Every week I start to write several blog posts. I have a notebook full of ideas for posts and my goal has been to check them off one by one.
I have yet to check one off.
And this week is no different.
In fact, today I am not loving much.
This is what I woke up to on Sunday.
My car is the one wedged in the middle of the two double parked inconsiderate slimeballs that are my neighbors. This photo was taken at 6am. I had to be on the road to a religious assembly at 6:15 am.
That clearly did not happen.
After my brief but really angry moment in the parking lot and then texting my friends to tell them I would be late I stood in my living room saying out loud, “what am I going to do?
A quick survey of my friends resulting in the following options:
Call the tow company
Go door to door and say “Move your car!”?
Let it go.
Now, to fully understand the issue here you need to understand a few things.
- I am the most avid avoider of anything that could potentially be conflict possible. I hate loud noises, quick movements, yelling, anger, etc., etc. I like things to be really chill at all times.
- I tend to internalize all issues and take the blame onto myself. It’s a real problem.
- Some of my neighbors are words that I do not say (and try not to even think) ALL THE TIME. Please understand. There are some great people in my building .but there also is this ONE family. This ONE family is incredibly disrespectful and inconsiderate. (Ex: Balcony party that ran until midnight on a weeknight. Parking 3 cars in the lot when each apartment is only allowed 1 car. See opening picture.)
So with my plethora of options what did I do?
I took it on the chin, skipped the assembly that I was looking for, and allowed myself to be blocked in.
I regret that.
I should have just called the tow truck. It was my first instinct and would have given the quickest result. I didn’t do it because I was scared. I didn’t want to have a confrontation with my neighbors when they realized who it was (it would be pretty obvious when only one car was missing). And to be honest, I felt bad that they were going to have to come up with the money to get the car back.
And that’s where the real problem is.
I feel bad for other people when their bad behavior affects me.
Now, that may not sound like a problem but it is.
When other people put their issues, behavior, attitude, speech, etc., affect me in a negative I let it make me feel bad.Some time ago my brother told me that I don’t commit to anything and that my new commitment would soon be over. A few weeks ago he repeated the same words this time in relation to my desire to leave my job. And true to form I internalized his sentence and my first reaction was to question myself. “Is that true?”
Of course that’s not true.
And I know it’s not true. When I say I am going to do something I do it. it may take me a while but I do it. but my brother has a problem with change and adventure. It makes him nervous. whenever I say I’m going to do something that has an unpredictable result you can see him get a little shaky. Choosing to adhere more closely to my faith was scary to him because it meant leaving a lot of my former way of life behind. Choosing to leave my job is scary to him because a large part of who he is is his job and the income from it determines his worth. His first reaction to anything that is not 100% guaranteed is that it is wrong. But to me, change is exciting and may lead to a great result.
This problem with internalization has been my crutch for a long time. It’s why I stayed in unhealthy relationships. It’s why I stayed at jobs that no longer worked for me. Its why I let myself not enjoy experiences and places I should have loved.
Sunday was a wake up call.
My entire day was completely altered because I allowed someone else’s bad behavior to influence it. I had many options to rectify the situation and free my car. But my own self-induced (and quite frankly, irrational) guilt held me back and forced me to sit on the couch waiting for the misbehaving person to decide to behave.
That is no way to live your life.
My goal for the next year is much more than quitting my job. That’s the nice blurb that I offer to people. but, truthfully, my goal is to reclaim the person I was before I had my first depressive episode. To once again believe in myself, my abilities and to take care of myself because I can and not because others cannot. Me six years ago would not have allowed that car to block me in. she would have stormed upstairs and knocked on every door until she found the owner and asked them to move it. Nicely but firmly
But I am not that girl.
Not right now.
But I am also not going to be the girl who waits on her couch waiting for someone else to not act like a jerk.
I’m sure in a few weeks my inconsiderate neighbor will do something else inconsiderate and at that time I will have to do something that makes me uncomfortable. I am preparing now for that moment. And it is not easy.
But my theory is: if I handle the hard stuff now it won’t be so hard in the future.
Just a few of the resources that have helped me :
How to Improve Your Self-Esteem: 12 Powerful Tips by Henrik Edberg
How People Pleasers Can Learn to “No” More Often by Scott Fetters
Further Documentation of my slimeball neighbors bad behavior…
My car is the silver one that can never leave without a great deal of maneuver.