“The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.” – Maya Angelou
Hi guys! I’m not dead…well, maybe a little inside (hahahahaha, joking!). I was very sick for a while and, I’ll be honest, a little burnt out. I love this blog but in trying to monetize it and grow it into an eventual business, my failures to do so have sucked a lot of the fun out of it, so I decided to take a break and regroup. I’m pursuing some other options for making passive income that will hopefully allow me to keep the blog as a fun hobby until such time that I can work for myself and then really invest in this platform to make it grow into a career.
I wanted to pop into today to share a life lesson from Maya Angelou that I continually ignore but is probably the best advice I’ve ever heard:
“The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.”
A related piece of advice that is also awesome is:
“When someone tells you “I can’t do this,” for whatever reason, even if it sounds like bullshit, believe them. It’s always the truth and they’re always doing you a favor, and if you don’t walk away one day they will break your heart and say “Well, I warned you” (Vine and Sars).
Sigh. As I touched on in my Normalcy Through Perfection post that addresses symptoms of growing up in a dysfunctional home (particularly one that included a parent with addiction/alcoholism), a lot of our behaviors as adults can stem from our home environment as children, in ways that are not always obvious. One of the traits that adult children of alcoholics have that surprised me was “extremely loyal, even in the face of evidence that the loyalty is undeserved.” This is something I have identified as a problem for myself and have been trying to work on.
However. Old habits die hard and I yet again ignored the above sage pieces of advice and got burnt in short order. I was overly compassionate, overly accommodating, made countless excuses and talked myself out of walking away for #reasons. Fortunately, it was mostly just my pride that was hurt in the end; but I am drained from weeks of anxiety, and my self-esteem has taken a huge hit.
So, I’m certainly in no position to give advice, but a few things I can see more clearly now that will (hopefully!) help me take self-focused action in the future:
- Am I happy in this situation?
- Are my needs/wants equal in this situation?
- Am I benefiting from this situation?
If the answer to these questions is yes, you’re good (but be honest with yourself!). If not, why not? Identify what is making you unhappy and speak up about it. If no resolution comes, walk away. If you are afraid to speak up because you instinctually know that your voice is not welcome in the situation, walk away. I wish I had adhered to this. My answer to each question was no but I was afraid to take action, I was afraid to end something that had for a brief moment shown promise.
I’ve made this same mistake SO. MANY. TIMES. Hindsight in these situations is always 20/10 (better than perfect, baybees!) and yet it’s so hard to make progress. Understanding that this impulse to make excuses and remain loyal in a bad situation stems from making excuses for and remaining loyal to my mom from one drunken episode to the next helps, but so far it has not helped me to overcome this self-defeating trait.
I will admit that I dropped out of therapy again, and it probably would’ve been extremely helpful to have had that guidance throughout this experience. Maybe (probably) the outcome would’ve been different. I plan to get back into it as soon as I can because I think the objective third-party viewpoint is crucial when working through sticky bad habits like these.
I am fortunate to have a wide tribe of wonderful, loving, supportive friends. I had one bad day and then, with their help, I was able to shake it off and get back to life. That’s the best we can do in situations where we fall into the same old mistakes – get back to life as soon as possible, connect with your community and LEARN FROM IT! *coughing and staring pointedly in my own direction*
Love you guys!