Friday, November 19, 2010

Have I Compromised Myself Into A Corner?

"To compromise is to make a deal where one person gives up part of his or her demand. In arguments, compromise is a concept of finding agreement through communication, through a mutual acceptance of terms—often involving variations from an original goal or desire. Extremism is often considered as antonym to compromise, which, depending on context, may be associated with concepts of balance, tolerance. In the negative connotation, compromise may be referred to as capitulation, referring to a "surrender" of objectives, principles, or material, in the process of negotiating an agreement. In human relationships "compromise" is frequently said to be an agreement that no party is happy with, this is because the parties involved often feel that they either gave away too much or that they received too little"  - Wikipedia.

Everyone compromises. Life is all about compromises; in work, in relationships, in friendships, in commuting, in cooking. I can continue on forever. When we allow any person into our comfort circle, we allow ourselves to back off on our "life rules" if we want to add this person into the circle. We learn from these deals daily, whether these new snippets of knowledge compliment or hinder our lives. 

I have spent over 42 years of life compromising, like each and every one of you. I had 2 older brothers and learned early that making little exchanges would get me more attention or less teasing. Sometimes in school, to avoid a bully, I would agree with the bad kid just to duck out of the way of any unwanted attention. This action, although subconscious initially, slowly can take pieces of your character, adding up each and every compromise made.

Today I feel like a cookie with a huge bite taken out of it, each little minuscule crumb nipped away throughout my life. I realize that I portray myself as a strong, independent woman, but even steel falters eventually. I look at myself and see this castle I have built around myself, my moat widening daily. I have become a very private person, past negative experiences simply placed behind me, covered with a tarp so I can see the mound and peek under the cover once in a while, reminding me of my past compromises. 

I have had writers block the past few weeks, and recognize the obstruction as the immense culmination of all of the compromises. I remember my self-confidence, bright and shiny, everyone around me squinting at the sheen off my strength. I now have traded in that self-confidence and express it in a less overt direction. A side effect of my dulled confidence is shopping for clothing that attract attention. Unfortunately, I have never been one to feel comfortable in the spotlight. The bright reds and buttery smooth textiles through which I express my personality, is my tragic attempt at regaining my upper hand after making far to many compromises. No one will notice my defeated character flaw if I wear a red leather jacket. 

Perhaps the character flaw began with never feeling as if I were beautiful. I realize now that beauty is on the inside not what you wear, how much make-up is worn or what colour your hair is dyed. I understand that beauty comes from inner strength and no matter what you see in the mirror can fully define ones beauty. Even in my younger years, I still gauged my beauty with male attention. If men were attracted to me, I was beautiful. Of course, every woman goes through this belief at some point in their lives, and some women older than me have yet to realize that men do not make the rating system of beauty. The only real measurement of my beauty is me. 

Now, physical beauty aside, I was ahead of the pack when it came to humour. I have always embraced my ability to make people laugh regardless of the situation. If people are laughing because of my quick wit, I am happy, which makes me feel beautiful. Creating a belly laugh from just a look gives me a sunny feeling in my gut, even if I look like I have been through a tornado. I have attracted more people, men especially, with my sense of humour than with my physical prowess. In my world, an Uber-beautiful person is probably empty, spending more time daily in preparing themselves physically for the world than I do in a week. Humour is key in life, and yes, I have stepped over the line too many times, trading a laugh for attention.

I am most confident when I am funny, and right now, missing my bite-size piece of cookie, I am dying in front of my audience. But damn it I look good! I haven't got the energy to be funny when I am lacking confidence. I am reminded of the circles that are my pathways, with no side street. A Catch 22 situation where when I am confident, I am funny, which then feeds my positive look at myself, filling my desire to be beautiful. That damn pile of compromises from my past seems to be hiding my confidence, the essential key to my happiness. I need to accept my exchanges and the pathway I have carved with those deals, and push them aside along with my stubborn pride, and get back in the game.


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