The picture can be somewhat misleading; being alone doesn’t have to be a sad occasion!
They say that when you’re suffering, there’s someone out there that feels your pain. They say these things to calm us down when we throw tantrums about the difficulty of our life and the uniqueness of our dilemmas. True, maybe someone else has had similar situations as you have, but in the end, really and truly, we are all alone.
Sometimes I wish I could just sit down with someone in a quiet and lonely corner, and tell them my life story. If only we could sit there for hours and I could tell the story of my parents, and how they grew up and moved to America, and then how I was born. To truly understand someone, you have to start before Day 1 of their life. You have to start at Day -1000, because there was a chain of events leading up to their birth that influenced their life, no doubt. Life isn’t just one microsecond after another; rather, it is a collection of events that influence each other in ways that no one is able to predict or comprehend.
I’d start with the story of my parents, and then talk about my childhood and what kind of environment I grew up. I can’t afford to skip over whole YEARS of my life like Charlotte Bronte did in Jane Eyre, because each seemingly insignificant moment has led up to today. Rather, I’d have to go into extreme detail about the time I was in pre-school and “accidentally” keyed my mom’s car by etching my name into the side, spelling it incorrectly. Id’ have to explain as well as I can how I’ve often thought back to that day and felt guilty. I’d tell everything there is to tell a person in the timespan of an afternoon and still, I would not be done. I’d still have to expound on my political views and my taste in music, and still, I wouldn’t be halfway there.
After an afternoon passes, I doubt this person would even have a clue what kind of person I really am.
No one knows what goes through our heads. You can use every word in the English dictionary to try to describe what you’re feeling, but ultimately you are the only one who can experience exactly what you are feeling. Everything, whenever we attempt to communicate with others, is misperceived and wrongly interpreted. Each person is his or her own self, and when we try to express our feelings, there will always be crucial details omitted for the sake of not embarrassing oneself, etc.
It’s a sad feeling, no? Realizing that no one around you understands what you’re going through, not even your twin sister, or your closest friend. We are born into this world with our mind alone, and that’s how we leave it.
This sort of miscommunication is the cause of many conflicts. Making a choice that you feel in your gut is the right choice might not seem like the best choice for someone else, and that sort of disagreement sparks all sorts of problems. When someone that you thought understood and agreed with you completely takes a separate path, you feel betrayal and confusion. You’re upset because they ended up deciding something different, deviating from your usual mutual agreement.
But I have a kindred spirit!, you say. Maybe it seems like it. But ultimately, a conflict will come between the two of your and drive you apart. There are no kindred spirits. There are no soul-mates and no perfect other-halves. But it’s not the end of the world. Humanity has survived without understanding each other; our ability to communicate has skyrocketed since our first days on earth. As long as we are able to get general points across, total communication is not necessary to survive.
Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, and I’ve been giving some thought as to what I’m truly thankful for. This is one of them.
A best friend actually listens to you. They don’t just wait for you to finish your story, so they can jump in somewhere appropriate and tell another story centered around them, just barely relateable to yours. When they ask how you are, it doesn’t sound like they’re just going through a checklist, bored out of their mind. They are ACTUALLY asking how you are. The typical response won’t be something like, “Fine, what about you?” It will commonly be a detailed description about your day and what you thought about it. They will take the time to ponder and reflect, and ask questions because they care. You don’t feel uncomfortable revealing something embarrassing because chances are, they’ve done something just as embarrassing. Continue reading