The common mistake of overestimating your own relevance

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As an admirer of design and poetry, I feel ashamed for reading and (occasionally) agreeing with these cheesy pictures.
The quotes have the poetic quality of fortune cookies, are poorly designed and popular on Tumblr. No matter how blatantly trivial the statement is: Sometimes they fit very well.

When taken for granted people often experience a lack of appreciation. Their kindness and care have become a standard while the work and effort behind are left without credit. Obviously, this imbalance is problematic and will lead to conflict sooner or later. Whether this is reminding on an ex-partner, a former friends or even family member: The motivation to support people shrinks drastically in the face of ungratefulness.

It’s weird. With autumn being around the corner and the weather growing colder I found myself becoming harsher as well. As if trying to compete with the trees shedding their leaves, I am eagerly cutting people out of my life. The last weeks have been undoubtedly tough but the stress helped me to open my eyes. Some people are straight up shit. Like so shit that I have really no reason for keeping them in my life.
The story in short: While I made an effort to support these people as good as I can, I did not have the impression of gaining much of the friendship apart from disappointment, weak excuses and empty promises. I am currently struggling with many things at once and I do not have any energy to spare. Especially not for people who are hardly trying to be useful. Fuck them.
This time the overall conclusion was very very simple: Bye.
It is a practice I do on a regular basis since keeping my environment healthy is just too important. Moreover, it is a question of efficiency as well.

How dare I?

To make this perfectly clear: these cuts never come suddenly. I give warning shots on different occasions. The final decision of letting people go is always a conclusion of incidents in the past.
On good days I try to give people a fair and useful description of why I am tired of them.
On bad days I keep it very short.
On very bad days I tell them to fuck off.

Do you know that is very funny though? Sometimes people have the damn audacity to try convincing me that I do a grave mistake. As if I am about to lose something precious.

“You can always text me if you change your mind.”
“Are you sure you want to do this?”
“It would be a shame to end things like this.”

Ok, so first of all, no. Just a big NO.

Why on fucking earth should I want to endure this attitude much longer? It is obviously god damn easy saying this from their position. You had no disadvantage from the friendship and are in fact losing a useful toy here.
It’s pretty much asking: “Yo dude, you sure you don’t want to do some emotional labour for absolutely nothing in return?” (Surprise the answer is still no.)
I fail to see what I gain from changing my mind. Where is the value of this relationship? What makes it worth all the shit?

To me, it feels as if we have two different judgements colliding here. While one party feels unappreciated, the other sees hardly a problem in the current dynamic. For them, the friendship has been functioning before and still is. Reading this choice as a mistake is oddly logical.
It does not change anything about my feelings though. No matter how much fun and laughter I have shared with people: In the end, it has little meaning to me if strangers can easily replace them. How am I supposed to make the world a better place when my well-being comes too short? It is not my job to teach people about being a good friend to me.

Ghost In The Mirror

Ghost in the Mirror

Mirror selfie in the bathroom

It is a lie if to say that I always do what is best for my body. There are times when sleep becomes optional or even a luxury, caffeine or energy drinks worthy substitutes and meals turn into rushed snack breaks. Habits like this leave traces and it was just recently when I saw them for the first time.

It was during a shift in the museum when I went to the bathroom. While washing my hands at the sink I saw the picture in the mirror and was startled. For the first time, I saw a woman in the mirror instead of the usual girl. I could also see that she was very tired. Her skin was pale and blue veins are shining underneath. Her eyes were slightly swollen and lying within dark circles. Her hair that was once luscious and thick had gone dry. The shimmer that reminded of raindrops in the night disappeared and got replaced by thin threads of silver.
Yes, things changed but she wouldn’t say that life had solely taken things from her, that is not true. With all these years gone by, she might have lost the softness in her features. Her face got slimmer, cheekbones higher and the jawline more defined. She prefers it that way it. She likes her edgy face much better. However, even without the puffy cheeks, she had been failing to see something else than a girl in her reflexion before.

While standing here in the fluorescent light of the bathroom she finally saw a new side of herself. A pair of black eyes gave you a cold stare, cold enough to make you feel uneasy. She learned the many ways to speak with her eyes but the kindness did not disappear, no, it was simply now used more wisely. “It is important”, she thought, “to make people understand how you feel. Especially when you are upset with them.”

The naive spring glow has vanished from her smile. In fact, she never liked dishonest smiles that do nothing but please others. Her edges are evidence that she had lived, learned and grew. Heartbreaks, disappointment and betrayal shaped her and some bitterness has definitely found its way into her heart. However, life has also taught her to recognise kindness when it came across her path. It also taught her what she really wants: certainty and a meaning. When she laughs now it is because she was truly happy, it was not fake. Her smile should be warm as the golden light of a late summer sun. Her shoulders should be strong for all the sorrows that may come for her friends. Yes, life has also made her strong. It is a strength that is in her, a strength that does not need to be proven.

Still observing my own picture in the mirror, I realised that I simply stopped pretending to be something I am not. Yes, my body became frail and thinner – how is it supposed not to? My bony chest and my hollow face do not look healthy. My body looks as if it is about to fall apart at any moment and this is exactly how I feel inside. I do not feel well and I won’t hide it. Authenticity became more important than keeping up a lie. Being pretty means nothing if it is not sincere.