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Friday, October 21, 2005

An Intervention

I had always heard of interventions involving people with drinking problems and drug abuse but never like the one that happened to me less than two years ago. Yes, I had one of those classic, gather round the table and tear a person's problems apart deals, but it wasn't for drinking or drug abuse - it was for my current and future mental stability. Here's the backstory:

Given my gig at the time, I didn't have many days off during the holidays. Because of this scheduling, my parents and I ironed out some time together around them (either before or after). In the case of Christmas day, Thanksgiving day and New Year's Day, I spent some time at a relative's house and/or at the house of my boss at the time, Chuck. One of Chuck's daughter's, Christine, was a nice but tough-as-nails non-conformist rockabilly punk who lived nearby. Any holiday I was over at their house, she would be there and we would talk punk rock with her and her husband.

On one particular holiday, I found myself sitting around the living room table with Christine, Christine's mother and my co-worker John. The conversation started off with John, a 50-year-old bachelor, as to why he was still single. He listed off his reasons and I, a 24-year-old at the time, found myself agreeing with his reasons and stood up for him. Well, after speaking up, the center of the conversation shifted onto me, a "kid" with a very harsh and jaded view of relationships. Thus the intervention began . . .

By the end of it, Christine told me, "You need to embrace your weirdness." She had an excellent point but how exactly I was to do this was up to me. She saw me as a repressed person who hides his desires and personality traits in various ways. Whether it's in the clothes that I wear or the feelings I express, she felt that I should embrace the fact that I'm not like anyone else. Sure, I have aspects of other stereotypes, but she suggested that I shouldn't run away from the things that make me happy. In the weeks, months and years that followed, I realized how completely right she was. While I didn't agree with everything she suggested, her "embrace your weirdness" line really stuck.

Now I understand why it's important for me to enjoy who I am and not beat myself up because of it. I realize that I should not fear mental abuse over things that I don't have control over. There is very little that I can control so why I was I being angry at myself so much? The deal was, for the longest time, I thought that every source of tension (past and present) was my fault because I was "involved" to an extent. I didn't even think about other factors involved (mostly personal with the others involved) and once I realized that, certain blades were dulled.

I haven't seen Christine in a few years. I hope someday to thank her in person.

1 comment:

Eric said...

Thanks for the kind wishes re: my new baby. I guess I have to be responsible now (and stuff). She will undowbtedly love great music. Besides, Liz Mitchell from Ida has two awesome kids albums. Cool