Sometimes We Just Don’t Know
I always thought that there was a genre of music that I didn’t really like. The mid to late ’70s folk rock era, it just wasn’t something that did it for me. Particularly Neil Young. When Mr. D and I got together, we mostly listened to 90’s grunge and heavy metal music. Eventually we circled around to his more latent preference for music from this genre that I was not a fan of.
I just didn’t get it. The songs with no drummer, the long rambling lyrics with no progression, the story-telling that turned songs into a 7-12 minute opus with no clear beginning and no end. And then, there was Neil Young. For some reason I just did not like listening to his voice. And I still don’t, really (my apologies, Mr. Young). But when I started to look at the lyrics and see the meaning behind some of them, it struck a chord in me (pun intended).
Things are not always what they seem. There will be times in life when we fall into predictable patterns. Habits of living a certain way that are so pervasive and ubiquitous that they become unseen. Things we think we like, things we think we know. The “who am I” question turns into the “I am this” statement. What is it that we are so eager for that we stall our own progress in life?
Stagnation and Supperation
How does this all circle back to folk rock? It becomes so easy for us to achieve a level of contentment in our current condition, even if we don’t like it. I never thought I liked that music and I was quite steadfast in that belief. Of course, I’m not saying that I suddenly love all music from that era or genre, because I don’t. But the fact that I moved out of my comfort zone and tried something challenged that belief, and I saw something in a different light.
We get so stuck in habit, routine and the latitude of our travels that we don’t even see that there are different paths going North or South we could choose. Lack of movement can cause this stagnation, and why is it that we are so happy to sit in this stale water?
When we sit too long and there is some insult or injury to our integument, there is always a chance that infection can occur. This infection, a suppurative and painful boil in our minds and hearts, can grow and fester because it is easier to let it sit than express it out.
Alright, now it seems like we have come to the pinnacle, the head, of my metaphor. I bet that you are assuming I’m going to tell you now it’s time to let it go, let it out, share your feelings, allow your partner to feel heard.
What I am going to suggest, Dear Readers, is that you don’t do any of those things. Sometimes, you have to do something that seems counterintuitive or down right wrong instead. Don’t release the pus. Don’t put a warm, wet cloth over it for comfort (and concealment). Don’t read books. Don’t make yourself available. Don’t listen.
Oh My God, This Sucks
Trying to do something that goes against the grain of everything we think we know is fucking hard. Holding your tongue, watching your words, walking away…. these things are more of a challenge than taking something head on. How can you not talk about something that you so badly want to talk about?
First rule of Fight Club, right?
Do the hard thing. This is such a hard lesson to learn. What inspired this post in me this morning was due to this same situation happening to me. Mr. D was in a reflective and quiet mood, which I was interpreting in a million different ways. I was roiling inside, wanting to ask and prod and make him tell me what was wrong. And I tried a couple of times (ok, maybe 6 or 8 times) to convince him to release his inner feelings. But this wasn’t really for his sake, it was for mine.
I wanted him to release his stuff so I felt better. I wanted to continue the habit of making someone feel good because it made me feel good. I wanted him to let go because then I could move on with my day. And then, when I thought about this motive of mine and saw it for what it is, I did the harder, kinder, thing.
I broke the habit of trying to fix him and heal his stuff, and instead let him sit in his stuff until he was ready to crawl out.
Good bless, stay safe.