Reverb10 – Dec10 – Wisdom

be nice

What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?
(Author: Susannah Conway)

One of the biggest decisions I made this year – as a belated New Year’s resolution – was to wear more colour; more specifically, it was a direct intention to wear less black. Wearing so much black stems partly from being a teenage goth, and a whole lot more from the myth that black is slimming (it isn’t, by the way – it just makes you look like a black mass as opposed to a blue mass or a pink mass), all garnished with a soupçon of fear that if I didn’t wear black the world wouldn’t know how rock’n’roll I am.

Silly? Maybe. Plus, I really like wearing black. I like the way it makes my silver jewellery and leopard print accessories stand out. But some days I’d look in the mirror and see how drained and sallow it made my face, and I realised things needed to change. I bought a pink cardigan, and some maroon tights. No blue, because I don’t wear blue. I nearly bought a white coat, but it was one of those puffy nylon ones, and even with its belt I was scared I’d look like Mrs Michelin. the only other option was black. In my defence, though, the fur trim is brownish-grey, so it’s not totally black.

But I digress. Choosing to wear more colour was a hard decision, but not particularly wise in any way.

Many of you will have seen that bit on Facebook profiles where it asks you about your political beliefs. Mine just says: Be nice to each other: it’s not rocket science, is it?

The wisest move I made this year was to try and live this; to stop judging people in every way I could, and try to be compassionate instead. It’s not easy, and sometimes I have to gently scold myself when I catch myself doing it again. Sometimes people can be really annoying, or harsh with their children in supermarket queues, or drive like idiots, and at times like that it can be horribly difficult to rein in the mental megaphone that’s blaring, ‘A$$HOLE!’ at them.

Especially when you’re someone like me who has a reputation for thinking up smart comebacks and witty put-downs. My two favourite phrases were, “Tonight, Matthew, I’m going to be…” a seal clubber/ a turnip/ Big Bird/etc” and, ‘Not so much of a hair do as a hair don’t.” I’m making a big effort to stop all that. And I like the side-effects: when I’m nicer about people, people are nicer to me. Weird that, huh? It’s not infallible – because none of us are perfect, are we? – but it’s made a difference that’s encouraging. And on the plus side, if I do lapse and have a moment of meanness, I’m just mean, and not a big black mass of meanness.

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  1. @Jikan

     /  December 10, 2010

    hehe…I remember those come backs from the school days (and everybody elses. They did used to make me feel a little nervous around you tbh (hopefully thats not taken too badly xx) Youre a good egg and always seem happy/jolly and an all round nice Emma on fb 😀

    You write really well btw. I just blabber on 😦

    • I don’t think I ever really meant to be nasty, it was more about making people laugh… Thank you for seeing me as a ‘good egg’, I do my best, and am trying much harder these days.

      I just blabber, too. I think I’ve spent so much time blabbering online that eventually it starts to sound like I know what I’m talking about (which I don’t always!) xx

  2. I really enjoyed reading your post. Making a conscious decision to have a changed attitude is a hard decision to make but completely worth it. Thanks.

    • No, thank you! It’s been one of those years when lots of things got stripped to the bone completely outside my sphere of control – using them as an opportunity to build myself back up in a new and improved manner was one way I managed to reassert and empower myself.

  3. I simply LOVE that your wisest decision of 2010 is one that has long-lasting reverberations. It’s a good reminder to me.

    Cheers! And with reverberations from #reverb10 HQ, @caligater


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