KuelLife Logo home 1000

Third Time’s A Charm

Third Time's A Charm

The third time’s a charm, they say. 

Typically used to say that two efforts at something have already failed but perhaps the third will be successful comes to mind this week for me. However, not in the way it is meant.

Over the last week or so, I’ve been entangled in confrontations that are, well, out of character for me. I typically steer clear of drama and pride myself on being respectful. So when I found myself in not one, not two, but three altercations in a single week, it raised a red flag.

Embarrassing Confessions:

I found myself trapped in an Airbnb lobby, courtesy of an absurd rule requiring a key to both enter and exit the building.”

The specifics of these incidents aren’t crucial, but they speak volumes about the extent of my erratic behavior. First, I exploded on a friend whom I believed was in the wrong—no attempts at resolution, just a blaze of certainty that I was right and they were mistaken.

Then a couple of days later as I was attempting to leave Buenos Aires, I found myself trapped in an Airbnb lobby, courtesy of an absurd rule requiring a key to both enter and exit the building. This process makes no sense to me. I understand the lock to get in but what the heck is it with preventing you from leaving? What do they do in case of a fire? 

The morning of my departure I walked out of my flat leaving the set of keys on the kitchen table. The second I heard the door lock, I realized I was screwed in the lobby. I would not be able to unlock the main door to the outside world. Given the early hour and the weekday situation, I figured someone would be on their way to work and I could take advantage of a randomly exiting stranger.

The first person I encountered leaving for work was a man, probably in his forties. I told him what my situation was and requested he let me out of the building. Here’s what I did not count on. He denied my request, claiming he did not know me so why would he facilitate my exit? 

And Here’s Where I Went Wrong:

Instead of leaving it alone and waiting for the next, more reasonable, human, I lost it on him.”

Instead of leaving it alone and waiting for the next, more reasonable, human, I lost it on him. The illogical rule of requiring a key to exit a building was too much for me. I pushed back agitatedly, verbally… well, then also physically. I attempted to push my way out of the building with my bags; he pushed back. I mean pushed – as in hit my throat to coerce me back into the lobby. For a split second, I considered a heel palm strike to the nose. My adrenaline was soaring and the blood pounding between my temples made it hard to think.

Thankfully, I did nothing. I retreated and let the man trap me back into my lobby prison. Not more than five minutes later a grandfather and grandson exited the elevator. The grandfather was escorting his grandson out of the building to meet his dad. I told him my predicament. He kindly set me free.

After this second, way over-the-top incident, I still felt 100% innocent of any wrongdoings. After all, the man was unreasonable, following nonsensical rules like a rube. And he pushed me….first.

In Walks The Third Time:

And things would have been left there for me. Except the whole third time crap. Within a couple of days after the lobby scuffle, I spoke harshly and dismissively to a dear friend. Ugh. Seriously? Might these incidents have anything to do with me? How can that be? I am such a good, stable, smart, kind human. I don’t behave badly. Of course, I know better.

Like it or not, the series of bad behavior brought back memories of my PMS (Pre-menstrual syndrome) days when the world seemed filled with jerks, and I alone stood as the beacon of righteousness. The entire world, I mean every person, I would encounter would be mean and wrong. Except that, I could never reconcile that math. Really, I am the only one who is right?

What To Do With The Third Time?

it took three altercations for me to recognize these behaviors as out of character, but a first step in the right direction counts”

Now, I’m left pondering what led to these triggers. Where did my patience, self-control, and filter vanish? It’s a jolting realization that perhaps, just maybe, the fault wasn’t solely with others but partly with me.

The confrontations weren’t just random chaos. They were mirrors reflecting something deeper within me. Perhaps it’s the accumulation of stress, unaddressed emotions, or a lack of introspection. Maybe it’s my subconscious seeking attention, a plea for acknowledgment that something isn’t quite aligned within.

It’s unsettling to confront this side of myself. It’s easier to point fingers outward than to look inward and acknowledge my shortcomings. But growth seldom emerges from comfort zones.

And while clearly, my third time in this tale did not yield success in the form of controlled behavior, I’ll take my version of the win. Sure it took three altercations for me to recognize these behaviors as out of character, but a first step in the right direction counts. Doesn’t it? Maybe, just maybe, the third time can truly be the charm—this time, for personal growth and introspection.

Did you enjoy this article? Become a Kuel Life Member today to support our Community. Sign-up for our Sunday newsletter and get your content delivered straight to your inbox.