A note to my nemesis…

What the %$#&!!

“The measure of a superhero is always his nemesis.” David Lyons

This morning, like most mornings I woke up and went directly downstairs to find the sun. I placed my yoga mat vertically like a person in prayer, and started my daily stretches.

It is here that my little epiphanies find me; those reflective moments where the ‘aha’ chant makes perfect sense, and clarity is crystal clear.

Every once in a while someone enters into my life to challenge me.

Sometimes they outright hate me. I know surprising right!

It could be a personality clash or I have offend them with my endless amounts of ignorance as I stumble through my life. Whatever it is about me exactly that they find offensive I never know. Only they know for sure. And if I am totally honest, what people actually think of me is none of my business.

How people treat me, belittle me to my colleagues, or somehow try to affect my life in a negative way; well now you have my attention! And my business it is! 

As I wander through my happy life, I find my interactions with these ‘kinds’ of people flabbergasting, and I am nothing short of pathetically naive when it comes to dealing with them.

Where is my backbone again? 

However, I believe that they enter into my life for a reason, for me to learn a lesson from them, a lesson that for some reason I haven’t yet learned in my life.

How did I come to this conclusion?

Well the same character, the same cookie cutter personality in different people keeps on reappearing into my life.

They have the same loathing for my happy go lucky nature, they have the same education and background, and the same narrow views of the world. Further they have a necessity for order, the same attention to rules and regulations with very clear boundaries, and who, for some unknown reason, find me showing up in their lives as offensive as if I was a mass murderer. Except they would probably forgive the murderer sooner for their imperfections.

During my twenties while being promoted to upper management, this person found my rapid advancement through the corporation extremely unfair, as that person thought they were older and far wiser, and the position was rightfully theirs.

But I was placed for my abilities on the computer, my interactions with customers, and my endless amount of energy. I never called in sick for over 15 years, a quality that was rare to say the least.

That person, in their bad health and endless jealousy, decided it was their life’s work to make the next decade of my life as difficult as possible. Sabotage. Paperwork disappearing. Last minute sickness leaving me alone for 12-14 hours shifts. It caused me endless amounts of stress, and no matter what I did, or how I did it; this person hated the very sight of me.

At the time I thought it was my job to make things right, after all I was management, and being a young 21 year old woman I gave them the respect for being nearly double my age. A respect that I can see now as never deserved. As I tried to prove my worth, detail oriented, advancing through the company; I kept heading onward and upward. I thought I could win this person over.

It never happened. I worked there for twenty years!

Then again in my late thirties in France a very similar situation came about with another person. This time far older than myself, more like 40 years, who again thought I was average at best, and they couldn’t understand why I was so happy in my mediocre life. To them I didn’t strive for perfection, or educate myself with the endless degrees they had, and yet there I was their equal in every way.

I was pre-retired before 40 in their village, and on the municipal council no less; something that they wanted for themselves and could not accomplish. It irked them to no end.

My first response was to show them how life can be living outside of the rules. I believe that we all have the same amount of time on this planet gathering information, and that some education can be accumulated through travel and experiences. Some go to school to learn from books. I am not knocking it. I love to read and wish my parents had put me through university. I just happened to be road schooled; through hard knocks, and educated through my place of employment and experience from working so long and hard.

No matter how life comes to you, learn we do!

Some find my balance between traditional schooling and life experience gravely unfair. While others follow the rules they gave up on other things they wanted to do. They lived life as they were told to do with the promise of big rewards in the end that for some never came. I am a reminder to them of the things that they sacrificed for yet never accomplished.

I try hard to win them over and my energy is wasted until I finally give up. I never understood why they hate me so, and it bothers me to the very core of my being to give such a negative reaction to someone just by breathing the same air.

And here we go again in Hungary, another nemesis I have managed to find; the exact same character, same situation and no matter what I do, they cannot stand me.

I have proven my abilities. Nothing works.

I need the strength not to let it bother me. Each time I try to make things right, it sends them into a deeper disgust for me. I really can’t win.

Up until now I thought I am in this world to rub off on them. To share my eternal optimism and wisdom. To spread my love throughout the world, helping who I can when I can where I can, like Mary Poppins dancing and floating through the musical in my head.

Ok, I get it, I can be pretty annoying in my joyous take on the world, seeing everything through rose coloured shades. The glass is always half full, and every failure is a learning experience. There is nothing more revolting to a depressed person than a happy one.

MY EPIPHANY… screech… the sound of a needle scratching the record playing the sound of music soundtrack… 

Did I get this all wrong? Am I the one missing the lesson to be learned here?

Was I suppose to be the one paying attention all along? Is it their attention to detail, their commitment to education to have honour in playing in only one field and becoming a master at something instead of a jack of all trades? 

That was my epiphany this morning.

I cannot find a way around these people. I have tried getting to know them, talking to them, doing as they say but perhaps I need to look deep into myself as to why I attract them in the first place.

Is it my list of unfinished tasks I have accumulating in the corridors of my brain?

