Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sweet Surprises

As long as I have known myself....which is a pretty damn long time.....I have tried to control things....people as to save myself pain. The notion that people will ultimately cause me pain is an interesting one and one that likely deserves hours and hours of analysis. But I digress. I wasn't raised this way. This was not a value instilled in me. As a child I didn't expect painful conversations. I certainly didn't witness them with any frequency. Neither of my parents ever backed down from painful conversations. In fact, in that respect they are both eloquent and graceful role models. However, as a child I do recall trying my best not to disappoint and to stay far away from confrontation. If I had hurt someone's feelings or perceived I had disappointed someone I was riddled with guilt for what seemed like days. I was always keenly aware of my actions and how those actions ultimately affected people. I wanted nothing more than to make everyone happy. That desire has followed me throughout my life.

As an adult I have noticed a pattern in my behavior. I don't want to hear negative things....who does, really? And I certainly do not enjoy entering confrontational, debate-like conversations. This is just not a place of comfort for me. Similarly, when I need to be heard (which isn't until I am absolutely frayed) I employ a sort of "knicker knocking" technique. I say what I want to say, demand not to be responded to and then run like the dickens. Today I realized that was unfair and that child-like approach benefits no one, least of all myself.

I entered into a challenging and difficult conversation today. I didn't want to have it because I was largely afraid of what I would hear; or rather what I wouldn't hear. However, this person is so dear to me that it would have been an offense of the highest degree had I not allowed this person's voice to be heard. And so with butterflies in my stomach, a lump in my throat and a heartbeat so loud I could hear it in my ears, I listened.

I want to celebrate this conversation...for so many reasons...not the least of which was that I stood there (or sat there) and actually had the conversation. I want to celebrate the fact that two people who deeply respect one another can have a beautifully decent, honest conversation that doesn't necessarily conclude with any tangible resolution. I want to celebrate the fact that people can surprise you. I realized if I hadn't been so busy trying to control what might or might not be said or how things may or may not have played out I wouldn't have heard some very important and kind sentiments. I realized certain conversations need to be much as I don't want to have them...because in the end I may come away from them feeling far more relieved than I could have possibly imagined!

My friend....I celebrate you! I celebrate our friendship that I know will last a very long time! You have shown me how to be a different sort of person...a better version of myself. And it is largely...because of you and your strength that I was inspired to summon up my feeble, tiny, infantile strength and initiate our conversation. My prayers are with you. Tonight I offer you the mantra that gets me through every day.....

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

Goodnight dear friends! I am very sleepy and I want to finish my book tonight!


  1. There's a solution to such apprehension regarding difficult conversations, booze. Try having these discussions after everyone involved has had at least 3 margaritas. If it turns sour and everyone gets upset then you can all blame the liquor. If it doesn't, well you've won on two fronts. You got drunk and you told you're friend(s) how much they suck. It's my personal mantra. By the way, do you want to grab some drinks the next time you're in town? Just kidding. ;^P

  2. So true....except in my case it is four filthy, filthy, filthy martinis! Then I can saw WHATEVER I damn well please with complete impunity! time I am in Dallas...let's drink four filthy martinis and then go knocking on random doors? An apartment on N. Henderson for example! If we drink in the backyard of The Wagon then all we have to do is walk! Tee hee!