I Don’t Write To Hurt You, and I Believe You Don’t Write To Hurt Me

Syndicated

Tea Pour dTonight, I had coffee with a new-er friend. (Well, tea.) 

And when I went to DM her to say WHERE?, I couldn’t.  Because neither of us were following each other.  Which, for all intents and purposes, occurs when you BLOCK someone.

So here I am getting ready for a coffee date with someone who is SO TIRED OF ME that she blocked me.

And I freak. I call her.  I call my husband.  My husband DMs her.  (Just saying, "Alex doesn’t know where you're meeting" not like, "I’ll beat you up." Also to test if she blocked him next. We're crafty.)

And when she calls back an hour-of-freak-out later, she’s all nonchalant and picks the coffee place.  Which tells me that she didn’t purposely unfollow me.

We work it out.  (We're even following each other again.)

This happens all over the Internets.  (Plus/minus working it out.  And tea.)

Someone has an opinion.  Or an observation on life.  (For example, I don’t like other people’s kids much and Mamapedia reposted it.)  Personal observations.  Not mean.  (Well, unless you wanted me to like BABYSIT or something.)

And other people find it SO OFFENSIVE.  Like one opinion is going to somehow make all people feel that way so they MUST BREAK YOU.

I just don’t get it.  And I am clearly oversensitive myself.

Honestly, I don’t mind people disagreeing with me.  No troll on the internet could be worst than seventh grade.

But I find it strange how MEANINGFUL and IMPORTANT a blog post or tweet or offhanded remark can be to someone.

So important that they are willing to degrade their dignity or the dignity of another person.

I guess it’s easy to forget that this is a single moment in a series of single moments.  Some moments boring.  Or annoying.  Or sad.  Or happy.  Or hurtful.  And always another moment comes and comes and comes eventually it may be EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE of that first moment.  (And then we die.  Okay, stop crying. I'd like you to keep reading.)

In fact, I could write a post tomorrow that may be untrue for me in two months or two years.

Why don’t we make room for that?

Live in the moment, but don’t BE THE MOMENT.

I used to be very hard on people -- always looking for the moment they were hypocritical.

Until I realized that we are all hypocritical.  At some point.  We don’t perfectly feel or believe anything.  Nor do we understand each other very well.

What I might see as an imperfection, others want.  (Which I braced myself for I posted a picture of me I hated from my Ms. November photo shoot.)

What I see as AWESOME, others find annoying.  (Mostly weirdos though.)

We are all doing the best we can with what we have.  And while sometimes our best sucks, I don’t write to hurt you.  And I believe that you don’t write to hurt me.

While I definitely disagree with many people, I try to be kind and civil.  (To their faces and blogs at least.  And usually behind their backs, too.)  And I’d hate for people to leave my site because of a post or two with which they disagreed.  We are not supposed to be cookie cutters of each other; although, we are all cookie dough.  (It's a metaphor.  Or maybe I’m just hungry.)

I don’t want a following.  I want a community.  I want to grow, too.  And in my experience, growth is often spurred by hurt.

And in the end, if I’m going to put myself OUT THERE.  And ON HERE.  If I’m going to own my words and my experiences, I will be hurt.  People will hurt me.  Unfollow me.  Unfriend me.  Unsubscribe to me.  Some of my first readers to come to Late Enough don’t come anymore.   And I know.  And I miss them.  But I don’t begrudge them.  And I only occasionally stalk them.

It’s my price.  Hurt feelings for all the joy and connection.  For a mom in Tanzania relating to my podcast of my parenting class in Richmond, Virginia.  For a friend who retweeted a giveaway because I am in a existential crisis over it.  For ALL the parents who kids constantly ask them to stop singing and talking.

I need to suck it up and not take it to heart.

I’m sensitive and people are mean.  But we are ALL sensitive and mean and insensitive and nice.

Very few of us are evil clowns.  Even when a comment or post seems to say EVIL MEAN PERSON WITH NO REGARD FOR YOUR FEELINGS.  It’s probably saying WOW, I FEEL REALLY UNCOMFORTABLE RIGHT NOW AND I’M GOING TO EXPRESS IT IN A SLIGHTLY UNHEALTHY WAY BUT PROBABLY THE ONLY WAY I KNOW HOW IN THIS MOMENT.

And it will pass into the next moment and the next moment and the next moment.

Until I finally have a brand new moment with a different commenter who mocks me for not enjoying breastfeeding and preparing for zombies.

But let’s just see who’s knocking on my door come apocalypse time asking to borrow antibiotics for mastitis.  Because that moment is going to be AWESOME.

Alex Iwashyna blogs at Late Enough mostly about life, parenting, marriage, zombies, culture, religion and her inability to wake up in the morning and not hate everyone. Feel free to find her on Facebook, the Twitter @L8enoughFlickr or StumbleUpon. But don’t call. She uses her phone to manage all those accounts while avoiding real human interaction.

Photo Credit: Ky.

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