Like most, I try to shake mistakes off and move on. I like to offer other human beings the benefit of the doubt: maybe that guy who just cut me off has a in-labor wife, maybe that snippy comment stemmed from a sleepless night, maybe my friend is too busy to text me back. Some days, I pick up litter and keep up with the news with TheSkimm.
But sometimes, I don’t even realize that my thinking has gotten a little whacked out.
There I am sitting in a crowd of people with my friendliest smile and best conversation tactics, but on the inside, a voice says, “If they only knew what a rabid bloodhound you are, they’d walk away right now.”
And my smile wilts a little. And I feel like I don’t belong in this group of people who clearly share no symptoms of rabies or dog breeds. Their ears look human, anyway.
The worst thing is that I believe that voice in my head. I believe that every person would turn away from me if they knew that sometimes I’m the meanie who takes the multi-colored lollipop from the pigtailed 5-year-old girl. I’ve done some awful things. Maybe you won’t believe me unless I make a list, and I just don’t have the guts to do that.
One Instant Doesn’t Define You
One moment, my sister is the best thing that ever happened to me, and the next, well, she’s as annoying as the guy sitting in the next cubicle crunching Cheetos. Oh, how I loathe monotonous sounds!
A co-worker brings me a tall Chai latte with a shot of Espresso, and she’s my best friend. But then, an hour later, she hits me with an urgent task that needs to be completed within an impossible deadline. The warmth of that Chai latte chilled to the dregs in the bottom of the paper cup.
Some dude with blue spike hair grabs the last carton of peanut butter cookie dough ice cream, but later, he helps me pick up the groceries that split the plastic bag in the middle of the parking lot. And I catch myself thinking, “I guess he’s not evil.”
It’s so easy to peg others by one event, but those nearest and dearest to us are not That One Bad Moment.
Learning from the Villains
Think of the best villain you’ve ever seen on television, in the movies, or in a favorite book. Are you thinking of one? Now, it doesn’t have to be just an evil villain. A villain sometimes is just the guy or girl who wants something different than the hero. And that difference causes tension.
Emily Gilmore, from Gilmore Girls, always pops into my head. She’s not a straight up villain, but Lorelai acts like her mother is Snow White’s evil stepmother. Emily Gilmore controls people with money and expectation, but she desires relationship with daughter Lorelai (who wants freedom from her mother’s control) and granddaughter Rory.
Emily Gilmore has done some awful, conniving things, but she also loves to take care of Lorelai and Rory.
Is she only evil? Despite Lorelai’s belief that her mom is evil, Emily Gilmore is many more things than just evil. She’s society’s hostess. She’s her husband’s supporter. She funds Rory’s education.
Emily Gilmore is not defined by one instant (when she broke Luke and Lorelai up…and then got them back together).
The best villains…the BEST people are many layered individuals, with good, sad, hilarious, and bad.
If you’ve seen Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, then maybe you’ll agree that Emily Gilmore should receive MVP award.
Not a Villain Despite One Bad Instant
I like to label myself. It’s a bad habit. But it’s homey in my label because, hey, at least I know where I fit. But, one instant should never define the entirety of my life. I’m more than that. You’re more than that. We’re more than that.