Every person has a weakness. I think if we’re lucky, we recognize our weakness and we stay away. But that’s why it’s called weakness, mostly because when we know we need to not do something, when everything in our skull tells us to not do something, we go and we do that thing we know will only make us weaker.
I think what I’ve noticed about weakness is that it is always hanging around. I once thought that weakness just preyed on the weak, like sniffing out a dying animal. But weakness is sneaky. Weakness looks for fissures in the strong. Weakness likes to sit around and wait. Weakness is the most patient son of a B* I’ve ever known. Weakness has certainly been patient with me; I think taking notes on how it can be even more weakness-y. Stalking me with its footnotes and endnotes and running bibliography, to just remind me, I don’t stand a chance.
The worst thing to do if you have a weakness is to find other people with that weakness. But sometimes, you don’t even have to find them, they find you. It’s as if your weakness and theirs have met already, and you are the third parties being introduced to each other. The best thing to do at this point is to run.
But as you know, this is often impossible. That’s why weakness is tricky. Weakness likes to hang out in those spaces you can’t avoid, with those people you can’t avoid. Creating opportunities you must avoid.
I’m fairly certain that we are given opportunities in life to continue to make the same mistakes again and again and again. I don’t think Life wants us to continue to make these mistakes. I think Life is generally on our team. I just think Life is patiently waiting for us to realize a) that was a mistake. And, b) the next time I have the opportunity I will not make that same choice, i.e., mistake.
It’s simple, really.
And yet, every time, I know I want to choose: mistake.
Mistakes feel good. Mistakes make great stories. Mistakes are fun.
The only issue really with mistakes, is at some point, you know it’s a mistake. That teeny tiny voice in the back of your head makes just one little ‘peep’ and ruins a perfectly well reasoned and justified mistake.
The space in between the making of a mistake and the not making of a mistake is what eats away at your core. You have the guilt of even thinking about making the mistake, but the clean slate of having not carried through with it. Here, usually guilt wins out, followed by disgust.
You could spend weeks in this space. Months. Years, really.
I was told once to make decisions outside of situations. Then, when you’re in the situation, the choice will be easy. The choice will be definite. The choice will have been based on reason. The choice will not be a mistake. The problem with this, is that situational projection is a much stronger force. Situational projection being peer pressure, desire, excitement, confusion, emotion, second thoughts, and everyone’s favorite of “oh, what the heck,” or as kids these days say, YOLO.
YOLO, but you’ll have to live with that choice/mistake/regret/weakness always. Maybe I’m being pessimistic. Maybe I should do a little more YOLOing and a little less confounding on all these choices that seem like weaknesses, but maybe are just not so important. What defines me? My weakness or what I am as a result of or in spite of my weakness? Do I get the gold star for effort or the gold star for preservation? Is character developed without having given in to a weakness or is it developed in spite of that weakness, the overcoming of that weakness? Do I get one free weakness fail or if I’m kinda-pretty-certain-I’m-in-weakness-territory-and-keep-going-anyway, is that worse than not realizing I’m in the weakness zone at all?
My weakness is currently laughing at me from the corner.
Laughing at my sophomoric attempt to unpack its abilities and secrets, laughing at my attempt to evade and avoid by setting up a continued dialogue with it, a small effort in the enormous task of keeping it in sight but out of reach.
And yet suddenly it’s quiet.
Weakness: 419, Me: 1.