Have you ever had someone unknowingly tell you a story “they heard” that was actually you?
Its an odd feeling when someone starts off with “There was this guy…”, and you are “the guy” and they just don’t know it yet.
I mentioned previously that I would tell this story because it’s absolutely worth telling, but I caught myself thinking about it the other day so here we are.
I was almost 10 years removed from the incident when I found myself in my boss’s office reminiscing about “Athens”.
Officers in the Supply Corps are fond of Athens, GA because most of them made up for the for years of college partying they didn’t do during their six months there.
I made up for those four years and about a dozen other years.
It was like releasing an animal back into the wild after years of captivity. The animal is dumb and doesn’t know what to do…except make poor decisions.
I’m not sure how we got into story telling but it ramped up to who had the best story. The old “one upper”….
My boss was a good guy so I was cool with it.
Then it happened..
He started the story “I heard there was this guy who destroyed almost all of downtown one night he was so drunk.”
At this point you can imagine the awkward smile, sink down in your seat “no, no I haven’t heard that” feeling I was experiencing.
My boss liked me so I was terrified of how this would end.
He continued to tell the story and I continued to get smaller in my seat.
The story obviously had its fair share of exaggerations as it had made its way through the fleet.
It had gone from one bar to the whole town so I had become pretty legendary, I just didn’t know it.
As he finished my story I realized that I needed to set the record straight on some of the facts and that I wasn’t going to let someone “one up” me with my own story.
(I’m not competitive)
I said “I don’t think that is entirely true”
He said “No a guy I worked for was in charge at the time and that’s what he said”
To which I replied “Well that guy was me so I can tell you pretty much anything you want to know about that story.”
He sat bewildered and skeptical of what I had just told him.
He was shocked and now I was amused.
He said “Holy sh*t was that really you??” “Yes sir it was, that jail smelled like piss”
He burst into laughter and just said “Hey well at least you can laugh it off now”
That story is embarrassing. It was then and it is now.
But its in the past and I’m not going to judge myself on it anymore.
I bring this up because I was thinking about that moment the other day because we just had our annual retreat as a staff where we review the year and talk about next year.
There were some things that I was unhappy with from 2018. I’m sure I will feel that way every year for the rest of my life.
But I’m not going to dwell on them, because I’m not perfect and I’m not going to pretend to be.
As the year closes out, do some reflection on what you’ve done well and what you haven’t.
Own the things you haven’t done well. Its a pretty liberating feeling, because now we can correct them
We aren’t perfect parents.
We don’t always stick to the nutrition plan.
We don’t always get to the gym as many times as we set out to.
We don’t always say the right thing to our significant other.
We don’t always make the right decision.
And it’s ok.
Be critical of yourself, but not too harsh.
Be demanding of yourself, but not too demanding.
Own your mistakes, but try not to repeat them.
And when you look back at your shortcomings be ok with “laughing them off”.