Yep, the above headline and subhead refers to yours truly. Some who read this may be snickering with former knowledge of this, or nodding your head vigorously in agreement. To you I offer up a heartfelt apology. I donât know what I was thinking. Actually, brainpower probably didnât have much involvement. I have no excuses and Iâm sorry for my behavior.
A flake is defined in the Urban Dictionary as: (n.) An unreliable person; someone who agrees to do something, but never follows through.
And that was me at one point (honestly, more like several) in my young life. If being late were a sport, I would have received a gold medal. Donât ask me where I got this dangerously casual attitude; this is decidedly not one of those emo moments where blaming my poor parents would nip this less than desirable character trait in the bud. Wherever it came from, it got me fired from my first college play (âI have no use for you,â the director said, and that was that. Welcome to life, kid) and it also performed a part in almost getting me dropped like a flaming paper bag of poo from my job. All I will say is that Iâm lucky to have people in my life who believe in second chances and me.
What has set me off on this contemplation is that twice this month I have depended on certain people and twice I have been dropped on my keister. If you believe in karma, perhaps I am getting my ample share. Either way, itâs not a pleasant feeling.
The problem with flakes is that 90 percent of their problems are generated by thinking about nothing but Justin Beiber. Actually, thatâs not true. Flakesâ personal challenges come from thinking too much about themselves. Low self-esteem plays a big factor, because whenever you cast yourself in a bad light, you tend to treat others the same. Sometimes, the naive stupidities of youth and inexperience have a hand in it as well. You tend to think you have all the time in the world, so you put off some of the more important things you should address. Like debts, relationships with family and friends, job obligations, all the details that go along with trying to be a responsible adult who doesnât feel compelled to drop their eyes when they walk down the street in case they spot someone they have left in the lurch.
Whatâs even worse is wanting to drop your eyes when you look into the mirror. Danger, Will Robinson, danger.
Now please donât get the idea that I have huge, dark secrets stuffed in the corridors of my past (no abandoned babies or covert, government operations for our friends in Russia). No, itâs the little, everyday encounters and issues that can wear us down when we donât deal with them. And flakes, spend way too much time worrying about the things that donât matter instead of focusing on what is actually deserving of their time.
I donât mean to wave my banner of rectitude while making a bid for canonization. They have yet to create a model of human that doesnât err. I will make mistakes again, no doubt.
But Iâll never be afraid of what I see in the mirror. I hope you arenât either.
*Shameless plug: please check out my new column in the Sportâs section of the Statesman-Examiner, titled Putting the âTryâ in triathlon. Questions, comments or concerns? Email Sophia@statesmanexaminer.com