I met the most miserable person. She bragged about intimidating people. She carried a clutch because she thought people would instantly peg her as rich and cater to her. She reveled in stories about telling people off, not because she was provoked, but because she enjoyed making others miserable as well. She mistook disdain for respect. She mistook pity for awe. She mistook distance for fear.
And I thought to myself, my God, I hope I never end up like that.
I had a thousand things to say to her. I wanted to tell her what people really think when they meet her: not that she is rich and respectable, but that she is a snobby elitist.
In Anne of Green Gables, Anne says about someone who has just called her ugly and red-headed: “Oh, but there’s such a difference between saying a thing yourself and hearing other people say it. You may know a thing is so, but you can’t help hoping other people don’t quite think it is.”
So I didn’t say anything. It is not my place to make her feel bad about herself. We are our own worst critics, so if I’m thinking that about her, she must be thinking something worse about herself.
Nothing like seeing a worse version of yourself to prevent becoming it.
I hope to never become someone who revels in other people’s misery. I hope I never hate the people who love me. I hope when things are going badly for me, I do not project it onto people around me. I hope I don’t create distance that happens in friendships. I hope I keep what has been salvaged of my optimism. I hope I never let myself fall into hopeless despair and hatred. I hope to keep the part of me that I like best about myself.