One of the common themes of the show Mad Men is when literal imposter Donald Draper aka Dick Whitman reaches a hurdle in his life, he relies on the mantra of “Move forward.” Granted, Don is a philandering narcissist whose attachement to others verges on sociopathic at times, really he is right. He is often like someone banging on the outside of the glass, repeating the same thing over and over again that makes the most sense, coming from one of the most flawed characters.
We are all flawed. We have all made mistakes. It is those who choose to dwell in that misery, those who continue to hurt themselves and others because of their own pain who will never rise to the occasion. They have found their comfort zone in misfortune. Some of the rest of us have decided to learn from our mistakes, gain widsom from our pain and…
This week I have had some challenges and rather than stew about them like I used to do, I have taken the stoic mindset: Choose not to be harmed–and you won’t feel harmed.” I have registered the disappointment, the frustration, I have cataloged it, I have learned from it, but it has not harmed me. I am moving forward. It isn’t about me, it’s about them. And if this is what it takes for them to feel a modicrum of happiness, then I pity them. Because no one ever found happiness by being petty and causing others grief.
If I were a southern woman, I would say I would pray for them. But I’m not, so I won’t.
To those of you who know my history, a brief explanation to this is said simply: SSDD.
That’s all the thought we need to give it.
Recently, I have moved forward with other things as well. I’m reading a few books to help with my travel writing. As near as I can tell, a big challenge I have to face and conquer is getting out of my own way. That seems to be the story of my life. But right now, I feel like I have the talent to do this, but maybe I haven’t had the drive, nor the plan to actually move forward and navigate this goal.
Even as a kid, I always had talent. School was easy. Boring. I never even took notes in college. I got complacent. I didn’t strive. I barely struggled unless it was self-imposed to give me a challenge. I actually thought that just by having a degree, a better life and a high salary awaited me. None of that did me any favors. It’s a bad mentality to have. I’m reading these books and trying to learn. I’m trying to get over the sentiment that I know it all. I’m leaving ego at the door. I’m walking into it as a fresh-faced recruit. I can write. Sure! But this is more than stringing words together. This is something else.
Finally a challenge. Move forward.
So, I will keep reading these books and I will work on giving my talent some focus to make something out of it, rather than just something to show off at parties. It gets you invited to only a few parties, and then people stop calling because writers have a large vocabulary and often annoy partygoers. So the invites stop eventually.
Better put my non-partygoing time to good use and do what has been something I’ve grown to love about myself over the years. You can’t ever learn too much about something you want to do better.