Tightrope

I know, I know. No need to thank me for not making you wait this time. I’m back longer than usual. I’ve been in a generous mood though and felt like you all could use this sort of blessing in your lives. I also got lucky and sprouted a new idea for this entry whilst working on my last one, which is basically a quick example of how my thought process works in an easier way to understand. To break it down though its kind of like a giant rock hitting a windshield while driving down the highway, with the rock being my initial thought and the windshield being my brain. It starts in a very specific spot, but very quickly spiderwebs across the windshield. Each of those cracks and shards of glass are different thoughts that have branched off from the original thought, each leading to a new one and a new one further. They differ more and more as it spreads but they are all somehow tied together. While the ones at the very edge of the windshield seem very far off and not connected to the original point of contact, I promise they are. And by the end of it, the rock is nowhere to be found and the windshield is now useless. But I digress.

I made an off-hand comment in my last post that led to a thought. This thought ended up staying ingrained in my subconscious a little deeper than I thought it would. Now while most of what I write is pretty much a real-life revelation for you all, it is usually just general thoughts for me. The inner mechanisms of my psyche are state-of-the-art and I think we’ve all come to accept that. But what I’ve come to realize while thinking about life is that life is all about balance, and being able to maintain balance might be the most impossible thing to do but leads to enormous reward. Now maybe that’s a pretty common general understanding that I’ve just been oblivious to this entire time, but that’s unlikely considering who came up with it. The more probable possibility is that I have even more depth and social intelligence than any of us thought possible. Honestly, I think I may be a new-age philosopher but that’s neither here nor there.

In all seriousness though I’ve put quite a good deal of thought into this. While it probably is somewhat obvious that balance helps keep ones life stable, I don’t think I’ve ever really dove into the How of it all. There are always going to be opposing sides to all views, behaviors, interactions, personalities, etc. Some will be the more blatant on “yes, you should do that” or “no, you should not think like that.” But more often than not, this isn’t as straightforward as we typically might see. How do I maintain balance? How can I balance confidence with cockiness? Or on the other hand, how might one balance being too critical with themselves amidst trying to improve and progress? How can you balance being an introvert with most people’s desire for human relations? Maybe you’re like me and you struggle with being independent and taking care of yourself versus your moral inclination to not be selfish and have consideration for others. Even maybe scale things up a notch and figure out how to balance destiny and the universe/whatever you think might decide our fates with the thought that we create our own opportunities and accomplishments?

One of the scenarios that I think is more problematic in my daily life is balancing being myself against maintaining a sense of boundaries with people who don’t quite know me yet. These people can be complete strangers, or even acquaintances that just haven’t gotten a chance to understand me, including my obnoxious humor and mannerisms. This issue in particular is one that typically bites me in the ass more often than not, because I am 100% myself 99% of the time. While this attitude can end as an appreciation for genuineness by others, it is initially rather brash and off-putting. The more I thought about this specific aspect, the more I realized that a majority of my close friends didn’t particularly like me at first. Most of them actually hated me, and only after a while and a lack of stubbornness did they come around to my charm and wit and realize they had found a miracle of a friendship. This is something I actually have understood for quite some time; I lack the abilities with making good first impressions, which I rationalize with saying I’m not going to change who I am for anyone. And those who continue to dislike me long after this first encounter are close minded and judgmental. But maybe I don’t need to change who I am for them; I could balance this by being a filtered version of me and then peeling back those layers down to my true self. This would clearly be more accommodating to strangers who have met me for the first time. Strangers who are judging me as a whole based on this first interaction. Maybe that isn’t really their fault considering how big of a jackass I am. Maybe this is a conversation for my shrink, who knows. The point is that finding a balance in this could lead to much more appealing results for all parties involved.

Another one that stuck with me during my contemplation of this more complex idea is the belief that people don’t change. How do you balance forgiveness and second chances with having been used? How can I balance the widely accepted phrase that people don’t change with my own personal issues? Not to get depressing, but that seems like a pretty fucked thought to me. The idea that people don’t change means whatever inexcusable/unwanted traits you’ve garnered through life are now stuck with you, and that makes me rather uneasy and pessimistic. This is saying that while yes you can improve yourself in small ways, you’re going to stay the same basic person forever. No true growth, no real progress. It’s something the optimist in me wants to say just isn’t true. With this thinking of “people don’t really change” you may not get fooled twice or three times like some, but you also cut off any chance of actual redemption someone might be able to provide. I would also have to balance that with people’s desire to change. I think if someone truly wants to, they will. That doesn’t mean everyone will though, and in realistic terms, most people won’t. But that’s better in my book than just dismissing all people’s struggles and strides and saying none of them will ever change.

Honestly, I could probably go on for entirely too long on this subject. The more I’ve written about it, the more examples and ideas and causes and effects I’ve gathered about balance in life. Which is expected from me(see: rock in a windshield). What’s frustrating is I don’t have any answers. The more I think about it, the more problematic I find it could be. I’d go out on a limb to say people with a propensity for open mindedness probably struggle with this as well. Being open minded usually means you can find it easy to see both sides of an argument, and where there are good points and bad points for each. Times like these are when you talk to someone else about it all because if you don’t, you’re probably about to make one of three mistakes. Either one, you are very much overtly confident in your assessment of the subject and think however you view it is correct and you come off as a close minded douche. Two, you lack a great degree of confidence about it all and you second guess everything you’ve came up with so far and you say nothing as to not sound dumb. Or three, you try to balance the two sides of the argument and you end up saying nothing about the whole thing because you’ve stumped yourself with too much overthinking, and so you look for another input and hope to gain some clarity on it all.

So I suppose gaining answers isn’t the desired outcome of this at all. Maybe talking about it with someone to gain further insight and understanding on something that has clearly peaked your interest possibly could be. I also have to balance going on and on about what I think vs. making this relatable for all you thoughtful and shrewd readers out who have taken the time to broaden your views and travel this introspective journey of self-awareness and understanding. I have high hopes that if you made it this far, you at least feel one way or another on the subject strongly enough to tell me how much you agree with it all or how big of an idiot you think I am. But either way, do it. And if not, you’re probably just a simpleton and this went over your head. If that’s the case, then none of this matters and we’re living in a simulation.

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