Think about this… to a fish, water is the “air” it breathes. So as far as it’s concerned, it’s flying.
I’ve realized over the years that many people prioritize their friendship in two very distinct ways.
They have friends who become a priority for the things they do. They are mostly seasonal. Temporary. Prone to spoil. They last for as long as their unique action or mere presence is meeting a particular need. They are a convenience. Once they cease to be useful, they are discarded. For instance, some people become friends because they work together for the same company at the same location and can spend most of their time together… but only at work. As soon as either one of them is promoted, transferred or finds another job, all of a sudden maintaining that connection doesn’t seem as important or necessary. It was seasonal and the season has passed. Like a summer romance.
Then there are those people who become a priority friendship simply because of who they are. These are the people who are kept around because they push you to improve or encourage you toward success. They offer you hope in pursuit of your goals. They can be mentors, counselors or people who share a life experience. They are usually permanent fixtures. You talk on the phone, connect through email, IM and text messages. You invite them to parties and celebrate milestones together. They are, for all intents and purposes, here to stay.
Sometimes the difficulty with establishing friendships is knowing into which category you fall. One of the worst feelings is finding out you were temporary when all along you thought you were permanent. I don’t think anyone ever wants to feel as if their friendship is disposable. But the reality is that as deep as you think the well of connection may run, the other person may consider your friendship as shallow as a rain puddle. Temporary in the worst way. I’ve become very careful to quickly identify my position in someone’s life. When you know where you fall on the friendship list, it’s easier to deal with the inevitable conclusion.
I think the ambiguity of this process is exacerbated when it comes to online friendships. You put yourself out there and try to show yourself friendly in hopes of making a real connection. But some people can not reconcile the black box nature of technology and the internet with the fact that there are real people with real emotions at a particular IP address. They’ve convinced themselves that these people only exist online and when they sign off, they’re essentially on pause until they return. Like a relationship DVR.
Some try desperately to find ways to circumvent the devaluation of their humanity with attempts to email, talk on the phone or meet offline. They want the other person to acknowledge their humanity. Affirm their worth. They hope that by these actions they might win them a coveted spot on the permanent friends list. And they turn a blind eye to the signs of the other person’s changing season.
I was talking to a friend the other day about how human emotions can be so completely unpredictable and surprising. We react to situations, circumstances and people based on what we hope for, desire or even secretly covet in our hearts. What strikes me as odd is the fact that we have these “real” emotions for things that we shouldn’t really have any attachment to. This thought process begged the question:
How can you miss something that you never had?
I’ve never been a millionaire. Maybe it’ll happen one day. But I can’t very well say that I miss being wealthy when I’ve never had excess discretionary funds. And I won’t go around griping about the crap that I can’t buy because it’s too expensive. But I still feel the emotion of wanting more or feeling like it’s a memory of a season that has passed. Where does that come from?? I don’t know. But it’s not the only scenario. There are people I’ve met online that I’ve never seen face-to-face. We talk frequently. I’ve seen pictures. I may have even heard their voice on Skype or a YouTube video. But no hugs or handshakes have ever been exchanged between us. Yet, I’d still miss them if they suddenly disappeared or stopped corresponding with me. So where is that emotion birthed from?
I still ponder this question from time to time. I would never want to live in a world devoid of emotion. Love, Joy, Peace, Fear, Anxiety, Compassion, Sympathy, Anger and Worry are necessary, right? Maybe. But they sure have a way of affecting our actions in ways we may not have thought possible. I’ve long since given up trying to figure out emotions and the seeming disservice they play in our decision making. Regardless of what I think I know, it doesn’t stop me from missing that person. Although the emotions are real, the key is staying in enough control not to ever act foolishly upon them.
I’ve been M.I.A. the past week because I had a bit of a scare with an accelerated heartbeat last week. I’m a relatively healthy guy and my doctor pretty much agreed after he gave me the thorough once-over (EKG, heart ultrasound, lung capacity, etc). Could be tachycardia. Underwent a lot of tests and I’ll know the results tomorrow. Nevertheless, here I am. 🙂
Anyway, I had a discussion with a female friend of mine who says that men definitely have a “time of the month”. She says there is a period each month when men are irritable, moody, stressed, and overly sensitive. I jokingly said, “Yeah, it’s called payday.”
It did make me wonder though…
Do men really go through hormonal phases each month?
I was reading an article the other day about the NO H8 campaign and there was a comment about a particular model who wore nothing but duct tape to cover her “naughty bits”. Now I’ve heard this term bandied about many times before. But this time I had to wonder, why do they call them “naughty”? Those “bits” and the male counterparts are typically used for pleasure as opposed to being associated with something bad… or wrong… or dare I even say, NAUGHTY. Personally, I think we should start calling them something more appropriate, like “happy bits”, “rapturous bits” or, better yet “OMG YES! YES! YES! bits”. I mean, c’mon… at least make the phrase something that more accurately describes their use.