We all are many things to many people, and throughout the course of any given day, we play a variety of roles. Parent. Partner/Spouse. Employer/Employee. Friend. Sibling. Volunteer. The list goes on and on, but just when I thought I had exhausted this list for myself, a new one was offered up to me recently. Distraction.
I have referred to myself as many things and had others define me in a variety of ways, but distraction was a new one, even to me. The idea of me being a “distraction” came up in a conversation with someone I respect greatly, as he was advising me on a situation concerning a person we both care about dearly. He observed that I am an escape for this person from the daily grind of life and that I am a pleasant “distraction”. Even though he did not mean it in a negative way at all, and I describe myself as always being good for a laugh, it still stung a bit. Actually, it stung more than I care to admit.
A distraction is checking out social media, flipping through a magazine, watching television, or staring out the window. A distraction takes away from the present moment and delays or derails plans. A distraction is superficial and fleeting. A distraction is like cotton candy; it is all fluff, no substance, and will not satisfy your hunger. A distraction is a substitute or a filler.
What was not meant in a negative way, suddenly took on a whole new meaning, at least in my mind. It made me think about who and what I am to not only the person in question, but to the other people in my life, and what they mean to me, as well. Am I distraction? Are we all merely distractions to each other in one way or another? Is being a distraction necessarily negative, or is there anything positive about being a distraction? Is it possible to be more than a distraction?
I do not mind being a positive distraction, when appropriate, but I do mind if that is my primary role in someone’s life. I am more than that. I want to be more than that. I need to be more than that. I do not want to be the star attraction in anyone’s life, as that role is one each of us should play in our own lives, as I much prefer a supportive or co-starring role in the lives of those I love.
The conversation continues to replay in my head, and the questions remain unanswered. In time, the conversation may fade, and the questions may or may not get answered. In the meantime, I will continue to be myself, even if that proves to be distracting.
That’s another story . .
Categories: That's Another Story
You are right to feel upset if regarded as a mere ‘distraction’ by someone you viewed as having a deep relationship with – whether that be friendship or as a valued colleague. However, as you imply, you can only work on being yourself and growing your own inner character. You cannot force the behaviours or feelings of those around you – even those you care deeply for. That is one life lesson that has taken me quite a while to accept. Since accepting that fact, I have been more at peace within myself. Take care 🙂
Elizabeth, even from half way around the world, your words and perceptions are spot on, and how fortunate I am to be on this journey with you. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and support, and I am striving to find a renewed sense of peace, just as you have. Onward we go . . .
LikeLiked by 1 person