The words we choose say a lot about the kind of person we've become.
When talking to friends, family, even strangers, our conversation and disposition reflect our insides like a crystal clear, well lit mirror.
Years ago, my words and attitude implied confidence, jaded aggression and inflated ego. I was in my mid 20s, working in an incredibly stressful profession and coping with somewhat empty relationships and heavy drinking.
It was medicine that I thought made me more fun, more relaxed and easily entertained.
In reality, I was bored, approaching burnout and flailing in the waters of aloneness. My reckless behavior after hours was paired with egotistical grandstanding and bravado in the office. My false confidence cloaked a variety of insecurities about my talents, my appearance, my abilities.
I wasn't a very nice person.
The television news business is akin to a sailor ship, and I fit in with the best of 'em. I'd tell people to "Fuck off" if they didn't comply with my orders or failed to perform quickly/proficiently/to my satisfaction.
I'd issue demands to my fellow news colleagues, saying it was for the good of the show and the news operation. Because of my title (and the competitive nature of the industry), most people willingly complied.
I'm sure there was a nicer way I could have asked some folks to do their job. I'm sure I didn't always demonstrate that nicer way.
Flash forward a few years. Maturity sets in with life experience. Unexpected opportunities and heartbreaks put the big picture in perspective.
I've mellowed, I've accepted, I've gained a better sense of reality.
Swear words rarely cross my lips, and these days I make a point of profusely thanking people for their kind deeds or the work they do to compliment my own projects.
Sure, I've occasionally fallen into the trap that is called snarky, but by in large I try to live with an open heart and mind and only kindness in my words.
Man, snarky can be fun. It feels good when we say something that makes everyone chuckle or roll their eyes or respond.
Doesn't it feel great when people think you're funny?
Humor has a way of making us each an easy mark. Go ahead. Make fun of my hands with their chewed off nails. Some of the clothes I wear? They've probably got a target on 'em. Some of the stuff I do? Yeah, I bet you can find the humor in that, too.
Snarky can sometimes cross the line to bold faced, blatantly, intentionally mean.
And that's the kind of stuff I really try to avoid.
When we pick someone to shreds because we think it's funny, that reveals there's a lot more beneath the surface.
Humor with an intent to hurt makes me question the source's motives. It makes me question the source's insecurities.
It makes me think about how that person is likely dealing with some of the same old issues I weathered ten years ago.
I'm grateful for all of the challenges I've fought through in the past decade. They've made me stronger, and they've given me the right to only care about the stuff and people who really matter.
Adversity is a gift.
And I'm choosing my words carefully.
Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.