I’m here to tell you, sticking around is worth it.
Think of it this way: if you want an apple tree in your yard, you have to plant an apple seed –or a sapling– in the yard and wait for it to grow. You have to stick it out through worm infestations, dry spells, broken branches and possible flooding. You will never have apples straight from your own yard unless you plant and care for the tree. Spending time somewhere, in a community, friendship, relationship, career, is an investment, and if you don’t stick around then you’re not going to reap anything.
No matter how cute and fluffy your pet may be, no matter how much you like your pajamas, no matter how peaceful it is to cut off the rest of the world, giving in to fear and solitude will pale in comparison to sowing something, waiting a while and reaping something awesome.
Sticking around will eventually require something, though, something we are not very familiar or comfortable with these days. Sticking around takes sacrifice. It takes guts; it takes selflessness. At some point you’re going to have to take a step back and decide you want to stay in the situation. And eight times out of ten, you’ll be happy you stuck through it, even to just come out the other side stronger and more experienced.
You can’t spend your whole life running from failure. Fail sometimes. Stick around. It’s worth it.
Anytime you’re dealing with people, conflict arises. It’s inevitable. Remember though, conflict is central to a good story, and life would be way too boring without it. When it happens, just use a little tact.
There’s a trick to tactfully being nice and still saying what needs to be said, and that’s not compromising what you mean to convey by trying to save face. It’s nice to be nice, but no one likes fake.
Don’t get caught with your head in the clouds expecting social nuances to make up for lack of actual communication. Authenticity is back in style, and to be authentic we have to say what we mean and mean what we say. That doesn’t mean saying mean things, even if you mean it. It’s still nice to be nice, but faking it gets you nowhere that really means anything.
You can still care without getting personally offended over things that have nothing to do with you. And sometimes, you have to step over the offence to get to common ground.
At the end of the day, when the turmoil is settled and the sun has set, your apple tree will still be growing unless you cut it down. They get sweeter with each passing year.
Sinclaire Sparkman is The Democrat’s news editor. Email her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @wilsoncoreports.