Skip to main content

He's Still Bob.

A few weeks ago, a friend and I were having a conversation about someone we knew who had gone through some remarkable--positive--changes. When I asked if a difficult situation regarding this person was now resolved, my friend shrugged and said, "Well, I mean, he's still Bob.*"

Since that conversation, that phrase has repeated over and over in my head. Sometimes in the midst of a tragedy or life-altering event, people step up in ways that can blow you away. Sometimes, a person who has hurt you repeatedly reaches out in kindness. If you're anything like me (past me) you'll welcome that person right back into your life and heart thinking he or she has changed.

How's that work out? In my situation(s) it has worked out for shit. Because guess what: He's still Bob.

I give people second chances--and sometimes 3, 4, 5 .... chances--because of all the chances people have given me. I've damaged relationships and friendships. I've messed up with my husband and my kids and my friends. I've lost my temper and said mean things more times than I care to remember. Everyone messes up occasionally, but I have been guilty of holding myself to unreachable standards. I don't expect YOU to be perfect; I just expect me to be perfect. Getting better all the time.

Anyway, through my shortcomings, I've become an outstanding apologizer. And my tribe always forgives me, gives me grace and second chances and 3, 4, 5 ...

So I give people chances. But guess what? Not everyone has a place in my life. And not everyone has a place in yours. That doesn't mean someone is a bad person. It doesn't mean you and I are bad people either. Maybe you are just bad for each other. If someone brings out your worst side, then they shouldn't be part of your tribe.

My dad used to tell me: No one is all bad and no one is all good. True story. Damn, I miss my dad.  Good people are capable of doing really awful things, and awful people can sometimes do really good things. How you behave the majority of the time--especially when no one is watching--indicates your character.

Recently, thanks to Emily P. Freeman's wonderful podcast, "The Next Right Thing," I've been practicing "bringing peace with me into the chaos rather than trying to calm the chaos to find peace."

Occasionally I actually succeed. Yesterday, I didn't. As I made dinner and Peyton and Lily argued and fought and picked at each other, I couldn't pull them into my peace. I couldn't bring peace into their chaos. So I briefly lost my shit and brought a little more chaos to an already chaotic situation, and then I put my ear buds in and let Shauna Niequist pull me into her peace.

Sometimes, someone will read my blog and say, "I needed that; thank you." You're welcome. Other times, I think I'm writing to my future self. Maybe in five years, when I'm about to give someone a seventh chance to break my heart, this blog will pop up in my memories and warn me: He's still Bob.


Comments

  1. I have some bob’s. I’m actively working on hr losing your shit thing on my family and well... it’s not working out real well!! Love you girl and yes I needed that.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Did I Love Him Enough?

I just started reading a new book. It's called Weight Loss for People Who Feel Too Much by Colette Baron-Reid, who I discovered on my current favorite podcast: This is Fifty With Sheri and Nancy. It is blowing my mind and showing me that some of the extra pounds I'm carrying don't even belong to me. Seriously. This is yours, this is his, this is hers, and oh wait, THAT? That belongs to a person who isn't even part of my life anymore! Great. Take your shit back.

More on that later. But, listen to the podcast. Seriously, you will love it!

Anyway, while in this super zen, grown-up, boundary-setting, higher self head space, I need to tackle an issue I've been avoiding for about 18 years but really strongly avoiding for the last 6 months. My son is growing up. He graduates from high school on Sunday, and in a few months, he's moving to Columbus to attend THE Ohio State University.

Can I tell you a secret? I used to LOVE everything about THE Ohio State University, bu…

Why Didn't I Report It?

When I was 17, I went with friends to a party at a boy's house from another school. I drank too much and passed out. I don't remember much about the incident, but I woke up with my friend screaming at a boy, pulling me up and dragging me to the car. She told me that she came looking for me and found me passed out. The boy had his penis in my face. I don't remember it. Thankfully.

I never told my parents who would have said, "How stupid could you be? You shouldn't have put yourself in that position." They would not have said, "No one should put his penis in your face without your consent."

A few months ago, I saw a picture of that boy on social media. He's a man now. With a beautiful family. He probably doesn't remember that night. I wondered: What might have happened if my friend didn't walk in and tell him to get his dick out of my face? Were there were other girls whose friends didn't come looking for them? Did they ever tell anyone…

Before and After

We all have defining moments...instances when something happens--good or bad--and you know from that point forward you'll measure your life in terms of before and after that event. Of course there are sometimes more than one, but there is nearly always one.

For me, it was my brother's death. February 5, 1989. There have been others. A dear friend's death in 1992. Another brother died in 1997. My dad died in 2011. But February 5, that was the one for me.

I started to think of and look at things in terms of before Chris died and after.

Before Chris died, I believed in magic. In God. In miracles. After, I believed that you should never let yourself get too comfortable or trust happiness because it would be ripped away from you.

Before Chris died, I often felt special and love and cherished. For too long after, I felt pretty worthless.

Before Chris died, I believed that I was brave and strong. After he died, I felt weak and afraid when I needed to be brave and strong.

Before …