So often when we think about things that happened to us as children, as teenagers, as students, we still see them through the eyes of the person it happened to. We don’t take a step back and re-evaluate the situation from an adult’s perspective. From the teacher, or the parent, from the adult we now are.
When I was a young girl, I was playing with my dolls in the back room of my grandfather’s house, overlooking his farm. I knew there was a wedding happening that day, but I hadn’t really paid attention to who, so there I was in my blissful ignorance fluffing around. There were girls in pretty dresses who were the flower girls, girls I didn’t know. I looked up, and I saw a familiar face, I saw my cousin, and I asked her “Who is the bride?”
All around me, peals of laughter. An older women, dressed in a suit jacket and tailored skirt, not even in white, sitting right beside me, looked down at me. She said “I am”, and she laughed. I was humiliated, I cried and I hid for a large portion of the rest of the day. Embarrassed that I had been the butt of the joke.
Let’s flip this around.
You are older, and it’s later in life. You are marrying the man who makes you happy, you have both lost your previous partners and you have just found each other. It’s your wedding day, and as you are getting ready, his granddaughter asks who the bride is, because no one is in a veil… That’s pretty hilarious, right?
Or all those times in 3 Unit English when I complained I was hungry so my teacher would feed me, then I would fall asleep instead of paying attention. Hilarious to a 17 year old girl. Probably not so hilarious to the teacher whose job relied, directly or indirectly, on this girl’s HSC results (I actually did really well in that class, which my teacher was amazed by).
When you hear people tell stories about how they made their teacher cry, and they’re quite proud about it actually because to the child they were, it was funny. But think of it as the adult, you go to work, you try to do your job, and some obnoxious kid just won’t give up. They just keep at you and keep at you until you break down, and you embarrass yourself.
Like the time your aunt wouldn’t let you have a biscuit, your brother pulled on your arm, your father was furious at you for losing the CD player he paid for. The time your stepmother told you off, your sister hit you because you wouldn’t leave her alone, your teacher gave you a bad grade.
So often in life, we remember things as they happened to us. We remember the moment, the way something made us feel. We still feel what the child feels, we still hear what the child hears, we still know the situation from the side we were on. We don’t take a step back. We don’t re-evaluate.
Sometimes, in life, it’s important to look back at things from the other side. Take a step back, and re-evaluate. Consider things from the other side of the red pen.
Have you ever looked back at something and seen it in a completely different light? Have you ever made an arse of yourself like I did at the wedding?
Tamsin Howse has written 179 posts.
Tamsin is a wife, stepmother and blogger with a passion for people and relationships, fashion and beauty, and an inability to successfully complete household tasks. Co-founder and Editor-in-chief of KiKi & Tea.
Follow on twitter: @TamsinHowse