We Were All New OncePosted: October 2, 2012
We were all new at this once.
There are instances when you put yourself out there in whatever “new” situation you are putting yourself in where you may possibly just put your foot in your mouth.
I have done it many times. I have been schooled many times.
It is how we learn, how we know and how we grow as humans. Some people learn from these “foot in mouth” experiences, and others don’t.
I just want to say, “Be gentle.”
Not everyone who says something that may have offended you, realizes that they have done so. They may be so in love with the idea of whatever their “something new” is, that they haven’t entirely learned how it all works. All the little nuances, ticks, missed steps, sometimes take a little time to work out.
Sometimes it takes being corrected a time or two to figure it all out.
Sometimes you have to fall flat on your face.
Or make an ass out of yourself.
Or piss someone off.
Sometime it takes someone just taking a moment and saying, “But what about this?” for you to have that big “Ah, ha!” moment. When it all sinks in.
I think this works in all of our various life paths, whether you are starting a new job, or a new exercise routine, starting school, getting married and navigating that marriage, becoming a mother, adopting, or relinquishing a child, getting divorced, or any number of various twists and turns life is going to take you through.
Some of these life events come with an actual handbook to walk you through how it all works.
Be to work at 8:15, call these people, do this work this way, and that work that way, go to lunch, and do more work, and hopefully if you do it all right you will be successful, and you can go home to your family at a reasonable hour, and make a reasonable wage while doing all of it.
Or a syllabus to walk you through a semester at school. This essay turned in this day, this paper turned in this day, study these chapters for this long, this test to be taken that day. Do these things, hand in your work, and you can go on to the next level of school and/or your life.
The rest of the events in our lives, don’t come with a handbook. You have to learn as you go. Some of us have a desperate need to KNOW ALL THE THINGS. Research the crap out of it, make mistakes and learn from them so you know NOT to do this, or TO do that.
My point is you have to make mistakes to know that what you had done was a mistake. Sometimes it takes getting called out on something you said.
There is a way to do this that is kind and that people can easily learn from, and one that can poke a hole so big in their balloon that it pops and all the air whooshes out at once, deflating the balloon so fast they don’t even have a chance to learn what caused the balloon to pop.
Shortly after Mea came home, I remember posting a comment on someone’s blog post where I said something along the lines of, “Our daughter came home 3 weeks ago, she is a perfect fit to our family, it is almost like she is our real daughter.” Many of you who know me, know that this would never in a million years be how I would explain my relationship with Mea. There is no doubt that this brown-eyed, curly-haired girl is my daughter.
But, I typed those words.
Someone, the first commenter back to me said, “K- It’s not “like” she is your real daughter, she IS your real daughter.”
I had that first really big “Ah-ha” moment then, when it came to adoption. My quest for knowledge, and learning about my family started at that point with insatiable need. I poured myself into whatever outlet I could find for more information.
There have been several of these moments over the years. As I have navigated and attempted to navigate foster care, adoption, and opening a closed adoption, I have learned many lessons, I have inserted my foot into my mouth more times than I would have liked to have, and I have been schooled by some great people who have been there before me, or who have lived on the other side of my life.
The thing is, that it was that first, gentle comment that gave me the “ah-ha” moment, but there was actually a virtual shit storm of comment hate towards me after that first comment. It spewed all over the place after that comment. How could I have been so dumb? How did I not know that this was my daughter? Our state actually let us have a child?
The only thing that I can tell you about that comment and that time?
(Besides the fact that I am ever so glad that I didn’t have a blog when I made this comment, I can only imagine the blow out I would have faced.)
I was new to this, and I learned from my mistake.
Sometimes, maybe we should let people be excited for a minute before knocking the wind out of their sails, or popping their new balloon.
There are triggers. For all kinds of different situations. But, before going off on someone in a public setting, maybe we should stop for a second, and ponder to ourselves, “Are they new to all of this?” Maybe send a DM, an email, or something more subtle before bursting their balloon publicly.
They could be new.