Starbucks. 2015. Maybe it was Panera. It was after school, to be sure. Every Wednesday. Occasionally every other Wednesday. Wow I was so blessed. Anyway on that particular Wednesday, my lovely mentor sat across from me, probably wearing a scarf, probably some funky glasses. She was always stylish. Especially on those happy days when she was feeling well—she radiated when she spoke.
We were talking about making mistakes, and how they happen. And when mistakes happen—which they do frequently—sometimes all you can do is say “Oh well.” And then you gotta move on.
“Ohhhhhhh. Well.” Her voice: loud and authoritative, drawing out each word. Her hands beating the table at every syllable.
For the next few weeks—months—maybe a year or so—when I screwed up, when I did something stupid, embarrasing, regretful, I pictured the words OH WELL in big letters floating in the air in front of me. Like balloons but more cartoon-like.
And then I moved on.
My gosh it was so therapeutic. All of those self-help books and sermons about grace hardly worked for me. But seeing those hefty balloons in the sky fixed all of my worries. It’s like they just lifted my shame up, up, and away and out of my head.
And then, over time, I forgot about those words. And I really haven’t said them in years. And omg I have struggled. I am so freaking hard on myself. There have been so many regrets. So many mean notes.
So many nights of wishing I had said something different, or done something else, or not done some other thing. Of wishing I were a different person. Someone cooler and better at math and less boring and more confident.
What would I do without my mother.
Today my mother said this, among other things:
“Once you start to love yourself, you’d be surprised at how your social relationships start to flourish.”
And somewhere along her lengthy spiel I remembered what Anne had taught me, way back in 2015 when I was still a coffee virgin.
So I will be doing that giant floating words thing again. It’s not weird at all and it’s completely psychologist-recommended. Gotta move on from mistakes, accidents, embarrassing occurrences. On Tuesday I tripped on a set of stairs right in front of the entrance to a building. The walls were made of windows.
i swore to myself that this blog would never become some sappy, girly, Christian soap box. but whatever. oh well. ok moving on now.