Monday, October 27, 2008

Light Warning



Just because you can, doesn´t mean you should.
I´ve always been a risk taker, but I learnt early on in life to identify my boundaries and when to stick to them.
Know your limits to take conscious risks.
People who keep playing on the edge, eventually fall off.

I was sixteen when my parents allowed me out to a nightclub for the first time.
The rules were simple:
No alcohol or substance abuse
Respect the curfew.
I knew that as long as I kept to these rules, I had freedom.
I also knew, that the day I disrespected these rules, I know longer had this privilege that most of my friends only dreamed of having at that age.
This didn´t mean however that I didn´t push my luck… at least where the drinking went, but I stuck to my limits and made sure I sobered up before going home.
I knew not to ask to go out too often or to stay out too late.
Sometimes I´d ask for an extra hour or two and often I got them, I also learnt that if I took a "no" gracefully then my privileges would probably be lengthened a bit the next time around.

One night I went out with a bunch of friends and was meant to be given a lift home afterwards. The vibe in the club was a bit dead and so we decided to go try another place… we didn´t make it out the parking lot.
The driver decided to show off his skills in spinning his car and ended up embarrassing himself by cracking a hole in the radiator as he spun over a curb.
Immediately there was panic!
Everyone was in fear of the consequences that came with their parents knowing what happened.
I knew however that there was no alternative…
I called my dad.
My friends and I worried that my dad would never let me out with them again and he´d probably tell their parents and that I´d probably never be let out at night ever again…
This was the shortening of my leash…
My dad arrived within minutes. He seemed calm as he took a look at my friend´s car but the fact that he didn´t look in my direction told me that he wasn´t all that happy.
I knew my nightlife freedom would be restricted if not cut completely but any other alternative my friends came up with seemed more irresponsible then asking my dad for help.
He called a tow truck, gave my friend a good mechanic's number and took all my friends home one by one without asking to speak with their parents.
As the last of my friends jumped out the car and we were left alone, I waited for the speech and my prison sentence…
What I got wasn´t what I expected!
My dad put his hand on my leg and thanked me for calling him.

My privileges weren´t limited, in fact two weeks later, I got another extra hour on my curfew.
Today I know that the faith deposited in me was due to the fact that I´d never overstepped my boundaries.
If until that point, I hadn´t earned the trust… my dad´s reaction would have certainly been different.
Oddly enough, with time some of my friends got night privileges from their parents on the condition that they were with me.

As a conscious adult in this day and age, there´s very little that I can´t do…
However I also know I must take the responsibility for my decisions and own up to the risks I take…
Not all the gain is worth the consequence…
Not all risks are worth taking…
Because people get hurt.
Because trust is fragile.
Because your leash will be shortened.
Because there are things you can´t undo.

I take special care to know my boundaries and to stay off the edge.
Just because I can, doesn´t mean I should…
It doesn´t mean I will.

If you keep pushing your luck, one day it will run out.

9 comments:

Luis Sardinha said...

The difficult in to be an adult is knowing where is the edge.

Sometimes you think its safe and see that you take a step that you shouldn't.

Sometimes you don't go further and loose a good opportunity to be richer, better professional or just happier.

Do you know where are all your limits? I don't in many ways.

Other things that makes me think and I don't like is the limits that other people inflict on you.
I like to look at these rules and think why they exist and what are the "fines" if the limit is overcome.

Sunshine said...

Some people find out their boundaries only when they´ve crossed them... other people never attempt to get close... it´s a personal decision that has personal results...

People need to take risks in order to move forward, my experience tells me that opening your hand to reach for something means you let go of something equally important. But that´s just my experience.

What I do know, is that common sense belongs to everyone and there are certain limits that you know for a fact are out of bounds.
Like cheating on your spouse for example.

It´s easy to camouflage boundaries and dance around them... have you ever seen the actual border between countries?... But it´s there. You might not know exactly where it´s drawn, but there are signs on the road remind you where you´re headed.

