Thursday, 20 June 2013

A thought or two on knowing one another

I don't know you and that is wonderful.

I am these things:

  • stubborn
  • chilled
  • proud
  • self-deprecating
  • patient
  • impatient
  • exclusive
  • accepting
  • earnest
  • hilarious
  • serious
  • silly
  • guarded
  • reclusive
  • cool
  • a loser
  • so, so much more
You are all these things too. I know this. I don't even have to think about it, it's just true. The reason I have listed these specifically is because I have been called all these things within the last two weeks. This seems ridiculous to me. Not because I am not these things, but because I am all these things and "so what?"  The term "you are" should be one of our most carefully used, but is probably the one we like to throw away the most.

In these same two weeks, three others have, in their own ways, expressed that they can't quite figure me out. This really bugged me at first, then it made me sad/angry, now I'm really quite pleased by it. What it means is that they have struggled to apply (or, if applied, to concretise) the above terms and their kin to me. The thing is, being "figured out" is an awful thing to be. We should not be each other's Wikipedia entries, whose tabs we may keep open to have a summary of each other at hand. We are not lists of adjectives; in fact, we are at once so many of those things that can be listed that to even begin that list is completely uninteresting. To be "figured out" freezes you in a persons mind, imprisoning you in their perceptions, disallowing the natural ebb and flow of life and its inherent changes. 

This is not to say that we should stop trying to learn about or understand each other, but rather that we should accept and celebrate the fact that we never will and never should have a firm grasp on who the other is. Let's have meaning in each others lives, but maybe not keep trying to dissect that meaning and name its parts all the time?

Phrases like "I feel like I don't know you" should not be met with hurt or dismay, they should be as welcomed as the hand of Peter Pan as he beckons you up to Neverland. Relationships (of all types) should be seen as adventures with no eagerly searched for end-point. X shouldn't mark "the spot", it should be the incredibly exciting variable - seek that instead. People are not lists of characteristics, they are whole characters who should be a part of your story, not just your dramatis personae.

Instead of thinking of each other in terms of the adjectives you might used to describe them, might it not be more useful (and a whole lot more interesting) to think of them in terms of how they relate to you/others around them, how they make you feel and what they do/could/don't contribute in the world/your life? 

Please, let's be stories together instead of lists apart. 

Peace, skulls and black tea
- Sa