Tuesday 15 – Thursday 17 February 2011
At some ungodly hour this morning I awoke to the flashing LED of my BlackBerry, and found a dozen or so emails, Twitter messages, and blog and Facebook notifications – yeah, it was an unusually slow night/early morning (normally there are a lot more). There were the usual so-and-so is now following you on Twitter emails, a few so-and-so commented on your blog post, a number of comments and likes on my Facebook posts, an unexpected Valentine’s Day wish from a truly beautiful man, a Twitter DM from a very dear friend (a message that never fails to make me smile, from a person who is incredibly brilliant), but the most surprising was an email notification that The Meat had tagged me in a note on her Facebook profile.
Now, it’s no secret that I’m a fan of The Meat’s blogging. Her posts are entertaining, pertinent, impressively written, honest, and so worth your time to read them. So, when I saw that she’d written this post, I was elated, as she really is a talented and remarkable writer. With much anticipation, I made my way to her Facey blog post and began reading. To say that I was blown away by what I read would be an understatement.
I’m always in awe of people who write as honestly as The Meat writes. It has taken me a long time to get to the point where I can say that I am less uncomfortable writing in that manner. Fiction I have no problem writing. Non-fiction essay, and opinion pieces I also have no problem writing. However, posts like these Clarky and The Meat lessons are words that never really seem to flow easily for me. I’m working on that, and each lesson does become just a little easier to construct. Lil D is telling me to stop waffling and get to the point.
Okay, so all the while that I’m working through my Clarky and The Meat lessons, The Meat is working through her own version of the concept. That’s what her post is about. The Meat has been having her own rite of passage through self-actualisation, and yet, here she is, all sage-like in her wisdom, as I’m trying to get beyond the warped world that I’ve been living in.
My point being, The Meat has been practising what she’s been preaching, and for anyone trying to learn a lesson, there’s something awesome and inspiring about a teacher reflecting the lesson. It also helps to put one’s lessons in perspective.
Our own issues always appear to be so insurmountable because they are our issues. We make them into something huge, something so big that we believe we’ll never be able to conquer them, when in truth, that’s not necessarily how we should view them, because they’re not necessarily that large in the grand scheme of things.
By the same token, Clarky’s pretty much been doing the same thing as well, and this is reflected in her quest to become knowledgeable about her choice of career. She’s been busting through all sorts of career related situations, and if I may say it, self-imposed perceived inadequacies and lack of confidence, that stem from being involved in something new. We all have them – some of us more than others – and here she is, continuing on in the direction she’s chosen, and Clarky’s really starting to be noticed by her peers. As well she should. It’s another case of practising what is being preached. And again, I’m a big fan of Clarky’s blog posts too – just had to reinforce that idea, Clarky.
Now, this is all leading to a particular point. I’ll admit, The Meat, yeah, I kinda had you pegged for someone who had it all together – but yes, we definitely all have the ‘deep dark and ugly’ in there. Just as a side point: your post struck a chord with me, as I am a ‘fan’ of The Art Of War by Sun Tzu, so the inherent philosophy in your post made a lot of sense to me. And Clarky, had I not been reading your posts, I would have fought tooth and nail with anyone, that you had been involved in your business, well, forever. But here’s the thing, and it’s more a lesson for everyone, not just me: everyone has something going on. It may not seem that way when you meet with your friends, or you meet someone for the first time, but it’s true.
Years ago, when my parents separated, my chiropractor (with whom I have an . . . enlightened professional relationship – i.e. she doesn’t tell me I’m an idiot when I tell her that I intuitively know something is wrong) explained to me that her parents had also separated, and the thing that she learned the fastest from the reactions of people around her was that other people don’t really understand unless they have walked in your shoes. It’s a fundamental idea that she and her husband have tried to instil in their children. Others might say they understand what’s going on, but how can they possibly truly understand if they have not been in the same place? They can’t. They can empathise, but that doesn’t mean that understanding comes hand in hand.
So, to the actual point of this week’s lesson. Somewhere along the way, we (meaning ‘society’) forgot that the people who should be influential, who should be considered inspiring, who we should allow to affect us on any sort of level, are the everyday people we know. We now talk about role models and mean sports stars, singers, actors, models, and celebrities who are famous for nothing more than being famous and vacuous. In reality, our role models, the people we should admire, and respect, are the ones we know – everyday people who inspire on a ‘normal’ level. Herein lies a fundamental reason why I have allowed myself to be affected by Clarky and The Meat, and by a core group of people who I ‘speak’ to essentially on a daily basis.
Up until this point, I’d struggled to explain to myself why I’m ‘letting’ this whole Clarky and The Meat situation unfold. Serendipity stepped in, and I read Clarky’s post, then The Meat’s post, and it became obvious. Although I’d subscribed to, and felt strongly about the idea of admiring, and allowing ourselves to be inspired by people we know, I’d never actually given myself permission to let that happen. Until last year. And then everything changed.
Lesson twelve: open up your eyes. The inspirational people in your life, those you should be admiring, are all around you . . . and they’re REAL people who have flaws and are far from perfect, but they get it. And in all honesty, they’re probably fighting their own demons as well, but that’s what makes them all the more impressive.