Posted by: chance47 | 01/15/2010

For want of Christina Yang

I am typically not an “old adage” or “sage proverb” kind of person.  But more often than not lately, I keep coming back to one particular little collection of thoughts.

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

I have a tendency to let little things fester and become larger, more infectious things.   The kinds of things that cause great upheaval in my daily emotional life and, more importantly, my digestive life (see:  anxious pooper).  It’s a strange form of doormat-itis because I am all too aware of what I am doing at that moment but never think it will end in ultimate calamity. For the want of a nail the shoe was lost. But I don’t think about how giving up the shoe will lead to my horse running away and me wanting a new job or life or somehow failing and my horse moves back to Southern Indiana…the metaphor is escaping me so hold on.

I think that it is easier to acquiesce one time than cause a big stir.  But one time turns to two and two to three and three to five-hundred and forty-seven, until eventually I’m flattened, pressed neatly into an emotional pancake by my own passive (and sometimes aggressive) behavior.

Case in point.  My job.   I make no bones about my frustrations with my job, but I cannot honestly say that I am without blame.   There have been moments at my current position where I should have spoken up, dissented, or, at the very least, asked “why” something was occurring the way it was.  But each time I said nothing.   Setting a precedent that I am the most “go-with-the-flow” person possible.  I keep thinking, sane, rational people will not take advantage of this.  But then again…when are things or people often sane or rational?  And so on and so on…until one day…my entire world is one huge passive mess of  tangled frustration (oy…that phrase is weighty).

I need to be more like Christina Yang.  Yes, I realize I am aspiring to be a fictional female doctor vying for surgical brilliance, but I keep going back to her as my aggressive mascot.  For the 14 people like me with actual taste who still watch “Grey’s Anatomy”, for some reason, or at least to the majority of people who used to watch it, you know what a delight her character is.  While the show itself has gone majorly downhill, she is the reason I keep coming back (well her and Bailey and yes, even Meredith Grey…more on her at a later date).   I can’t find another character out there right now who stirs such a positive response in me.  And while she has her flaws, I marvel at her strengths (and seriously…give Sandra Oh her fucking Emmy already…the woman is a genius and deserves more praise than she has been heaped with).

She’s confident, intelligent, and doesn’t let her emotions get the best of her.  OR at least when they do, she has the presence of mind to know what’s in her way (STUPID EMOTIONS) and does whatever it takes to get them out of her.    Now, I know you could say, what about Bailey?  She has it all, career, family and people don’t find her rude or unmanageable like Christina, but that’s just it…I need people to see I can have fangs if I want to.  Just because I’m nice, just because I back down from time to time doesn’t mean I won’t snap (and in the cut ‘ya way, not the lock me up in a padded room way).  Dr. Yang is a bit of a robot at times, but I think I need that more.  I need that steely exterior and the determination of a machine, because this jelly that is my exoskeleton just ain’t cuttin’ it. I need that Yang assertiveness.  That kind of way of speaking where you can tell someone what is going to happen or how you see things without it being argumentative, but how it simply is.  Or when necessary the ability to level with people without seeming like a know-it-all.  Or, even better, how to be the toughest person in the room so everyone else shuts up.   I honestly don’t think I have ever done that.

So I’m trying to channel her more in my life (or at least thinking about what she would say in an instance, even if I don’t actually say it).  The crux is…I was raised to be polite and somewhere along the way I have construed that into a mentality that says it is better to burden myself than to contradict or impede the progress of others.  Even if their “progress” leads to the death of a kingdom (see:  previously mentioned adage; really mixing metaphors here).

Perhaps if I can take a cue from Christina Yang and just barrel through the bullshit in my life a bit more, shoot people down from time to time, go after what I want even if it isn’t mutually beneficial to someone else, then I’d at least feel more in control of my situation.   But its the initial instance I back away from…so many people are accustomed to seeing me react to a situation in a certain way.  If I change all at once…will they think I’m mean?  Will they hold it against me?  Or, an even greater fear of mine, will they counteract with twice as much aggression as I have somehow feebly manager to muster and ruin my moment of glory.

So its stewing…I’m working on it.  If I someday lash out at you unexpectedly, tell me to watch a little more Grey’s Anatomy and take better notes next time.

The brilliance of Doctor Yang:


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