Sometimes you have to hear something over and over before it sinks in.

When talking with a mentor about something that caught me by surprise, leaving me hurt and confused, she urged me to, “Write this down.” Eager to please, I reached for the nearest pad of sticky notes and pen, ready to jot down something that I was sure was going to change my life. “Sometimes it’s not you, it’s them.” It would take years for me to understand what she meant.

As a people pleaser, I tend to take everything personally. I overthink too many things. Sometimes I’ll replay things in hopes that, if I do it enough, it will somehow change the present outcome. Other times I’ll think I’m over something, only to have a memory resurface and feel like I’m back at square one. I will say one of the benefits of getting older is realizing I don’t have to own other people’s junk. And neither do you.

Earlier this week I had “one of those days.” Think car A/C issues amidst triple digit temps, a health complication that won’t go away, and technology troubles that left me in tears. Even my dogs are having issues, and I lost it on the way to the vet when a driver cut me off. I’d like to think on a typical day it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. But that day, everything felt like a big deal. So I did the only thing I could think of – honk. Not a minute passed before I started overthinking the honk. Not two minutes passed before I realized, “Sometimes it’s not you, it’s them.” I’m the them this time. But I hope that driver also knows, “Sometimes it’s not you, it’s them.”