Monday, April 9, 2007

When You Least Expect It (2) ~ Early Morning Thoughts

Continuing on from last night's post ~

Surprised With Joy -
(apologies or thank you to C. S. Lewis)-continued-

Last night I wrote about how I asked Toby after several meetings if we were dating. As I said, I was horrified as soon as the question came out of me. I didn't need to worry. He looked at me and without hesitation said: "We keep making arrangements to meet and neither of us cancel or skip them, so yes - I'd say we are dating." Of course, the fact that he winked at me and slightly stuck out his tongue - only underscored the seriousness of the conversation.

But The Luggage Tag Says (5)

On the 27th I wrote about ~ "Fantasy travel: A very weak color, which leads away from the bright color of reality."

"I've written before about my non-relationship relationship with ZZ. This is probably the most personal of the false expectations trap. Not only did I have false expectations,. . . " but I was convinced that I could turn everything into reality - by sheer force of will if necessary.

"I was so sure that everything was going to turn out as I expected and desired, I literally decorated my luggage of life with various tags - the one of fantasy travel being quite prominent. And for an incredible number of years, I clung tightly to that tag - believing that ZZ would change, that our entire lives would change. And it never happened. But, of course, I had invested to much into the false itinerary, I became overwhelmed by the idea of making it a reality and making the journey fit what I felt it should be. And long the journey, I lost myself. I fell into several major traps because my expectations were not grounded for flight school as they should have been."

In the book "The Wizard of Oz" - the citizens wore glasses that created the delightful colors of the city. The emerald color was a fantasy. Without the glasses that everyone entering the city was required to wear it was a dull gray almost lifeless set of buildings.

Which is in a sense looking at the world through rose-colored-glasses.

"Some unfortunate people never take their rose-colored glasses off, but everyone wears these spectacles occasionally. This attitude of cheerful optimism, of seeing everything in an attractive, pleasant light, has always been with us, while the expression itself goes back to at least 1861, when it is first recorded in 'Tom Brown at Oxford': 'Oxford was a sort of Utopia to the Captain.He continued to behold towers, and quadrangles, and chapels, through rose-colored glasses."
--From the "Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins"
by Robert Hendrickson
(Facts on File, New York, 1997)


Some of those around me have expressed concern about Toby which is more an expression of concern about me. And I can accept that. After all, I've written about things in the luggage cars behind me where I've been wearing colored glasses or decided that what wasn't going to be - would be. And believe me, there are other stories that I will share as time goes on. However:

Little Did I Know -

That there would such interesting differences this time around. I seem to have misplaced most of the emerald/rose colored glasses. Perhaps I've misplaced them somewhere around - but it's giving me quite a different outlook on what's going on around me. Toby seems to have some faults. (as if I don't?) And there are a couple of them that are quite serious. One of the most major faults he is overcoming, and as long as he's willing to work on it - I am going to be able to help. I can not change anyone, but I can help support someone in the process of changing. And how do I know he wants to make that change?

Shortly after the dating discussion, he said that he wanted to "mark" me as being part of his life. I will admit that the first image that flashed through my mind was from the movie from several years ago where someone lived near wolves and just as they did - he "marked" his territory. (So never going to happen!) Thankfully, Toby doesn't take long pauses when he talks, so the image didn't have long to stay around. He handed me something to wear. Something simple - but with meaning to him. I thought for a bit, and agreed. It was not a couple of days later that he had a serious setback with something he was overcoming.

Several things (once I seriously thought about it) impressed me. The first thing that impressed me was the honesty to tell me. The second one - he wanted to meet to talk about what had happened. There was no attempt to cover-up, and he wanted a discussion to openly share. I agreed, but was not wearing what he'd given me. I explained to him, that wearing it was a commitment to where we were in the dating situation and the commitment had to go both ways. After two very serious talks, I started wearing it again. And he put together support options.

I seem to have misplaced my "fixer" mentality. I didn't immediately try and make everything right, proper and lose any "oil" in the process. I also made a decision that I was going to "wait and see" how this played out before either getting back into what was going on or dropping the entire package with little or no chance of redelivery.

I'm basically relaxed in what's going on with "us." (I have a little trouble typing that word right now - but that no doubt will change.) I'm not looking at picket fences nor am I waiting for the "other-shoe-to-drop." Things are very much in the "now" and not "what could/would be." Which for this traveler could be considered quite a feat. (I think a few of the baggage cars have been removed from my train.)

I seem to have lost my expectation "maps" of territories that haven't been explored yet. Certainly I'm not stating that I've turned off my mind and am simply floating down the river of whatever is happening. However, I'm much more willing to allow things to happen in their own natural rhythm instead of becoming a Koyto Drummer and demanding my expectations to be met on my timetable.

And little did I know, I agree even more with the quote Nodrin King (from A Flat With A View) shared with me:

"Happiness is not something that someone else, like a lover, can give to us. We have to achieve it for ourselves. And the only way to do so is by developing our character and capacity as human beings; by fully maximizing our potential ... What is important now is to work hard at developing yourselves into truly wonderful human beings. Ultimately, the relationships you form are a reflection of your own state of life."

And lastly - the poem I posted the other night, will perhaps make even more sense now ...

I will stand where I have not stood before.
I will live in a way I have not lived before.

The way may not be always clear,
open,
direct or
completely visible -

However -
I will stand where I have not stood before.
I will live in a way I have not lived before.
--wd

It will always amaze me how things happen when I least expect them.

--dating carrots by Martha Mickles
http://www.usm.maine.edu/art/alumni/alumnishow/pages/Martha Mickels, Dating.htm

1 comment:

Laurie said...

"Happiness is not something that someone else, like a lover, can give to us. We have to achieve it for ourselves. And the only way to do so is by developing our character and capacity as human beings; by fully maximizing our potential ... What is important now is to work hard at developing yourselves into truly wonderful human beings. Ultimately, the relationships you form are a reflection of your own state of life."

I agree on every level. Great post, Bill, and I wish you great joy and happiness in all things.