July 15, 2022, Amarillo- The young lady had to be coaxed out of the women’s restroom, by her supervisor. Not knowing her situation, and seeing that it was none of my business, I just sat patiently and waited to place my order. Of course, had it been another twenty minutes, I’d have paid for my beverage and left, but there is a certain period of time that one can use for the exercise of patience.

Many of us, myself included, have variously been given to fits of beating ourselves up and being fearful of other people, who may or may not represent a danger. Most of the time, I have found that, in the first instance, a course correction is far preferable to self-flagellation. In the second case, a mix of fortitude and prudence carries the day.

The woman mentioned above seemed to lack self-confidence, and had to pull herself together to do the basic task of taking an order for a meal. She managed, as millions of us before her have managed, by just taking a few deep breaths and going forward. There simply would have been no other way, other than fleeing back into a “safe haven”, which probably would have cost her that job. My meal was competently delivered, as was the bill, once I had finished eating.

Truth be known, there have been all too many instances, in which I have timidly approached tasks which thousands, if not millions, of others have done-and done well, over the millennia, or at least over the past hundred years. Novel tasks also crop up, regularly, thanks to advances in science and technology-and I have looked at them gingerly, as well. A very small part of this has been because of people in my life who have cast doubt on my ability to walk and chew gum, simultaneously. About seven years ago, though, having come back from a visit to Europe and having managed to not get thrown in jail, or out of any given country, it really started to occur to me that just maybe sometimes the Boo-Birds in my life were wrong-deflecting and projecting their self-doubts onto little old me.

Then, I started to look at my life in its totality, up to that point. All the things I’d done right came flooding into my consciousness-and many of them were things that I would only have messed up by overthinking, or by wondering-“What would — do?” Some were huge things; most were small matters that just added up. I am now in the last stages of the longest road journey I’ve ever undertaken on my own, in a solid motor vehicle that some questioned would even make it to the halfway point. (It did, and there was the moderate maintenance that one would expect of ANY vehicle.) Newfoundland, and all points in between, were worth it. The affirmations I have received, from people who know cars better than I do, far outweigh the aspersions cast by those who doubt my abilities, or my judgement.

I hope young V is able to cast out her own demons. She did well tonight, in spite of her doubts and fears.

2 thoughts on “Flagellation

  1. Amen! We all have doubts and worries and they are often magnified by detractors and our own reticence! Overcoming the naysayers is a triumph that is personal and glorious. A round of applause for your fortitude! So glad you are having fun and not beating yourself up!

    Liked by 1 person

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