Every Day is Saturday

Finding Joy in the Here and Now

Only Human

on March 24, 2015


Sometimes something happens to remind me that no matter how hard I try, I am human after all. That’s not to say I don’t make mistakes – I make mistakes all the time. I’m pretty good about admitting my mistakes when they happen and doing my best to make up for them. I also don’t hold other people’s mistakes over their heads, because, hey, nobody’s perfect.

The thing that I have the hardest time letting go of is when I do or say something in a fit of anger that hurts someone else, usually someone I care about. That happened this weekend, and I’m having trouble forgiving myself.

I told you last week about what was coming – the pressure, the deadlines, the stress – but that I love the theatre “more than breathing” (to borrow a line from one of the plays we presented this weekend). The time we had to pull the whole production together was tight to say the least, but we did it. It was a huge team effort, and I am so proud of the work we did and how it was received. It was entirely successful on every level. A triumph!

But my feelings of joy about it are tainted with the knowledge that I let my feelings of insecurity and stress and fatigue lead me to lash out at a friend.

I know I’m only human, but I keep thinking I’ve grown up, that I’ve moved beyond needing to be reassured that I’m good at what I do, that I’m valued, that I’m respected. Obviously that’s not the case. My friend was only doing what he felt was right, and in my fear of being wrong I got hugely defensive and took a (metaphorical) swing at him. I immediately apologized, and we hugged it out, but I’m still chewing on it. I know he forgives me, but I can’t seem to forgive myself.

I’ve always had impossible standards for myself when it comes to how I behave. I should NEVER get angry. I should NEVER say meanĀ things. I should NEVER raise my voice to someone. Of course I DO get angry at people, but I almost never, ever lash out. Yes, I was tired. Yes, I was stressed out. Yes, I was terrified that I might be so rusty as a stage manager that I would screw up the cues I was responsible for executing (I didn’t). But none of that matters. There is no excuse for what I did – none. And I don’t want to let myself off the hook, or find some excuse that makes it okay, because I don’t ever want to do it again.

I realize I’m probably overreacting, but I can’t help but compare this episode with one that happened over twenty years ago, when in a very similar situation I lashed out at someone I care for. It makes me very sad to think that in all this time I haven’t learned a damn thing.

If someone had said to me what I said to my friend, I could find it in my heart to forgive them, easily. I wish I could forgive myself as quickly. Maybe that’s the lesson here – not to learn how to never have an honest (although inappropriate) emotional reaction, but how to accept the forgiveness offered and move on.

I guess I still have some work to do.

One response to “Only Human

  1. Felice Fontana says:

    Good insight and maturity. Yes, we must learn to love ourselves enough to allow ourselves to be human, to stumble sometimes. Even the Bible tells us in order to experience and accept the full love of God, we must first love ourselves.
    Give yourself a hug, you deserve it!!


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