Juneteenth is an American holiday that honors the announcement of the abolition of slavery in all states in the USA on June 19th, 1865. It's kind of a big deal. In the spirit of freedom and liberty and all that good stuff, I decided I wanted to share my thoughts on a particular type of mental slavery that a lot of people fall victim to... good old fashioned drama.
I don't consider myself to be a person who is easily pissed off. My reaction to most annoyances is to void myself of any reason to care, until I have accomplished full "I don't give a fuck" status. I find that the fewer fucks I give, the happier I am. If I could write a movie about it, I'd call it "Eternal Sunshine of the Fuckless Mind.
In spite of my efforts to take a detached approach to life, however, there is one thing that pisses me off almost instantly. I can not stand people who create drama. We've all experienced it, that friend who stays in a shitty relationship and keeps the whole thing going just so she can feel like she is working toward something. Or the asshole manager at your job who micro-manages you, just to feel important. Or even people who invent stories in their head about some issue they have with you, when you literally have NO personal issue with them at all. I stay away from those people. And if you have never noticed that type of person in life then it's probably because the person I am describing is YOU.
Let me explain the scenario that ticked me off so bad that it brought me back from my months long hiatus from blogging:
Most of my closest friends are entrepreneurs or freelancers, people who are their own boss. I help a few of my friends out with creative stuff because growing up with a mom who is a businesswoman has given me a pretty good work ethic, so sometimes it's fun to help out. I assisted one particular homegirl of mine in starting a pretty cool project, and I agreed to take on some responsibilities to help it all go smoothly. I came up with a structure for how the project should go (because nobody else gave any input on it) and put tons of time into making it right. My friend's "employee" apparently has taken issue with the level of my involvement. And she decided to communicate that by not using the stuff I spent hella time making for the project.
I actually like the girl, so I gave her a call to discuss it. She did not answer or return my call. So then I sent her an email outlining ALL of my concerns, and gave detailed examples of why I felt that way. I explained the process by which I created the stuff for the project and made her aware of how much time it took. (Keep in mind, I'm doing all this shit for free.) The employee's reply was basically her telling me I'm not the boss of her and she's been around since the beginning, and she's sick of me treating her like I'm her boss, and she didn't answer my call because she is mad, and blah blah blah. I was shocked. I've spoken to this girl on like 4 occasions in all of 2013. And I think two of those times was while we were partying. Have I been acting like the boss of partying?!?
For the past few years, I've been having regular convos with people from national television networks. My business partner is a Grammy Award winning music engineer. Hell, I debate back and forth with my Red Eye editor over most of the crazy ass columns I submit for the paper! But these folks keep working with me because I am a good musician and a good writer but a better businesswoman. That is why I am able to make a decent living for myself off of doing what I love, because I put business first. (Like a muhfucking boss!) Since I try to be objective when it comes to stuff like this, I went back and read my email to make sure I hadn't mistakenly been a cunt. Nope. That's when I realized what I was dealing with...
I believe that folks who don't have enough stuff going on in their own life invent problems, just to have something to do. Like, they'll cause drama just to feel alive. They are more dangerous than liars and thieves, cuz they rob you of something more valuable than material things. They waste time. Time spent dealing with drama, time spent on dumb ass conversations, time dealing with their random emotions. If TIME is MONEY, and MONEY is POWER, then PEOPLE WHO WASTE YOUR TIME ARE DRAINING YOUR POWER. They are weakening you, cuz they are weak. They are making you focus on stuff that ain't important, stuff that leads to nothing positive. Those people are hella irresponsible. They'd rather create bullshit drama than to empower their own self and step their own game up. It's literally slave mentality. I can't even deal.
So when you find yourself in a situation like that, what the hell do you do? My option is to emancipate yourself. I may not be the most experienced business person in the whole world, but I think any situation where drama can bubble up so easily is one that I don't need to be in... or else I'm gonna end up cussing somebody the hell out.
I decided to ask my mom about this issue, since she's older and wiser and the best example of a BOSS that I have ever known personally. I told her what happened, as unbiasedly as possible. She asked me over and over "Are you sure you wanna hear the truth? You really wanna know? ARE YOU SURE?" After I said "YEAH!" like 5 times, she finally gave me some advice.
"When you invest your time in people and they don't appreciate it, you have to pull back. Because time, talent, and effort are an investment. Some people would rather start a problem than find a solution. You're gonna meet people in your life who are like that, and it's not even an issue of disrespect, it's just how they are. And I have learned that when I experience that, it is not about ME, it's about THEM. It's your job to ask yourself 'Am I going to allow other people's issues to impact me?' And I choose not to. That's how you gotta handle it, babe. You don't have to be self-sacrificing. And you can tell her your momma said so."
My mom also pointed out how much it sucks that my friend didn't step in and help resolve the concern. I have no comment on that. Silence speaks volumes.
If you have found yourself in the midst of someone else's drama, don't put up with it. Emancipate yourself. Being a good friend doesn't mean you are required to deal with head games. I mean, honestly... how long are we actually gonna be young? Isn't this the time when we are supposed to be working on accomplishments? Do we really have time to waste??? Think about how much happier your life would be if you invested your time into something positive and productive. I know we all love our friends, but for reals... is the drama worth it?
And if you're the kinda person who inspired me to write this, then I hope it hurts your heart and bursts your bullshit bubble. With all the money and success and fun stuff in this world for folks to chase after, you expect others to spend time giving a damn about your imaginary problems? Fuck every aspect of that. Cuz life is too short for YOU to spend it making excuses for yourself and too long for ANYONE to spend it suffering with you. Happy Juneteenth.