December 18, 2014

Walking Away from Unhappiness

I have an online friend I'll call Jane. Jane and I bonded over our respective freelancing problems, and usually email on a daily basis. Sometimes it takes a long time to really get to know someone online, but I've discovered that Jane is actually very judgmental of anyone who isn't able to do what she does and accomplish what she accomplishes. She gets extremely frustrated because I don't want to go down the same freelancing path that she is on, and has lately said some pretty mean things to me. I've tried to be forgiving, but her last snappy message to me was just the last straw. I have to walk away.

Now I'm not perfect, and have never claimed to be. I do things much differently than most people I know, but we each have our own ways of accomplishing our goals. I can't just put a smile on my face and pretend to be happy when I'm not, and I am very vocal in my displeasure sometimes. I am definitely not "Susie Sunshine" who ignores the bad and never lets herself see anything but good. I would love to say I'm working on that, but it's so deeply ingrained in my personality that I don't really think I could change it except superficially.

The point of all this is that Jane wants me to be that way, evidently. I'm trying to be more positive and to see the possibilities instead of the drawbacks, but I'm not going to ignore the drawbacks. I don't think you have to do that to be successful or to be happy. You can be a happy realist. I know quite a few of them. I feel you have to weigh the pros and cons of everything, not see the pros and say you'll deal with the cons when they rear their ugly little heads. You have to be prepared.

So I wrote Jane and asked her a question. She chose not to answer. I say "chose," because of the tone of her last message, which was clearly antagonistic. I've decided to let her go. Looking back, we don't have much in common except for work, and she is stealing my joy. I won't say she is a fool, because that is too harsh, but she isn't someone who adds to my life; rather, she keep me stuck in a negative mindset by reinforcing my negative self-image.

Letting go is freeing sometimes. I have found it necessary to let go of a few online friends when they started to show their true stripes. The ones I have left are those who accept me as I am, warts and all, and see the good side of me. I do the same for them. Jane isn't one of those people. I will miss her for awhile, but in order to maintain my peace of mind and move forward with a plan to lead a more positive and productive life, I realize that some things -- and some people -- just have to go.

What or who have you let go of in order to have a more positive and bountiful life? Was it a positive or negative experience for you?


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