The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines catalyst as:
1. A substance that enables a chemical reaction to proceed at a usually faster rate or under different conditions (at a lower temperature) than otherwise possible.
2. An agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action.
I love the second definition. I think that we've all had catalysts in our lives.
One of my good friends is a true catalyst. Everytime that I hang out with her, I learn something new. It speeds my need to learn and do things differently.
A few days ago, we were hanging out and she mentioned her old love interest. Because he had more free time, she thought that they would spend more time together. The opposite was true. For some reason, he was traveling around the country and calling her sporadically. He didn't mention that he was taking trips beforehand. He would just call her from wherever he was. She had already addressed their spending time together. I guess he didn't hear her.
So when he called her from his latest destination, she didn't fuss. She didn't argue. She calmly told him that he could hang up the phone. When I asked her if she had broken up with him, she told me that there was no need to do all that. She had addressed the issue a time or two, and wasn't going to repeat herself again. There was no need to have a 'let's go our separate ways' talk. She told him her feelings, he didn't hear her, and that was it.
Before this world traveler incident, he'd said something very inappropriate to her. Again, she didn't fuss and argue. She got up and walked away. She refused to be disrespected. She refused to be treated poorly. Later, they discussed the incident and resolved the issue. DANGGGGGG! As I listened to her, I thought about how I could incorporate these things into my life. I thought about how I could walk away from situations instead of to them.
Her reaction to him triggered a significant change/reaction in me. It made me not want to keep talking to fix something. 'You hear what I say the first or second time or you don't. You meet me halfway or you don't. You treat me with the respect that I deserve or you don't. There's no need for me to beg and plead for it. It's what I deserve and the only thing that I will accept.' There's a jazz album titled I Heard You Twice the First Time. That speaks volumes.