Tuesday, November 20, 2012

(im)Maturity

Is it a sign of maturity or immaturity when in the middle of making a mistake or acting in a way you know you will regret, you recognize it - immediately?

It doesn't happen later... it happens exactly as the words are coming out of your mouth. Precisely when you're standing there quietly, and failing to ask for what you want and is completely reasonable.

This little, tiny, tinny, scratchy voice inside whispers, "It's OK to stop talking about this and abruptly change the subject. Couldn't be more awkward than it already is!" Or, "It's OK to ask for one of those to yourself - it wasn't assumed you would even share in the first place, so don't be forced to. Just ask."

Maybe someday, when I'm all growed up like a big kid, I'll recognize these mistakes the split-second before they happen? Instead of during? Or after?

But, ah, perhaps that right there is the height of immaturity.

Before? So you can be what, Emily; perfect? Serene all the time, and never ever unprepared, never stepping into muck or talking faster than your mind can think?

So the same quiet voice may in fact be saying to me right now, as I try to let the last week or so go and fall asleep, "Be grateful to recognize the mistake at all, much less in the bungling middle of it. That's an improvement! And don't cling to the notion you'll stop making mistakes. You only do that when you're dead. These mistakes are going to keep coming. The grace is in refusing to let them clobber you. And in going to sleep without feeding them."

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