I'm like a sponge. I don't retain information like a whiz kid, as handy as that would've been handy for law school. I'm not easily influenced by other people's personalities or opininions. I'm a sponge in the sense that I soak up the highs and lows of other people's lives and end up water logged. On my best day I hope it manifests as real compassion. At my worst I can be nosy and controlling. Everyone knows this situation. You feel deeply for someone you love that's hurting. You watch them stumble to get back on their feet. Sometimes you watch them take the easy road that leads to nothing. Nothing--and it hurts you. Sometimes you have the privilege of watching someone discover their own ability to survive and hopefully thrive. Sometimes you watch like a game show audience as someone chooses what's behind curtain two, when you know that curtain one contains the highest prize.
It's hard on me. It's hard to watch someone make a mistake, or what I believe to be a mistake. It's hardest of all to let it go and just hope that it all works out. Ultimately, it's my own problem. I've thought that one of my best qualities as a friend is my ability to get down in the trenches with someone. I think maybe I was wrong. I'm gonna try, for now, to only go along for ups and not worry so much about other people's downs, at least beyond the point that I have any influence. I'm going to let other people's problems be their own. Maybe this supposed strength was really a weakness. I'm going to try to stop wrining my hands worrying about other people and start wringing out the gunk I've soaked up that wasn't mine to begin with.
This may be a terrible idea. Hopefully no other sponge is out there soaking this up and realizing my mistake before I do.