Cape Gazette
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The power of one word

By Kitt Parker | Jun 03, 2014

“I’ve been down, but never on my knees. I see the forest for the trees,” By Your Side, The Black Crowes

The word disappointment is a word that keeps popping up in my life. I have used it, I have been called it, I have felt it and my friends have felt it. It got me thinking, what is it about that word that hurts so much? It is just a simple word, but it can cut you to the core. Is it because of the feelings it brings up? Do you count on those feelings when you direct it toward someone else? When is the correct time to use it and when is it just too harsh a word to speak?

When I made significant changes to my life and my plan for the future, I was called a disappointment. Now this hurt. Not because these people thought this of me, but because before getting the full story they immediately thought the worse. There was no discussion, no hearing me out. It didn’t matter that I was finally taking control of my life, all that mattered was cutting me down and talking about me behind my back. Some of the people eventually apologized, but the damage was still done. I knew deep down how these people felt. Many were the same that never really understood my starving artist lifestyle. It is true that you shouldn’t worry about what others think of you, but it is never that easy, especially when it comes from friends and family. How would Laura Bush handled this situation? How would she still remain kind and classy in the face of such negativity? I was desperately trying to use her as inspiration when all I wanted to do was crawl in bed and cry. So what did I do? Well, I got back up. I took a few days to myself, got myself together and then dusted myself off and continued with my plan. I would prove them wrong and I would show the world that I wasn’t defeated. And so far it has been working. I am marking things off my list and getting my life on track thanks in huge part to supportive friends and phone dates. I still struggle with remaining classy around certain people who told me I was a disappointment, but I am just limiting my time with them. They can think the worst of me but that doesn’t mean anyone will believe them. How they act and what they say is a reflection on them, not me.

I have used the word a lot lately as well. I have felt disappointment from many people. People have let me down. It is a sad fact, but no one is perfect. It hurts when someone lets you down. When your close friends and family just don’t seem to be there for you anymore, it hurts. I am blessed to have close friends that are there, but they can’t take away all the pain others have caused. Others that never contact you. Others that don’t take a second to send a simple text to ask what’s up? It is true they could say the same about me, but the difference is, at least I tried. Eventually even I stop. Years of friendship down the drain, going forward I only make time for those who make time for me. Laura Bush may not say it that bluntly, but I am sure that even she had to let people go. Sometimes it is just simply because you outgrew each other. Sometimes people don’t want to be bothered or can’t handle the issue at the moment. And sometimes it is me. Sometimes maybe I am no longer useful in a person’s life. In true Laura Bush fashion I will always remain kind and sometimes walking away is the kindest thing someone can do. I will miss them.

Life is stressful for most people. I have some close friends that are feeling poorly and think themselves a disappointment. Some, like myself, have been called it. Being Laura Bush around these people is a no brainer. I don’t even have to ask myself how she would handle it, I know. She would be there for them, and I am. I know the pain of feeling this way. I know what they are going through. Our situations may be different, but knowing disappointment is a universal theme. I may not always have the right thing to say to them, but I never ignore a text or phone call. I love knowing that these people know they can count on me. It makes me realize that I am not a disappointment, that I am a good person, I am Laura Bush-ish.

So as I continue down this path I have set out on I am going to try to remember three things: One — to use the word disappointment sparely; Two — to not let what others think or say about me get to me; And three — to always ask, what would Laura Bush do?

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