Saturday, October 18, 2014

Being an Adult

I'm ecstatic to share that I've heard and seen so many pieces of good news lately...engagements, births, foster placements/adoptions, marriages, birthdays, anniversaries, travels...all kinds of good stuff. All the good stuff about being an adult.

Unfortunately, being an adult also comes with some not so great stuff. Stuff like mis-communication, difficult conversations, hurt feelings, confusion, learning that taking a hard long look in the mirror doesn't always reveal the person we aspire to be, and vulnerabilities that we wish weren't exposed. Yeah, the weekend is getting off to a banner, but necessary start.

It's never pleasant when we realize that we did or said something that negatively impacts another. Especially when the other person is someone who we care about and don't want to hurt. What's worse is when we realize that the feedback that was given has been given before by others. That this is a behavioral pattern that I should have been aware of.

Because I don't want to hurt this person, because I care for this person, I want to modify the behaviors that I didn't realize were hurtful. Unfortunately, this information is still so new to me that I find myself being defensive, angry even. I certainly wish that I had been made aware sooner and that this news had been given to me in a different, gentler way. The important piece is that I now have it...and there is value in having received it in a way that I found hurtful and unpleasantly surprising.

Right now, I'm in a place of thinking that modifying my behavior to fit the needs of another is tantamount to censorship, not being truthful to who I am, that the other person should be less sensitive. I also know that I need to quickly move past this feeling. Feelings aren't facts, and this is not the attitude of the person I aspire to be. It's times like this that I need to fall back on some readings that have guided me and helped me find serenity and happiness.

"...And acceptance is the answer to all
my problems today...Unless I accept life completely
on life's terms, I can not be happy. I need to concentrate
not so much on what needs to be changed in the 
world as on what needs to be changed in me 
and in my attitudes"

"...grant that I may seek rather to comfort, than to be comforted.
To understand, than to be understood.
To love, than to be loved.
For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.
It is by forgiving that one is forgiven..."

And those of you who know me, certainly know that I am not a religious person...but the prayer from which the second reading comes embodies the values I seek to live. I am far from perfect in that quest, as evidenced by recent experience. I have much work to do. Today, I seek to change my attitudes and behaviors.

No photos today...just a processing of thoughts and an attempt to re-frame my feelings so that I can learn and grow from my experience.


  1. My dear friend, Heather, let me commend you for espousing an outlook on this situation that's a valuable hallmark of genuine adulthood. Being an adult is a manifestation of power. This means, of course, that it comes with responsibilities. I salute you for the way you embrace those responsibilities as evidenced by your blog post.

    If someone were to ask why I consider being an adult to be the exercise of power, I would offer this illustration. If I think back to when I was younger (let's say 14) and I bristled at the suggestion from someone around my present age (let's say, significantly older than 14) that what I was feeling for someone, however strong and compelling, was different from a situation precipitating one of those adult announcements you mentioned in your blog post. Only in hindsight can I understand that this message was much more benevolent and altruistic than I interpreted it to be. I had a lot of living to do before I could comprehend it so fully. (And I do mean a whole lot of living to do.)

    The outlook you have on the situation you described, the way you handled yourself in these events, and the way you dealt with the feelings is evidence of a priceless quality. It's something that doesn't come automatically when you get a certain number of candles on your birthday cake. It's something that takes conscious and sometimes herculean effort to cultivate. I commend you for being that way. I thank you for sharing this in your post. You deserve to be cared for (and loved) in the way you strive to care for others. I know, you did not use the infamous and wonderful L-word in your post. (I freely admit to taking that liberty, but not to put words in your mouth.) I hope you get that care (and love), my dear friend, from exactly the person want it to provide it.

    Be healthy. Be well. Stay strong and lovely, Heather!

  2. Aaaand, once again. A typo in a critical line of text ends up kicking my ass. (I do hate when that happens.)

    What I meant to type was: I hope you get that care (and love), my dear friend, from exactly the person *you want to provide it*

    (What I ended up typing in my original comment doesn't make sense.)