All people have limits, it´s not an imposition, it comes with the territory.
There are certain behaviours that you too will not tolerate and if people want to interact with you, they need to respect your limits.
To know where people´s limits are you have to comunicate with them... or push them, knowing that pushing them might have it´s consequences. It´s a conscious choice that you make.
It´s easy to forgive a tresspass with no ill intentions... it´s harder to forgive someone who constantly plays on your limits.

Clairvoyant said...

Serious issues rarely happen, and it's my belief that the people we can't forgive are usually wise asses. They tend to think too much of their rights and not enough about their dutties. Soon, they may find that people get tired and turn their backs on them. By that time it's too late, and it's also the only time the wise asses open their eyes and smell the coffee

Sunshine said...

I agree although I believe that not all wise asses push their luck because they´re too self absorbed in their world to care about other people´s boundaries...
Luis already mentioned that he doesn´t always know where his limits are and I believe that a lot of times people cross boundaries unintentionally.
After a warning if you STILL keep crossing the border, THEN you´re a bonified wise ass!
I believe this is where tolerance and comunication play a big part. If two people can talk things through and respect each other´s limits then we could all live in peace.

Clairvoyant said...

of course you're right. even thou, tolerance and patience is getting thin and in rough times as these, it's even more dificult. fear plays a big part in people's relations. If you have emotional and financial stability, the best in you usually shows. If not, you can see the best and worst in people. This is not the best day I've had, although until now is far from being the worst. So forgive me for sounding a bit pessimistic, I probably need to rest a bit and to cuddle up with the wife. I guess we are lucky we have each other and get along as we do. Respect, friendship, trust, love... they all bind us together each day that passes. We never did plan it that way, it just happened. Sometimes it's like a small miracle in our lives. things started working out fast enough and we never had to cross many boundaries. perhaps it was because we were so careful not to hurt each other that we paid so much attention. by the way, if you aren't sure about the boundaries, ask before doing anything you might regret. you will reduce the amount of times you f**k up

Sunshine said...

I couldn´t agree more, communication will keep you out of trouble, if you know where you stand you won´t as easily stuff up.
I´m happy that you find it easy to relate to your partner, its good that you take special care not to hurt one another... but people can´t keep walking on eggshells, you need to relax sooner or later and the only way to avoid hurting that person is to know where their boundaries lie.
Be Happy, Be Well... things can only get better.

Clairvoyant said...

It's not that our relationship is perfect, far from it. We also hurt each other from time to time, just not too much, not too often, and we learn from each bad experience. Or at least we try to.

Everybody has the ability to make a relationship work out, it's a matter of how serious you take it.

Me... I only commited myself completly when I was confident that this woman had the potential to be the woman of my life. I keep that in mind every day and try my best never to take her for granted.

And she knows it, I make sure I tell her often enough that I love her and that I don't regret a second of it.

Neither knows very well what we are doing, but some of it must be right, because we are loving each day we spend togheter. We keep our self respect, respect for one another, and keep playing by heart.

My best wishes to the two of you, may you be true to yourself and each other, and find the wisdom that characterises real love.

Anonymous said...

Boundaries are where we want them to be... either we try them or not... we must be willing to pay the price, for there's always a price, which can be steeper enough not to try again... or not... if U go through Life without knowing, U'll always wonder... or rationalize from other's experiences... it's up to U!
Ignorance can be a Blessing, and Knowledge a curse, for once U follow a path, be sure if there will be a way back... sometimes there isn't! and accept the consequences! enlightment has its dangers... ;) Wanderer

unresigned said...

This is the big issue in human relations, and particulary in love relatioships.
Always hard work, always trying to trust, but also always alert.
Unfortunately, we can only trust 100% in ourselves.
It does come with the territory to learn where bounderies are. Ours and others. But we can only learn if we're wealing to.
Don't waste time on those that make you unhappy.
Don't aste time on those who think that can do whatever they want without respcting you.
Don't waste time with anyone who still has the nerve to try to justify theire actions.
Don't!