Thursday, February 6, 2014

Countdown to 30: 30 days, 30 Lessons (Day 17 - People Are Complicated)

There have been plenty of days recently where I've looked at my life and just thought "I am a mess."

And I am. 

But I am also happy, and lonely, and excited about the future, and terrified about the future, and worried I will fail at something, and amazed that I've gotten this far, and in love with my job, and tired of my job, and grateful that I made it out of Saginaw while wishing I could crawl into my mother's bed at this very moment.

See? Mess.

People are complicated and messy and that's just fine.

This is not an excuse for me to wallow in whatever space I choose to be in at the moment. Nor is it a call to excuse people who are unreliable or mistreat you. It is a call to recognize that everyone has mess, and one day that mess will show. Someone will miss a deadline, someone will forget to call you back, someone won't be there when you need them. And most of the time they won't be able to tell you why. 

People are equally capable of greatness and awfulness. They are also frequently executing some degree of both at the same time.

As I touched on in Day 8, the things that make us great can also make us awful. That's why I love complicated hero stories - most of us are complicated heroes in our own lives. I know great members of their communities who are awful spouses; I know brilliant thinkers with no communication skills; I know talented artists who refuse to read anything longer than paragraph; and I am a truly awesome person who will be 15 minutes late to almost anything you invite me to.

When we accept the imperfections in ourselves and others, it's easier to improve them because you're no longer fighting them.

People are messy. They will disappoint you. You will disappoint yourself. Forgive them. Forgive you. Do better next time. 


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