As this is something that has come up in discussion more than twice in the past week, I choose to believe the universe is conspiring to get me to post about it on my bournal. The universe works in mysterious ways, don’t you know. I am privy to none of them, but choose instead to make wild assumptions based on oddly-arrived at hypotheses.
Sometimes, we treat one another very poorly indeed. What is interesting is that most of the time, it is those closest to us with whom we are short-tempered and sharp-tongued. My crackpot hypothesis here is that this is because the people with whom we choose to spend our lives are the “safest”. We are not afraid to say or do things because we know (or we think we know) that those who love us properly will *always* love us, and will take the horrid little bits of coal with all of the wonderful diamonds that shine in our personalities.
I don’t think that’s *quite* a safe assumption. There is only so much crud we can take before we decide that it’s not that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, but that there actually IS grass on the other side of the fence and we’ve been standing ankle-deep in pig manure for far too long. We may never get that smell out of our toenails.
I am the worst for this. You may not know this, but I have a wicked temper. When I get mad, monks in China weep. They write about my outbursts in the sports section of Russian newspapers. Small animals spontaneously combust. It’s…it’s not pretty. And, because I am a horrible person, my family bears the brunt of it. Now, like fireworks, I spark quickly and burn fast, and then there’s a bit of fallout. I’m not much of a smoulderer. I don’t *seethe* well.
It’s not an easy thing to learn to do (not lose my cool, I mean, not learn to be a better seether. Which is to say “learning not to lose my cool is a difficult task” and not “I wish I could be more proficient at seething”), and I suspect it will be a lifelong endeavour. When I was young, my mother and I got into these great, vicious, screaming fights that would last, on and off, for DAYS. She trained me well, I guess. And so now, the challenge is to un-learn all of those ‘first responses’.
I do think we take one another for granted. Most of us seem to have this idea that things will always be “this way”, when in reality, friends grow apart. Romances break up. Marriages crumble. I guess sometimes it’s because people change. Other times, it’s because they don’t change. I really don’t think ‘why’ matters. I think what matters is this: it is our *duty* to one another to be better. Not to be the best. To be better.
So I’m going to do my damnedest to be better. Especially when it’s “safe” not to be. Because those times, I think, are the most important.