Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Continuity of life.

I've been contemplating something lately.

I've been very happy here in my new home. There are easily multiple reasons for this: financial security, routine, the dignity of work, new friends, the excitement of relearning how to live and have fun. And I do have lots of fun.

But I think there has been a hidden reason, one that came to me after conversations with two friends. Both of them are old friends, both of them I enjoy talking to, but the difference between them is that after talking to one, I feel happy, and after the other, I feel sad. I think neither of them read this blog, which is why I feel safe saying this. But I talk to a lot of people...maybe they'll not know for sure who I mean.

Regardless, because of my history with one of them I always reminisce about what passed between us...and with the other, I reminisce because that is our relationship and what we talk about. The combination made me think about how life had gotten where it is now. I realized not only that I was not yet over what happened between my friend and I, but that I had forgotten about it for a time while I've been here. In fact, I've started to think of my life here as a new life, and not a continuation of the old. I broke the continuity in my mind, and so the painful, hurtful past felt like it never happened.

But I can't forget the mistakes and the silly things I've chosen to do in pursuing what I saw as my future. The future was never mine to choose even with all my effort - God had already picked one out for me that I clearly love. So be it. How do I keep this future bright?

I had already chosen to fast from dating for a time, likely several months, before I moved here. Recently I've added the decision that my new attitude towards dating is that I would avoid it altogether even after the fast is over. Since this future I'm living happened to me through God forcing it on me, and all of my failures were due to my efforts to prevent a future God planned for me, why not apply this to dating, and avoid women altogether? Whomever I am meant to be with will be thrust upon me whether I like it or not, and I can save myself the pain I put myself through over and over again.

Still, it's not a comfortable way to do things. I wonder if I've gone too far. I wonder a great many things. And this wonder has reduced me to silence the past few days. Thinking about this, thinking about my old life and my new life, and how it is really one life and I'm the same fool I've always been. I made my new friends uncomfortable a few days by saying almost nothing. It's eye-opening to discover by their discomfort how much I actually talk in a group of people when I am struck silent by my thoughts.

I wonder if I'll ever really figure out the grand scheme of this life, and how to get where I'm going.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream to contemplate the stream of this life.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Count.

"My kingdom is bounded only by the world, for I am neither an Italian, nor a Frenchman, nor a Hindu, nor an American, nor a Spaniard - I am a cosmopolite. No country can say it saw my birth. God alone knows what country will see me die. I adopt all customs, speak all languages. You believe me to be a Frenchman, for I speak French with the same facility and purity as yourself. Well, Ali, my Nubian, believes me to be an Arab; Bertuccio, my steward, takes me for a Roman; HaydĂ©e, my slave, thinks me a Greek."

I am re-reading the Count of Monte Cristo. Beautiful book, well written. One thing really stuck out to me - the game that the characters play in the story is really remarkable. It seems to me like high society back in the 19th century and earlier did nothing but try to flatter and attract one another, trying to usurp from one another a higher "position" in the social hierarchy, through negotiating intermarriages between powerful families, and acquiring wealth, and friendships. Fascinating!

As a person who generally likes everyone, I, too, play this game. But I don't do it to gain anything or to achieve some selfish purpose. I just want to get to know lots and lots of people, and make lots and lots of friends.

Like the quote at the beginning, said by the Count of Monte Cristo, I try to fit into whatever group I find myself. Perhaps I flatter myself, but I think I'm quite good at it. I do not lie or put on a mask, but I present a side of me that I think least likely to annoy or repel people I want to know. least until I get too excited. Then that's anyone's guess.

It is interesting trying to become a part of a new group and acquire as many friends as I possibly can. I love getting to know people. When I meet someone, I want to know everything about them. Well...maybe not everyone I meet, but most!

My only concern is that my curiosity will get me into trouble. I admit that in the past it's gotten me closer to people, most of them of the opposite sex, than I intended. The "get to know you" game is seen as played between potential lovers, not potential friends. I don't want to repeat the mistakes of the past.

It can be seen in my present group of friends that there is a much more reserved nature to them than I am accustomed to. What I have considered innocent acts have nearly sent the wrong message to people.

Fortunately, I am much more cautious than I once was. Being new here, I don't yet have much of a reputation, and I want it to be a good one. I don't need to cause a lot of heartache and rock the boat again. I am having fun, and I'm getting to know new people all the time. I kinda just want to continue on and take whatever comes my way - no planning, no flirting, no destiny. Just life.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream to fit into this life.