You're doing it wrong. Yes, yes, and yes [insert raised hand emoji]. I can't even begin to tell you how many things I screw up every day or how many things I get wrong. It's countless. It would literally be a never ending list. Little things like taking my car in for an inspection a week late and big things like cutting Tagg's hotdog into wheels instead of logs yesterday afternoon. But I like to think that I do more good than bad and that my love for people shines through.
Saturday evening I posted a controversial photo and caption to instagram. Some people didn't like it. Some people felt that my motives were wrong. Some people thought that my tone was wrong. Some people thought I was too chipper for the situation. Some people questioned if I was really respecting the life and death of someone with such an upbeat post about wine. What I heard? You're doing it wrong. And to that I say, yes, yes, yes, I probably am. I do so much wrong. Don't we all?
I'm not here to rehash or to try to further my case for why I don't think I was being an asshole. I'm here to say that a few people thought I was being a jerk and I'm okay with that. That's a big deal for me. Maybe even a first.
["just said goodbye to an old friend and now it's time to say hello to a new rose´"]
I suffer from anxiety and depression and a year ago those comments would have pulled me under. I would have heard "you're a bad friend and a bad person and you are inappropriately handling a situation that every single other person on the planet in the history of forever would have gotten right" running on a constant loop in my head since Saturday. Replaying what I did wrong and what I said wrong and what I should have said or done and...and...and...and. Maybe it's the zoloft or maybe it's the work I'm doing to get better or maybe it's getting older or maybe it's God or maybe it's all of those things but nine months ago it would have consumed me and this time it didn't. Cheers to that.
What I'm curious about is not why people felt that way or were put off by my post because that's their right to think that and feel the way they do. I'm more curious why they felt the need to tell me. I took that picture and wrote the caption on a public platform so no lecture needed on how I opened myself up. I get that. I'm thinking so much broader here. Not really an answer to this particular situation but in general, what motivates us to openly criticize others? I'm certainly not advocating for gossip or talking behind someone's back. But honestly, in the world of blogs and social media I am curious what motivates a person to stop and tell a virtual stranger directly that we don't approve of their choice rather than just shaking our heads at what we don't like and simply mentioning it to our best friend over coffee. You see it mostly on facebook boards and Scary Mommy posts. The Mommy Wars. Breastfeeding versus bottle feeding. Cry it Out or Co-Sleep. When to you turn your kids car seat around. What school are you sending your kids to? What activities or camp did you sign them up for. Do you feed them organic?
Is it a personality trait? A need to control? A desire to feel better about our own choices? I used to think that everyone needed to like me and if they didn't I was doing something wrong. Now I realize that it's just different strokes for different folks. Is public criticism an off-shoot of that same tree? I'm supposed to like everyone so if I don't like you so it must your fault. We're all taught early on that we're supposed to like everyone and everyone should be our friend and I think we should focus instead on treating everyone with respect. Those are not the same thing. Everyone doesn't need to like me or want to be my friend and I'm not going to apologize for that.
Like usual I'm not really sure of where I wanted to go with this post. My brain works better at 5am than it does at 7am when the rest of my house is awake so maybe I should have hit save instead of publish and given myself time to sort out my thoughts tomorrow during dark morning. I guess my overall message is just to be you and forget the rest. Be okay with not gaining everyone's approval. You do you and I'll do me. Celebrate life. Celebrate death. Celebrate what you want however you want. Life is too short to worry about pleasing everyone so make sure you're happy in your heart and love your people fiercely. Try harder tomorrow.