Apr 30, 2009

Lessons Learned

Recent events in m life have me thinking deeply about the things I value most and how I interact with people. I’m also questioning whether or not my personality best reflects who I am, or even who I want to be. My concern is that people, who should or even need to, don’t know me.

This issue stems from my personality. I am a private person. I rarely share how I’m feeling or how I feel about things I see or that happen to me. This is not so much because I don’t like to share, to some extent, I do. It’s more born out of a feeling that telling how I feel all the time leaves me emotionally raw and on edge. Because of this, I tend not to share anything. However, if you ask me, I’m more than willing to tell you what’s on my mind.

I had a conversation with a friend of mine recently in which I commented that his personality and first impression read like a jerk. I made sure to explain to him that this was merely an observation, not an accusation. He was nonplussed. Upon further discussion, he explained that he was aware of how he could come off. He seemed to express some disappointment for the way people viewed him but was also quick to say that he did not feel it necessary to change.

I asked him about his friend and whether or not his attitude had an effect on those relationships. He said that they sometimes do, but since he was unwilling to change, it reflected poorly on those who called him friend if they were offended by his demeanor. I wish I could be so confident and comfortable in my personality and attitude. Moreover, he commented that diagnosis was a two –way street. As much as I was able to point how his flaws, he was able to do the same to me. I don’t doubt it, but it’s interesting how, often, we are quick to see flaws in others but not ourselves.

Like my friend, I am aware of my flaws. I don’t share my feelings or much of anything about me unless you ask. I’d rather learn about others than talk about myself, I can be messy, insensitive and sometimes non understanding. However, my friend and I differ in the fact that I don’t like the specific flaws I have and actively seek to ride myself of them. I don’t think I’ll ever be as open and sharing about my life as my sister, but the fact that my parents see me more as a user and abuser of privileges than a contributor to the house because I don’t talk to them can’t be good.

That needs to change.

I often drive my mother’s car to school. Three days ago it was vandalized. The driver’s side rear window was smashed and my school bag, containing my laptop and backup hard drive, was stolen. The computer contained everything I was working on, both school work and Banner stories. It’s difficult to explain how I feel about this beyond saying that it sucks. That doesn’t do justice to the shame I and guilt I feel for allowing my mother’s car to be damaged. Or the regret and second guessing I’ve been doing of my actions that night. Why didn’t I put my bag in the trunk? Why did I think the floor of the back seat would be okay? Why didn’t I just take my bag with me? These are questions I’ll turn over for the foreseeable future. I’ve learned a hard lesson, and while I’m grateful for the lesson, I wish I could have learned it in a less detrimental way.

The ensuing conversation with my parents was appropriately uncomfortable, the outcome of which is that I need to change my attitude moving forward. There appears to be no way I can make this up to them because what little credibility I had was destroyed by this incident. The irony is that the first call I made when I found the car was to my father to ask him how to handle the situation.

Too little, too late.

All I can do is apologize and say “I’m sorry.” I don’t know if my parents believe me, but I’ll keep doing it and working at being more open. I hope for forgiveness and understanding, but I also recognize that this change will be an uphill struggle that will be painful. The support I’m looking for, waiting for at the top, to be given again once I prove I’m worthy of it.

1 comment:

  1. This is an interesting entry. Why don't you talk to your parents as if they were your friends? What is keeping you from talking to them? I think you can do it. You are a reporter. By trade you can hold a conversation and get people to open up to you. These people just happen to be the ones who brought you into the world. I am seeing this guy right now, who suffers from the same thing. He has some issues but I think at the end of the day he will get over it because that is his choice. He is choosing change. Any step in that direction is good.