notquiteold

Nancy Roman

When Reality Disappoints

There is an author I greatly admire.

She is a novelist and essayist, a columnist and, well, I guess although the word is out of fashion, you could also call her an orator.

She is profound and brilliant.

She is also on Twitter.

And so I am following her on Twitter.

I am a fan.

But something confounds me. I think something has changed with the terrific writer. Or perhaps, it has just taken me a while to notice. Perhaps my admiration got in the way of my perception. (which, in today’s world, is probably often true)

Her tweets are not exactly profound.

As a matter of fact, they consist mainly of the same thing:

Complaints.

Oh dear, how she complains. Nothing makes her happy. Everything displeases her. And there seems to be no tiny incident not worth her scorn. There is no sense of proportion. She is as upset that her hairdresser kept her waiting as she is outraged about sexual harassment. She doesn’t like the temperature in her hotel room. She’s angry at restaurants and hotels and cars and clothing.  And she can be ruthless and sometimes embarrassingly petty to anyone commenting on her posts.

How disappointed I am that she is not happy.

After all, she is a successful and renowned author. Shouldn’t that make her unceasingly happy?

How dare she be unhappy??

If she is unhappy, does that mean that if I become a successful and renowned author, I may also not be unceasingly happy?

I think I would be unceasingly happy.

It confuses me.

So I go back and reread her tweets. I reread hundreds of them.

I look for happy ones.

And I find some.

Actually, I find quite a few.

So I am confused again.

Why did I think ALL her posts were so angry and unpleasant?

I suppose it is because the angry ones stand out – not because she was disappointed, but because she disappointed ME.

How dare she be human?

From now on I am going to concentrate on the tweets that express her pure joy – and there are many – because they will bring joy to me.

And the petty, sad, irritated, angry tweets?

For those, I will comment once in a while, and risk her withering wrath.

What I will say:

“Oh, I’m so sorry. That must feel so bad!”

Come to think of it, I think I will say that to everyone feeling sad.

 

hepburn empathy2

 

 

 

25 Comments

  1. Reblogged this on NANMYKEL.COM and commented:
    Love it. My name is Nancy too.

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  2. Love it. I’m re-blogging. Thanks!

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  3. A good quote Nancy. Sometimes it does appear that all people do is complain and we may even give up trying to find some ‘happy bits’. Have had this personally, and just got fed up with never being able to do anything to please. Just one in hundreds, so I’m pretty confident it was not us!

    Like

    • This particular writer just complained on Twitter again. I feel bad for her. But I really don’t want to be subjected to endless complaints. But I admire her writing. The answer is just to stop following her on Twitter. So I guess I will.

      Liked by 1 person

      • But I will wait a bit and look for a positive tweet. I’m sure she will have one.

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      • It’s a shame when that happens.

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  4. Eileen Sinda

    Isn’t it funny how we tend to focus on the negative and not the positive. It takes so much more effort to say, “I am going to focus on the positive.” We actually have to make an effort to be positive. Focusing on the negative is a knee jerk reaction. Positivity requires commitment. Loved reading this piece this morning.

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    • Thanks.. It truly is harder to see the good than the bad. I think good stuff is often a lot more subtle – but it is there.

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  5. I too was moved by this quote and your comments. Thanks for the reminder!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I often feel the same way about the news. Good news is on page 5, bad news is the headline. I know the bad news sells but it also depresses. Unfortunately social media is such an easy way to vent. I try not to do it because it creates a negative picture of me. People start wandering what’s wrong with me that I’m not happy. Much better to talk about the great things in life. There are so many!

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    • Maybe this writer needs Twitter in order to vent… because she can do that with strangers and present a happier side to her friends. That would be a nice way to think about it.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Our negative thoughts and feelings often overwhelm us and others, it is easy to feel bad and can take work to be happy, I am generally speaking a happy woman

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    • I too am mostly happy. But we all have our moments, and I will try to be generous and allow that writer to have her bad moments too.

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  9. It seems social media has become a place to vent your smallest annoyances (as if anyone really cares!) The whiners and complainers have taken over; its one of the reasons I avoid Twitter and either block or skip past some posts from certain “Friends” on Facebook. If we all just focused on the positive in our tweets and posts and photos, it just might be contagious (in the same way that being negative becomes a black hole, sucking everyone else in) and the world would be a much better place!

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    • I see that too…. that social media is often used to complain. It’s kind of a shame, but I guess it also has its positive side… that people have an outlet to vent.

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  10. Pam

    I love words of wisdom quotes. You found a great one by Audrey Hepburn! Who would have thought?

    Like

    • I think Hepburn was a person who understood what was important in life and what was not.

      Like

  11. Really!! You reread people’s tweets? Hardly an appropriate thing to do. People write tweets based on impulses. Don’t think they give it much of a thought and so should you

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    • You’ve got a point, and I usually just skim. But I went back and re-read this person’s tweets to see if I could better understand her. And it was revealing – not only of her, but of myself. She had plenty of positive tweets, but the negative ones left a bigger impression on me. Why is that?

      Liked by 1 person

  12. this really made me think! thanks for sharing 🙂

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  13. Great Post. It’s crazy how we focus on the negative instead of positive.

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  14. Karron

    Sometimes we find our heroes really have feet of clay and wings of tin. And that is very disappointing because we expected more than average. It may be that tweeting is her outlet for her frustrations. I would hate to always have to be “on.” Having said that, being constantly negative makes everyone around you negative, even at the distance of social media. My grandmother always told me to smile, it makes folks wonder what you have been up to. Life is hard, even for the successful, or those we see as successful. Sometimes we just have to whine. But the good thing is that we can move past the frustrations and be joyous. Maybe she needs credit for being real and not her polished persona often expected. Petty though, that is just meanness.

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