I recently had a spell during which I was in full limbo. Let me be honest and say I put myself there. I made a mistake – publicly. I apologized and understood there would be consequences. Waiting for those consequences produced the limbo. I had no idea where my predicament might lead and no idea how I would fare. It wasn’t fun.


After nearly a full week of flailing, the situation was sort of dealt with and was sort of handled. I say sort of because that’s the best description I can muster. The people charged with the responsibility of addressing my mistake didn’t seem to know how to process. And I’m guessing their uncertainty is what led them to taking so long in dealing with me. This wasn’t cool for me, not only because of unknowing and discomfort, but also because I expected, well, more from them. Not just because they’re management, mind you, but because I’ve always thought of them as top-notch people. In retrospect, I can see my expectations may have been a bit unrealistic. I mean, not everyone in management is effective at managing, you know? Not everyone has had actual managerial experience. And even if someone lists that title on their resume, it doesn’t mean they’ve had to deal with shit hitting the fan. Unfortunately, I had hurled the shit into said fan at breakneck speed and having done so publicly only served to complicate my situation.


When my “punishment” had been decided – based on my own suggestion – I worked on figuring out where I’d landed with everything. First – I had to forgive myself. I had to. Otherwise, I’d eternally beat myself up as retribution for a single, brief, bad moment. Next – I decided I needed to forgive management. I didn’t like how my situation was handled and not handled. But I knew that if I could see and forgive the error of my ways, I absolutely had to extend the same courtesy to them. We are – all of us – only human.


The ordeal was an ugly chapter and I’m glad to be on the other side of it. I won’t pretend there’s a silver lining or anything, but I did learn a few things from my limbo rigmarole…

  • Not all grown-ups are grown. Some simply don’t have it in them to handle life in the moment. Sometimes these non-grown-ups turn out to be people you love. Sometimes it’s yourself. Either way, that’s awkward.
  • No matter how contrite a person may be, she cannot turn back time and undo an error. And being sincere doesn’t necessarily help, either. Sometimes a screw-up is just a screw-up is just a screw-up.
  • Handling disappointment in myself can be much easier to bear than handling disappointment in others. I always assumed it would go the other way round.
  • It hurts to own having possibly injured another soul. Knowing an action was unintentional doesn’t do much to lessen the weight of the guilt. It also hurts to be on the receiving end of intentional, offensive actions. Not dealing with a situation is intentional.
  • Fucking up is bad enough, but doing it in public is pretty danged awful.
  • Words hurt. My own screw-up could have been much, much worse, had I used injurious language. Thankfully, I didn’t. But some loaded words were used on me, and though I may forgive the speaker, I won’t forget the language.
  • Just because I didn’t spill the details of my screw-up doesn’t mean others weren’t talking aplenty. I suppose that leads me back to the first point. Not all grown-ups are grown.

I know I’ve been vague here, but I can’t be more specific. Real people are involved and I respect too many of them to betray their privacy. Besides – my error rests at my door. It is mine to carry. And I do. And now that some processing has taken place, I can even laugh about it. A little. I suppose that’s progress.


This ordeal will probably lead to changes in my life, changes I had not foreseen or expected. I’m okay with that. In fact, just after I processed the loss of this part of my little world, another opportunity presented itself, offering new experiences and adventures. To quote one of my own lyrics, “They say God don’t close no doors without opening up a few windows. I think I’m gonna fly through…”