The Awesome Support System

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Life is a troll.

Most of the time, it stays perfectly still under the proverbial bridge and lets you walk on unscathed. But just when you're about to start whistling your way into the other side, Life decides to bushwhack you. It launches itself into the air and does a perfect-ten landing on your face.

Life, believe me, is a smart troll, for it waits ever so patiently for the right moment to remind you that your existence is nothing but a running joke God is telling your side of the Universe.

There are, however, times when you get lucky enough to outwit Life - but these only happen because Life gets a little too slack (it has to, so there'll be more tension next time). I've found that the only fool-proof way to get the better of Life is to gang-up. Recruit. Establish an Awesome Support System (or A.S.S.) and show that troll you're a running joke well-worth repeating.

The Awesome Support System is sort of like an entourage. Unlike the latter, however, they are not just a bunch of yes-men. They will not fight your battles for you, because they understand the importance of having a sense of self-sufficiency. They will not coddle you, because they're well aware that Life spits at the face of sissies. Their purpose is to encourage, to keep you on your feet and to let you keep crossing the Bridge. They will do their best to offer you advice, although most of the time, you'll just end up laughing at how clueless all of you are. They will not hold it against you when you make a mistake, but will be brutally forthright when you cross the line. Their motivation speeches are riddled with passive-aggressive comments, but you'll feel better notwithstanding. They will set aside their diet and have brunch with you on a Sunday and patiently hear out everything you have to say. They will tirelessly reply to every instant message, every email, every SMS, even during work hours, making the entire ordeal of sitting directly underneath the AC a little less agonizing. They will tell you the most hackneyed of cliches, like "follow your heart" and "whatever makes you happy", and you know they mean every single word. They will claim that you're a fool, or that something is very wrong with you, or you're a special kind of crazy, but will love you all the same. They will keep believing in you when you no longer feel like believing in yourself.

Your support system will make or break you. Surround yourself with the wrong kind of people and Life will surely be all giggly and smug at your string of endless misery. When you go about recruiting for your A.S.S., you should never sacrifice quality over quantity. Avoid putting yourself in the position of having identified too many people as your support system then being disappointed later on because you weren't able to maintain the necessary "connection", or that they didn't really qualify as "awesome" in the first place. It doesn't matter if you only have a handful on your team as long as They. Are. Awesome. When you abide by this simple rule, not only do you have fewer responsibilities (the kind that comes with caring for others and having others care about you), you also have the privilege of having the best kind of people around you.

And when you have the best manning your periphery, you don't have to worry as much about the antics of a troll, or any of its reasonable facsimile.

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