The seed of this post was sowed when a friend asked me to write something random on a piece of paper so that she could analyse my handwriting. The first couple of paragraphs are from what I wrote then. Now, whenever someone tells me to write about anything at random, the first thing that comes to my mind is what people call by various names like relationships, friendships etc. I prefer to call them “human connections” because that’s what they really are. Depending on the situation/setup in which these connections are formed, we formalise them using various names. In the end though, it is just one human connecting (or in some cases, not) to another.
Humans are incredibly complex creatures (yes, even those who look monotonous and boring on the surface) with innumerable facets to them. I believe that when two individuals connect, these facets resonate or conflict with each other. This leads to people getting attracted to (not necessarily in the romantic sense) or repelled by each other. What follows is a complex (and hence interesting) mix of emotions (consciously or subconsciously), which then lead to actions and reactions, sparks (or lack or them). Having grown up as an introvert and having spent the better part of my life in the background in any social gathering, I have always loved reading people like one would read books. Hence, seeing two people interact is like reading two books at the same time, with the story of one affecting, and quite possibly changing that of the other. For a people-reader, that is nothing less than watching a journey where the path changes as the travellers walk it. This makes it really fascinating. What makes it even more fascinating (and more intensely affecting) is when you are not just the observer, but also one of the travellers.
When you switch from being an observer to being a traveller, or as in my case, being both, it becomes more fun, or troublesome, depending on how it goes. In either case, it does teach you a lot, no matter how it goes. All you really need to do is to keep your mind and heart open. Yes, you do also need to keep your eyes open, as I have learnt over the years. As I mentioned above, I was largely an introvert growing up, someone you can call a “late bloomer”. So ever since I “bloomed” (no innuendo intended), I have been compensating for both the lack of talking (much to the chagrin of those around me) and not having too many social contacts by wanting more people as a part of my life in various respects, as friends, colleagues or even just acquaintances. Out of these, friends are the ones I hold closest because of three reasons. Firstly, they are connections one generally makes consciously as a choice, as opposed to relatives where you have no choice or acquaintances whom you keep at a safe, socially acceptable distance. Secondly, when they happen without you knowing how, they are even more wonderful. Lastly, they are the ones whose actions affect you the most, whether it is making you happy, sad, crazy or plain frustrated (when they are being asses).
Due to this, maintaining my friendships became a big priority for me, and it still is. For this, I had to transform myself from the introvert that I was to an ambivert (I don’t think I have become an extrovert yet) that I am today. This has also helped me greatly, in the sense that I have become a lot less judgemental than I was a couple of decades ago, and a lot more accepting of people when they messed up or did something I didn’t like. This was also because I understood that no matter how good people are, they will invariably make mistakes, and should not be blacklisted because of them. Unfortunately, this also meant that some people in my life got to be more of a priority than they deserved (as I eventually learned). I knew that not everyone in your life can/should be a priority, especially when making them a priority meant compromising on your interests/self-respect. But yes, I did give some people the benefit of doubt (paraphrasing Casablanca – “Do it again Sam, for old times’ sake”), which they eventually exhausted. So, slowly and steadily, I have started keeping them out of sight (and hence, out of mind). The funny thing here is that I know that it’s the right thing to do. But with the kind of person I am, it’s not an easy thing to do. Especially when you have to do it because the connection you had with that person simply withered off because the other person did not invest much into it, or maybe even I didn’t do my part. In either case, it’s not a happy thing to happen for me. It does make me feel a bit sad.
But like most things in life, you live, you learn. Whatever happens, leaves you feeling sad, but eventually does turn out to be for the best. So, no regrets. Just because some connections died, I am not going to stop investing in new ones (except romantic ones – I’m not in the space for that right now, but talking about that needs a separate post altogether). There might be a dark, gloomy night once in a while, but I am going to make sure that I face the sun with a smile when the dawn arrives. 🙂
P.S.: This post was intended only to empty my mind and not to make any sense. Really. So, please don’t try to find it. If you do find any, it is your lucky day. Go buy a lottery ticket, or pick up the phone and dial the number that you have been wanting to but shying away from. 🙂