I’m not quite sure when I created the rules that govern my daily existence but they’re there, mostly guilting me when I make questionable decisions that I’m coming to realize aren’t really that questionable.
They have pretty much everything to do with what everyone else thinks and how everyone else will perceive me, and not necessarily what I really want or need. Or better, what’s best for me.
I’m thoughtful and kind and respectful of everyone else’s feelings which takes away the tender loving care that I need.
But lately, I’ve been doing my best to change that. Case in point: I sort of pulled a Berger this past week.
You will get this reference if you watched Sex and the City, specifically the episode when Carrie’s on-again-off-again boyfriend, named Berger, broke up with her using a post-it note on her laptop, which drove her crazy, and her friends crazy, and pretty much all women in America crazy.
HOW COULD HE DO THAT? HOW RUDE AND THOUGHTLESS AND AWFUL!
Now in my case, it wasn’t a boyfriend, or really, someone who I’d dated for very long. And while I felt like there was a connection, a friendship even, the signs were clear that not only was it not going anywhere but it really wasn’t healthy for me to continue on in it.
And so, I wrestled with doing the “right thing” and discussing it in person, or at least, over the phone (since it was a bit of a long distance relationship), and the rules I have about these things just kept hammering me over the head until I realized what do I care? So, I wrote him an email — a very short, to-the-point nice email — and that was it.
Even typing that out right now makes me feel like a terrible person or at least, an unkind person, and now I’ll be the girl that broke up with him over an email, but… so what?
Now Berger probably owed Carrie way more than I owed this person, but in the end, I suppose he did what he felt like he could handle. It was all he could muster and while it seemed sucky and wrong, maybe that’s what he needed for his own self-preservation.
I certainly don’t want to have some sort of reputation as being a careless, cold-hearted person. I know that part of who I am is thinking a lot about others, and treating them (and yes, even random strangers) with love and kindness and I don’t want to lose all of that.
But the energy I’m spending on worrying and thinking about what everyone else might think is sucking me dry.
And I need that energy for myself. And my kids.
If that means breaking up with someone over an email rather than causing myself heartache and pain trying to do it the right way, so be it. And really, what is the “right way” to break up with someone anyway?
These days, I’ve been doing my best to remind myself that I don’t owe anyone anything. I’m beholden to my dear friends (and business partners), my family, my kids, and myself.
I can’t control what other people will think of me, nor should I try.
Better, I’m going to use all of that energy to take care of the ones I love, including me, so that I’m a better mom, friend, and hopefully partner. They should get (and deserve) the best of me, and not a guy I only knew for a couple of months.
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