Am I defeatist?

Am I defeatist
Blossom tree

This is a weird post to be sat writing, especially as I’m on about draft three million. In fact, when I started trying to write this last week, I ended up brain dumping everything onto the page and making so little sense that I was questioning whether I could even write any more. It turns out that was (hopefully) a blip.

Personal posts are always difficult to write but I’m hoping at least someone will read it and think ‘yeah, actually, I get that’. If not... well, let’s just hope for the best.

Recently, I experienced something that made me feel defeatist, and that’s something I never believed I was. It’s weird how a situation can throw up a whole new personality trait you never knew you had, isn’t it?

On a Saturday morning recently, I was due to drive home from my flat in Leeds to my home town of York and that morning as I approached my car (also known as Polly – yes, I named my car, no I am not ashamed) I was greeted with a pile of broken glass. My car had been broken into and my sat nav had been stolen. Excellent. After a call to register the incident with the police, I scraped as much glass out of the car as I could and set about a chilly drive back down the A64 to the garage.

It was then that I made the decision that this was something I just had to let go.

With no CCTV or any evidence, there wasn’t anything anyone could do to trace who did it and I simply had to accept that I would be footing the bill for the repairs. But I told myself that it’s a piece of glass and a sat nav. It’s not a person. Cars can be fixed, but people can’t always be put back together so easily. The important thing is that nobody got hurt. Right?

It was the outrage of my friends and family that really shed light for me on how unjust this situation is. How it’s not fair - yet I was sat there accepting it. I was sucking it up and paying the price for someone else’s crime. I was left feeling that my space, my possessions, had been violated and that my home suddenly wasn’t as safe any more, but I wasn’t doing anything about it.  

Being defeatist just isn’t in my nature. I’ve always been the person who will argue the toss for what is right, I hate seeing people get away with wrong-doings and I’m proud to be the kind of person Piers Morgan would refer to as a ‘rabid feminist’. So this was an alien feeling to me. It felt wrong that I wasn’t filled with anger at the little shit who smashed my car window and stole a sat nav which is held together by blu tac.*

But the thing is, sometimes, shit happens. And it’s shit that we can’t change. Nobody gains from me being angry and hanging onto something I can’t do anything about. It might be defeatist and that’s not an attitude I would advocate when there’s a chance that things can go differently, but in this case? Actually, it’s OK to let it go and rise above it. It took a while for me to realise that accepting that I can’t change something doesn’t mean I’m being defeated by a situation and this is something I’m hoping I can apply to myself in the future.

So, if, like me, you come up against something where nothing you can do will change it, don’t beat yourself up for just drawing a line under it and moving on. If there’s even a tiny flickering light at the end of the tunnel that could be a way out, fight for it, but if not, it may just be time to accept it and leave it there. Please let me know in the comments if you’ve been in this situation and if you think I did the right thing, I’d be really interested to hear.

*More fool them, that sat nav hasn’t been updated in years and it’s more than likely that it will take them down roads that don’t exist. Preferably on a route that takes them off a cliff. 

1 comment

  1. 'yeah, actually, I get that'
    I really do. Sometimes, all that's to be gained by getting angry is stressing yourself out, and that doesn't help anyone.
    It really sucks, and I'm sorry about what happened to you and your car, it really isn't fair - but if you hadn't accepted it, it wouldn't have made a material difference and you've have been more unhappy.
    I do hope it takes them off a cliff though!