Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter and Other Things

First and foremost, happy Easter everyone. Easter seems like a good time for new resolutions, doesn't it? Even more so than New Years maybe. After all, it is Easter that gives us repentance and the chance to "rise again" and try again.
Why am I thinking about new resolutions and starting over? Read on.
I don't know why it happens, but I have a few theories. And I don't have a good explanation for it either. But even as I type this, I am committing it.
Somewhere, somehow I've stopped experiencing things as they are, I've stopped learning about my friends from experience, and I'm no longer allowing others to learn about me from experience. I have my theories as to why it happens, starting with heartbreaks and determinedly wanting to not hide baggage. The other theory includes the informal mediums of communication, such as emails and im's, and sharing missing context. We've stopped experiencing people and just started telling people who we are. We no longer slowly discover people and let them discover us, and instead just hand ourselves over an a platter (that may or may not be too silver and shiny). It's the new modern attempt to be up front, honest, not hide the baggage, and "get what you see." But is it?
Or is it all just a front and fake? By "trying" to be real, we are being anything but real. Lately it seems to me that this is what dating has become- a show of reality. Which means it is anything but. There's times when a conversation feels more like a journal entry than a real conversation. I hear myself telling the person, "No small child cries alone in my presence," rather than allowing the person to learn that by witnessing it first hand. Telling the person this doesn't do either of us much good, except tell him/her that I'm rather too self-aware. It would be more endearing to find out about my tearful habits in person. (if it is indeed endearing)
Why are we doing it? Are we trying to reduce dating down to a checklist because the process of dating takes too long? Or is it because as soon as we meet a guy we're so convinced he'll like us for who we are, that we rush to show him and tell him who we are, rather than giving him the chance to come and find it?
Thoughts anyone?

2 comments:

  1. There's an interesting correlary to this in writing a story. To have an effective story, you should "show, don't tell," as the saying goes. People will only believe the story, really lose themselves in it, when the story is real to them, when they can really *see* the world.

    So, instead of telling the reader that a character is compassionate, the writer should show a scene in which the character shows compassion.

    I think this can be applied to our dating and friendships. In our self-absorbed society, we're sometimes too busy shouting "look at me!" instead of out doing, and letting the noticing on the part of others happen naturally. And sometimes those others are too busy focusing on their own problems to notice us, too.

    I know I fall into that trap a lot. Instead of losing myself in service, and letting life happen, I go out seeking ways that I hope might make someone love me. I've done it over and over in my life, and always have to remember to notice it and bring myself back from that point.

    It could be for many reasons--because of rejection, abandonment, family issues, etc. etc.--but I think what it all boils down to is that we all have our pain, and we need others to be a part of succoring it. But the paradox is that it's only when we seek to ameliorate others' pain that we start finding our own healing.

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  2. Thanks for those thoughts Stacer! It's interesting you mentioned writing a story. I am by no means a fabulous writer, but the one thing I always get compliment I tend to hear over and over with writing is that the reader can feel just how the plot happened. Or that my characters are *real.* I can't help but realize that some of my insincerity is coming from being able to *tell* an experience vs. just letting others experience me. Learning to "be" and experience again may not be the easiest thing in the world to do.

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