Thursday, October 1, 2015

On Madness


In a moment of madness why can't I remember that everything will be okay?  It always is.  I logically know it, I can say it, maybe even see it, but it doesn't stop my heavy heart or shortness of breath.

What if things are always okay in the end because we freaked out about them to begin with?  We got it done when it had to be done because we put a maddening pressure on ourselves to do it.  Should we not calm down then?  Should I let my anxiety settle in and take hold in order to press on into the future?  The answer probably lies somewhere in the middle.

Making mistakes is a human characteristic, how we absorb those mistakes is a defining one.  There are few better qualities in a human than one who can fall gracefully.  Those who can see their faults,  apologize if necessary and correct them for the future.  We all want that, don't we?

So much easier said than done.

I've never made mistakes well.  I've always assumed this is where the anxiety comes from.  Avoiding that mistake at all costs.  I was in the habit of denying mistakes, blaming them on outlying factors. Until one day there was no denying it.  I made a horribly embarrassing, law breaking, life altering mistake at the age of 18.  And after I buried myself in my bed and unsuccessfully tried to pretend it didn't happen my mom gave me some of the best advice I've ever gotten:  Tell people it happened.  In that admission, that's when you really learn from your mistake.

As much as I wanted to, I wasn't aloud to keep it buried as a deep family secret.  And although it gave me mass anxiety -- so much so that I threw up each morning when I woke up and remembered it to be true -- eventually the clouds parted and I got a little better.  In the recent past my aunt told me a story about a very motivated young woman who made a similarly embarrassing, law breaking, life altering mistake.  She told me she passed on my story, told her of the life I'm living now, 7 years later,  and it brought this young woman comfort.  Even for that alone,  admitting to the mistake was worth it.

Perfect people can be insufferable.  It's all an illusion anyways and I think the sooner we admit it's unobtainable the better.  But we sure can strive, allow a little madness into our minds and keep moving forward into the future.

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