You’d think by now I’d have learned the lesson. And yet again today I was given the cold, hard reminder of just how naive I still am. A dash of ice water to faltering hopes, just like always. Why do I never learn?
As a kid I always thought I’d be past all the struggle at this point in my life. I was sure that at this vast age I’d be settled and in charge. I’d have it all figured out, under control.
Except I don’t.
In fact, I’m still making the very same mistake at 53 that I was making in my teens, twenties, thirties. You’d think after a lifetime of hard, hurtful lessons I’d have figured this out by now. Today showed me just how much I have not taken this lesson, taught over a lifetime, to heart. I’m still, somewhere deep down, fighting the reality that insists on showing itself.
Maybe I’m a slow learner. Maybe I just hate the lesson.
Whatever the reason, this pointless pattern repeats itself down the years so that I can’t even remember all the times this scene has played out before. How many times you’ve dug deep to give. How often you’ve wished and hoped and prayed things would be better going forward. How often you’ve been disappointed, shut down, excluded.
And still you let down your guard one more time. Only to be disappointed, again.
Part of me realizes that wishing and wanting isn’t going to change things. It won’t bridge the distance so carefully kept over the years. It takes both sides wanting the same thing for there to be any real hope of getting there. Otherwise it’s just a waste of time and effort on a cause that will never change.
I’ve yet to get comfortable with this idea; and that is most likely why I continue to make this same mistake. Learn this same lesson. Even at my age with a lifetime of experience. Even though I should certainly know better. My first inclination flies in the face of logic, what experience has taught me.
I still want to give the benefit of the doubt.
Luckily I have clear-headed people in my life with good memories. And I am smart enough to listen to them both. Maybe next time that will be enough to save me.