Friday, 23 September 2011

Important Questions, Impossible Answers

My life quite often feels like I'm balancing on a knife edge - one slip in the wrong direction and it hurts like hell.

I have gotten better with doing the right thing over the years. To be honest, I still don't really know what it is. But I am better at keeping myself under control (it might not seem so at times, but... Considering things I used to do, yes - I am better!). Sometimes I've no idea how. Sometimes I don't even know how I make it from one point to the other! I've been trying to set myself up as a "realist" of late, trying to see the reality. But, of course, it's always my version of reality, just like everyone has their own built-in version themselves.

Which makes me wonder - what the hell is reality in the first place?

On the one hand it could be what we feel, the physical things that we can touch and hold on to. Those, for me, tend to be the most important things, especially with my over-active imagination. You can fly anywhere in your dreams, in your fantasies, but if it's physically there, if it's physically happening, then that's that - that's the constant, the what is, the unchangable.

But, on the other hand, I often let my imagination carry me away. This is partly because it helps me to deal with the things that I believe are lacking in my life. It gives me hope, gives me life, but at the same time it can distort my perceptions.

But, yes, generally I believe I know what's real. It's just that sometimes I don't want to believe it.

Then there is the part of me that's always balancing up both sides of an argument. The truth is, when people are discussing something, usually both parties are right. Quite often I have noticed that both parties are right in some way, or rather at least to themselves. You see this is where belief comes in. Everyone believes in something to one extent or another and everyone will have something that they believe more than anything else. That belief is usually so strong that it is, in fact, their reality. This is the first part, I believe, in understanding someone - recognising their beliefs. Even if you don't personally agree with what someone has to say, you can still understand where they're coming from, why they say it like that.

Well, I at least try to live that way, to think that way. It's much easier from the position of sitting behind my computer - it not only gives you more time to think about things, your answers, why people react in that way; it also gives you space. Being able to distance yourself somewhat from what is going on on the other side of the screen can be very useful. Yet sometimes we do need to be physically confronted with it, that information and those emotions, as it makes and keeps us human.

Now I'm not saying that sitting behind a computer all day, just chatting to what, for all intents and purposes, might well be a virtual world is a bad thing - sometimes it's good to be able to have a slouch day yet still be able to talk to people (if you want to - sometimes even shutting yourself off completely is OK, as long as it's not too much and for too long). It's just that the physical interactions with people are a big part of what keeps us sane. It doesn't matter if you believe a particular person can drive you crazy at times, you are still better off for having had that interaction. OK, so you've said something stupid, or generally say stupid things from time to time. You move on, you learn from it. Bad interactions happen, yes, and sometimes they hurt, but they can be learned from. I've run away from things, from situations, from people so many times, yet I know that that is not the answer. All it's going to do is put you into that position where you lock yourself away permanently, terrified of interacting with anyone on a real level in case it happens again, without realising that social interactions themselves can be cathartic, can be exactly what you need to get over that bad experience.

I've done stupid things in my time, said stupid things. Sometimes it's hard to stay focused, stay in control, when the whole world around me feels like it's crumbling and that I'm losing my grip on things - that's when I try to hold onto things the tighest, gripping so hard it hurts. I can be so terrible, treat people so badly, just because I'm desperate to feel something at that moment in time. I drive people away, because they may hurt me. I pull people closer, kicking and screaming, because I want to force them into my idea of reality. I'm sailing on a stormy ocean, with leashes attached to objects and people alike, me holding onto their ropes tightly, trying to control them as I like, like a puppet master, because I need something but don't know what it is. All the leads snap, everything drifts away from me whilst I'm sucked backwards into a whirlpool, spiraling down into the deep, dark depths. Leaving me alone. But... But then. Then, so suddenly as if a hypnotist has snapped their fingers, I open my eyes to see that the waters are now still, everything is calm once again, as if an ethereal wind has come along and blown it all away. For a moment I believe that I'm still alone, but then I notice that some people are still there, floating on their own rafts at a distance from me, staying because they have chosen to.

They say that there is a calm before the storm. For me, it always comes afterwards, but it has to get ridiculously stormy first, though. But the peace in between the perfect calm and the dark is terrifying, as that's usually when I start to forgive people. I never forgive - I generally prefer to accept things as having happened, as I can't change them, but I don't forgive - if someone did something deliberately, then their intentions at the time of the incident aren't suddenly changed because it's the day after. So, for me, forgiveness is very dangerous, as it is giving up. But it is only ever at that time when I feel most abandoned, most alone. And luckily, usually, it doesn't last for long - as soon as I start to realise again that I'm not actually alone, it passes (and that point, for me, is usually when social networks are most important for me).

I could read 100 different things to find out why things are the way they are, but not one would give me a conclusive or precise answer.

The trouble is, this is still all completely my version of reality, my experiences, things as I see them. We are all individuals, everyone seeing things completely differently. Yes, sometimes there is a crossover, where we recognise similar beliefs and traits, but there is still no one out there that is completely the same as you. Partly for this reason I find it absolutely fascinating to hear how someone else views the world, as I nearly always learn something new, not just about the person but also in general. There are so many possibilities, some of which I hadn't even ever thought about, and all because we are so individual!

But all this doesn't mean I understand myself any better. I had thought I was starting to get there, but I don't believe I can ever understand myself completely. Perhaps, one day. But perhaps simple acceptance is still far better.

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