Assume the Position

In life, it would appear role play isn’t simply relegated to the bedroom.

This thought came to me as I considered the idea of making New Year’s resolutions. Normally, I detest this practice because it sets me up to make promises that I have zero intention of keeping, which then creates a domino effect of self-effacing for the remainder of the year; what begins as a noble introspective attempt at creating a better me suddenly morphed into an analysis of how and why we seek certain changes in our lives. I then began thinking about how in so many aspects of our being, people adjust or conform to whatever societal norm to either fit in or survive.

After it occurred to me that I’ve been steadily drinking my way through the month of December, I realized I was thinking way too much… but by then my mind locked onto the concept that — whether consciously or subconsciously — men and women desire “titles” or “positions” for status. Manager. Director. Boss. Girlfriend. Boyfriend. Wife. Husband. Mother. Father. Best Friend.

Which finally brings me to the point: It’s all well and good to be that person… if you really want to be that person. Unfortunately, we willingly demand these positions while being unwilling to do the work required of them.

Many of us have encountered a situation or two where our workplace has had less than effective management, so it’s easy to relate when we hear someone isn’t doing the job they pushed, pleaded and schemed to get (hell, politicians are providing some of the finest examples right now). But rarely do we acknowledge how we do that in relationships with people… and even ourselves.

Recently, it occurred to me just how dishonest I’d been with myself when it came to the “positions” I’ve (allegedly) wanted. For the majority of my years, I’ve accepted jobs, boyfriends, and other things simply based on the fact that they were options presented at that moment… instead of taking the time to assess whether mutual needs and desires were being met. I always hated disappointing people, and in my twisted logic felt compelled to remain in unpleasant situations despite the stress it would ultimately incur. Needless to say, I remain unfulfilled, but these days I’m more at peace with disappointments and find them to be fantastic lessons as I pursue my true position in this world.

Most importantly… I also take less shit.

As this year — with all its trials, tribulations, tragedies and transitions — comes to a close, my hope is that 2013 brings about an awakening of our minds, bodies and souls… allowing people to become more accepting of themselves and others for who they are. The tolerance of intolerance has produced disastrous results in the form of racism, bullying, homophobia, political unrest, and overall disparity between genders, class and even the mental and physically disabled. The new year requires a new perspective, to say the least.

It all starts with being true to ourselves and others… because the simple truth is, what we receive in this life is intrinsically connected to the effort we put into it. And if we’re not giving our best in any role — be it in work, play, and general existence — we set ourselves up to not just fail as an individual, but also those we affect through our actions.

Besides, there isn’t a more gratifying feeling than a job well done.

 

No Comparison

In my lifetime, I’ve managed to amass an absurd amount of girlfriends who are not only beautiful inside and out, but they tend to be ridiculously successful professionally and highly accomplished and world traveled.  If not for the tremendous amount of love and respect I have for them, I would systematically pick them off with an assault rifle.

Like most women, every now and then my insecurity gets the better of me, and I find myself envying my friends and their lives.  I’ve even been overcome with feelings of inadequacy when I would hear their latest news and see pictures of their latest adventures… thinking that my own life wasn’t nearly as exciting, and longing for the days when I could relate to their experiences.

Naturally, this is silly and unproductive thinking, but if none of us succumbed to the occasional complex, we wouldn’t have consumption, commerce, or politics.  When you think of it, the cosmetics, fashion, and even the automotive industry are amongst the many that thrive on our inner fears and desires to “keep up with the Jones'”, which has sadly now been amended to pop culture’s newest standard, the Kardashians. 

…But I digress.

The point is, sometimes I get so caught up in other people’s lives that I forget how great my own has been, and neglect to see the potential it has to be even greater.  The best part is, it’s still going, so that leaves for plenty of opportunities to see and do more with each passing day.  

Comparing oneself to others is a colossal waste of time for no other reason than the realization that you’re cheating yourself out of the joy you get in celebrating the differences that make you and the people around you so special.  And yet, somehow, you found a common ground.  You found enjoyment and comradery.  You found a support system.  You found each other.

Nothing can compare to that.