Monday, June 24, 2019

Power Struggles With Annie: A Short Story:

 Annie decided that she wanted to live inside of my pantry this morning, like a little pantry- dwelling bridge troll who, whenever the pantry door was opened, demands tribute (this is a thing she decides to do, whenever the whim strikes her, like letting off plaintive meows when I'm live on air, if I fail to bribe her with food before I begin my program, or rattling my office door off its hinges, because I kept her out in the living room, while I was taking a client). 

 So, being that I was irritated with the constant claiming of the pantry, by her majesty, I decided I would teach her a lesson, by actually closing the pantry door, with her in it, while I prepared food. 

 Usually this works, and by the time the five minute food prep period is up, Annie is one pissed off kitty, who flies out of the pantry, giving me a look of purest loathing, while running by (I'm fairly certain that this look is intended to communicate the sentiment: "fuck you, lady!" Sometimes an equally furtive look commands a similar sentiment, which, I believe is something akin to “fuck you, lady,  and everything you stand for, AND the horse you rode in on too!” This particular sentiment is also a favorite of Annie’s to communicate to me, upon the occasion that she becomes so upset “fuck you” alone simply will not do). 

 This time, however, Annie simply went from shelf to shelf, ripping various snack bags open and feasting on the snacks inside. When I opened the door to let her out, she gave me this look, which, again, being passably fluent in cat language, I'm reasonably sure was intended to communicate the sentiment "beat you at your own game, bitch." Well played, Annie. Well played. Until next time.

It Ain't Me, Babe

It Ain't Me, Babe: A Journaling Bitch Sesh

 I keep being presented with the same narrative over and over through life, where a number of people tend to see me in one of two different lights, rather than just keeping their eye on their own lane, handling their own business and taking responsibility for their awesomeness, their sadness, their successes, and for their mistakes.

 I'm not perfect and I'm not a villain, and I would rather not be seen as either. 

 This is genuinely something that bothers me.

 It's a tough few weeks this time of year anyway, and being presented with this dual narrative makes it slightly more stressful. The weather is changing, my health changes with it, one of my best sister friends' committed suicide and the anniversary is coming up soon, and this is the time of year we started finding out that my Dad was sick.

 Basically, I do have my own stuff to tend to (we all do, and that shouldn't come as a surprise to literally anyone), so I'm not over here plotting anyone's demise or planning the perfect solution to anyone's problems. 

 I offer advice and coaching for a living, but I would hope that this doesn't somehow scream "I have my stuff together, so feel free to move your locus of control from yourself to me and follow the pied piper and then either credit me with your success or blame me for your problems." That's not a healthy way to live life. I don't want that. I've had to fire clients and move on from friendships because of this. 

 I see this cycle beginning again and I am not amused. Maybe I shouldn't have gotten into this profession. Maybe I shouldn't be a writer. Maybe I shouldn't have gotten into activism. I don't know. But this situation is untenable. There have to be other people (writer's, activists, content creators, etc.) out there who experience this on a much larger scale than I do. I can't even imagine how they feel.

 I realize that as we speak, several folks think I'm focused on them or the imaginary competition we apparently have that I was never made aware of or the imaginary relationship we have that I have never been a participant in (if any of you lovely readers think I'm being conceited or joking, being dramatic or sarcastic, I assure you I am not. I have legitimately had readers, listeners and acquaintances tell me how they thought we had a relationship we legitimately did not have. I've even had a fan ask me if he could pray to me and lay flowers at my feet. It's unreal.

 I don't know which is worse, people thinking that we're in a relationship and that I am their number one, or people thinking that I'm out to get them--that I'm carefully monitoring their behavior and their social media feeds, so that I can judge them (yeah, I don't do that. That's why you follow someone--so you don't have to be a weird creeper.), target them, use things against them or some other nefarious thing. Other peoples' problems are not my sole concern. They're just not, just like my problems shouldn't be other people's sole concern. That's not how I operate. Few people do operate that way, and those who do are disordered and unbalanced.

 I'm always here if someone is experiencing a genuine crisis (like once in a blue moon, not the same person over and over with frequency), or if there's business to be done, but I don't spend my time concerning myself with other people's business, and I refuse to accept the congratulations or blame for someone else's failures. I choose to utilize personal responsibility as one of my main lifestyle tools.

 It seriously astounds me the number of people who think I'm involved in their trouble or that because they have some sort of a competitive vibe with me, that I feel the same way, or simply that I should drop everything and put their problems first. 

 That's just not how I work. I don't like to get knee deep in other people's shit. I don't even like to stick a toe into other people's business. I've got my own shit to shovel. 

