Lately, I’ve taken to thinking of you all as the closest of friends, and that these posts are actually letters to you. Of course, I imagine you writing me back which is very nice. The idea that we are having a conversation makes it easier for me, and yet harder at the same time. Easy because there is a warmth and unconditional caring between loved ones (ideally). Hard because I fear being judged, or worse, scorned by you if you were to learn my darkest secrets. I long to tell everything, though, and I come close at times. That was the purpose, the raison d’etre, of Zigzagging Toward Zen, and Redo 365, though.
It’s uncommon for me to re-read my posts, but the other day I was clearing my desktop and ended up reading a couple. Goodness me, such repetition! How can you stand it? I blather on about the same things way too often. I wish you had told me, or will begin to tell me when I’m repeating myself. Please! It’s not my intention to bore you death, you know. More importantly, and from a purely selfish perspective, if I’m going on about the same stuff it means I’m not changing or addressing what I need to, which also kind of defeats the purpose of the blog. To that end, I’ll try to write something different today.
This month is supposed to be about relationships, yes? Not a strength of mine, certainly, but I’m slowly improving (in my humble opinion). And because the focus of my posts is specific, my attention is drawn to whatever the topic is. That’s kind of obvious. So the other day when I heard someone speaking about their friends, I was curious. ”How long have you known them?” I asked. “Since childhood” she answered. “We’ve grown up together and have been friends forever.”
The speaker is older than I am. She was born in this place and has left only to vacation. She grew up, worked, married a local, and raised her family in the home her parents bought decades ago. I found myself a bit breathless. Her life is so far removed from mine that I find it difficult to imagine. Then again, I do not need to imagine it. It is not my life nor would it have been my choice. Her life is a glorious representation of her choices. I asked if she is happy. She answered, yes. Clearly, she feels content with her life, a feeling I’m not particularly familiar with.
The day before meeting this local woman, I sat in a restaurant eavesdropping on a conversation that also took my breath away. Both highly skilled academicians, the Russian gentleman spoke about his twenty-second book and of shooting and skinning animals on cliff edges in the Alps. The Canadian scientist still teaches at one of BC’s universities and finished her first fiction piece last year. There seemed a genuine affection between the two. Listening to their conversation, I marvelled at their accomplishments and was overcome by regret. I felt so very small, so inconsequential in the big picture. When I left the restaurant, I didn’t feel good about myself. So, what else is new? But, I also realised I seldom feel content or good enough. The local woman felt enough and so do these professors. Different lives led via different choices. Why can’t I accept my choices?
So, ruminating on relationships is a bit of a minefield for me. I have already segued into self-doubt rather than constructive objectivity. I recall writing that this topic caused my stomach to turn. Hm. This might be a very tough month.
My wish is that we consider our choices with kindness, and understanding. Do we not do the best we can under any given set of circumstances? I believe we do and if that is the case, then looking back regretfully is not helpful. Reconsidering is only helpful if we are using the experience to make different choices in the present moment.