Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Step By Step

"I put one foot....... in front of the other one.
I don’t need a new love...... or a new life – just a better place to die.

I put one foot...... in front of the other one.
I don’t need a new love...... or a new life – just a better place to die

(Fun - One Foot)
She was a scared, but defiant girl. 

After all, this therapy shit had failed her before.  The first one had been a preachy frummy lady who talked about God.  After one session she told her parents she'd never go back.  There's no place for God at the shrinker.

The second one.  Ah the second one.  He seemed distracted.  Bored.  Disassociated. 

That also lasted one time.

But a deals a deal. Stay in the house, get help or be cut off.  Forever. 

She's defiant, not stupid.  So she'll try again.

The third one came with a recommendation from someone they knew.  Someone who had experience with "similar types".  Male, frum, but not overbearingly so.  Why not? 

The first time they met, it was like a boxing match.  Two fighters circling each other, warily.  Trying to reach in and make some contact.  When the hour was up, she left.  She didn't say anything to her parents.  No fits about how stupid it was or what a waste of time it was.  Rather, she just went back to the next scheduled session.

And again it was two fighters.  Circling.

And again.

Halfway through the fourth session he cut her off as she was spouting some piece of nonsense or another.  A rare thing for a therapist to do.  They usualy just let you ramble on and on. "You know Cymbaline," he said, "I'm not going to be able to help one is really going to be help you, if you don't learn to trust them just a little bit."

"How am I supposed to trust you?" the defiant girl asked.

A smile.  "One step at a time."

And that's how it was.  One step.  One admission.  One horrible story.  One secret. 

And he took baby steps too.  No judging.  No trying to make me a believer.  Giving small insights into the mind that was me.  Insights so...right on about me, I had no choice but to trust.

Step By Step.


I was thinking about this last night because I was talking to a friend about her dating struggles.  I had mentioned to her that perhaps a small part of the problem was that her list of what an ideal guy is was made a few years ago and she's changed since then.

Because people change, step by step, during their adult formative years.  That's 18-30 or so in my book.  That's the time when you become an adult.

What the hell do I know, you ask?  It's a fair question.  I'm a well bit short of 30.  So how do I know.  Because I listen.  I observe.  I see. 

And this is my theory, anyway:

When we hit 18, we all want to be adults.  But we don't know how.  It's something you have to learn.  It's probably not something you learn in high school.  It comes from becoming independent, your own person.  And it's a slow process.  Because all of a sudden there's this whole new world of knowledge that falls into your world.  And you need to see it, learn it, process it.  And it changes you.  Very much.  But in very small, incremental ways.

So when you are 20, you probably have a different way of thinking than you did as a teen.  But that's going to change when you hit 25 and you are out of school/grad school, probably in the workforce, possibly married.  Maybe even with a kid or two.  Or you've had serious relationships with three different guys/girls and it's made you more jaded.

Now you are 30 - five more years have passed.  And those years have given you experience and a whole new prospective on things.

So yes, in my opinion, these are the adult formative years.  And they change you.  And the things you may have held true at 17 all of a sudden seem so far away from where you are now.  You skirt is higher, your ideals have changed.  You no longer see issues black and white.  The birth of your child has made you less selfish.  A job loss when you were on top of the world has humbled you.  A broken heart has made you less of a misogynist.

So you put on front of the other one....and you learn.  You experience.  You process.  And you change.

The important thing is to make sure that your old ideas change with you.


  1. It's really true. That's why it can be tricky when someone gets married really young because they haven't fully developed into an independent person with independent ideas and sometimes they can go down a different path than their spouse, causing a divide. I've seen it happen to a few people I know and it's not a pretty sight.

  2. Ah, this is so good. That song has so much power in its punch... One step... one foot in front of the other... I sometimes focus so much on shooting for the finish line I forget that it'll take so much out of me to go their so quickly...

  3. Hm. Very true. I always look back and am surprised with who I was. Sometimes I read year old posts and can't believe I wrote them.

  4. "The birth of your child has made you less selfish. A job loss when you were on top of the world has humbled you. A broken heart has made you less of a misogynist."