Talking to a person who knew the old Maria,

and feeling some kind of way.

His journalism career is picking up, and I’m honestly happy for him.

Admittedly, in another life, at another time, a spark of jealousy would have been lit. But now, in this life, at this time, I’m overwhelmed with positivity and hope. He’s a good guy and he deserves good things. Why shouldn’t I be happy for him?

I used to trash-talk and belittle people. I used to feed off of the negative energy radiating from people who were jealous of me. I used to make sport out of getting into peoples’ heads and making them aware that I’m better than them. I used to be the queen of politicking my way to the top of the food chain.

But I’m not anymore, and I’m not sure why that is. I just know that I feel more free. More light. More confident. More solid. And, most of all, more happy. I’m happier now. So much happier. And I wonder what it was that took all that negativity out of me.

At the end of our conversation, myfriend assured me that I had plenty to be happy about, and I had to pause to reflect on his words. Did he realize that his words were patronizing? Did he mean for them to come off that way? I mean, duh! of course I have plenty to be happy about. Why would he think it necessary to say that to me? Did my life – the little that he knew about it – reek of sadness and despair? Did I seem unhappy? Or was he merely drawing on his previous experiences with the old Maria and her standards for herself?

I wondered about this all for a couple of minutes then tossed all those questions out the window.

Because those words say more about him than they do about me.

Because he doesn’t really know the woman I’ve become.

Because as much as I love compliments, I don’t really need them; I know what I’ve got, and I’m happy.

Like so many things that happen every day, I could have gotten angry. I could have gotten all warped and bent out of shape. I could have gotten upset. But I chose not to.

I realized that this, like so many other things, wasn’t really about me.

I got over it before I’d really gotten under it. And I’ve got to tell you: I’m baffled and amused at this turn of events.

I’ve become this truthful, honest, practical, hard-working, earnest individual with goals and integrity and a strong sense of justice and character. And maybe, just maybe, I don’t have as wicked or cutting a sense of humor as I used to have. Maybe I no longer ooze sex. Maybe all those obvious parts of me that bounced out at people and smacked them in the face have been replaced by lessons in subtlety.

Maybe?

*looking in mirror and seeing my decidedly unglamorous chocolate milk-stained pajama set*

No. It’s a definite.

I’m certain that I’m not as interesting as I used to be.

And ya know what?

I’m almost okay with that.

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