Thursday, December 6, 2012

Stranded at the Airport

It was a cold night many, many years ago. Our flight had just landed. We claimed our bags and waited inside the airport for our ride to pick us up. She was a good friend. Hatta and I had been there for her when she needed it and along the way we grew closer. However, there was always an unreliable undercurrent with her. She had disappointed us before and we had managed to overlook it. Every time, every letdown was met with an excuse. Every time, every excuse allowed us to put it in the past and stay friends. Until that snowy night when Hatta and I were left stranded at the airport. With no word from her and far too late in the evening to call anyone else, we took a $75 cab ride home. From that moment on, I recognized the type of person she was and vowed to never allow myself to be disappointed by her again.

"The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them." - Maya Angelou

It's important in life to recognize who a person is. You don't have to like it. You don't have to even be a part of it. But you need to believe it. For me, problems arise when a person shows who they are and I believe it's a rare instance, a one time occurrence, not examples of their true self. I want to see the good, and I convince myself anything less than is not real. I overlook the bad and allow myself to be hurt, disappointed, frustrated, all because I want to believe it will change.

As I grow and learn, it's become easier for me to acknowledge. Take my sisters for example. I love them dearly and they are both extremely unique and different from one another. In the past, I have struggled to maintain a consistent relationship with either. It's been hot and cold for the better part of my life. One minute we are best friends, the next not even speaking. Until I acknowledged who they are, I found myself a victim of disappointment again and again. Now, without surprise and minimal hurt I can say, "that's just her." And I'm quite sure they both say the same about me.

There is, however, a fine line between accepting what a person shows you and allowing yourself to be a doormat, to be taken advantage of, to be hurt with a promise of change. How do you know when to break ties and cut your loses like I did with my friend all those years ago? When is enough enough? When does a person's character become more damaging than, "Ha ha...that's John for ya!" When does the emotional cost of maintaining a friendship become too great? What does it ultimately take for you to believe what a person has been showing you all along?

These are the questions I find myself lying in bed at night thinking about. Wishing I had the ultimate answer.


  1. Here are some life/relationship tidbits that I have learned along the way. I still find myself falling into that victim role but nothing like I did before I learned these lessons!!
    1. Life is not black and white. And people are not ALL good or all bad. Seems like a simple concept but I really never knew this. Someone can still be a good person yet be full of faults.
    2. Do not expect for one person to meet all of your emotional needs. We get different things from different people. Each person in your life has something different they can offer you. Rarely can one relationship give you everything. For example, you might have one friend that you know would be there for you WHENEVER you needed them. You know to call them when you are in crisis or need to be able to really count on someone. ( airport pickup person ) But maybe they are way too busy to be your "weekend party buddy". If you call them to request a girls night out... You might hear what seems like a lot of excuses. I can't tomorrow night, I have to stay late at work. And Saturday night I have this....Maybe Sunday morning... No that won't work, blah blah blah. So you may not see this person that frequently. But still talk on the phone enough to maintain a relalationship. And you know in a pinch this person would cancel everything if you REALLY needed them.
    3. None of us are perfect. And we all have faults. Some of us go through life trying to fix those things to be a better person and some of us barely have the insight to even recognize those faults. I guess it's just life and I try to keep this in mind.
    4. You never know what is going on behind closed doors!! So try not to judge unless you've walked a mile in their shoes. There may be legit reasons why someone does or doesn't do something. And we might think we know everything about someone and their life. The fact is we don't!!! Because people hide things and keep lots of secrets even from the closest people in their lives. So we may think we've got someone all figured out..... There is probably a lot more to their story. I hope that makes sense??!!
    4. We all have different expectations in a relationship. ****It's almost 3 am right now and my brain is feeling groggy. I'll try to expand on # 4 another time.
    5. Life is short and good friends/family relationships are hard to come by, especially as you get older. Think long and hard about completely ending a relationship. Especially if, at one time, you were close. Maybe they have changed, ultimately changing your relationship as well. Does that person still have any qualities that could enhance your life? Maybe their role in your life will never be the same but can you accept a different relationship/ a different way they can fit into your life?

    Ok.. I know I've learned more but it's late and my brain has slowed way down. Hopefully I have given you some food for thought. ... Maybe something I've mentioned will help you with your delimma. Although I haven't mentioned it you shouldnt be a doormat. You shouldn't let people take advantage of you. And when they do you might need to confront them honestly, in a mature way that I definitely struggle with!!! More on this later if you want me to explain.
    Btw... I love your blog and your writing style. I hope the upcoming weeks stay semi-calm for you and Hatta and Alice.

  2. I repeat the mantra - I am responsible for my own happiness. Only you know how much you can take and don't be afraid to admit when you've had enough. After all, you are human too.