Thursday, July 5, 2012

Stubborn Love

For a while, it has seemed to me that with most people, their strengths are also their weaknesses. That old "the way you do one thing is the way you do everything" principle. The same traits we possess that make people love us, that make us good at what we do, are the ones that get us in trouble. Do you feel that's true about you? I know it's true with me. 

It poses a real conundrum because with traits like this, it's not as simple as just breaking yourself of a bad habit. You'd also be breaking yourself of a good habit. And be throwing the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak. 

For me, it's most especially two things and two things that-- laughably-- do not complement each other. I am both a teacher's pet, and a stubborn rebel. Being teacher's pet gets me into less trouble than being stubborn. But it also yields fewer rewards than being resilient and sticking to my guns; never quitting. 

I've been really stubborn with my family lately. These are also the same people I'd pretty much do anything to please. Annoyed at my own delayed ability to reconfigure the challenging puzzle I've laid out for myself, I've resented their advice, I've taken it all as the same message I end up telling myself: that I'm failing. I suppose somewhere lurking in my teacher's pet complex is the need to test it out.  If I can't get a 100% on the test, I'll try to flunk it with aplomb. To push people to absolute limit to see if I can get them to abandon me. 

The thing about developing sophisticated coping mechanisms and handling difficult situations well as a child is that then your family cements that as who you will always be. But sometimes, the things that made you good at getting out of a dangerous situation or making the best out of that situation when you were ten, will backfire in your ability to read situations at age thirty. So you recalibrate, adjusting the levels on the dial of these traits. 

I've been listening to a lot of The Lumineers lately. I'd recommend you do the same. 

I can't be told ah ah it can't be done
I don't know where I belong. I don't know where I went wrong. But I can write a song.

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