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! 

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