2014 started out with a bang. Not only was I struggling to pay off some forgotten bills, but my roommate of five years suddenly became unemployed. I had to take on a second job in the evenings to meet our financial needs until she got on her feet. I guess my heart is bigger than my troubles for while I toyed with the idea of looking for a new roommate, an inner voice was stopping me from doing this. Her promises of obtaining gainful employment were frequently being broken, and I had to find out what was going on with her. She was asleep during the day while I worked in my office and disappearing at night when I returned home from my long evenings. This seemed like unacceptable behavior for someone who was supposed to be job hunting. One evening, we sat in the living room and talked about our situation. She was hesitant in answering any of my questions regarding her whereabouts. I felt my anger rise in my throat. Being that I am not a heartless person, I was determined to try to understand any problems she was having, but allowing her to keep up her avoidance was out of the question. I proceeded with my interrogation. With tears in her eyes and a deep breath she finally told me what was going on. As I listened, I could not believe my ears. While I was working at night, she was exploring her creativity with my makeshift drum set in my office. You can imagine how I felt, lied to, angry and unforgiving. As I got up off the couch, I walked into my office to inspect what damage she could have done to my prized pots and pans, and found nothing out of place. With a sigh of relief, I resumed our heated conversation. She explained to me that due to her current circumstances her confidence was faltering. After weeks of phone calls and resume sending, no one had responded. The feeling of failure was overwhelming her and she was afraid that if she told me, I would be angry. She had watched me many times use drum exercises to help myself overcome my anxieties and fears and decided to give it a try and that it was working for her. Every day she got a little stronger with her drum beats. I cannot say that I did not understand what was happening. I found that rhythm has transformed so many heartsick people into vehicles of talent and purpose. It was at that moment that my voice quieted down to a warm simmer. As I felt her pain as my own, I tried not to cry. I lead her into my office and told her that any time she needed encouragement, she was welcome to pick up those drumsticks and bang away those fears which was holding her back from being productive. She hugged me and thanked me for my forgiveness, and once again promised that she would resume her job search immediately. I told her to have patience in herself. Her new found enthusiasm for drumming would help her to succeed in her mission. “You really can never change a person”, but I found that you can change judgment calls to actual suggestions for somebody in trouble. The weeks that followed were filled with loud and cheerful noises coming from my office, and a promising interview for my roommate. With her confidence booming, she is optimistic that she will land the job of her dreams. Her broken promises will finally become whole.
Here’s to a bright future.