I’ve grown to notice a pattern of behavior that I seem to somehow exhibit in every facet of my life. I do it within my family, at my job, and in my personal relationships. I’m always the bigger person, which may come as a serious shock to anyone reading this who knows me, because I’m not very big at all. I’m five foot 2 inches tall, and I weigh 105lbs soaking wet (and I already eat cheeseburgers, so save your breath). Maybe I’m always the bigger person because I’m subconsciously bothered by how small I actually am. Nah, probably not, I love being little.
Anyway, I’m tired of it. I’m tired of apologizing to everyone for everything, even things that aren’t my fault. I’m tired of allowing relationships to continue that should have ended months ago, for the greater good of the people around me. I’m tired of living my life with this sort of facade – simply because “thats just what you do.”
I was talking to my father the other day, and I was ranting about a boy being an asshole (shocking). Instead of consoling me, or trying to make excuses for the boy – my dad simply replied: People are what they are. And it really hit me. It made me realize that people, for the most part, don’t hide who they are very well. That is, if people are jerks, they don’t usually treat people kindly as a front. And, on the same token, if people are nice to you, it isn’t because they’re trying to hide the fact that they’re a jerk. Except me. I don’t think I fall into this category. I don’t exhibit this characteristic: people are what they are. I’m a people, but I’m not what I am. I have a tendency to be whatever everyone else wants me to be at that given moment in time. Which in a sense is selfless, and bold. Maybe? But when you’ve been doing it for your entire life, it’s neither of these things. It’s simply exhausting.
I like to make my points through examples – because that’s how I understand best. And also because this is my blog and I like to talk about myself. So here goes.
At work, I created friendships with other girls in the office who are around my age because, well, that’s what you do when you work in close quarters with someone for 40+ hours a week. When you know their whole wardrobe, their lunch habits, & can decipher their mood simply by the way they’re breathing – you kind of don’t have a choice but to let them into your life at that point. But, life is hard & girls are mean, so in time the friendships I made one by one began to fall apart. The frustrating thing is – the friendships only fell apart for me. All of the other girls are still friends. And it irks me. I can’t figure out why everyone can get along with each other & nobody can get along with me. Or, why I can’t get along with them. (I realize I’m the common denominator in all of the friendships & if I was reading this I would assume I was the problem – so maybe I am, but thats beside the point). Anyway, the girls haven’t been very nice to me outside of the office. They stopped inviting me to social gatherings, and went so far as to block me on social media. Yet, every Monday morning *without fail* they waltz into the office and ask me about my weekend. “What did you do this weekend Myka? How are you? What are you having for lunch today?” As if they care. And, every day *without fail* I answer them. WHY? Why do I let these girls dictate when it’s OK to treat me like a friend, and when it isn’t? Maybe because I’m a working professional and that is the cordial thing to do. But maybe, because I have a hard time being a brat. I have a hard time treating other people they way they treat me. Because I always default to being the bigger person.
In my family, it’s no different. My brother & his wife got upset with me this past summer and sort of quit speaking to me. The short version: I organized a family camping trip via email, and included one of their family friends on the list. They didn’t want said friend to be invited, so in their reply they excluded her from the email chain. I decided I didn’t want to go camping anymore, because who are they to hijack my plan? 2 other family members dropped out, and said brother & wife went camping with the friend they originally un-invited. Shitty, am I right? Anyway, l have since sent my brother an occasional text or two, and tried to smooth the whole thing over. Mind you, I’ve never gotten an apology. So, why do I do this? Partly so that my poor aging mother doesn’t have a heart-attack. But mainly because once again, I have to be the bigger person.
With as much time as I spend bashing love, and describing how I’m never going to find it, some of you will be surprised to know I was talking to someone for pretty much all of 2015, and have been seeing someone new for a majority of 2016. But, they aren’t the right men, so they don’t count in the grand scheme of things. They’re boys I let take advantage of me, I think. And I don’t mean “take advantage” in the normal sense. I rationally make all of the decisions to see them. I just mean – well, I guess I convince them I’m ok with being the un-girlfriend. I hang out with them when it’s convenient for them. I hook up with them. I don’t expect anything more than a friendship & a causal fling. And to an extent, that’s great, because it allows me a few moments of fun & a lot of space – which, lately, I’ve grown to adore. But if you’ve been present for any of my past ranting, you’ve quickly learned I am a hopeless romantic that wants nothing more than a fairytale ending. So why do I convince boys, and myself, that I am OK with this shit? Because, I am the bigger person. I’m the person who puts her true wants & needs aside for the good of the gander.
But does any of that really make me a bigger person? Because seeing it all in writing, it kind of just makes me seem like a doormat. An imbecile. Someone who gives in to social norms to avoid confrontation & the truth. and that isn’t who I really am. I’m the girl I am behind these keys. I’m the girl who doesn’t think it’s fair that you get to treat me like shit online & outside of the walls of the office, and smile at me in the corridor and the cubicle. I’m the girl who’s mother raised her to treat others with respect and dignity, and to never wear a facade. I’m the girl who deserves an apology when you’ve ruined her plans. The girl that shouldn’t always have to say “it’s okay,” when she’s been hurt. I’m the girl that gets doors opened for her, and dinner bought. The girl who becomes your girlfriend, and meets your parents.
I’m not the bigger person. I’m the better person. Or, at least I will be soon.