During my final semester in college, I quit my retail job and went to work as a bartender—something that was on my bucket list. As a foodie, I wanted to learn how to craft and serve some of the best cocktails in town.
While the hours were rough and the work was difficult, it was a really fun job. I wanted to be the bartender I would like if I were on the other side of the bar: fast and correct. Friendly? I’m not concerned about it. Flirty? Don’t waste your time.
However, many of my managers in the service industry disagreed with me—they wanted me to be flirty, fun, and friendly.
But here’s the problem with that: people don’t get it. In my few attempts at being smiley toward my regular customers, they would ask for my number, ask me on dates—none of which I was comfortable with.
So now we have the oh-so-fun awkward situation. Because they still come into the bar, they still want to talk, and they want to know why you didn’t reply their 37 text messages.
Over the years, I’ve learned that being kind isn’t always the answer. In fact, it often gets me into more trouble than how I started.
I do not consider myself a public figure. However, I’ve put myself out there as a relationship columnist, a radio personality; I have a very personal yet public blog, three books, I perform personal poetry at a public venue, and I recently accepted another job that will put my words in front of a new, public audience (details next week)—most of the time, it’s easy.
But there are times when readers and/or listeners feel like they know me. And hey, I’ve been there (John Mayer, call me!). But, sometimes, enough is enough.
I’ve learned my lesson about being nice—it often reads as something different, and makes the situation worse. So, I’m learning to be upfront with people, even if it might sting. I don’t want to waste anyone’s time.
Right now, I’m really focused on my work. By work, I mean this blog, my blog class, my books, my podcast, my poetry, and my upcoming projects. The work I put out is absolutely for everyone to read and listen to, and I don’t want to send the wrong message here—I love hearing about anyone and everyone who has related to me.
But please, please don’t take advantage of me. This blog is public so that everyone can have access to my stories. And often, those stories aren’t pretty. I’m not someone that’s quite ready for love. So, don’t push me in a corner; don’t bullshit me, and I won’t bullshit you.
When I say I’m not ready, I mean I’m not fucking ready. When I tell you I’m suffocated, it means go away. When I say there is nothing to discuss, it means leave me alone, please. Enough is enough, and frankly, I’ve had enough.
“Part of being a winner is knowing when enough is enough. Sometimes you have to give up the fight and walk away, and move on to something that’s more productive.”