Sara Beth Times- I'm jumping off the drama train

Sara Beth Wald

I am not by nature a dramatic person, which I used to think was some sort of character flaw.
People respond to drama. If someone is making a scene, or making a statement, or crying in public, or laughing loudly, or talking with great expression, that’s who we notice.
Some people are effusive and dramatic in all the right ways. It is a healthy expression of an extroverted personality, and we love them for it.
But because drama distracts us from the quiet of our own minds, it is used by some to manipulate.
I still sometimes get sucked into other people’s drama. Once you invite drama into your life, no matter how unwelcome, it becomes very difficult to remove.
More times than I can count I’ve felt like I was riding on someone else’s speeding drama train. Because my brain isn’t wired for dramatics, it is disorienting and confusing.
The drama masters keep us on board by staying in constant motion. They know that if they slow down for even a moment, we will get our bearings and find the nearest exit.
So it’s always something. Even before one drama is wrapping up there is another starting.
Sometimes life has real drama – good and bad, happy and sad. Illness, death, divorce, financial struggles. Graduations, weddings, the birth of a child.
These incidents of regular life are bonus tracks for the conductors of the drama train. They are like rocket fuel for an already runaway freighter.
But even when there is no naturally occurring drama, the train never stops. While the drama master feels energized, everyone else feels dizzy and terrified to alight.
It took me a long time to realize that being trapped by circumstance is only an illusion.
The truth is every life has its own rails to follow, regardless of our temperament. Every soul is a vessel for its own voyage.
We always have the option to jump off whatever train we’re on, whether it is ours or someone else’s.
Sometimes change happens organically. Sometimes the train slows to a stop at a scheduled station and you step off on solid ground.
Sometimes the train keeps racing forward, ever faster, and the only option is to leap off in the dark, maybe towards rushing water or quicksand, but maybe towards meadows and fireflies.
Others on the train may hang on tight to the back of your shirt, desperately trying to keep you from jumping. Your leaving disrupts the balance, even when the balance was never in their favor.
It’s hard to leave our fellow passengers. Misery loves company, after all.
But maybe your courage will inspire others to make their own leaps of faith. Or maybe not. And maybe that will be sad for both of you forever.
Nobody said it was going to be easy.
But one thing is certain. If you get on that drama train, whether it is your own or someone else’s, a crash is inevitable.
If you’re going to crash (and we all do from time to time), better to total your own train than be destroyed by someone else’s crisis.
Lay your own tracks. Be your own conductor.
Own your journey, and make it a peaceful one.

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