One of the hardest lessons I have learned recently is that sometimes the thing you are trying to avoid the most, sneaks up on you regardless. When you’re trying so hard to push against the grain, sometimes it snaps up into your path anyways and you can’t do anything about it.
I tried so hard to avoid being hurt. By relationships, friendships, whatever. I blocked off feelings and people and put up walls that I felt would hold out anything that might hurt. I dug a moat around my wall. Put spears up along the wall and poisoned the water in the moat, juuuust in case someone really tried to get by it all. Turns out that when you put up walls like that, it keeps yourself in as much as it keeps other people out. Just as I was starting to lower the gate, the people I was ready to let in got tired of drinking the poisoned water and navigating the wall o’ spears and decided to give up and walk away. Which is precisely why I built the wall. The very first reaction was indignation. How dare they walk away? I am lowering the wall now! Ummm… Hello?
The thing is watching them walk away was 1,000 times harder than I thought it would be. At least when they were banging on the wall and trying to get in… it kept me distracted. When everyone left, I was alone. Sitting in my little fortress… alone. Full of regret and confusion. Seems, my magnificent idea had backfired. I’m apparently not the smartest person alive and sometimes thwart myself in my grand schemes.
I resorted to drinking the mead. Which had been what I’d always done while watching people try to break down the wall. Turns out this only clouds my judgement and allowed me to fling arrows at those people and hurt them. What I thought was just flesh wounds and warning shots, really went straight through the heart. I was just too busy reinforcing the wall to notice.
So, after the fact when I’m trying to mend the wounds on the field and take down my walls. The people I had tried so hard to keep out no longer trust me. I had spent so much time and effort keeping them out and hurting them, that the efforts to fix things were brushed off as some sort of new strategy of mine to hurt them.
The moral of the story is: I succeeded. I wanted to keep people out and I did. Now I’m alone and sad. I’m taking down the walls bit by bit. If I’m going to hurt this much when I’m successfully keeping people out, I’d rather hurt this much surrounding myself with people and at least being truer to myself and those around me.
Some lessons hurt a lot. Some lessons leave you alone to rebuild and look inward. As much as it sucks and is now more work, learning from these lessons is the easiest. It can also be the loneliest because you learned it at other people’s expense. But, at least it was learned. I feel like a better person because of it… a hurt better person, but a better person nonetheless.