  • Is it my averageness in all things in life that needs to be addressed
  • My eclectic resume
  • Going with the winds of change from one thing to the next.
  • Do I need focus?
  • Fickle and impulsiveness? Is it time to settle down?
  • Should I pick; a student or a teacher but not both?
  • My energy or my genuine interest?
  • Honestly to some I must seem schizophrenic

But what if I did choose one thing.

What am I supposed to be?

If my energy went into one direction for five years straight, would I be a doctor, a lawyer, a politician…

Without my life experiences would I even be happy just teaching?

It took me a long time to grown into the person who accepts who I am without regrets.

I know how my thought process works, and I have accepted my many quirks.

I understand what it is I like, what kinds of things that make me happy. It took years of work to figure out who I am at my core.

But maybe, just maybe, now that I am in my forties, could it be time to strive for some kind of perfection? A type of acceptance on a more mainstream level? Taking the streamline approach to life; is it time to settle in for the long haul?

Here is the hiccup.

I am always in such a hurry to fit it all in. Those ideas that float around my brain to make things work better, teach better, make business run smoother; they come to me at mach speed. I guess maybe in many ways that rapid spitfire thought process that I have learned to cope with perhaps makes me understand this new technical generation better. I understand my own need for new shiny things. My attention span is short because look over there, and there, oh and over here. The world is full of so many interesting things to learn, why must I pick one?

You know what, I don’t even want to pick! Can I refuse this lesson?

I want to be everything and everyone.  An actor, a singer, a writer, a chef, a yogi, a teacher, a blogger, a successful businessperson, a gardener, an athlete, a website designer, a municipal councilor, an artist, a novelist, a good friend, a better wife and devoted mother.

This new nemesis asked me in a very sarcastic tone, ‘Is there anything you can’t do?’

I simply answered, ‘Well yeah”

What do they think, that I chose to be this way?

I can’t help myself. It is not easy being me either you know!

My can’t do list is far longer. For instance anything to do with motion; a racecar driver, an astronaut, a professional rollercoaster developer; those are all out from the get go!

And I realize that becoming a baker like my folks would be detrimental to my health, so instead I have an aversion to baking.

Also I will never be, let’s say, a professional accountant. No interest. A runway model, too solid. Assembly line worker, too boring. Computer programmer, or IT guy; too fast changing. Or an animal farm or zoo keeper; too sad. Surgeon, dancer or musician but not because I couldn’t because I am too old to start now. Or surrogate mother; no ovaries. A father, no penis. See, loads on this list!

What a stupid thing to ask right?

Lawyer maybe, or politician now that could hold my attention for a while. If I did go back to school, I could easily find happiness in learning more about these topics. But how can anyone chose? I am too busy living to slow down enough to become a master at anything.

My conclusion after this verbal diarrhea? 

Fuck ’em. That’s right. Turn your head and hold it high, and simply walk in the other direction. 

I think the lesson is to learn how to ignore these types of people because, I am getting far too old for this bullshit.

It is their own problem not mine that they are not happy. They should take on their own insecurities and issues, and leave me alone!

aha moments My Expat Life
The road to happiness begins with you


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  1. ‘There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.’ If I had a nickel for every person I have watched shrink for others. WOW. How did I miss Marianne Williamson? I am so glad you posted. <3

  2. Phew! I am so glad this article ended in the way it did. I was worried for a while there thinking for a moment that you were actually going to squeeze yourself into the cookie cutter and come out as bitter and resentful as your nemeses.

    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine .… And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
    Marianne Williamson
    Author, Lecturer (apparently not something Mandela said after all!)

    If our light frightens even us, it is not surprising that it might frighten those around us. It has take you years and much courage to be the person you are today and for the odd one person who is too scared to be their most brilliant self there are many more to whom you are an inspiration, so please, don’t stop being you!

  3. ‘we must have the shadows to appreciate the light’ The best thing I read all week! You are brilliant lovely Celia, such perfect words to raise my chin! Thank-you so much! Eva x

  4. Hi, Eva,
    Mediocre? You?
    You have mastered the art of living life to the full. How could anybody find fault with that?
    Fault finders, that’s who. Narrow minded, insecure and jealous folk who need to have a word with themselves.
    Dear Eva, do not trouble yourself about these people. They have their own healing to do. That is their lesson and you are the teacher. I know you have been kind to them. I can imagine how generous you have been with your time and efforts to smooth the waters between you. That’s all you can do.
    Stay true to yourself. I’m reminded of when I was young and people asked me what I wanted to be.
    “How do I know?” I said, “when I don’t know what there is?”
    Negative people come into our lives for a reason. I believe this as do you. I found my own nemesis while I was in France. The experience made me question myself and now that I’m back in UK I’ve dealt with the problems I’ve faced.
    Answers to these kind of questions tend to come from the most unexpected places. When you least expect it you find yourself, say, cooking a meal, feeding the birds, singing, whatever, and you know at that moment, you absolutely KNOW that this is where you were meant to be and this is who you are meant to be.
    Live on, Eva. LIVE on in your colourful capital letters the way you do. You are an inspiration. It’s a joy and a curse to be who we are but we must have the shadows to appreciate the light.
    My very best wishes to you and your family,


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