I’m annoyed. Not my best look. I don’t like how feeling aggravated feels. When these feelings, so personal, crop up in interactions with friends or colleagues or loved ones, it’s worse. I guess I kind of expect strangers to be occasionally unpredictable, occasionally unpleasant, or antagonistic, or irritable. I suspect I don’t leave enough room for people close to me to have those moments, too. I feel reliably hurt when someone “comes at me” unexpectedly over something that seems, to me, to be inconsequential – or at least not worth all that negative emotional energy suddenly coming my way. It’s too easy to center my experience as what matters most. Hard to find the right balance of agreeable, kind, compassionate, empathetic, approachable… and do that while also managing skillful boundary setting, deep listening, and non-attachment. It’s a very human experience. I get mixed results.

…I keep working at it…

I take a breath, have a glass of water, and walk away from the moment. “Let it go,” I remind myself, “it isn’t personal; we’re each having our own experience.” Words. For an instant I feel myself resist – embracing those hurt feelings, and my initial flare-up of my own anger and aggravation feels so… important. At least momentarily. I have that “what about me?” moment. Very angst-y, very cross. Another breath. I let it go. Again. I sit down at my computer to work it out in words. (Thanks for listening.) I put on a video – rain falling on a country road. It’s the background noise I’m looking for. It tends to help push the tinnitus into the background; it’s loud today.

…My Traveling Partner comes into the studio with an ice tea for me. He glances at the title, and back at me, as he hands me the tea. “That’s nice.” he says. I think I detect a hint of sarcasm. I’m not certain. I’m a bit tone deaf to some of those conversational nuances (and it’s why I have worked at not using those sorts of things myself, with mixed results). I worry that he thinks I am writing about him. I figure he’s probably been with me long enough not to read into one of my titles what my intent – or content – actually may be.

…The iced tea is very pleasant, but with a hint of something… bitterness, maybe? He had said he did not like this batch. I don’t taste bitter very well (at all?)… and many people dislike bitter flavors if they are strong. So… maybe that’s it? Maybe there’s a metaphor in there somewhere? Something about individual perspective, and subjective experiences…?

I feel like a jerk when I take some small moment of discord as a personal attack. I guess that’s appropriate; it’s not ideal, and hinders pleasant social interaction. I contemplate whether an apology is due (usually, if I’m wondering, then yeah, it’s due)… and what, precisely, I am considering apologizing for – because that matters. Sarcastic non-apologies, or defeatist passive-aggressive attacks phrased as apologies are neither helpful, nor are they any sincere reflection of regret. I reflect for a moment on what it is I regret, from that moment, right now…

There is a bee, in spite of the chilly day, nosing around in the pear blossoms beyond the fence. I only see the one, and I wonder if the bee feels like it has happened upon amazing abundance… or is just doing bee things, unaware of it’s solitary moment in the pear tree? You can spare me the word of caution against anthropomorphizing the life of a bee. I get it; bees are not people. Well… I mean… they are not what we understand ourselves to be as people…but I’m not sure we truly know all there is to know about the consciousness of other sorts of creatures than ourselves. We barely have any fucking idea how we work, or what our consciousness “is”. lol

Chilly day. Tasty iced tea. Pleasant bite of lunch with my partner. A moment of human failure worth a word of regret. All part of this very human experience… I breathe, and get ready to begin again.