It’s a simple word association for people who work as lifeguards. Really for anyone who tries to save someone from drowning, that particular order could save you from yourself. But does it work as well for when you are on land, trying to tread water while standing on a hard wood floor?
About a week ago someone REACHED out giving me some hope that they could help me find the answer to a question I had of myself. Nothing that matters to the rest of the world, just something that matters quite a bit to me. So when I get a chance to sit across the table and learn something I didn’t know, I needed to take every opportunity to be taught.
There was no need for me to ROW anywhere. That would have looked ridiculous along the streets of Newton, MA. Some guy with an oar? Monty Python could have made that amusing, not me. So I went the other route and called for a car to drive me over to the restaurant. At least I picked a place I knew well, my niece waits tables two nights a week during the school year to earn some spending money. (Too bad it is on slow nights to begin with, but that’s not anyone’s fault.)
A few minutes of sitting at the door turned into kind looks from the Hostess asking if I just wanted a table. I looked down at my phone and over towards her before deciding that 30 minutes was long enough to look and feel foolish. Inside I was THROWING a temper tantrum because it had me recalling all the time I sat around waiting for the ex who never showed up on time for anything. And more importantly it hurt to not be able to ask my questions.
The Universe tells us that we can’t always have the answers, that most lie within anyway. But this topic eats at me daily and even the smallest hint would be of great relief.
The smart move fortunately is what followed. A simple text asking if I had screwed up the time or place. (I was taught to always take the fault on yourself so that feelings don’t get hurt. A good business lesson!)
“Oh, you didn’t remind me. So I’m home.” Those words almost sent me back to the throwing portion of the evening. I never consider sending reminders to someone who made the initial plans.
The thing that really got to me was how it became my fault. I was there, on time, with my questions ready. Even picked someplace that was quiet and closer to her than to me. Old Lary would have gotten very angry at this point. Modern Lary isn’t a fan of this behavior either, but I just don’t have the energy to waste on people who are inconsiderate anymore. Future Lary just isn’t going to allow this to be repeated.
So I went home after telling the niece thanks and slipping some money in the jar they split each night. High school kids still need to pay for things they don’t tell us about!
Four days later and it still eats at me. The blame is a huge trigger point for me. There are enough things in my world that weigh heavily on me daily, some creatures of my very own creation. Some are just words spoken by others that have never left my ears.
That feeling of complete emptiness is one I fight too often. It was hard enough for me before all the changes to be comfortable with myself socially. Work was something different, I was supposed to be the smartest guy in the room.
Now I’m just the guy constantly raising his hand, sometimes waving both over my head, hoping to find a voice for my doubts.