My Creative Voice

Trying to add value, make sense of what's coming next and keeping things going in the same direction.

Didn’t Know What I Needed

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I am working my way through a journal of dysfunction.  Chapters, in their infinite wisdom, created a line of journals that provide the topic, prompts and space to write in.  This is good.  This is precise.  This book can be tossed or kept depending on how psychotic I sound at the end.  This book and the journey of discussing dysfunction has also lead to some interesting conversations with my best friend who also happens to be my husband.  We have our “coffee klatch” outside on our Muskoka tete-a-tete while nursing a cup of tea or just enjoying the scenery.  Today’s topics turned to submissiveness and friends.  No kinkiness I promise.

I’m not sure how the topic of submissiveness came up but up it came.  I’ve never had a good look at submissiveness as a character trait.  It’s not something I aspire to have.  My husband offered several insights in to my character, one of which conclusively demonstrated my inability to be submissive.  I always ask why.  Doesn’t matter who is speaking.  Doesn’t matter what the topic is.  I ask why.  He pointed out that I would never make a good soldier as I would spend a great deal of time in the stockade.  This is probably a very valuable and accurate statement.  You want me to shoot at them ? Why ?  You want me to march in the blazing heat with a 100lb pack on my back ? Why ?  See ? Not good soldier material.  I have all the respect in the world for those that serve and thank our Creator often that we are blessed to have such selfless and devoted individuals in our world but I will never be one of them.  I’d probably get discharged or shot by my commanding officer quicker than anything.

Anyway – the point being, I am not submissive.  And I don’t particularly like submissive people.  If you want something – work for it.  If you don’t like something – change it.  If you are being treated badly – don’t wait for someone else to save you, get off your ass and do it yourself.  My husband says that this viewpoint is directly opposite to submissive.  I guess he’s right.  This time I won’t even ask why.  The answer is quite obvious even to one as prone to questioning the world as I.  I am what is considered assertive and independent and opinionated.  Some would say a bitch and then I would ask why?  Why is being any of those things socially upsetting to most ?  Why is thinking for myself and getting the job done so unacceptable and threatening to many ? Why ?  But I digress as one who is opinionated is wont to do.

During this little discovery session, I bemoaned the fact that I am feeling a little de-friended lately.  I call people, try to set up get togethers, invite friends and family for dinner, etc. all to be “rejected”.  I hesitate to use that word but it describes how I am beginning to feel.  Recognizing and understanding that all my friends have busy lives and multiple things to pay attention to, what is it about me that does not inspire them to want to spend time with me ?  Is it those very characteristics that make me ask why that might be making them ask why should they bother ?  Do I put myself out there as such an independent person that they think I don’t need them ?  Do I appear so self-sufficient that they think phone and Facebook suffices to stay in touch ?  I know I say I don’t “need” people but that doesn’t mean all the time !  It just means that quiet time on my own is not as traumatic an experience for me as it is for some.  To borrow a military phrase – I appear to have shot myself in the foot.

Then my voice of reason began to speak.  He occasionally comes out with observations that would make Sherlock Holmes proud.  Just when I think that he is not paying attention and that too much girly talk might make his head explode, he offers this little nugget: As I have a bit of an intolerance for submissive people, I gravitate towards like-minded individuals.  All the women in my life are a lot like me.  Perhaps not to my extreme but we do share similarities.  We all don’t mind spending time alone.  We all guard our alone time quite jealously as it can quickly be usurped by children or work or something.  As a result, when we do get a little alone time, we do not necessarily want to share it with others, like-minded though they may be.  This can present a little bit of a conundrum when the social bug does actually bite.  If we all want alone time, how do we make time for others ?

As I pondered this point, I laughed my ass off.  Loudly and long.  Guffawed, giggled and howled.  Good grief !

How could I be cross with my friends when they were only doing what I do on a regular basis ?  How can I be jealous when they go out with others and don’t choose me ?  Why didn’t I see long ago that I had in fact surrounded myself with people who would ask little of my time versus those that would take on barnacle like qualities ?  I had created a loner utopia that some would envy and leave others aghast.  I appeared to be in the process of seeing that perhaps my policy of not needing people was beginning to work against me.  Perhaps I needed people after all.  At least sometimes.

So I’ve started a bucket list of sorts.  I’ve posted, on Facebook of course, that keeping in touch with my friends electronically is no longer an acceptable format when that is essentially the only way it appears to be happening.  The distance and loneliness that I am feeling will not be solved by participating in Farmville or whatever other Facebook app craze is currently gripping the friends list.   Talking on the phone is great but inhibits conversation to a point because there is no facial expression to respond to.  And nothing tastes better than a good dinner or latte shared with a friend.  Together.  At the same table.  Not cooked or prepared by us and not in a place with a kiddie menu.

I didn’t know that I needed people as much as I do.  I didn’t know that by putting up such an independent front that I might one day isolate myself from the world at large.  I didn’t know that asking why could be seen as a “unique” and challenging behavior trait.  And maybe what I needed to learn is that a little submissiveness is not a bad thing.  On occasion.  But only after asking why ?

Author: Elizabeth Plouffe

Writer, communicator, entrepreneur, tea enthusiast (bordering on fanatic) who enjoys helping others connect. Cookbook reader, cottage lover, book devourer (apparently I make up my own language too) and seeker of the ambition to exercise.

2 thoughts on “Didn’t Know What I Needed

  1. Hmm. As someone who loves spending time alone, I agree that it’s surprising to realize that we actually do need people more than we think.

    I also like your stance on submissiveness. I have a very complicated relationship with that part of myself, and I envy the fact that you’re strong-willed and ask why.

    “Why” is a fantastic question for a writer. Think about it – in every satisfying novel I’ve ever read, the writers have always dealt with that question: why are the characters choosing to do this or that, why are they seen by others in the same way, why are they happy or not. “Why” stands behind everything we do. It’s the first and endless question that children ask. It’s important to know why.

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