When I was little, I thought that there were 2 kinds of mean people. Little kids who were mean to other little kids, or adults who were mean to little kids. For some reason, I figured that when everybody grew up, they wouldn't be mean to each other because...well, I don't really know why I thought that. I just did.
So it came as a big surprise to me to discover that grown-ups can be bullies. I mean, professional, 40+, "you should totally know better than this" kind of grown-ups.
I know. I'm totally naive.
Anyway, apparently, when you start doing great things (I'm lucky enough to be part of an organization that does really great things!), people feel weirdly threatened by it. And they start being mean. Like - "Mean Girls" high school, Lifetime movie of the week, holy crap I can't believe this is real life kind of mean. And there's all sorts of weird politics involved, and lying and manipulating. For me, there was a lot of crying and beating my head against the wall as the result of this.
And then I had an epiphany. The details of how I finally came upon my epiphany are long and boring and completely uninteresting, but the important thing is, I got to where I needed to be, which is this:
I don't care anymore.
I mean, I don't completely not care, but at the end of the day, I can't control what other people think or do. The kind of people who are comfortable lying and spreading rumors and being manipulative and trying to hurt other people are always going to be like that. Even if I'm a complete asshole, or even if I'm Mother Theresa, people who are jerks are always just going to be jerks. So while I might be still be bothered by it (like I'm bothered by a fly) I'm not going to be hurt by it anymore. Because flies can't hurt you - they're just really annoying.
I'm not going to let mean people change who I am. I did let it change me for the last 6 months. I let it make me sad and angry and bitter and tired and frustrated and then...
I stopped caring about people who don't care about me. I like who I am. I love my friends and family. I'm surrounded by people who do amazing things every single day. I like them. I care what they think.
I don't care about flies because seriously...so gross. Flies are gross.
Anyway, the moral of the story is this: I'm a good person, surrounded by good people. I have faith in this.
I love joy. And love. And hope. And kindness. And I deserve those things, and I want to share those things with others. And sometimes I need to be reminded. So much so that I tattooed it on my skin.
A reminder - Be kind to others. Be kind to myself.
Tattoos aren't for everybody, so I made you this bracelet. (I mean - you knew at some point I was going to revert this back to my shop, right?)
Look! You can mix and match!
Also, listen - I totally photoshopped this picture. I carry some major baggage underneath my eyeballs and I don't really like to show that so I airbrushed it out and made myself look well rested.
"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world." ~ Harriet Tubman
(You can have this. I mean - you can buy it, and then it will be yours to have.)
"Let your hopes, not your hurts, shape your future." ~ Robert H. Schuller
I have hope tattooed on my other wrist. I forgot to take a picture. Sorry about that.
And finally, in closing, in the immortal words of Wilson Phillips - someday somebody's gonna make you want to turn around and say goodbye. Until then, baby, are you going to let them hold you down and make you cry? No. You're not. Because you are awesome and things can change, things will go your way, blah blah blah, you know how it goes...