I was raised with values. As I've talked about before, many of them were brought on by the stories and the myths that my father read to me as a boy. It's hard to overemphasize how formative and important these things were. I learned about courage, about loyalty, about bravery. The stories of these heroes weren't just about myths, they were about me. Luke Skywalker wasn't just a young Jedi, he was somebody like me.
Then, something changed. I began learning how to be socially adept. I learned about how to tread lightly in a relationship. How to be a mensch, as they say. Then again, I also learned how to unleash the fury with what must have been shocking and stunning intensity to those who knew the more refined version of me. It depended on what was needed. I can be good at the politics. But, as you can imagine, being good at the politics has very little to do with living a life unleashed and based on the swashbuckling values of my youth.
Now as I look back, I can see how my desire to "play the situation" has undercut me at every turn. The delicate touch absolutely has it's place, but I can't help but feel that a good bulldozer of a tantrum from time to time might have sent the cockroaches scurrying before they eventually drained me of my emotional and physical energy and my well being. This has cost me literally years upon years, when I could have just blown it up early on and saved myself the trouble.
Am I talking about become mercurial and intolerant? Of course not. I'm all for giving other's chances, being understanding, and keeping perspective. However, there comes a time when the true colors show through and you realize who you are likely dealing with. It makes sense then to cut the cord right then and move along.
When I look at the list of rediscovered skills that I lost along the way, the ability to see people clearly is one of the most missed. It's been a process, peeling the scales from my eyes, learning to trust my instincts again, but it's become worth it. Now, it's a whole other ball game.
I only want the best people around me and will settle for nothing less. Life, in the end, is far too short. The battle is on and never ends.