THINGS I GUESS I KNOW // No 14: YOU SHOULD PROBABLY TALK YOURSELF OUT OF HAVING ENEMIES

Having enemies is the worst. It just makes me upset because it’s direct proof that I’m not in control of someone else, which is a hard pill to swallow sometimes because we all know I’d like to be President of Panem.

I have one enemy that I know of and it is not OK (I mean as far as the grand scheme of things go, and especially considering my  a t t i t u d e  that’s pretty good going). He hates me. HATES. ME. And to tell you the truth, in the very short time I’ve known him, I’m not his biggest fan either. Thinking or hearing about him gives me the actual heebeejeebees, which you might be thinking is myth, but it’s a real thing and it feels like your intestines are melting and your pores are shrinking and you just know that your cheeks are white and you somehow can’t be sure that you have ears anymore. That’s what that feels like.

Enemy-making (and keeping) is something that probably effects you more than it does your enemy. The fact that I know my enemy mentioned above probably doesn’t even think twice about little old me makes me furious with myself. See what’s happening here? Somehow I have turned of ME. And all of a sudden I have to wonder why I’m facing my own wrath, because that’s no fun. Enemy encounters have the power to ruin your day and that scares me a bit. And accepting that you have an enemy is particularly frustrating because it’s like accepting failure via your own active choice.

So what I’ve learned is that you should try your very hardest to not go to enemyland, and the way to do it is compassion, benefit-of-the-doubt-giving, tonguebiting, prayer, and forgiving. Being a forgiving person is difficult, because it means accepting that you’ve got to be ok with someone making disappointing choices. And learning to be the bigger person is something I obviously have not mastered yet, but here’s a list of things I’m looking forward to as soon as this happens:

  1. Not feeling the heebeejeebees (I genuinely don’t think I could have spelled that better, by the way)
  2. Peace of mind, knowing that I have love for all of my fellow men
  3. A sense of self-righteousness that I will have earned rather than faked. I’m imagining this feels like fresh laundry and rolling hills. And if it had a taste, I’m sure it would be like chocolate dipped strawberries
  4. The mastery of patience
  5. A kindly and truthful obituary

Having said that, there are a handful of people who will never have my forgiveness in this life or any other to come*

  1. The brat boys in middle school who pointed out that my forearms were just as hairy as theirs were, leading me to believe that I was the oddball in the scenario rather than them with their unusually fair and in retrospect (which is probably bitterly misconstrued in my memory) quite feminine arms.
  2. That jealous elf-like girl Stacie who pulled on my brand new decorative thread braid that I’d been desperate to get on holiday in Devon. She pulled it, which hurt, and it unravelled in a rainbow mess and I was so upset because even at the age of six and three quarters I knew my parents had been annoyed to pay for it in the first place.                       This is what a thread braid is by the way. Basically in the 90s it was the coolest thing a girl of my age (and older) could have during or after a summer holiday.
  3. My brother for reading my diary circa 2002 and making it his mission to inform on me to the boys I’d listed as crushes.
  4. Those plastic snots who walked a fashion show with me in sixth form and let me strike a ridiculous pose at the end of the catwalk ALONE, when they’d promised to something equally dramatic and embarrassing alongside me, and all of a sudden I was the over-excited white girl doing jazz hands for an un-bemused audience.
  5. Myself for laughing uncontrollably when Kymberly pooped her little yellow shorts in PE in Year 1. In my defense, Year 1 is too old to be pooping your pants, even when you may be terrified to climb the rope. Anyway Kymberly never came back to school and I often worry that she just didn’t even bother relocating and now she’s just roaming around with barely a Year 1 education and it’s my fault.

*Alastair, you’re officially forgiven actually. The rest of you can dream on.

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