Free Advice: On Disappointment


As I have eluded to in past posts, (see "Chaos"),  I'm no Oprah. But will that tiny fact stop me from offering free advice? Hell no. So here goes the first of my "Free Advice" columns. A little lengthy, but I had alot to say on the subject of "Disappointment"...

We've all been there. And we'll be there again. Some of us have been disappointed in life more than others. So what's up with that? Here's my take on disappointment...

It sucks. It's painful. It gnaws into the pit of your stomach. And if you are smart, it forces you into re-evaluating a friendship, a job, a lifestyle and quite possibly, yourself. 

Is a 'friend' or partner sucking you dry? 
Have you felt disappointed by the actions or words of someone you consider a close friend? Are you being bombarded with constant neediness, negativity or anger? Or is it subtler than that? Maybe a nasty comment or put-down on occasion? Does the offender deny that they have done anything wrong? Been there. Bottom line on this is that friends are nice to one another. Anything less is not conducive of friendship. 

As difficult as it may be, it may just be time for a change. I'm not talking about a friend who is going through a bad time in life. That's different. I'm talking about someone who has made you part of their nightmare and/or neurosis. The current term used for this type of person is "Energy Vampire" It fits nicely.

In the free world, we can choose to keep these bloodsuckers in our lives or not. Gotta love  freedom. And even though we will miss the good times, when you are released from their grasp, you will see the your world differently and you feel better about yourself. Believe me.

Got Dumped? 
Been there. Actually, several times so I kind of consider myself to be an expert in this area. As an adult 'dumpee', I found that following the most emotional of break-ups, a couple of rum & diet cokes really helped with the initial pain. No joke. 

Then came time for introspection. What did I learn? Was I not attractive enough? Too fat? Not smart enough? Too deep? Not deep enough? Not wild and crazy enough? Too wild and crazy? The answer? None of the above applied. I found the answer to this question after I met the man that I would marry at the not-so-tender age of forty.

It turns out that my 'dumpers' were just not right for me. Simple as that. I would have not been happy marrying any one of them - even the ones I thought could be "the one". So, thank-you to all those who dumped me. It was disappointing at the time but I am way OK with your decision today. 

Anyway, I guess my advice about getting dumped is... Move on. 
Painful? Yes. 
Your fault? Probably not.

Life-story: I was 38 when I planned on (and started saving for) moving away to the island of Grenada. My goal was to live the the island lifestyle with my dogs, (Harlan & Betsy) by the time I turned 40. Bracing myself for the potential problem of getting a job and finding a place to stay with two dogs on Grenada I decided to just live one day at a time and carry on with my island plan while living my life in Dallas. I was done with the fairy-tale of settling down with my prince behind a white picket fence and felt confident that everything would work out just fine. And it did. I never did live on Grenada - my prince showed up when I least expected him.


Disappointed about not getting that job or promotion? 
Been there. What I can tell you about that is...Thank God for unanswered prayers. There is a reason for this sort of disappointment and normally it has to do with either your qualifications or the job expectations of your boss. Do you really want to work for someone that doesn't want you? I think not. You would be miserable.

What I have learned about this sort of disappointment is that it's up to you to ride it out with as much grace as you can muster - it might not be a whole hell of a lot - but in the long run, you will be prouder of yourself if you just suck it up and be polite about it all. Congratulate the jerk candidate who got the job and thank the idiots decision makers for their time. Getting all pissy will not give you the job/promotion you wanted and will most definitely impact your opportunities in the future.  

It's what you make it. 

There you have it. In all it's smugness. 

At the risk of sounding all 70's Beatles lyrics, my goal for many years has been to create a life of peace, harmony and love. It's not always been easy but it has always been my goal. 

Early on in my adulthood, I found out (through a series of disappointments) that I had the ability to make choices that seriously impacted my life. As a single, childless person I could choose to ...
  • not allow myself to be surrounded by nasty people. 
  • remove myself from people/situations where I would feel uncomfortable.
  • look for good people and cultivate friendships with them.
  • forgive those who have hurt me.
  • create a peaceful home environment.
  • get a dog.  
  • forgive myself for the past.
  • plan for the future. 
  • live each day in the present.
Whoa. I was sort of  'in-control'.

I learned that when I chose to separate myself from negative influences, my life took a positive turn. When I decided to drink only moderately, I didn't do or say stupid shit. When I got a dog, I had someone who needed me. When I forgave myself, I could get on with my life.

There you have it - my first real advice column. Let me know if you would like more.

No Comments Yet, Leave Yours!

Heather said...

Ah Joan...

I knew there was a reason that I think we were separated at birth. It's like I'm you only a few years younger. All those things you talk about doing when you were 38....I feel like those are the things I'm trying to do now. Ok, maybe not Grenada for me, but still.

Having split from some of my friends (EXACTLY what you described in terms of social vampires) and "dumping" the man in my life for 6 1/2 years, I feel like I'm at a turning point and trying to reevaluate me, my life and what I want the next decades to look like.

Thanks for, once again, reminding me that I'm not in this thing alone.