 I feel like this is a narrative I'm continually fighting. This could be 100% confirmation bias on my part, but I happen to wonder if it's part of the job for a counselor, coach or consultant.

 If, god forbid, you fit either of these categories, consider this my firm and solemn oath that you, whomever you may be, can rest assured that your business doesn't concern me in the least--unless you're actively trying to undermine me, bully me or target me, or mine, yours or someone else's safety is in jeopardy. Unless that is the case, I'm unable to be involved. My general motto is live and let live. Everyone can swing their fists as much and as far as they like, as long as it doesn't infringe on mine or anyone else's human rights. 

 If something good happened, consider me happy for you (of course I am), but not responsible. If something bad happened or you suffered a loss, I am truly empathetic and very sorry for that, but again, I am not responsible. I definitely wouldn't feel comfortable accepting that level of responsibility.

 Plus, I would assume there's some sort of a pay raise that goes along with having goddess-like powers 😂 so my genuine empathy and compassion is as far as it goes. I'm not able to or responsible for intervening whenever anyone has a need. I reserve the right to choose whom I dole out non-work-related favors to. I don't owe anyone anything, just like no one owes me anything. 

 If you're not one of my best friends in the world, one of my animals or a close family member, then expecting intervention on your behalf by me while I have my own life to live, my own health to care for, my own home and bills to pay for, two full time jobs and a number of side gigs and community programs to take care of really doesn't feel right to me. Even folks who are that close to someone are going to have to find their own words to make asks of other people when they have set an expectation. Mr. Meseeks doesn't exist, and you've seen how badly wrong things could go if he did. 😅 I AM NOT MR. MESEEKS!

  Even if I had none of the above responsibilities, essentially, I still wouldn't owe anyone a thing, and I realize that goes both ways (and that's absolutely okay). 

 I am not the cause of anyone's every problem or the answer to them. I am not a mentor or an idol or an enemy to anyone. That fact that anyone would ever think I am is complete and utter tomfoolery. 

 I don't involve myself with stuff that's none of my business. 

 I am never on a mission to make anyone look or feel any type of way. 

 Hopefully that clears things up. 

 I don't rightly know why I'm so often being met with this narrative, or why some people immediately have to do the whole Madonna/whore thing with me, unless it's the pure and simple fact that I'm an author, a blogger, a podcaster, a coach, a community activist, and a somewhat public personality/content creator, but let me let you in on a little secret, with regard to the splitting behavior--the apparent need some have to make me a Madonna or a whore: an idol or a fallen idol. I'm neither. I'm not an idol. I don't have a perfect life. I'm also not a fuck up or someone who causes anyone else's problems. 

 I'm just a person trying to get by. If you're concerned about my nefarious intentions, I don't have any. If you're hoping I can change your life and make you feel a certain way about yourself, ima stop you there. That's not healthy or possible. Only you can do that. 

 I don't have the time, energy or even a basic level of interest in targeting, bullying, harassing or developing said nefarious intentions. I never have; I never will. 

 That would still hold true, even if I had all the time in the world. I'm concerned with keeping my eye on my own prize, and I expect, as someone with healthy boundaries, that everyone else is doing the same. That's why I'm even as successful as I am. 

 Everyone else is free to go for theirs. 

 As far as me being an mentor or a role model, that's not something I signed up for. I have no time for that. None. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Please don't idolize me or model yourselves after me. That's fuckin' scary. Uh-uh. I don't want to hear about that, I don’t want to That's not a thing I'm even slightly okay with on any level. 

 Find your own path. I feel like wearing a shirt with this on it. I'm not a rising star or a community rockstar or someone with egotistical ambitions. I don't have that sort of an ego. 

 What I do have is a lot of fans and a lot of haters (God only knows why. I only speak the truth about human behavior on my podcast and in my writing, and through my business. I don't denigrate or disrespect or ask anyone to follow me or do things my way) and a desire to be left to go about my business. 

 I don't get this, I don't pretend to get it, I don't like it. I don't want it. I don't have some magical gift no one else could possibly have, neither do I have some magical formula for success. I have practical advice and the ability to read people, coupled with a work ethic and a refusal to deal in nonsense. Literally anyone can have that. Anyone. 

 We are all equals and our paths are all equally important. None of us are responsible for each others' happiness or lack thereof--we're just not. So if you're looking for a role model or someone to hate or someone to idealize or obsess over, please--look elsewhere--like within yourself. It ain't me, babe.

What are some of the narratives and life issues that keep coming up in your lives? Comment below, and bitch away!

Don't forget to follow Dominique Does Life on the free Spreaker app for more content, and, as always, thank you so much for reading!



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