Wednesday, April 1, 2009

"Why haven't you learned anything" Willy Wonka

Have you ever felt that life is one continuation of high school? I look around sometimes and see people in my world and think: you are the popular clique, you are the mean girls, you are the geeks, the jocks and so on. I wonder how I am involved in it all. Do I manage to stay on the outside and escape the madness, or am I a player in the game as well?

I caught myself describing personalities of artist or local competitors recently. I felt caught up in it all saying this one treated me like this and that. I found myself saying, I am not interested in being a part of it all. It felt very high school.

And with that I was of course presented with a life lesson to remind me what that all really meant.

When you reconnect with people from your past, and those that may not have been nice to you then, do you forgive or hold a grudge? Do you allow for them to have evolved, or will they always be that person there were when they were 15?

I came in with an open mind. I did my best to hear about what life is like now for them and what had been important since then. I think with any conversation in which you get to know strangers some never care about you. They just wait for their chance to speak. Others have grown and evolved. It's amazing to see who they have become; and how small hobbies or quirks they had as teens now manifest into amazing careers and wonderful family life.

Then there are those that were really horrible people you knew growing up that now appear to have evolved. You watch and listen and think, "wow time has really passed and they seem to be far more mature now, good for them." But really, you were just seeing facade. It took very little for the wall to come down and for me to see the arrested development club.

They easily revert to the horrible people you remembered. And you want nothing but to quietly turn and walk away. Because, I know I am an evolved human. That I have more important things to do in life than to fight childish fights with petty people so unfulfilled in their lives the dwell in taking pleasure at belittling others. But once in the thick of a bully confrontation, I can not walk away without standing up for myself. Hell to the No will I slink away to not confront them leaving them feeling validated in their shallow insults.

It started simply and once the finger pointing started. I decided to simply be the voice of the past and say, "Hey you were not a victim because you were kicked out of boarding school. You deserved it. It was not my fault. You were a bully. You were a looser. Everyone knew, no one had to tell anyone. Everyone knew."

Well this opened a floodgate of borderline personality, mixed with mob* mentality, with a splash of delusion...and the fight was on. As I found it all hysterical and pointed it out. These imbeciles. repeat.."NO WE THINK ITS FUNNY!" ad nausium

*( OK four losers but they feed off each other which defines mob mentality in this situation)

I disengage and because there is no substance in their lives, or development emotionally. They continues the fight without me for a day, my guess it still continues. It is a futile situation. You can't reason with insanity. It might be funny. It might be pathetic. But, once the concept of loss of self can't be regained there will always be a continuation of that grade school mentality of "No you are, no you are"...repeating circular argument that was futile in inception. Those that know me get I could care less if you like me. I like me, take it or leave it. I don't give a shit. I have pulled myself out of dark places and reemerged a new person wiser and stronger physically and emotionally. I am in a place in my life where I am getting media validation for my efforts and struggles to stay true to myself and my vision. That is always welcome and most appreciated. But, what these others think about me, these nobodies from my past, who cares? Ramble on, it's a bit masturbatory at this stage.

So, they think if they continue their gossip about me it will somehow regain their power position. As any bully is seeking, control and power, because of deep insecurity. They stalk me, google me and post media pictures of me they think will push my buttons. They have now consumed themselves with me for more than a day. Pathetic is now an understatement.

Who cares? I like me. I like the fact out of a community of a few millions I was selected to profile for this reason or that. Do I care if the picture wasn't the best one out of the roll that was taken that day? Not so much, because it's me. I like me.

I like that I can run further and faster than I could in my teens. I like that I do what I do with my level of fitness now if only for me, to push myself further than I would ever think possible. Are some camera angles or outfits more flattering than others? Yes. Does it change the fact I am content with me. No.

Suck on that.

I love my life. I love the people in my life and my inner circle is rock solid. My outer circle as well is large and growing.

I am blessed.

So as my mentor suggests as a life reaction is the best reaction. There are times when it just isn't worth the effort. But I think back to the theory of being bullied, or cyberbullied as it were these days, and I stand up for me.

Then I walk away. Anymore is just a futile situation.

It comes full circle, last night I am in a meeting with another business owner about a mini film event and the potential of a block party. He asked me to work with some people I originally thought NO WAY. This is the high school crowd 2009 version, not them, only my inner circle of business will I work with.

This morning... I am in a conversation with a friend and colleague at the gym. If we were to describe him in high school terms, he's big man on campus. They guy everyone comes to his parties and wants as their friend. We are discussing the current show, the sales of toys, the future of toys. He drops a pearl of wisdom unknowingly that connects all the dots. I think the concept of making these "Weapons" ( toy weapons, but weapons none the less), funny and cool sits in my brain as I run along the water after our chat. I think about excluding those in the block party I felt were perhaps a knock off or not the nicest people in the world. The mix shift to the sample where the voice comes out of the darkness of drumbeats..."Why haven't you learned anything" comes Willy Wonka's voice teeming with anger.

I think you know what...I have. I will offer the opportunity to all for the block party event. I will ask him to make the weapon concept show for the event.

Because it's better to live life with humor than bitter rivalry and anger.

It's better to know you are content with you despite others shenanigans.

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