I was tutoring one of my girls today and it was one of those days where she was just not getting anything mixed with not wanting to do any work, combined with me not having patience and being extremely hard on her.
There was even a moment today where I shamefully and not proudly and so regretfully almost yelled at her and said her answer was stupid. I can’t believe I used the word stupid.
Right before our lesson ended, she put her head in my arms and she cried.
I felt so horrible; for that lesson, I was Ed.
I was wearing his shoes, I was wearing his clone, I was walking in his stride.
I was thinking, talking and acting like him.
I had become everything that I hate about him.
Mind you, this girl usually does very well. But today I was asking her to be perfect; to not get anything wrong, and to get every single thing right, and I realized that right in that second.
“Don’t cry my love, everyone has bad days. I have bad days where I mess up on my homework too. I’m sorry I was too hard on you.”
I mean, was that the best I could say? That I am sorry? That everyone has bad days? It wasn’t anywhere near good enough in my opinion.
Would that be good enough if Ed told me he’s sorry and that he just had a bad day and that’s why he was mean to me? No way. It would never suffice. Just a simple sorry?
And more than that, I lied to her.
I’ve never had a bad academic day. I am a straight A student to this day. I hold myself to the same almost unrealistic standards that I was trying to hold her to, and why? She doesn’t need to be me to be the best version of herself, and as a matter of fact, I hope she is far from me.
I don’t want her to be a perfectionist.
I want her to know it’s ok to have bad days and that it’s ok to not know all the answers on her homework all the time.
But as I sit here and write this, I feel like it would be contradicting myself to not take my own advice.
She had a bad day, but so did I.
Just how she has to know it’s ok to not know all the answers all the time, I have to know that I can’t alway be the perfect tutor and that I too, will slip up.
I didn’t have a perfect day in Ed’s world either.
I didn’t go to the gym, I went out to dinner for my grandma’s birthday and I ate two desserts-two! I even told my cousin that I have two stomach’s, one for food and one for dessert.
In the recovery world that is a great day, but it’s not a perfect day either. It could have been more balanced. And of course Ed is telling me I should have avoided the whole thing anyway.
But the truth of the matter is, so what? I had dessert on a Monday, and yes, it was after eating a lot of sweets yesterday.
Yes, I maybe could be more balanced in my food choices.
And yes, I could have been a lot nicer to my amazing little 8 year old girl today.
You know what’s the craziest part about today?
I can forgive myself for eating the dessert and the food that Ed so badly wants me to obsess over, but I can’t seem to forgive myself for being an Ed to that little girl.
At one time, I would never have cared if I yelled at her or made her cry ,as long as I ate under a certain amount of calories that day or weighed a certain number that day.
Now all I can think about is how I was to her like Ed is to me; demanding of perfection.
So today was another day of imperfection.
Imperfection in my tutoring, imperfection in eating what Ed didn’t want me to eat and imperfection in not measuring up to be the person who I know I can be.
I can’t go back and apologize to that girl again right now, but I wish I could.
I don’t know what else to say. I hope I can forgive myself for making her cry those tears that were pleading for me to just give her approval.
After being in Ed’s shoes today, and after literally being him for an hour, I have never wanted to be further away from him.
Today was imperfect. I was imperfect. But I am learning, and I guess that’s all I can do.