Throughout my formative years, being the smart one meant that no one would mess with me -that much. They’d be more likely to ask for my help than bully me -I guess you could say I bartered my brain to avoid all that.
But once I graduated and started working, I began to understand how different that environment was versus the educational environment. In school, the goal is to get good grades, which depend on you (mostly) and sometimes a team. In work, the goal is to complete tasks and projects, which depend on yourself, your team and your supervisor.
The first year was great, I was knocking out my work at a wicked pace. But I later realized that this only inspired insecurity and jealousies that quickly manifested in numerous ways -which I will not discuss here.
Needless to say, the situation rapidly tanked. To summarize, it was like living in enemy territory while walking through a minefield every day: everything is a trap, everyone is against you, and everywhere is unsafe. You either crumble under the pressure, or you don’t. And then you’d also have to decide how you will behave under those circumstances.
On the other hand, you really get to see the type of person you really are.
Granted, in the large scale of things, this experience was nothing; but, in the myopia of my life, it was rather significant. Stress, anger, and navigating office politics were a knife’s edge tightrope where balancing expectations came second to managing oneself and choosing your battles -you always have to stay true to yourself while maintaining dignity, self-advocation, and grace under fire. After exiting the crucible, I realized that I had passed through the stages of:
- Denial – “Surely this isn’t happening.”
- Anger – “How dare this fucking happen to me!”
- Acceptance – “Fine, this is happening then?”
- Cynicism – “Of course this is happening, what did I expect?”
- Pity – “I find it utterly pathetic that you need this to happen.”
I’ll tell you this, I have grown a great deal both in mental fortitude and in standing up for myself while remaining respectful and supportive regardless of the situation.
The following quotes stuck with me throughout this time.
In the word revenge, hides the word never. REVENGE | EGNEVER.
I’m not interested in revenge but the anger remains a fizzling ember of thought which, thankfully, fades day by day.
I calmly breathe away moments of vengeful thoughts by placing these perspectives in place.
1) Time has passed, let it go.
2) It’s not worth the hassle.
3) They will destroy themselves -all by themselves- with no need of assistance from you.
Revenge can be a trap, a whirlpool of toxic thoughts and anger. But revenge should not be used for petty slights, no matter how badly you or I might want to punish the offender(s). It is a costly business that will often take away more from the avenger than the offender.
And so I close this chapter of my life, snuff out the anger, take cleansing breaths and continue to live a fulfilling life. Because this is ultimately the greatest revenge.
“I am a stone, unaffected
Rain hell down onto me
I am a stone, unaffected
Your fool I will not be.”
~I Am A Stone by Demon Hunter