617: If you don’t know me by now

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That song by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes is running through my head like a funeral dirge. In a way, it is a funeral dirge. The song says to the other lover, “You have grossly and fundamentally misunderstood me yet again, after all this time, and all my examples to the contrary.”

That song is a funeral dirge – a sad song sung at the death of something valued. The thing that died is trust and understanding.

I feel sad, because it is quite normal to feel sad when something that was valued dies. It is even more tragic when it died because it was murdered, with a deliberate choice to believe something of me……that is not me, by inclination or by example.

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After this happens, I have to choose. I have to choose between forgiving/understanding/explaining one more time, and resurrecting what died (and it feels like an un-dead zombie for quite a while after it is resurrected), or accepting that your judgment of me really is the way you think of me fundamentally down deep inside yourself, and let it remain dead, have the funeral, sing the song, and MOVE ON.

Yes, the hardest choice you will ever make is whether to stick with it and give it one MORE try, or whether to finally accept that this thing is dead, was so flawed at the foundation to start with that it cannot be reanimated into an awkward un-dead, but still mostly dead, rotting, worm and decay infested zombie, slowly and painfully warming up to resemble real life.

So, do  I turn the page and keep reading this stinker of a novel, or close the book, and decide whether to choose another, different book, or just swear off reading forever? I have been known to continue reading a stinker to the bitter end, and I have also closed a stinker and found another book. Not sure which choice was the better one Рand I am darn sure that I am not looking forward to having to make either choice yet again.

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Time to choose, because not choosing is still a choice.

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605: No, thank YOU

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I am so dreadfully sorry that I was in conversation with my husband, and neglected to notice that you held the door for us to enter the establishment. I am sure my error was compounded in triplicate because you are black and I am white. I can assure you it wasn’t intentional, nor do I expect such service from strangers, or black people in particular. Neither my husband or I am visibly handicapped, so you offered (of your own volition) to hold the door which you could clearly see we were capable of opening ourselves. That was both courteous, and kind of you.

What wasn’t, was your announcement in overly loud voice of that sarcastic “You’re WELCOME” when we neglected to immediately and profusely thank you ourselves for your kind (and unnecessary) gesture. Believe me, your deliberate rudeness put our unintentional forgetfulness squarely even and then some.

Why bother to offer a kindness (necessary or not) if all you are after is the public notice of your nobleness? And your conduct when you didn’t get your thanks (for whatever reason) certainly left us both with a clear impression of your “nobleness,” didn’t it?

Yes, it is our usual habit to acknowledge such a gesture with spoken thanks. Yes, we were engaged in our conversation, and we forgot to thank you. I don’t believe I have lowered myself to that level when my polite gestures have gone unrewarded and unnoticed, and if I ever have, I am thoroughly and utterly ashamed of myself.

577: Maturing with Age

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I hope everyone is aware that growing bigger and older does not equate with becoming a mature person. Achieving the age of majority and being considered a legal adult has absolutely nothing to do with making wise decisions, or living your life in a mature, healthy manner.

Maturity is coming to grips with yourself, all of yourself, the good, strong parts that you like and celebrate, and the shameful weaknesses that you have struggled to overcome, and that you may still struggle to overcome – but at least you have named them, and in so doing, you have robbed them of their power in your determination to rid them from your character and life. You can look back at your personal history and come to some sort of peace with it, knowing and accepting that you were not perfect, and that you are no longer that person, thank God.

Part of that maturing is understanding that even if you could go back and change things, that you would not do so. This is because you made the decisions you made thinking they were the best ones you could make. Looking back with the 20/20 vision of hindsight, I can see that decisions I once made for the greater good (not only for me, but for those I was responsible for) didn’t work out as I had hoped that they would. I could not have known that looking forward -no one could have known that. Thus, I would not change them. They helped me grow and mature into the person I have become, who is not the person who others knew years ago.

My conscience is clear. I made my apologies to those I  wounded along the journey (both deliberately and unintentionally). What they do with my sincere regret is not in my hands. They will have their own maturing to do, as they come to terms with their own flaws. All humans have them.

I am responsible for me. I always have been, even when I blamed others in my youth, arrogance, and ignorance.

Maturity is a hard-won badge of honor. Not everyone gets there.