Thursday, June 26, 2008

Stepping back to step forward

Inspiration comes from anywhere--this we know. For me, it's typically fashion-related; the way a hemline falls, a combination of patterns, or a well-placed and off-beat accessory--these things can ignite my imagination. But today, inspiration struck from the unlikeliest of places: an argument.

As ChiffonCupcake said, I'm out West studying for a few months. Amid my melancholy stupor at the thought of leaving CC, I managed to get my act together long enough to find a sublet for my room--or so I thought.

To spare you (and myself) the long and painful story: I got ripped off. Subtenant moved in. Subtenant did not pay. I spent weeks trading angry emails and phone calls, lost hours worth of sleep, and worst of all, wasted far too much of my precious study time. Instead of focusing on my textbooks, I focused on getting this woman to pay.

Exhausted and distraught, I called my mother. I explained to her how exploited I felt and I pleaded for her to help me plot my next scheme.

My mother, bless her heart, calmy said, "Don't be Hillary Clinton."

"What?" I asked, confused.

"Don't be Hillary Clinton," she repeated. "What's the bigger picture, here? What is your main objective? I think it's for you to get the best education--and right now, you're not getting it because you're too busy chasing after a lost cause. In fact, you're wasting time, energy, and money trying to get this woman, who is clearly not going to pay you, to pay you."

And she was right. I was just like Hillary. Hillary was too busy trying to win the nomination that she kept pouring money and resources into a campaign destined to fail, even jeopardizing the unity of the Democratic Party in the process. Though it was clear to many that Barack was going to clinch the nomination, Hillary was too entrenched in the trenches to see it herself.

In my case, it was about recognizing that, and I'm paraphrasing here, "A crazy bitch will always be a crazy bitch", and knowing when to direct my energies elsewhere. I should have cut my losses. Should have looked for the bigger picture.

And so here I am, inspired to share this perspective with you: sometimes, you have to step back to step forward.