“The only man who never makes mistakes is the man who never does anything.”
― Theodore Roosevelt
I fought back tears as she screamed in my face. My mentor, my most respected adviser. I spent years trying to be like Sara Cramer, and this morning, my little piece of insight, my attempt to climb out of her wake went better than anticipated.
But Sara didn’t think so. My own path infuriated her more than any of the mistakes I had made following her lead.
“You think you can do what i do? You think you can do it as good as I can? You are a child! You don’t know anything!”
“I needed to try Sara,” I managed to make out but she didn’t pause her tirade to listen. The tears kept pushing, further and further into my eyes and I know she saw them. I know she shouted at them, insisting they spill and prove her to be the strongest.
But she mistook those tears. They were not tears of fear, or tears of the chastised. I had taken my first step and had floundered my way through forging a path, true, but I did not cry because I failed or because of her anger at me.
“You needed to talk this out with me! I am the wise one here! You will never meet a person as wise as I am!” she said for the third time and at last they spilled. She stepped back with a grim grin spread across her red lips but I continued to meet her eye as the tears fell down.
She mistook my tears for weakness. I had modeled much of my career after Sara Cramer, but I realized now it had been a mistake to idolize her. I was not chastised. I was disappointed.
I knew very little, but I knew anyone who needed to shout about their wisdom proved to be quite the opposite.