A few run-ins and misunderstandings with friends recently disturbed me, as I reflected on our differing perspectives and realities. How could I not see all these coming? How could I not realize how they were reading the situation and their feelings about it? I could possibly try and side step this by constructing it as an issue of right and wrong. However, putting myself in the other person’s shoes and knowing where I stand, I did not think both of us were wrong in the absolute sense, particularly when it was pretty clear that we all did what we thought was the right thing and took what we though was the best option. Yet it culminated into bad feelings that all parties needed to process, together and separately, which was, like I said earlier, rather disturbing and sad too.
As I think back, I could not help but wonder if I had been overly optimistic and naive, unable to distinguish between offers and assistance, conversations and negotiations, exploration and commitment. While ignorance is a poor excuse for anything, I have no choice but to admit at even at this not-to-be-disclosed age, there is too much I do not know. I do not know how to handle interviews, often only going as I am; I do not know how to negotiate for a better renumeration package being a public servant throughout my career till recently (for public service salary is not negotiable, as far as I know); I do not when does exploration turns into commitment unable to read nuances in between the lines. And given that I reject the label of stupidity, how dare I claim ignorance of all that listed above?
I honestly do not know how to answer my own question, except to postulate perhaps I live in a bubble instead of living in the real world. In my personal world, people are altruistic, kind and helpful, with little or no agenda. Because of this belief, I take every word uttered and every gesture made at face value. This might sound dreadfully foolish to some and I am afraid I cannot refute that. I also believe that my friends are my friends because of a connection that we somehow manage to make at some point in time, which has very little to do with what I can do for them or how likable I am, both of which is definitely on the low side; for most of my friends have an extensive list of my short comings, including a lack of accommodation, and yet they continue to be friends I can call upon when I am in a crisis, for which I am extremely grateful.
These recent events made me even more appreciative of my friends who speak truth into my life, who stand with me as I reflect, who lift me up when I am despondent and who cheer me on as I seek to do better. Thank you for all your kind words and wise counsel. I do not always respond warmly but I store all these in my heart, so that they would not be lost when my brain (memory) fails me. Of course, I seek too to be a better friend to all of you, one small step at a time.
Finally, thank you all for your indulgence, which allowed me to continue to live like Alice in Wonderland, with reckless abandon till I find my purpose in this world.