Healthy Gamer

Revenge is a dish best left unserved.

revenge“I’m gonna get myself in fighting trim. Scope out every angle of unfair advantage. I’m gonna bribe the officials. I’m gonna kill all the judges. It’s gonna take you people years to recover from all of the damage.” – from “Up the Wolves” by The Mountain Goats

So in yesterday’s player hating parade, I delved into the sting of rejection by the opposite sex. This is a topic I’ve ruminated on for a number of weeks in regards to the way Healthy Gamer is going, which got me thinking oddly enough about the seven deadly sins. I also blame Seven Sisters for that. 

What's Agricola, precious?
What’s Agricola, precious?

Many of them don’t darken my doorstep. Sloth doesn’t enter the equation anywhere. I’m more active in every aspect of my life than I have been at any other point. I’ve never been particularly materialistic (except maybe for my board games) so Avarice didn’t really apply. Gluttony was never my vice and I grow more appalled by it daily. Envy isn’t my bag. For whatever issues I may have, I kinda love my life and being me.

Which leaves Pride, Wrath and Lust, and the four of us are locked arm in arm skipping down the yellow brick road.

As I’ve mentioned before, when the relationship end that catalyzed my determination for change occurred, I was a wreck. After the initial shock wore off and I was able to stand up, I needed something to fill the void left by her departure. The current incarnation of Pretty Sneaky, Sis was born as something to help this. I poured energy into creating rather than destroying.

I was gaining momentum, losing weight, taking charge…and I was headed in the opposite direction that I needed to. In the wake of this (and another ended relationship albeit a much shorter one) my hurt and my anger fueled a quest for revenge. Someday, I vowed, they would look back upon what I had become, what they had left behind, and despair.

For someone with such a history of self-image issues, this is a  shocking amount of arrogance. I was hellbent on revenge via fitness… which is pretty self-contradictory. You use bad ingredients, you get bad outcomes. It’s really that simple.

Underneath all of this is a connection between how those of us with weight issues view those without. We tend to get trapped in the “If I were just thinner I’d be hot and everyone would like/love/want me” thought pattern.

So when our fitness efforts really begin to get noticeable results, we feel entitled to that kind of treatment from others…and resent it when we don’t get it.

We’ve made weight THE problem and the way we explained away relationship problems for so long it is hard to accept that there was likely much more than that going on.

Which brings me back to the failed relationships. After much reasoning, rationalization and difficult introspection, I recognized that poor communication was ultimately to blame for their demise. Not strictly my weight, although I’m still hard pressed to think that it didn’t play some part. 

This is not an argument for shaming or acceptance or any of those causes. Be who you are, it’s the only person you can be, and you’re the only one who will ever get to be you. But be happy doing it. And if you’re not happy, then it’s up to you to fix that.

Change, real change, is hard. It takes a kind of  perseverance that I’m not convinced a lot of people have. It’s difficult, at times you’ll feel like everything you’re working for is pointless and that nothing is changing, but it is. And more importantly, you’re worth it. All two of you reading this, you AND you, are wonderful. I can tell because you’re reading Pretty Sneaky, Sis.

I once read that “being a better person than you were the day before is the only goal worth having” and I believe it. If you’re going to change, understand the true nature of what you are asking yourself, and the real reasons behind it. Do it for the right reasons. Because you’re awesome. Not for anyone else, and not for revenge.  

When John Darnielle was asked about the meaning of the song I quoted in the beginning, he had the following to say, which I feel is an appropriate closing statement: 
 
“I’m always trying to figure out what to say about this god damn song. Part of me wants to say look it’s about revenge, but as soon as I say that… no, that’s not quite it. Part of me wants to say it’s about the satisfaction of not needing revenge… and I say no, that’s some New Age stuff. I think it’s a song about the moment in your quest for revenge when you learn to embrace the futility of it. The moment where you know the thing you want is ridiculous and pompous and a terrible thing to want anyway. The direction in which you’re headed is not the direction you want to go.”

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2 thoughts on “Revenge is a dish best left unserved.

  1. I enjoyed reading your blog. I too have had trouble with my past few relationships. When they ended I felt as if I needed to show my ex-significant others that I was better and they were not. I spent so much time in my head fighting with myself trying to find something that could pull me back up on my feet. All I found is that I need to better myself for myself and that’s it. No one else needs to know or see. I actually went far enough as to delete them from friend lists on my Facebook and Instagram. Completely barricading me from them so I can only see the self improvement. All I’ve got to say is so far so good, I’m happy now and that’s because I choose to be.

    1. Hi Taylor,

      I think it’s pretty natural. Or maybe I think that because it seems normal to me, but “normal” is a pretty subjective thing, and our definitions may vary.

      In the end though, that negative energy is really only useful for kickstarting your recovery and then quickly abandoned. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in “winning” there that you stay blind to the notion that…well, they don’t care. They’re not paying attention. They’ve moved on. You’re showing off to an empty room. And even if they *did* pay attention, what it really says is that you made the choice to obsess over revenge, even if the end result was (attempted) self-improvement. Is that something that you’d be proud of? If you heard a friend tell you about someone else doing that, would you think that person was crazy? Spoiler Alert: s/he is. Don’t be that guy. The idea of “being better” than someone else runs a high risk of poisoning the purpose of what you’re doing. The only person that needs to see you be happy is you. And in my experience, when you are at your best, the world rises to your level.

      You got better without them and don’t even need them to see it. It may not have a very revenge-y feeling, but I can’t think of a better one. Thanks for reading!

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