphone is SMOKING after this one, oldgirl... You said the darn thing! Good post!

DP said...

Now I know why my ears have been burning all day.

Oscar and I spent this weekend together and I am reminded of the miracle of true friendship. He and I went...maybe 10-12 years between decent conversations. To see us together you would think we had been next door to each other the whole time. God works in all areas of your life that you allow him to. He will point your dead weight out to you. You have to put self aside to see it, though.

Glad I was able to spark such genius. do ya thang darlin.

Safa said...

I love that saying. Sometimes concepts and actions that seem so daunting and unattainable really boil down to simple instructions like the one in your post!

Serenity23 said...

I can really relate to this one. I spent a lot of years trying to change someone that was never willing to change. That was an expensive lesson.