Filling in the Blanks

I’ve been thinking a lot about how often I color my world with details that are not based on fact. It’s like my head is filled up with bee pollen, and if you aren’t already thickly coated with the stuff, I’ll be happy to sprinkle some all over you. Nature abhors a vacuum, and so do I.

If someone isn’t an open book like I am, I’ll create an entire narrative about them. I’ll imagine they’re like me. Liberal. Intelligent. Curious about life. And then I buy into that to the extent that if I find out they’re conservative, stupid, and completely apathetic, I’m actually shocked and disappointed.

I also draw conclusions based on my own past experiences, completely overlooking the fact that their experiences, and therefore their actions, are bound to be different than my own. I like to cross all my T’s and dot all my I’s, and I have a tendency to try to do that for others as well. But how can I be sure that T wasn’t supposed to be an L?

I need to work on keeping my fantasy world separate from the facts. I need to stop barging in and trying to complete everyone else’s story. I need to learn to embrace the blanks. Maybe then they’ll fill themselves.

Or maybe not. That’s okay, too.

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The Stupidity of Loneliness

One of the problems about writing a daily blog is that you’re always left with a vague sense that you’ve written all of this before. I could swear I wrote this blog entry within the past couple weeks, but I’ve searched and can’t find anything. So, if you’re a regular reader and are feeling a sense of déjà vu, my apologies. On the other hand, maybe I just thought about writing it and then never got around to it.

I had an epiphany the other day. Loneliness really makes no sense at all. It’s the mistaken assumption that someone out there, whom you’ve yet to even meet, holds the key to your happiness. How absurd.

First of all, from a mathematical standpoint that would also mean that I hold the key to some stranger’s happiness, and I’m keyless and clueless. So that formula is easily disproven. (And I don’t even like math.)

Also, loneliness means you’re giving all your power away. I don’t like that concept at all. I’m not going to live in some emotional limbo, on the off chance that some random person is going to come along and care enough and be capable enough to fill my every emotional need.

Ever since I had this epiphany about two weeks ago, I haven’t felt lonely at all. It’s like a weight has lifted off my shoulders. I sort of feel as though I’m back in the driver’s seat of my life. What a liberating feeling.

Not that I plan to go live in a cave in the wilderness, mind you. I still want friends. I still want companionship. I still have itches that I very much would like to have scratched. But suddenly the urgency is no longer there. The sadness is gone. I appreciate my life for what it is, and look forward to what it can be, in whatever form that may take.

I hope this feeling lasts.

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What’s Normal?

It happened again today. I woke up and it was light out, so I assumed it must be time to get up. Then I looked at the clock and it was 4:30 am. That’s just not right. My whole life, the sun has never risen at such an ungodly hour. That’s because I’ve never lived this far from the equator before. I can’t even imagine what it must be like to live in Alaska, the land of the midnight sun. As I’ve done every morning this summer, I covered my eyes with a pillow and tried to get back to sleep.

If there’s not a word for this sensation, there ought to be. That feeling that the basic, fundamental rules of nature are being violated. That sense of “Not Normal.” I bet there’s a Germanic term for it. Or a French one.

I’ll probably feel it again when I experience my first real earthquake. The ground is not supposed to shift beneath one’s feet. When that starts happening, what can you count on?

I felt it when I woke up one morning this past winter to find everything covered in snow. I hadn’t seen snow in 30 years. The world was suddenly otherworldly.

It happens when you bite into something you expect to be savory and it turns out to be sweet, or vice versa. It happens when someone reacts completely the opposite of what you anticipated. It happens when someone does a violent act that you can’t imagine doing in your worst nightmare.

We all live by certain assumptions  and expectations that really don’t hold up on close examination. These deeply held beliefs are what give us a sense of security. Most of us prefer to be able to predict our world. It’s weird to think that all of that is an illusion.

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