On Saturday for example, Glen and I arranged to meet my sister in London. She’d texted me directions, but after a cursory glance, I decided to opt instead for the magical powers of my inner sat-nav. (Yes, the same one that led me to Gatwick when I was flying from Heathrow. Twice).
Armed with limitless self-belief, I insisted I knew exactly where we were going. Glen asked several times to see the text my sister had sent. But with that query I felt the sting of a thousand former scars at not being believed. By calling my sense of direction into question, I felt like my whole life was being challenged. A child who couldn’t be trusted. An idiot, who didn’t know what she was doing.
So, I determined to prove Glen wrong and myself right. If we just kept following this road, (whatever its name was), we were guaranteed to arrive at our destination.
Fifteen minutes later we were, of course, completely and utterly lost. Finally, I caved in and looked at the text. And yes, I’d misread it.
Faced with the evidence of my folly, something in me did a little crumple. “Sorry” I muttered. But along with my shame I also felt relief.
Elton was wrong. ‘Sorry’ wasn’t the hardest word. The hard words were the ones that I used to cover myself up. This was a soft word, a squashy one that opened me up and let in air.
“I was wrong and there’s no excuse.” There’s freedom in admitting our mistakes.