Friday, June 19, 2015

Thoughts on Boundaries on a Rainy Friday Morning with a Desparate Man

Two years ago I started working on boundaries, well, no, two years ago I started realizing that my life didn't have any boundaries, and it took me another year to start trying to fix that. I backslide sometimes, I catch myself soaking up emotion in a room, and I put the net back up--I can't do the cone of silence style of boundaries. I have to breathe. But all your junk can stay on the other side of the net and still let the good stuff through.

Having a semi-permeable membrane separating myself from other people makes me an exceptionally connected teacher in a classroom where I make all the rules and set up the space, but sometimes in the rest of my life, oy vey.

So I actively practice boundaries like other people practice yoga. You don't have to go through life unarmed. Seriously.

It all kind of culminated this morning in a small, gentle "No" that I was able to say today.

I said it for real and someone went to jail. Whoops. No. It's good. It was time to grow up and own up and fess up and all those ups.

I know you got the ultimate raw deal when the Fates dealt our our hands. 

I know you have soulful brown eyes and more courage than the next ten people and cigarette burns on your hands and every other person you know has open warrants and can't help you, or won't answer the phone. 

But I can't. 

More than that: I won't.

So he came by to tell me he was turning himself in.

I hugged him goodbye and wished him good luck.

The rain kept coming down, relentless rain.

I went back inside and ate waffles Brooklyn made. And I wasn't even worried or sad. Because there is plenty to worry about and be sad about. I don't have to own the whole world's suffering.



  1. This must have been tough for you, but you're right - you can't own the whole world's suffering. Well done.

  2. Wow. Wow. Wow. And I have no doubts that you did the right thing.