least evil

A few months ago, an old friend called me the “least evil person” they know. It was in a chat full of former coworkers, many of whom previously reported to me (including the person who said it). I’d used the 😈 emoji about convincing a coworker to come work with me for a third time, and everyone thought it was a pretty funny response. I laughed it off but I believe he really meant it. I keep thinking about it.

Especially right now, in the midst of a pretty serious trial. I’ve spent days thinking thru a pretty complex situation. I’ve identified my options, and found the words to communicate them to other people (never a simple task, for me). I figured out the right from wrong; the difficult path from the easy one. I don’t have any confidence there’s a “win” scenario for me on the right path; I think I’m completely screwed, frankly. But the other one looks like my idea of hell.

Maybe that’s what they meant.

My friend’s words give me a lot of anxiety to not mess up. They make me pensive about all the times I think I did. But mostly they give me the confidence to walk alone for a little while when I must; to sacrifice some things to preserve that when I must. The loneliness of those moments is crushing and overwhelming, but ultimately fleeting. The rewards of staying the course are distant and ambiguous, but everything.