Thursday, February 27, 2014

The dreadful Cold shoulder

Ugh, the pain, cannot be put into words, when someone always greeted you with warm welcoming smile along with bright twinkling eyes, and asked about your welfare, but one day, gives you  a dreadful cold shoulder. I understood then and there itself that even though that person is just few feet away from you, but mind-wise, infinite miles of distance between each other. With that one cold shoulder, you question yourself - do you even know this person.

Maybe I've always given to others, but yesterday being at the receiving end, it felt terrible, but I'm hell bent to not send email by conveying sorry or anything else. I don't even know my fault, prior to yesterday, the whole week, I never even communicated through email, I'm off the hook. Yes, after a long long time, I was in cheerful mood, but damn, the cold shoulder tortured me.

One thing I know very well, if someone cares for the other person, from time to time, they will get upset over them, and they will make sure to let the other person know why they are upset, and they will even try to gather the reasons by giving that person, a chance to defend. So I'll wait patiently, but no way I'll write an email by conveying sorry, because I don't like to wait for the response, and I don't want to project like I'm the reason he is upset, and not any outwardly incident; I don't want to make it as a "me" situation.

Oh well, you guessed it, it is related to MUSIC TEACHER. The way he acted out yesterday was almost enactment of my own behavior. When I give cold shoulder to someone, it is because I've no control over my emotions or feelings, that is like involuntary action. Maybe for him too. In one way, yesterday's situation amused me that we are all so alike, but at the same time, being on the receiving end, did not feel good at all. 

Last week, he suggested to attend a group class featuring a special guest, but based on unwillingness from my husband  to drive, and being very cold outside, I cringed to disobey the teacher's request, but nonetheless, made the decision to skip. The whole trip - driving back and forth, and the class, will take three and half hours, and that crucial time during weekdays is precious, especially homework due dates, etc, etc. before making firm decision, I read his email once again to find the emotion in his request. All he used is "nice to visit", but in another email, he mentioned "next week will be special because of the guest. It should be very interesting and stimulating."

Both emails didn't really emphasize the importance of why kids should attend. Of course, If I was in his place, I also would have been upset for ignoring my advice, but that is me. On the other hand, he is absentminded or he is engulfed with many activities that he doesn't remember to ask, so I thought he will careless, and won't even bother to ask. But to my horror, that was his first question whether we attended the event, and I said, "no", without elaborating much. He said, "oh, you couldn't make it." I just let the conversation end in that fashion. I don't know whether he overheard my conversation with other parent about group class, or was that important for him for us to attend the event, I have no clue. My heart is so heavy after getting cold shoulder from him, the one whom  I thought really likes me a lot as a person.

That's how folks, people come and people go, nobody sticks around to be there for you regardless of you being good or bad. I know based on my personal experience, if someone really likes you, they will have a heart to forgive, because they care so much for you, that they don't want to lose the relationship.

The lyrics of the song "passenger" comes to my mind when I think about the way,  week after week he used to greet me with bright eyes along with a warm smile, like as if he was so looking forward to meet. 

"Well you only need the light when it's burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go
Only know you've been high when you're feeling low
Only hate the road when you're missing home
Only know you love her when you let her go
And you let her go"

I cannot help if people want to hate me, all I can say is, nothing new.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Praise worthy

They say praise worthy, but do we have to think about what kind of person we want to praise?

I'm always very good at praising. If I see something amazing, I'll be the first one to blurt out. A recent episode, made me to think about that it is not always a good idea to praise what you see.

For example, when I praise the music teacher, I really feel good as he makes sure that my praise was well regarded, and acts accordingly that I don't feel a pinch of pain for even taking effort to praise him. Usually, this is what everybody comes across, but oh boy, recently, I encountered a different scenario where I'm feeling the pain of praising someone and have no clue how to get her down on the ground after making her soar in the sky.

When I went to my neighbor's house, I praised her organized house and her tidiness. Not only just her house, I praised her strong character, her grit, her intelligence, her life skills after observing her surviving skills after her husband who lessen than a year ago passed away. Not only I praised her, but I put myself down by telling her about incapable I would have been in the same scenario.

One day, unannounced, she came to my house, and to my horror, that day house was really dirty, things were everywhere as I usually clean when I expect guests. 
That day, she noticed and talked and laughed like it was a common thing. 

Recently in her talks about someone else house, she was praising herself for her clean house, not only one day, but every day, any time of the day, her house is always in praise worthy form. She went on about how she cannot withstand ruffled bed sheets or things not in right place, and how she doesn't understand about others who keep their untidy house day after day. The person about whom she is talking is recently divorced with two teenage boys living in an apartment. My question is how can anybody compare to anybody when the scenario or life story or characters living in the house are different. Not everybody gets support from every member of the house. We all can keep our house clean and organized, but without family members support, how much you ever try things will not be obits place, either you've to work like a robot and keep on place things in its place, or you will clean when it is required. Either way, why someone brags about themselves. Argh, so IRRITATING! Accompanying such people irked me out. 

