It is a well-known fact that I have a cousin I don't get along with very well. Before I delve into that, a little background: My mom had two of us (my sister and I) and her sister had two kids, a boy and a girl. We were raised more like siblings than cousins, and as a result not only are closer than most cousins, but over the years have fought more like siblings do. When we lost my mom, my aunt stood in for her with my sister and I, which I think probably caused all kinds of chain reactions, but the main thing is I'll always be grateful to have her.

This certain cousin, who is a few years younger than I, tends to make life decisions I have a difficult time understanding. I've been at a loss for how to deal with the seemingly constant string of decisions that I cannot for the life of me come to terms with. She's living her life in a very different way than I choose to live mine, and without divulging all the little and unecessary details, the result is that I've basically tried my hardest not to interact with her. I come from a lineage of legendary deniers, people whose best strategy for dealing with big problems is to ignore them. That's precisely what I've done.
I had a long talk with my aunt yesterday, my goal being to shed some light on all the craziness that my cousin is falling victim to, kick her parenting in high gear. I know that's at least semi-ridiculous considering I am not a parent (although I do watch very carefully who Roux dates and am aware of her penchant for eating cigarette butts. Neither her father or I approve and she darn well knows it).

The conclusion of the talk was totally unexpected. For one thing, my aunt was a lot more receptive than I'd anticipated. But she also pointed out that if I am really concerned about this cousin of mine, shutting her out is not an effective approach.
Let me interject here that one of my biggest fears is being the sort of person who can't admit when they're wrong. I despise that in other people, and worry about it in myself if only because it's such an easy fault to fall victim to.

So instead of fighting her on what she was saying I stopped and thought about it. I realized she was exactly right. There is really no excuse at all for how I've treated this family member of mine. There just isn't. She hasn't been particularly nice to me either, but so what. At some point you gotta stand up, take ownership of your actions and fix 'em.

This is going to be that point for me.
Because I hate the idea of doing a post with no photo, I did a search for "sorry" on Flickr. Sorry is used in more contexts than I'd really thought about, and I suspect there are some interesting stories behind some of these images.

(all images & their respective authors found in this list)

No comments: