Living in a small town has its downsides; like, you always have the feeling you’re living in witness protection. It also has upsides: finally getting the much-promised NBN (that’s a biggie) and enjoying the riches that has to offer. As a person who runs a small business from home, I get to choose my rest periods. Trust me, living in the country, basically on a disused farm, I need my quality rest periods, and frequently.
My relaxation of choice these days is watching “rom-coms" and “chick-flicks" on Netflix. Yeah, ok, say what you will, but these do actually reflect certain real-life situations happening out there. Some, annoyingly closer than you’d like. They are good for a laugh and are calorie-free as an indulgence, right? They also serve as no-brainers wherein one can think and make decisions, oddly enough.
I recently saw a movie featuring characters whose ruthlessness led one woman to pack up and leave town. Drastic and so expensive, these days. While I certainly was on the receiving end of Mean Girl antics in high school, I have pretty much abandoned the idea that after a certain age, women (and some men) would behave better. Er, wrong! With the day to day issues of running a small bespoke, luxury goods business, managing what amounts to a shelter for rescue cats, life is way too off the rails to be courted by real-life Mean Girls.
One good thing about going through a lot of the bad stuff, is that you figure out what matters. Seriously, when you think of the number of unwanted cats and dogs that need rescue, (and kids for that matter!) when so many people in the world are struggling just to keep a roof over their heads, the antics of a few self-righteous, judgmental and basically spoiled desperate housewives, is something that needs to be ignored and purged from one’s reality. And while one would like the resources to travel much more, one has cultivated great friendships with a small number of like-minded, strong people, who call a spade a shovel and take no shit.
Another good thing about going through bad stuff is that, as any bad-stuff survivor will tell you, you learn who your real friends are. You learn that they are few and far between. They’re the ones who have your back: they will know your sense of humour and run with it; they will know when you are joking and when you are serious. They are not desperately seeking attention and praise all the time. They are not furiously paddling the wheels of passive-aggressiveness. They will not decide to take a general comment and make it all about themselves. They will know that you have nothing to offer besides your friendship.
Another thing is that one should not need to be lulled, bribed or cajoled into a friendship. While getting gifts is always lovely, it’s the coffee dates, lunch dates and just hanging-out evenings that make life richer. So much more than elbowing one’s way up the small town pseudo-intelligentsia, rich-bitch collective or middle-aged yummy-mummy food chain, ever could.