Thursday, May 29, 2008
Nothing Funny. Just Some Angst. Maybe You Should Look Away.
Life is weird lately. Last week something happened to me that sort of reminded me of that. I was at a party and a person who doesn't like me (and who has let me feel this on more than one occasion) leaned down three feet away from me to whisper in the ear of his friend something that sounded like "Psst psst psst Jenny Drai psst psst psst." Then the other person laughed.
I thought that was weird, because I think adults should use their manners on even people they don't like. I'll never forget when my high school German teacher said, in the context of a discussion of Nazi leaders who were good family men, that a person's character is not solely determined by how one treats the people one likes, but also by how one treats the other half.
Sometimes, I confess, I have bad manners, but usually out of social awkwardness or shyness. For example, I am still not very good at introducing people, but I am getting better. (Because I'm often outgoing, nobody will believe how shy I sometimes am. Or how easily flustered in environments where there's a lot going on.)
But what happened last week at the party reminded me more of my experience in grammar school. Some people are mean on purpose. They just don't care.
Sometimes I think about it, because maybe I expect there will be more to come. But I think I'm ready for it.
A lot of bad things have happened to me. And a lot of good things too. Somewhere in the middle of all that I became an adult. Definitely not perfect, but an adult. I think I'm learning to let things that bother me roll off my shoulders and to try to feel some sort of compassion for the person in question.
As for me, I finally figured out what I want to do with my life. Actually, I was in the field of social work before I moved out to California. So now I am applying for training programs in mental health services and substance abuse. My ultimate goal is to use my MFA in poetry and teaching experience to work in some sort of program where the creative process can be fused with the healing process.