Friday, April 9, 2010

The tough and the good

So I totally blew past my Tuesday posting. Could this be because my Tuesday totally blew?

Yes, yes it could.

See, here's the thing: If you're reading this, you know that I'm a sensitive person. Perhaps too sensitive. I've been advised on numerous occasions to gain a thicker skin, but it doesn't seem to be in the cards for me. Besides, science will tell you that as we age, our skin gets thinner, so it's probably not even possible.

Anyway, I accidentally stepped in it on Tuesday. I hurt a friend because I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, doing the wrong thing. No, it's no like I kicked a puppy or anything. Oh, hell, if I try to describe it without explaining it, it's just going to be bulky and awkward, so here's the Reader's Digest version:

Tuesday was my Salsa/Funk instructor's birthday. It was also my first time back in class after missing two weeks. A group of classmates got together and bought gifts and things for the instructor, and made an announcement and had us sing Happy Birthday (with apologies to the representatives of Mildred and Patty Hill) and made quite a spectacle. A friend of mine handed me her video camera and asked me to tape the festivities.

Now, I hate cameras at the gym. They don't belong there. This is supposed to be a safe place, where we can jiggle and dance and not worry about being captured on film. But in the moment, I grabbed the camera and did what was asked.

Until my instructor looked at me and, in front of the class, said, "Maggie, please don't tape this."

It was a simple request. There isn't a nicer way she could have asked. And yet, I felt destroyed. Because I am such a sensitive girl, I shut down the camera, handed it back to its owner, and tried to hold back the tears. Now I know what you're thinking. "What on earth made her cry?" I'm not 100 percent sure, but I think it was the combination of being back after being sick and injured, the sensory overload of the celebration, and the knowledge that I had disappointed someone I admire greatly. And try as I might, I couldn't hold it together.

I made my apologies to my friends, and I got out of there. I drove home in tears. Because evidently I'm a 13-year-old girl. It was a perfect storm of emotion, and I got caught in the eye of it.

I'm okay now. I'm sad that my relationship with my instructor seems to have been damaged. I'm sad because I really try not to do things that upset people, and I failed miserably at that. And I'm sad because my apple cart got upturned. But life goes on, ever forward.

Back at the gym last night, I went to a class taught by a different instructor. Before class began, we were saying hi to each other, and I told her how pretty she looked, because she did - her hair was all curly and stunning and she just looked ethereal and beautiful. I just said it because it was true, and I certainly didn't realize how much it meant to her. But after I got home and logged on to Facebook, I saw the note she left for me, thanking me for my kind words, because they helped after she'd had a hard day.

And I thought to myself, sometimes, I get it wrong. Sometimes I miscalculate, and I make mistakes, leaving the people I care about wounded in some way. But sometimes, in a moment when I am just being myself, sharing the truth of life as I see it ... sometimes, I get it right.

1 comment:

gretchen said...

I'm sorry if your gym instructor has changed toward you because you got upset. I totally get those kind of tears--because you didn't initiate the videotaping, and then-IMHO-"Maggie please don't videotape this" is not the same as, Oh Maggie, now that we are getting back to our class, can you put away the videotape. Plus, if you had done this on your own initiative it would have been one thing--but you were asked to do it--so you could hardly say OH-Lisa asked me to do this, without sounding all ratty. And while I'm being all indignant on your behalf, why didn't "Lisa" say-"Gosh I'm sorry Miss Beyotch, I asked Maggie to film the festivities". So you were frustrated. More than anything else, frustration is apt to drive me to tears. Don't be so hard on yourself. Muah!