Sunday, January 2, 2011

You have to master the first level before moving to the next

Thanks to my friend Richard I've been obsessing about Angry Birds, I play it all the time in the subway and at first I couldn't wait to complete one level and get to the next. Now I'm content to stay where I'm at until I learn the new skill set necessary to move on to the next level.

I've met so many fascinating people while traveling around on the interweb. I love the random way it puts you into contact with people you might otherwise have never met. It's a lot like any other form of social interaction, exciting and confusing but it also can teach you a lot about yourself.

When I run across something someone says or does that interests me in a way I've never thought about before it can be pretty fascinating and like my friend Kevin says, people tell you who they are right off the bat, we just have to learn to listen. For instance I've had a few roommate experiences that were less than satisfactory. One woman seemed very scared of paying me upfront and frightened of this and that, I was not too interested in living with her but she had an interesting job so I thought this might work out well, of course it didn't and I was happy to see her go but it taught me to trust my instincts.

A few months ago I ran across someone on a dating site who was direct but with chopped up fuzzy pictures. The secretiveness intrigued me and since I'm quite the opposite of secretive this challenge really got my juices going. I thought maybe I could help him come out of his shell and grow into the person he might want to want to be. But the more time I spent with him, the more I realized I didn't know him and soon came to the realization that I probably never would. He was telling me this right from the start. I had an inkling and I was right. When I came to this realization I lost interest and things fizzled out.
I've recently ran across someone who intrigued me, but in a much different way. He had clear pictures up of his face and body. This guy was asking me all kinds of questions about why I liked this or that, what I found appealing about him and telling me what he liked and why and what he found appealing about me. I liked his expansive view and I realized I had learned more about him in a week than I had learned about this other guy in a few months. Through the experience of knowing this guy I was learning all kinds of new things about myself in a way that I never thought possible. I was confronting fears and prejudices that no longer served me, crossing boundaries and opening up in ways I never dreamed of. This isn't an ongoing thing, he was here for the holidays and now he's back home. I've learned from previous experience that a long distance relationship isn't what I want. Both of these interludes lasted exactly as long as they were meant to and I probably wouldn't have had one without the other, after the first guy I was really looking for someone more open, but I probably wouldn't have been as receptive to the 2nd guy if I hadn't had that experience with the first guy.

Neither one of these ended in "Happily Ever After" but both served an important purpose, they allowed me try new roles that I had been wanting to try and to learn new things about myself and for that I'm grateful.

There's an interesting article about relationships in yesterday's new york times, you can see it here

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