[note: everything feels superficial and inane, but I made a goal and I want to keep it so I’m going to skim the surface for awhile until the rawness of the past week wears off and I find the right words to do it justice.]
When I was at BYU I had lots of great roommates (and a few interesting ones too) but one was so much fun I lived with her two years in a row. In fact I lived with her until she got married, I think.
In any case we have lots of happy and fun and crazy stories together, but also a sad one. And one in which I learned a valuable lesson.
There was a time in our friendship when things shifted. There was a wedge between us. A feeling of resentment and eventually anger. And I had no idea how or why.
One day it all finally came out and it had to do with our shared bathroom.
Apparently I was a slob. I thought all young people were slobs. But I was insufferable.
Excuse the graphic detail, but apparently the detritus of Q-tips and cotton balls involved in my early morning beauty routine that weren’t tossed directly in the trash–and possibly even those that may have piled up in the overflowing trash bin, as seems to occur even in my grown-up life bathrooms (although, generally, not on account of me), as annoying. Even irritating. Even wedge building.
And I get it. That’s obnoxious. But I was oblivious. And the sad part–at least to me–is that it was an easy enough fix. I should have been taking my basketball skills more seriously and worked harder on my bank shot, or even any kind of shot. At the very least I could have rebounded and neatly handled the my missed shots.
Only I didn’t fix it until it was almost too late.
Because I didn’t know about it.
My lesson learned was what can happen to a relationship when a teeny tiny frustration or resentment is left inside to grow and build and fester until it has become something greater than itself. And the painful takeaway is that the sore, ugly, swollen wound will take even more effort to heal because it went so long untreated. Growing bigger and worse and even more bitter.
And that’s why I try to be in the moment and aware of how and I feel and why. Be frank about that with those who allow me to. And sometimes even with those who don’t. And why I have great respect for those times when people choose to honor our relationship by telling me how they really feel about something that could easily grow into a wedge and allow me to address it best I can. Or at the very least reassure them no harm is ever intended and work on doing better.
[Day 92 of Ann Dee Ellis’ 8-Minute Memoir.]