So there’s drama today. All sorts of it. In times of crisis I feel like there are three types of people. A for one, the person who turns catatonic and can’t do anything. B for two, the person (like me) who switches into “fixer” mode, and starts to figure out exactly what needs to be done to move forward. And C for three, the person who runs around like a chicken with their head cut off and who is just oozing drama.
Today I am surrounded by the third. The crisis is real, the challenges are serious, and the amount of work necessary to improve the situation is absolutely no joke. That said…ummm…please kindly settle down. Running from place to place (literally…RUNNING), talking worst case scenario (which has already been ruled out), talking about how we’ll likely need to deal with this ALL WEEKEND and that I may need to alter my plans (there is a 5k with my name on it and I am NOT missing that bad boy), and being aggressively fidgety is not…I repeat NOT…going to make things better.
Several years ago I had a manager who was CRAZY. No, I’m not exaggerating, the broad was certifiable. She one day showed up to the office with a long-haired wig on her head. We got very concerned that she had perhaps fallen ill and needed to wear the wig because she was losing hair. She was mum…wouldn’t discuss it. We were worried and didn’t know how to address it. She finally told me, after scolding me for staring (which I hadn’t been…I was actually standing at a copying machine making copies), that she just liked long hair better and didn’t want to wait for hers to grow out. Wait…what? Anyway, she used to get worked up in meetings and aggressively adjust her wig, knowing full-well people would notice and wonder WHY ON EARTH she was wearing it. Rumors spread through our industry like wildfire that she was ill. And yet…she just wanted a little drama…and long hair.
Growing up as an only child I was a big fan of the drama. It was my friend. I can be overdramatic with the best of them. I remember in 1991 as we were entering the Gulf War I was sitting in my high school cafeteria, back when they let us watch MTV during open hours, and over-hearing one of the (gorgeous) senior boys exclaiming “I MIGHT HAVE TO GO TO WAR OKAY?!! I MIGHT HAVE TO GO TO WAR!!!” They must have been talking about the possibility of a draft, which obviously didn’t materialize, but there was concern. I’ll tell you what…I latched onto that sentiment and was SO verbally worried about those good looking boys leaving my high school to go to war.
I had fights with high school boyfriends that were over the top, in public, and ridiculous. I remember the drama of finding out each year if I’d made cheerleading and how it consumed me. In college I hung out with the hockey team and with those crazy bastards there was always a stupid amount of drama to be enjoyed.
When real-life drama and struggle came to live in our household, however, I quickly lost my taste for it. I remember one of my last REALLY dramatic displays, just after my husband’s ex-wife found out he was in a serious relationship, and was stirring up all sorts of crazy. At the time my girlfriend Ess and I were working for the same company. I grabbed her, we borrowed an office with a door, and I screamed. I mean…I SCREAMED at her at the top of my lungs about what was going on. Considering one of the walls of that office was shared with the office of the woman in charge…it may have been a bad choice…but that was the beginning of the end of my relationship with drama.
The first couple years of our relationship was stuffed with it. Ex-wives, husbands of ex-wives, the involvement of multiple people/families/friends in the well-being of our little girls, ooofff…it was enough to put me on drugs for the first time in my life. No, no…not meth…I’m talking anti-depressants. But it’s amazing how quickly you get used to the drama and begin to feed off of it. And even though it’s horrible you start to look forward to it and the adrenaline is crazy. If you’re sane, however, you realize at some point that it’s happening and that it’s really affecting you as a person…negatively.
It’s so interesting when you realize how much nicer it is to live in a world that is even keel. Not without surprises, or passion, or deeply felt emotions…but without the ups and downs that come with being so dramatic. Whereas ten years ago I would likely be one to over-exaggerate, over-dramatize, and be much more quick to FREAK OUT, I now find myself observing those around me and figuring out how I can actually be of use to SOLVE problems…not to TALK about or ADD to the problems. I’m not saying I’m not ridiculous…Lord knows I am…but I just don’t have patience for the drama people can throw around.
So today as I try to discern between what is ACTUALLY going on, versus what is being told to me by people who are acting like this may be our last day on earth, I am thankful that I no longer operate in the world of dramz. And I will do my best not to kill the people who still live there.
TODAY: What if drama is just another way for people to be crazy when they don’t need to be? What if instead of jumping in with them I just sit back, observe, and do my best to help.