Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Actions That Define Us

I tend to forget that when I was a little kid I had terrible tantrums. I forget them, because I grew out of them. But my grandmother never forgot them, and during one major argument, years later, she told me, "Well, we can just go on like this. You can have your little tantrums, and I can stand here and listen." Well, at that point, it wasn't a tantrum, it was a real argument, but the point is that all she could remember is that when I was little I had a tendency to yell (but never to throw things unless I wanted my butt whooped).

I realized the other day that the way we act early on in a relationship, be it a work relationship, a romantic relationship or even a friendship, may well define us forever in the eyes of the other person involved.

At work, it is hard for me to believe that, for some people, I will always be the girl who worked "upstairs" or the girl who volunteered when she was in high school.

It's highly likely that a few particular friends will always see me as someone who complains a lot and does little to solve her own problems.

And, at least until I can truly prove otherwise, WG will remember that I freaked out over a few things early on in our relationship. He is hesitant to change our routine of seeing each other on the weekend, because everytime he's tried, I've had some kind of issue with it. Well, everytime he's tried, there has been a reason for the issue, and the last time he tried was about four months ago, when I was not in a particularly good place, emotionally speaking. We've talked about that, and he understands that I'm a much more reasonable and ridiculously less clingy woman now, but still, there's a part of him that will always see me as I asked him just one more question about Needy Girl.

A single argument. A few tears shed. You never know exactly what the other people in your life will remember, or choose to remember, about you.

I guess that's why it's so important to think before acting...and WG wonders why I take so long to answer a question.

6 comments:

brandy said...

Well said! Sometimes I forget that people don't see me always how I want them to, but how they are forced to by my actions. Sometimes I love knowing they see something in me I don't, and other times... not so much.

AKA said...

That's so true - it's no wonder everyone tries to make a good first impression. I met a girl a couple months ago and she was so incredibly blunt and forward (not to mention meticulous) that it's what I've come to expect of her even after seeing her pretty much on a daily basis at school where, now that I think about it, I haven't seen those traits as much. Maybe we even exaggerate those sort of things in our mind..?

Mrs. said...

Lest we forget, often we are at our best when meeting people for the first time, and they will also remember that wonderful part of us, that they may see all too rarely!

rubytuesdays said...

Beautifully written babe, and a good reminder too. We tend to forget things about ourselves that don't paint us in the best light...

Beth said...

Exactly! I worry about that stuff, too. Near the end of my last realtionship, I cried in front of him about three times. I had never cried in front of him before. But now I wonder if he thinks of me now as the girl who cries all the time.

Sarah said...

You've all made such good points. And this does kind of relate to my having to remind myself that my life is not a novel. I know that I'm more than a single action, but in someone else's life, I might very well be "that girl who cried in fourth grade." I'm a character in someone else's novel..er life.