Unfortunate Lessons

Unfortunate Lessons

One of the unfortunate lessons I have learned in life, I learned in unfortunate ways. Unfortunately. 

It is: not everyone will tell the truth about you.

It has broadly helpful applications, but it’s not always something I recognize right away. I’m getting better at seeing it earlier, though. Age and wisdom and whatnot.

It is akin to the oft-repeated “You are not responsible for the version of you other people have created in their minds.” 

The first time I grappled with the concept, I saw the liar’s lie for what it was. But it distressed me because I didn’t know the fix was so much easier than changing the liar’s mind. The solution was changing mine.

My ex-husband called me a “deadbeat wife” once. A former co-worker who fancied herself my boss (she should have taken the organizational flowchart out of my desk drawer before I was hired) told another co-worker “Emily didn’t do anything anyway” when I quit.

I realize now these arrows pierced me because I was, at that time and for the most part, a Type A personality.

The heck you mean I don’t do my part when I’m also doing 85% of yours?

What it took me much longer to realize is that they weren’t lying about me so much as lying to themselves. I was free to remove myself from the situation completely.

And so I did.

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