No, this is Patrick!

I got to spend some quality time with a few of my teammates this weekend. Two or three of us spent basically the entire weekend together, going to Dirty Dan’s, watching Lord of the Rings, jamming to some sweet licks… It was a lot of fun. It’s funny, being part of a team like this, because you’re kind of obligated to hang out with each other when no-one else is around. Like, you do friend-type activities without actually being friends, but along the way you realize that these people are so awesome and you end up becoming best friends.

Then last night I did something stupid.

We had a couple of inside jokes after the weekend, and since I was around those people again, I brought up my favorite one. It’s directed at one of the guys and inherently embarrassing, but I had to go and make it worse. Another teammate and his girlfriend were with us at the time and neither of them knew what was going on and they started asking questions and yeah, it was a train wreck. At the time, I didn’t even realize how bad it was, but later, he mentioned how embarrassed he’d been.

So I texted him later and apologized for being insensitive and he replied and was honest about how he felt and forgave me. We’ve moved on. I felt so old and mature and still so foolish though. Foolish for what I did, but mature for how I handled it.

For a long time, I’ve been trying to get a handle on what maturity is. I think there’s a lot to be said for how well we maintain relationships. My teammate and I spoke honestly about what happened and moved on.

My sister and I had a phone conversation the other day, wherein we discussed something that we were both pretty passionate about. Opposing sides, of course. And we had to keep saying things like “No, you’re right, I should have worded that better,” or “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean for that to make you feel that way.” Guys let me tell you, this is about a thousand times better than how we used to argue.

It’s been a while, but in one of my classes we talked about development and how kids can only see from one perspective. Empathy is a learned skill, and it takes a long time to acquire. I think even through our teen years, even when we ‘know’ how a person feels, we still don’t connect that to our actions. We have to come to the point of “My actions had this effect on you, and made you feel this way, which made you act this way.” Not to say that everything is our own fault, but the older we get, the more we see similarities between ‘their’ situation, and our situation.

I think the maturity looks different from day-to-day. Some days it means shutting the door and finishing a paper, and other days it means seeking and finding forgiveness. It’s putting an arm around a brother who is hurting, and also singing out loud if a song is stuck in your head. It’s recognizing when your sweet potato crepes didn’t turn out the way you planned and making something new up on the fly.

So I’m proud to announce that I’ve matured a little bit. Leveled up. Still not ready for the boss level, though.

 

“When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. And when life is bitter, say thank you and grow.”
Shauna Niequist, Bittersweet

 

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