Dear Reader, I know that this analogy is stolen from the movie titled “The Holiday” but let’s face it is true. Some women live their lives as leading ladies, i.e. women who hold the position to say no and who are their own bosses, and others live their lives as the best friend, i.e. the person who makes other people’s issues their own.
Looking at my life, I can honestly say that I have been guilty of always being the best friend. I saw this more than ever through the different roles I had taken in the Toastmasters clubs in Jordan. You see for many years, I have been the execom member doing the extra work, taking photos, posting on our page , and even asking about the catering for each meeting. I used to enjoy doing that because I seriously liked my club. Of course I realized now that I liked my club more than it liked me back. Upon this realization, I must say that I am not feeling sorry for myself, in fact it is a liberating feeling to know where your mistakes are.
The idea hit me , this week when I argued with a colleague, and I was wrong in my position and I admitted my mistake on the same day. In fact, like a mature adult , I acknowledged my mistake , and I did apologize for my wrong doings. However, my apology was not accepted. If anything it was completely ignored.
Being the wrong doer, I did expect this reaction. However, what I did expect was to see my fellow execom members taking on a passive role unproductive role. In no way am I expecting them to take sides, because I was wrong. But still, I did not expect them to stand aside and watch a problem escalate. It was this incident that made me realize that I have always been the best friend in life. I know that if the situation was reversed and I was the one watching an argument and I knew that one person tried to fix it, I would take on a more positive role, a role better than “I hope she accepts your apology” which is the only reaction I got .
If it were me, I would be more instrumental in resolving the problem and I would do that for the sake of the person who I knew worked for the club, and for the person who is dedicating their hpl project to increase membership for the club, and fir the sake of the person who didn’t renew memberships in other clubs to work for this one. However, none of these considerations were taken and I am now finding myself forced to leave due to the awkwardness of the situation. Again, I am not feeling sorry for myself. I am wrong in my judgment regarding people’s opinions of me and my expectations of them. Of course that is my fault alone.
However, I do thank everyone who did not help in this incident because this incident made me look at other issues in my life. This issue made me examine my friendships, my past acquaintances, and the people who had wronged me in the past and I have come to realize that I have been playing the role of best friend through and through. I have worried about the well being of all my friends. I have given my personal time to listen to their stories, their problems, and their challenges. If I felt I could do something to help my friends, I never hesitated to do so, but now I realize that most of them won’t do the same for me. I’m saying most so I don’t generalize, as I know some would.
The people in my life are not wrong, in fact I am. I have put myself in the position of reliable, dependable, best friend in a world of leading ladies and leading men. I am woman in my late thirties and I guess it took me too long to learn that this path only leads to disappointment.
I want to confirm once again that I am not feeling sorry for myself, but im learning now how to be the leading lady of my own life.
I will not go the extra mile for anyone who is perfectly ok with seeing me fall. I will not contribute to the success of anyone who is ok with seeing me fail. I will not stand up for anyone who is fine with seeing me being hurt and insulted. I will not give second chances to people who have treated me badly, because time taught me that they will only treat me badly again and again. From this day on I will live my life as the leading lady, because I am done with being the best friend. I will only be the best friend for people who see me and treat me as their best friend.
Am I idealistic, am I dreamy, am I dramatic, and am I sensitive? Well maybe I am but I am so sick of being hurt, shocked, or disappointed. I am, from this day forward. Putting myself first in a world which judges you more on what you say then what you do, I will learn to say the right things and do nothing. I will learn to smile and shower the world with fake compliments that I don’t mean, because speaking the truth makes you not diplomatic. I will never discuss my issues with anyone because no one wants to listen. I will be a leading lady caring about my own well-being.