My ex friend compared me to George W. Bush this morning.
And then he compared me to Shrek.
I have great [ex] friends**.
You know how sometimes, you feel really really really strongly about something? Something that it seems that no one else understands? You can usually explain those things to your friends, and they will nod along and make sympathetic noises as you explain your emotions and how you plan to act on them, and how you try to balance emotion with reason and move forward with your life.
At least, you can do those things with my friends. If you can't, perhaps you should invest in new friends.
I may or may not have taken advantage of this in endless circular discussions about the boy. And my friends sigh, and they nod, and they listen, and they cross their fingers that this time my path will make it through the woods. (I think it's more so that they don't have to listen to a description of the woods any longer, but it may also be because they want me out in the sun as much as I do... :-) They know I'll figure it out eventually, and really, nothing they say will make a difference. It's not worth the effort.
But what about when I feel really really strongly about something, and instead of nodding and making sympathetic noises, my friends open their mouths and explain that perhaps (perhaps) I may be making an error and throwing off that emotion/reason balance off in favor of too much emotion? What if all of a sudden, they feel that I'm making a big enough mistake that it IS worth the effort to say something just in case it makes a difference?
This isn't about the boy.
What about when I feel super-strongly about something that I can't even think about without tearing up***, and I discuss it with my friends, and every single one of them disagrees? Every. Single. One. What then?
Well, I don't want to be W. I mean, I can see the mistakes he's made plain as day. Can he? Do you think that hindsight really is 20/20? Do you think he wishes he had listened to [intelligent] others [without hidden agendas] just once? Do you think that for a second he realizes (even now) that when you're the only one thinking that you're right, there's a slight possibility that you're actually wrong? I mean, he's repeated mistakes, right? So maybe he doesn't realize. Maybe he doesn't see.
Me? Well, if I'm sure about a course of action, it's not up for discussion. I just do it, smart or dumb. I don't want to hear anyone else's judgment on what I want to do when I'm sure. But I'm reasonably intelligent. My "I'm absolutely sure about this possibly dumb decision" is usually something like, "I'm totally buying these $150.00 fuschia boots that don't really fit that well, but would totally go with this one dress that I own." So when I'm unsure? It's a big thing. It's weighing heavy on my mind. It's something that I don't want to screw up. I poll my friends and family. I talk to them about what they would do in my situation. Some opinions weigh heavier than others. But when everyone else is in agreement, and they all agree that perhaps I'm not choosing the correct course of action? Well, it sends me back to the drawing board to re-think things.
The problem is that since it's a big something, and I'm struggling with the decision, going back to the drawing board isn't easy. It's going back and re-thinking priorities and principles and trying to figure out where I could have made a mistake when drawing up the rules for "what makes up Emily," and trying to figure out what everyone else sees that I'm just missing. Pretty much everything else in my life stops for a while.
But on the other hand, apparently I could be Shrek who [according to the ex-friend] saw something that was very, very important to him that he wanted, and he went after it even though other people didn't think it would work out. Even though it turned ugly for a bit, at the end, it worked out for the best, and everyone was happy.
I'm sure there's another story that had a prettier protagonist that worked out that way...ahem.
Do I want to run the risk of being W just for the possibility of being Shrek? Or do I want to understand why everyone else sees something that I don't and take their good advice?
But there is a bright side, I guess. If I screw this up, it's only myself that I'm placing in an impossible situation. At least I'm not controlling the fate of an entire nation.
*If you don't catch this reference, then we can no longer be friends.
**We're still friends. Promise. I'm being "pretend outraged" that he drew such unflattering comparisons. This is, no doubt, the reaction he was intending to elicit****
***Which really, doesn't mean much since I cry at coffee commercials
****I felt the need to explain that for those who don't "get me" quite yet. Don't worry. You'll get there.