The Daughter (TD) got her ears pierced this past week. Not a big deal except, I am South Asian, and in my community girls get their ears pierced almost as soon as they are born. I don’t think I have ever seen a baby girl over the age of two months without pierced ears in India. I apparently had my ears pierced when I was still a wrapped up bundle at the grand old age of four weeks. I slept through the piercing! TD was a trooper, and apart from a brief grimace, successfully emerged from the store with pierced ears.
We were sent home with a free toy and a huge bottle of solution which we now have to dab on TD’s ears three times a day. TD was more interested in the shiny new toy she got than her earrings. Figures.
In other news, I feel like my brain has a big hole in it. I am trying to actively start a job search but I am putting many roadblocks and obstacles in to my own path- mostly mental. I want to go back to work full time, earn a steady income, have some more disposable income to do some things I’ve been wanting to do for a while, save a lot more for retirement and for TD’s college but (isn’t there always a but?) I also enjoy the flexibility I have right now of being able to work from home, part time work, earning enough, and with time to spare to volunteer at TD’s school. TD is six and will soon start first grade and I often think of the demands of a full time job and what it will do to TD.
On the other hand, what about me? What about the skills and talents I have which I want to put to good use? Is it selfish of me to want this when I feel like I should be home for TD? Even with my part time work, there are days when I am with TD for only an hour because she is at school in the mornings and I teach in the evening.
What to do?
So after all that hullaballo about how I just ended this friendship with a person I knew for over a decade, guess what? Our e-mail exchange, which started out bitter and angry, eventually turned in to some introspection and analysis of our own actions and thoughts from over a decade ago. I know I’m the kind of person who is able to hold a grudge, but damn! Reading the e-mails from this other person, the disagreement we had about a decade ago seems really, really silly. It kind of makes me wonder why I was even feeling hurt and mad all these years.
What helped is that both of us were willing to dig in to some old wounds to figure out what happeend and this got us talking. I’m kind of proud of myself because at one point during our heated e-mail exchange I wrote in to this person thanking her for her friendship and for the wonderful times we had spent together. I can trace this directly to the years I have spent as a teacher- the idea of the sandwich feedback has been drilled in to me so much that I felt I had to say something good, anything. Whaddya know?! It worked.
I don’t know where we are going to go from here, but that hurt and pain has lessened wonderfully. If nothing else, this episode will help me let go ofthe events of over a decade ago.
Recently, popular blogger Madh Mama began conducting interviews and posting intercultural couple profiles and we were honored to have her feature us on her blog. Check out the post here.
Thank you, Madh Mama! You rock.
What causes an old and sometimes even cherished friendship to fall apart? Is it misunderstandings? Is it distance, physical and mental? Is it the basic differences in personality which are coming to the fore now? Is it that time and experiences have changed one or both people in the relationship?
Whatever the reason, today I sent a series of e-mails, bitter and angry e-mails, which effectively sounded the death knell on a friendship which was already all but dead. During the course of that bitter e-mail exchange I found that both sides had harbored some basic misconceptions about the other. Normally, I would have been all over myself, attempting to rectify the situation and clear any misunderstandings, but there was just too much pain and hurt, the result of past actions and words, and I just didn’t want to do anything. I didn’t want to make the effort, I didn’t want to even correct the other person’s misconceptions about me. I thought that beginning this process (of clearing misconceptions) is going to lead to e-mails, hours of introspection about who said what and why, and all for what? To revitalize a friendship which had been a friendship in all but name for the past decade?
In the past, the ending of a friendship would mean years of introspection and even beating myself up. Not anymore. I will think about this for a day or two, and then I will move on. Perhaps I will hold on to the few good memories of that relationship and consign them to the ‘good memories’ area of my brain. I will try my darndest to not think about the unpleasant memories and will try hard to consign them to the ‘recycling and composting’ sections of my brain.
Today, I hold on to the people and memories that are precious to me. My created family, my work, my happy memories with people who I care about and who care about me. My daughter’s huge, innocent eyes keep me going. Her silly questions and precious view on life keep me going. My husband’s crazy sense of humor keeps me going. Thank goodness for the small (but really, really big) things in life.