The Outcome is Better than What You Go Through
Yesterday one of my sisters sent a note asking how I was doing. Karin knew that I had been traveling and was in Waterloo, Ontario and she knew that I was dealing with tinnitus; a maddening ringing in my ear that does not stop.
I wanted to tell her how frustrating it has been and how I had been a "bit" short tempered.
Earlier that morning in the airport, my ear had been ringing louder than normal. Airports are very noisy places. The constant announcements, multiple cell phones (which are all in use) and the muzac version of Michael Jackson’s Beat It were all trying to harmonize with the sonar like pitch that’s playing loudly like a morning DJ without the commercial interruptions.
My head was killing me when I got off of a small commuter plane and went to retrieve my bag from the small ben where they had been thrown. I was tired and in pain and when I saw that the bags had all been thrown on top of one another, I sighed and mumbled “really” to myself and myself alone. The gate agent heard me and decided to give me “a piece of her mind.”
"If you don't like it you should check your bag like a normal person," she told me.
Things like this don’t normally bother me. I travel enough to be prepared for cancelations, missed connections, EWA’s (employees with attitudes) and crying babies (a quick game of peek-a-boo always works and besides they’re babies.)
When the flight attendant decided to mouth off, I snapped and told her something my mother used to say to me and my siblings.
“Look little girl,” I said. “Don’t start no s-h and there will be no i-t.”
I could not believe my own ears. I tried to stop myself but the ringing would not let me.
“You ‘bout to get an old lady beat down.” I told her.
I was embarrassed but had to put my laptop in my bag and as I did so, I noticed that the mouthy employee had turned into a sweet lamb. She was all smiles when she said, “I’m so sorry about that. I was having a bad day, can I help you find your gate?”
I shook my head mumbled something about not normally being like this and went to find my connecting flight.
I laughed about it later to my sister and manager Jeanine, and she asked if the tone in my ear was starting to sound like Bette Midler singing God is Watching Us.
When I got in, there was the email from Karin asking about my ear. I was going to tell her the airplane story and then I noticed something miraculous. I looked down at my hands and realized how quickly my fingers were flying across the key board.
I looked at my right hand and thumb and just cried.
A year ago, I broke my hand; long story and I won’t go into it here, but it was the right hand. I have always written long-hand. When I write a book or anything that requires creative writing, I write it by hand first and then I, but more often, Jeanine (bless her) types it for me and then I edit on the computer.
In the past, if I were to try to write directly on a computer, I could not find the flow that came from writing by hand. When I broke it, I had the freedom of a few fingers but could only write on a keyboard.
Before the hand was broken, I had not been writing much but now I do it every single day.
The miracle was simply this, the injury/interruption/blessing in disguise forced me and my brain to bend enough to do something differently.
So when I wrote to Karin, instead of telling her that the ringing was driving me nuts, I told her the real story; that while it annoyed me, it seemed to be happening a little less and that the day before when I sang before my lecture, (something that is now extremely difficult to do) someone told me that I had perfect pitch.
We all have struggles and interruptions in life, but when we are mindful, grateful and willing to see things to the end, the outcome is always better than what we go through.
Be well, be you, be still
Bertice Berry, PhD.