Giving up on what I don’t have and coping with not getting
I am 33 and I still can’t get to grips with not being able to get what I want. It’s a bitter pill to swallow- denial, restraint, temptation, abstinence, elusiveness or off-limits. Can’t touch this. I am having to work on reconciling myself to the unpalatable reality that I am coveting something that is not on offer to me.
It’s quite the tease, and I’m not the model of self-control. I have to be exposed to this temptation on a daily basis and it leaves me pining and inclined to sulk or have an ‘I want it’ temper tantrum complete with hyperventilating and tears and a red face.
The risks are huge and the consequences of my unhappy will being met are ugly. I should give up my fantasy of getting satisfaction on this one. And in the meantime, I should transfer my interests to a different brand of candy. Preferrably the type that is for sale.
At the tender age of 4 or thereabouts, I threw a tantrum in a supermarket aisle when my parents refused me ‘confectionery’, candy or some such. I rolled around on the floor before all aghast shoppers screaming, reeling and writhing, foaming at the mouth in a fit of frustration that what I wanted I did not get. Delayed gratification was lost on me.
Today, if I pulled that old tantrum act in the office, I’m not sure it would be the victory it was then. I learnt then, my parents tell me, that ‘No’ usually more or less meant ‘No.’ As adults we need to qualify the yes or no with possibilities and their consequences. Black or white is usually grey or dusty white, a murky dirty hinterland of degrees of sin. When the barriers are not imposed for the good of your teeth or to control hyperactivity, but for your moral rectitude and code of conduct (for the workplace) it is still no easier to accept going without. Hierarchy and status are no longer as rigid as in the days of yore though, so why can’t I bend the situation to meet my will?
Just maybe if I smile sweetly enough, wear strong enough perfumes and highlight my sleepy but Arabian eyes, I’ll find that where there is a will there is a way, and my obstinacy, steadfastness and ambition will pay off on the career ladder to ‘success’.