Monday, February 13, 2006

It's Never Too Late

February 6, 2006

These past few weeks have been really important to me. A lot has happened. For one thing, despite how daunting my overwhelming workload appeared after my return from the States, I didn’t let it weigh me down, I didn’t give up. I diligently worked through it all, sacrificing my weekends and the always-occurring parties. Granted, I do still have both an anthropology presentation and an English presentation (both of which are causing me great grief), but my hard work paid off for everything else: I’ve aced all of my tests and projects so far. It actually feels really nice. And, as scary as it is, I’m really beginning to feel like an adult: accountable, hard-working, striving towards a goal. I still did my fair share of procrastination, but… I did it responsibly I guess J.

As for a fun side of life, this week is spirit week! Today was crazy day, and it’s been really fun so far. My class in incredible, they’re just so spirited, and it’s nice to know that they resemble HRS in that respect. We totally blew the other grades out of the water. Each class does skits every day at lunch, and ours was HILAAARIOUS. And I had a great little part, and thus tied for best girl of the day! It made me so happy, especially because you get money!!! Tomorrow’s student-teacher swap day, Wednesday’s gender swap day, Thursday’s class theme day, and Friday’s class color day. I’m going to dress up as Ms. Aida, the beautiful Ethiopian French teacher, who is also my soccer coach. Basically I just have to look sophisticated and elegant. Gender swap day I’m going alllll out! I’m wearing the white air forces, an XXL white tee, baggy jeans, a NICE RocaWear jacket, and Betty’s going to cornrow my hair. Oh, and I’m gonna have my bling bling: I’m borrowing a chain and some earrings… It basically rocks. Our class theme is “bring the dead back to life” and I’m Angela Davis. Basically all that I’m doing is brushing out my hair into a HUUUGE afro, wearing a lot of my mom’s old jewelry from the 60’s and 70’s, jeans, and my hot hippie halter… The thing about spirit week is that I actually need to have the clothing for my outfit within my wardrobe. It’s times like these that I miss my mom and dad’s closet. And finally, our class color is blue. I think it’s going to be a fun week.

I’ve also learned a lot about being mature and acting sensibly. Nearly since my return to Addis I have not been on speaking terms with a friend of mine. I won’t go into detail as to why that is, but he had not honored his word to me, he conveniently forgot to tell me things that I would consider important regarding our relationship (they weren’t good things), and he ultimately just hurt me a lot. So, I decided if he wasn’t willing to really talk to me, then I wouldn’t bother talking to him. Or acknowledge him. At all. When he was ready to grow up and fess up to his wrongs I would be entirely open to discussion, but until then I would ignore him. All this while I was harboring anger, resentment, and hurt towards him and it just sat in me like stagnant water. It grew murkier, flies began to gather, and an odd stench emanated from it. It was the reek of pain, my own pain. By letting those bad feelings fester inside of me, my happiness and wholeness just rot away. Sure I was hurting him, but I was hurting myself more. And ignoring him and cutting him out of my life while maintaining a solid fa├žade didn’t show my strength. I fooled myself into believing that I would “be strong” and simply forget about him. But I hadn’t forgotten about him, I was still hurting inside. I was really being weak. The strong thing to do was to forgive him, to talk to him, to rebuild some semblance of a relationship. I knew that all along, but the dominant part of my brain just seems to be stubborn and self-absorbed; this tends to displace most of my sanity and sensibility. After the voice of wisdom really got this point into my head, I forgave him. Not to his face, not out loud, but within myself I forgave him by releasing myself of all of my anger towards him. Even though we didn’t talk at school today, my energy towards him was markedly different: it was softer, calmer, lighter. It felt really nice. And then after school he approached me and apologized. The ability to forgive is great. It’s something we all need to truly embrace in our lives.

As my boy Michael Franti says: “It’s never too late to start the day over / it’s never too late to pick up the phone / it’s never too late to lay your head down on my shoulders / it’s never too late to come on home. Come on home.”


Aunt Jude said...

Well, first of all, it's sooooo not a stretch for you to look like Mrs. Aida -- sophisticated and elegant! Second, really good learnings about forgiveness. Every conflict takes two. The blame game doesn't work and results in all that festering and pain you wrote about. It's important to ask yourself and find an honest answer to the question: "What was my part in this?" And then it takes courage to be proactive in healing the relationship -- instead of waiting to be rescued. Great blog Samra. Aunt Jude

enaseb said...

just getting to your blog must be a bay area gal...who else would quote micheal franti???

look forward to reading all the way back to the first blog.

eagerly yours.

Alan Briskin said...

I'm working on a book involving collective wisdom. Your Dad is a colleague and he suggested I take a look at your blog. Your writing on forgiveness is beautiful and your self reflections touching and poignant. With your permission, I would love to include excerpts from "It's Never too late."
Best Regards, Alan