Then he laughed.
Then he said, "You're always working the angles." He laughed again.
I wasn't laughing.
Maybe I'm being too sensitive, but to me someone "working the angles" is someone who isn't quite trustworthy. So I looked it up and found a couple of meanings. One said it meant to be "manipulative". Okay, that fits my perceived definition. But others defined it as: "leaving no stone unturned" or "exploring all possibilities."
Now those are definitions I can embrace with gusto, and ones to which I'm going to attribute my friend's comment, because he really is behind my plans. He thinks they are great and suitable for my personality, which according to him is "stubborn and fiercely independent." I also think the adjective "pig-headed" was tossed in there somewhere.
Did I mention we used to date?
Since making my plans to retire and travel, most of the support I've received has been extremely positive. Even many of the early naysayers have changed their opinions once they saw how dedicated I was to my plan and how thoughtfully I was approaching it.
But a lot of people are not "pig-headed" like me. If I want to do something, I will keep at it. Whether I fail or make headway on each attempt, I will continue to beat my head against the wall until I either break the wall or end up with a life-threatening concussion. That's who I am.
A lot of people told me to my face that I could not do the Camp Pendleton Mud Run 8 years ago. But I did it. Nearly ruined my knees, but I freaking did it.
People told me I would never be published. Ahem, I am currently finishing my 25th novel.
People tell me I'll never lose weight. Well, I'm still working on that. I have not given up by a long shot.
But what about those dreamers who don't have a bite me attitude?
What about the dreamers who take to heart the negativity thrown at them, leaving dents in their confidence and goals?
Should they give up because they don't have the right stuff, the hard shell to ward off arrows of doubt?
Not everyone is pigheaded and fiercely focused. But think about those in history who were and what they accomplished, even in the midst of naysayers: Steve Jobs, Sally Ride, Thomas Edison, Martin Luther King, the Wright brothers, Madam Curie - just to name a few. I'm sure they all heard their share of boos and hisses and faced people who hated them. The difference is, they kept going. And going. And going. And we are the better for their tenacity and vision.
If you are someone with a dream, don't give it up in the face of all the orangutans throwing their feces at you. Just wipe it off and keep going.
If you are an orangutan throwing shit, STOP IT! Give the dreamers in your life your support and help them explore all the angles. You will be the better for it. And if that is beyond your abilities, then just keep your negative shit to yourself, because no one has time for that!
This has been a public service announcement.