Sometimes I find that I'm hanging somewhere between "Do I really care what people think?" to *sniff,sniff, blargalarglargle, waaaaaaaaaaaaaah*.
Mom kept me from sliding off into the latter quite a lot, and unfortunately, I find that I'm a little more susceptible to it at the moment than I should be.
I'm a fan of Randy Pausch, and a young lady I've known for very many years recently blogged about the influence of The Last Lecture on her life. Pausch was a computer scientist who died of cancer at a relatively early age (48), and this piece is nothing if not very insightful and profound. One quote she highlighted was this:
“Look, I'm going to find a way to be happy, and I'd really love to be happy with you, but if I can't be happy with you, then I'll find a way to be happy without you.”
She went on to write that she knew lots of people were struggling with Valentine's Day and she wished the best for them, whatever the outcome of that struggle.
Something else that I've touched on and written about previously is the short leash on which I have to rein my emotions. When I was about thirteen, I realized that my volatile temper and sharp tongue were just not nice, so I made the effort to systematically control them. I don't feel that I was successful at it until I was in college- and once those were under wraps, I started working on not showing pain or vulnerability either publicly or privately. That got most seriously underway as I was turning twenty-one.
What I had learned by that point was that letting people know that they'd gotten to me, especially if their responses or reactions were hurtful, was a bad thing. The downside is that it's difficult to balance letting them know I care against exposing myself to potential heartache. The last several days have demonstrated that I wasn't as good at it as I thought, so I've retreated to nurse my wounds. That this happened during a vulnerable time in my life, well, it's my fault as much as anyone's...
As I was writing this, one of my co-workers brought in the mail. In it was a small package from a friend that contained a butterfly ornament inscribed with "One Day at a Time". This is what we used to call a clue-by-four, i.e., when the 'sign' you've been waiting for has been there for a long time and you just haven't noticed it, the Powers that Be will whack you over the head with it.
I will find a way. I will find a way. I will find a way.