The moral of this story is yes, praise worthy but before that see who is other side as once you uplift them and make them soar in the sky, they may not come back to the ground, and not only that, they may squish you down with the same energy you blessed them with.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hopeless case

When you see something odd in people's behavior, believe the moment. Something might be lurking in that person's mind.

Recently, I emailed someone - part of the email was about praising and thanking that person, and the rest was about a question I had.

The no. 1 pet peeve of mine is not responding to emails. It irritates me so much. Why do they think that it is okay to disrespect someone by not responding?

Yes, it happened with me recently, and I forgot that if I don't get quick reply from this person, I'm not going to get forever. So I waited and waited patiently for two days. I cried few times - thinking about why people don't care for me, then thought about about my life status - if I was totally busy with family and work, I would have not bothered at all, as I would have had million problems and very less time to bother about someone disrespecting or not emailing me on time. The problem with me is that they will know that they bothered me because my facial expressions. It will be weitten all over my face. So next time when I see face to face, they will know. It is not because I want to make them feel guilty, but my face portrays what is on my mind, that is disappointment and sadness.  People usually interpret my facial reaction as to make them feel gulity. 

Friday night, I couldn't sleep; thought ways to escape from this person. I did not want to give this person the upper hand; encourage and prove to them that how easy to hurt me. Then I thought, I should act out like how cool I'm about this situation - what, was there a situation, hmm.. Am I upset? What happened? Oh, you couldn't reply. Oh, I totally forgot about it!!

Wish I could act like that, but I'm so stupid; just cannot. It is so so damn easy to hurt me. I prayed to God to make me so busy that I don't have time for trivial things, just no time to think.

Couldn't picture myself going in front of this person and showing this person that your actions bothered me so much. Googled and tried to find answer of why people don't respond. Nowadays google is the one provides answers for all my weird questions. I prayed to God - please do something, give me some temporary ecstasy. I don't care whatever it is, just make me happy, fine with delusions of any kind, just keep me in a happy state of mind where my unaccomplishments are not at all a topic like the way when I met steward - I was temporarily totally happy, even though there was a big hole in my life.

Saturday morning, out of blue, God gave me a signal to just email this person one more time  and find out the reason. So I did...totally different mindset compare to the night. Oh, my beautiful mind!!!

[With a sad face emoticon in the subject line.]
No acknowledgment/response = annoyed or don't care or ________(no, please don't say busy).
A person who usually responds promptly, won't respond, then yes, it is worrisome!
Yes, you can be brutally honest!

After sending this email, I literally cried; cried because of my immaturity, cried  because of my unhelpfulness, cried because of not having self-esteem, cried because I'm not invisible, cried because I wanted to be loved, cared and to be given importance. 

I know there is only one solution for my problem, and that is to find a job to feel self-worthy, to feel proud that I'm responsible and mature, and to prove to that world - hey, I'm dropping of my kids; have to take an important call or have to attend a meeting or whatever working moms' busy  with, so teach them, take care of them but please don't talk about their lack of progress or their accomplishments because I just don't have time. And that's what the world wants - nobody should interfere in nobody's business. 

Thankfully, this person cares; cares at least for now; wrote a very affectionate kind of email which at least made me to breathe, and at the same time felt ashamed for not having patience.

Dear [my name],

I am sorry you were annoyed. It was a long email and I wanted to offer a thoughtful response.  I read it in the car on the way to work and did not have time for a thoughtful reply. Also, I find it annoying to try to construct long emails on my phone where I read most of my messages.

Yes, I'm glad we found a duet that will work for both kids. I am aware of the technical deficiencies that we are trying to address in both. I am most concerned with the proper production of sound that comes from the use of weight from the shoulder and forearm. They offer great potential as musicians and I believe I offer just what they need in order to progress. In order to do that, I need your trust. Please trust that if I do not reply immediately, that I still have taken it under advisement.  

We will begin a theory regimen as soon as I am able to find an appropriate tool. I fear the JTF books I typically use will be too rudimentary, yet they become quite difficult in the upper years so, perhaps it is simply a matter of advancing them to the level of challenge within the books. 

In truth, things have been a bit chaotic recently...I am preparing a presentation for my research team to present at a medical conference in May, two weeks ago, my father had a heart attack in Michigan and so have been trying to phone home and help as much as possible since I am so far away, simultaneously, my grandmother has had to be placed in full time nursing care as she has Alzheimer's and is not expected to survive longer than 6 months. The guilt I experience from being so far away and not being able to help my family through this truly difficulty time far exceeds any guilt placed on me for not replying to an email in a timely manner.

