Sometimes, You Just Screw Up
It doesn’t make you bad. It makes you human.
Sometimes, life gets the best of you. It got the best of me last night. I couldn’t seem to stop it.
My best friend and I had offered to help some of our friends. They are some bad ass musicians who released their first studio album last night to a packed house at a local venue.
This was, without a doubt, going to be their finest hour. But it wasn’t ours. Far from it.
We were there to help them out by setting up shop and slinging t-shirts and CDs they spent months creating and slaving over. We were both having an off day. We talked about it in the car on the way to the venue.
She is staring down the anniversary of the death of her son. I’ve been battling long work hours and a whole myriad of other things, that when compounded, were making my mind a frenzied mess.
Long story short, we got into it and it got ugly. Stupid ugly. We couldn’t get into the huge display trunk. We thought we had broken it. We were arguing non-stop.
It’s still a while before the show and my other friend is still in his hotel room but trying to Facetime with me to fix this disaster.
She and I have never done this. We love each other immensely. But, sometimes, we’re just assholes. It doesn’t make us bad people. It makes us human.
There is one inevitable truth in life: You are going to have bad days. You’re going to feel like the weight on your shoulders is too much.
You’re going to want to crawl back in your bed and stay there for reasons that you can’t even explain to people and if you even remotely tried, it wouldn’t make sense.
What keeps us from being actual assholes is our ability to think about it and acknowledge something is not our finest moment.
There have been times I’ve snapped at my daughter and I felt like such a horrendous mother. Because it’s not about her.
It’s about the eight different things that happened in my day leading up to that moment that just came out at the wrong time. Our lives can get completely and totally side railed by “the wrong time.” We’ve all been there.
I’ve said and done some things in the last couple weeks that I’m not necessarily proud of. But it happened. It happens, but it’s not a permanent space to occupy. You acknowledge it, you promise you’ll be better, and then move the hell on.
The day that holds “not your finest moment” isn’t who you are. It’s what you were in one moment. The moment is gone.
Sometimes life happens. Sometimes life happens all over the place and it’s messy and aggravating and it makes you want to scream. Or lash out. Or cry. or drink a glass more wine than you should.
We’re human beings built on emotion and feelings. The more we try and bury them, push them down or ignore the fact that they exist, the more disservice we do ourselves. It’s not weakness to say “I screwed up. I stepped in a big steaming pile. I didn’t mean to but it happened.”
I once sent an email to a client after she had poked me several times. My God, she was looking for a fight. I responded to her email in a very curt manner. Probably not a good idea. Still, the response was justified.
I knew it could go south but I hit send anyway. I made that decision. I now had to deal with it. I immediately forwarded the sent email to my boss knowing that the cards would possibly fall where they may.
Her response perfection. She wrote me back and told me that was not my finest moment but she understood why I felt compelled to do it. She told me we would deal with whatever came of that email. Nothing did. If it did, it would have been so much worse if I hadn’t owned up to the fact that it wasn’t my best day.
The number of times I’ve thought about that email response from my boss is plenty. I thought about it today when my best friend texted me to acknowledge the fact that we were kind of assholes. I just texted her back and told her it wasn’t our best day. Will have better ones, but will also have worse ones.
True human kindness is grabbing somebody by the face and looking them square in the eye and saying it’s okay.
You’re not a bad person. You’re just having a bad day. A bad moment. A bad week. It’s forgiving yourself and doing the same to others.
It’s just a moment among millions of others.