Monday, February 13, 2012

Re-opening wounds

For several weeks, I had known about an upcoming dinner for some local dog trainers. It happens that the annual dog training conference I've been attending since 2003, will literally be in my backyard this year. It is really exciting to have such an big event here, and I'm hopeful it will be just as good or even better than other past conferences.

I had already told the event coordinator I was going, however, I also knew there was a high chance my former boss would be there. After all, we are in the same town and belong to the same organization. It took me awhile, but I finally was brazen enough to ask the event coordinator if she had RSVP'd. I guess I did not want to have to feel anxiety or feel paranoid for nothing, but at the same time, I did not want to sound petty. Yep, you guessed it, she RSVP'd.

I was the very first person to arrive, and she was the last person to come. There were a total of 16 people there--6 of us were trainers, the rest were committee members. The dinner was mostly for the local people--to see if they would be interested in being a part of the local arrangements team, of which I will be leading. For me, it was also a chance to chat with some old friends and catch up.

Overall, the dinner went well, but there was definitely an awkwardness between her and me, as well as another dog trainer who had also worked for her after me. I know we both glanced a few times in each other's direction, but we mostly avoided eye contact at all costs. She spoke to a few people sitting around her, and I spoke to a good number of people in general. The one thing I know I had was support from good friends and members who had also helped out with the conference last year. THAT made a huge difference for me, as I was reminded how valuable and recognized I was for all my hard work last year and the years preceding.

I try to remind myself that this was probably a weird feeling for her as well, but I cannot say old wounds were not re-opened. It's been close to a year since that day (you can look back through the archives if you are interested), and a year since we've had any contact at all--no phone, no e-mail, no anything. It is hard when you are in the same town at times. I think this is a situation that would have caused more rapidly healing from afar, ie "out of sight, out of mind."

Certainly, I have moved on and done my own thing which is coming along, but still, it is hard knowing that she and I will have to have some contact over the next 8 months. People tell me to be the bigger person, and of course I am, but sometimes, you do get tired of being the bigger person when you do not see others doing that as well. I think the most helpful thing for me is to remind myself that we truly are on the same team. I know we both want an outstanding conference and to be able to help as much as possible. I know we are both for the positive, scientific dog training movement, despite the fact our approaches are very different. 

I guess this will be a good test to see if this old wound can heal.

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