Do not take my delays as a reflection on you. I value your input and always take it under advisement when planning for your children.


Of course, after reading this email, I came out of melancholy, but there was no smile. Yes, he said dear and wrote so eloquently such a long email, but I was sad for myself for being like these of not having faith in myself - why do I need others affection, why do I look for others attention, why do I need others approval, why do I make people question my maturity level? I'm a parent for God's sake; I should be mature; my hands and mind are supposed to be full; no time for grievance, but be mature enough to help my kids with their problems. I'm really a hopeless case. I'm just unfit to be among humans.

 Recently, I read "everybody should act according to their age, not according to their shoe size" That really made me laugh out loud. But if you really take time and think about the statement, there is a flaw in this statement; age doesn't make you wise, your experience makes the difference. Yes, I'm putting on age every year, but am I becoming wise? Infact, no! Because I'm not exposed to the world. I protected myself by being inside the four walls. That's why everything, anything hurts me. I act like I'm a bud, but infact long ago, I blossomed due to my age. In fact  I should blossom when I gain experience of going through the negative things the world put you through if you're exposed to all kinds of humans. Until I'm living protected life, I'll be immature even though I become old.

Anyway, I had to reply to him, the way "mature" people do.

First of all, I feel sorry for your situation. Hope things will sort out by itself in a timely fashion, and the best  way possible.

Second, sorry for making you compose such a long email.

Third, I was not annoyed, rather worried. You misconstrued my sentence: "No acknowledgment/response = annoyed or don't care or ________(no, please don't say busy)."

I was actually referring to you being annoyed because of my email - "No acknowledgment/response = are you annoyed or don't care or ________(no, please don't say busy)."

Fourth, I had no intention to make you feel guilty. As I said earlier, it was more towards being worried about offending you because of my informal email. I do try, and constantly remind myself that you're a college professor and I should be more formal whenever I interact with you, but what can I do, I find you so easy to communicate and very friendly to interact (even though on interactive basis, we both know each other from just five months or so), and that causes me to be overly friendly. I can't stop myself - if something is worthy enough to be praised, I don't see boundaries. Some observe and keep to themselves, but I am too open in my praises and appreciation.

Last, I do trust your teaching potential, your talent, your patience, your good nature and your analyzing skills.

Ugh, not at all feeling good for making you to explain in detail, and for wasting your time. Maybe building up layers of understanding ;).

Another lovely email from him which changed the subject line from sad face emoticon to happy emoticon. Really, do ordinary mothers behave like the way I do. I'm giving him a chance to think about me poorly - label me as one immature non-working mother.

Dear [my name],

Thank you for your thoughtful email!   And I appreciate your explanations. You are right, we are building up layers of understanding and mutual respect and admiration.

I appreciate your openness and warm nature a great deal.

Thank you!

Have a wonderful weekend!!!

 I loved seeing the word "dear" again. And so many exclamations after the last sentence which he usually doesn't say. 

Two weeks ago, he and I had a very serious discussion about him not being totally 100% honest about my son's winning chances in the January competition which my son miserably failed. That week before the discussion he was totally wanted to cheer me up, and was very interested to prove to me that he is doing every kind of adjustment to become a great teacher. I guess after going home, he did not feel good about the discussion we had or my morose face in the followup class after the competition. Of course, I witnessed the effects in the next class like totally focusing on teaching than seeing my face whenever he joked around. It was not totally bad, but you can easily notice something not norm. Stupid me, to console and make him happy, especially after reading the news and media backlash about Michael Sam coming out, I sent an email like this: 

Thank you for so quickly acting upon on my request by choosing a duet piece.

Just want to let you know that your decisions/teaching-style based on my feedback have been noticed and are very much appreciated.

I wanted to talk about enforcing regular practice of scales as they used to do in preparation for RCM exams, but like as usual you made that decision before I even had a chance to speak😜. What can be a better example than this for telepathy, huh?!?! 

Do you have any theory workbook that they can work on every week? Previously, they worked on "Elementary Rudiments of Music" by Kathleen Wood. Pranay even went upto advanced level. I want them to keep on working on triads, arpeggios, harmonic/melodic scales...; don't want them to forget the knowledge they had.

I like the way you are asking too many questions nowadays and getting to know kids perspective and understanding of the topic. 

Thank you for being so flexible and approachable.

Have a nice day!

This is the email which he did not bother to reply. So began my agonizing period until he sent the email, starting with "dear". 

Moral: Don't interact too much! Lay low! Be professional! Don't send emails! Talk directly, stick to what you want to ask. That's it, you'll be better off. And please remember he is GAAAAAAAAAYYYYY!