If you’ve read some of my Facebook posts lately, you may surmise that I’m a little fed up with humanity. In fact, this week in a bold move, I declared that I was not only totally over everybody and everything, I was quite possibly jaded. Something that I usually don’t do.
We had been waiting ten days for my teenager to get a blood patch after a lumbar puncture gone awry. She’d been lying in bed 24 hours a day because if she sat up, she had debilitating pain that caused her to vomit. I yelled into the doctor’s voicemail twice that day before they called me back to get it scheduled. The next doctor told me it may not happen. This not only irritated me, it caused me to lose it. What was wrong with humanity?
I’ve had time to reflect and we actually had the procedure yesterday so I’ve calmed down. While I do have to confess that I think there are lots of people out there that are completely lacking compassion and that empathy is a lost art, I think I’ve figured out why. We’re human and we’re not perfect.
I am far from perfect. I talk too fast and too loud. Sometimes, I am short with people because the “D” in me just can’t stop. If you upset me, you will find out in a matter of minutes in a very diplomatic fashion because I’m not wired to beat around the bush. I am brazen, however if I don’t like you, I’ll never bother to tell you what I think. I have amazing resting bitch face. And, if you aren’t careful, you may catch me giving you the eye-ball (especially if I think you just said something really dumb).
However, I do have good qualities. I am an intensely loyal friend. If you need help, I am the first person to be there and I’ll probably bring a casserole and a bottle of wine. I’ll listen to your problems and because I’m empathetic, I’ll sob uncontrollably. Sometimes, I’ll even give you some amazing advice. I’ll try to help you find a job, hook you up with people I know and even do stuff for free because that’s what friends do. I’ll even sing on the tennis court and crack some amazing jokes.
I’m also very aware that I wouldn’t want to live in a world made up of people just like me (for the record, only a very small percentage of people in the world have my DISC personality type and that’s probably a good thing). It takes other personalities to balance out mine. Lots of them and just like me, they’re not perfect either and that’s cool. They’re human and that’s what makes the world go round.
It’s interesting how you change as a person as you age. Twenty years ago, if someone didn’t like me, I’d be devastated and I’d spend hours analyzing what I may have done to make that happen. Now, in my late 40’s, if someone doesn’t like me, I don’t give it much thought. I got smarter as I aged but even more, I changed dramatically after Rosie got sick. Why? Many of the people around me began to treat me differently so I learned to adjust (this is very common with parents with chronically ill children). As I listened to some of the things that people said, I decided that they weren’t worth any time or effort. When friends disappeared, I chose to write them off. The ones that whispered when I was in the room, they could go Eff themselves. My main mission in life was to advocate for my child and unfortunately, that doesn’t make me very popular in some circles. And, to be honest, I didn’t have a lot of time.
So, while I thought I was giving up on humanity, I wasn’t. I was making choices on who to take with me on the next step of the journey. I’m not 100% jaded, I’m just don’t have as much time to deal with people as I used to and I have no desire. I’ve changed and my expectations of people have too and that’s okay. It’s part of growing up and self-realization. It’s also part of dealing with things on a daily basis that many people have no understanding. Invisible illness is not something you can see. To go undiagnosed makes no sense. Having something rare, that’s just not understandable for some and I’m cool with that.
We’re all human. And, because of that, we’re not meant to be everyone’s people (thank you Meredith Grey). If you are what I consider to be one of mine, thank you because you have a lot of humanity.
Thank you to Lori Habiger of Center Stage Photography for this incredible image.