The Elephant in the Room

I’m the type of person who appreciates order in my life. I wouldn’t say I’m the most adventuresome person in the world, and often find comfort in the familiar. That’s not say I like my life to be boring, but often I have found that when I veer of the path I have made for myself I get uncomfortable and don’t know what to do. When I’m in a thorny situation with other people I have found it’s best to talk about the elephant in the room instead of just ignoring it.

The other day as I was talking with my friend Preston over coffee, when I received a text out of the blue from another friend of mine, Eric. Eric and I were best friends in college and even for a while afterwards, it’s not that we never really stopped being friends we would just go a while without talking, and even longer without seeing each other. About a year ago before leaving the country for an extended amount of time he got engaged to his girlfriend. I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to plan on seeing him at their wedding, as I would inevitably be invited to their wedding, right? Wrong I was. A mutual friend of Eric and mine’s told me the wedding was planned for shortly after his return from abroad. I still had not received an invitation, and I didn’t even know anything about it directly from Eric himself.

The week of the wedding came and went without any invite, so when Eric called there was a bit of awkwardness to the conversation.  Not the least of which was because he was technically still on his honeymoon when he called. He explained that he and his bride were on their way home and were passing by my city and wanted to stop to have dinner with me.  As we enjoyed our beer and pizza things were not quite as awkward as I had imagined they would be. You’d think that three years would at least evoke a little hiccup in our relationship, but we picked up right where we left off. While things weren’t especially dicey I still had to address the elephant in the room, “You didn’t have room for me at your wedding?” I asked. He explained that between the fact that he was in Africa for a year and got married about a month after his return he just forgot to invite a lot of people, even some close friends. I was relieved to hear that, and the three of us decided a small dinner together was better quality time than attending a ceremony.

Not every sticky situation is easy to deal with though. I broke up with my last girlfriend a little over three years ago. Being who I am I made the situation more awkward and difficult than it really needed to be. I kind of brought it up out of the blue, and even then didn’t make it official. I told her I would call her back when I was ready to talk more about it. That turned into about a month and a half.  After I finally mustered up the courage to talk to her again, I explained things clearly and felt much better about the situation. I wouldn’t say I have many, if any, skeletons in my closet, but that month between talking came the closest. I was afraid to face this situation.

  • I was afraid to deal with something that was out of the ordinary.

I was afraid to stir the pot. I was afraid that addressing our differences and ending the relationship would not be seen as an act of love, but in reality not saying anything was far less loving. I’m glad I finally mustered up the courage to say something;

I wouldn’t say my life is perfect, but I’m glad I have found the courage to face tricky situations like these.

My point is not to say that dealing with these circumstances is easy, but it is necessary. Someone has to stand up and be bold enough to address tough issues, whether everyone likes it or not.

The examples I wrote about aren’t the worst, and I know there are many of you who have it far worse. If you want to have peace though you must face these obstacles that come into your path. Who knows, you might just gain a bit of courage along the way.

Written and Loved on by Alex Weiss