I think that perhaps you and I got off on the wrong foot and I am writing to you today in an effort to rectify that situation. You see, in my world I was taught early on that you were not one of the good guys. You were something we were encouraged to avoid as much as possible. We were taught that nothing good came from you and so we were taught many ways to defend ourselves against you.
I think that maybe you like me because I keep running into you and I must confess, this idea was almost offensive to me at first. I mean, you are supposed to be the bad guy. So when you first moved into my home, I was really pissed off. I didn’t invite you. I felt that was very rude of you and you were definitely not welcome in my home. But you stayed. From what I can see, you seem to have a preference for the living/dining room and the play/craft/laundry room mostly although it appears you also camp out in the kids’ rooms, the kitchen, and my bedroom every now and then. Oh and that hall closet, too. I think you really like it in there.
Anyways, I have been forced to become very familiar with you which is quite hard to do considering that your very nature makes you unpredictable and one needs some sort of predictability in order to develop a familiarity, right? Well, regardless, I feel like I have a better idea of you now and I feel like maybe I know you much better than I used to and much better, I think, than some other people do. After all, if you spent equal time with everyone, you wouldn’t be very unpredictable would you? That would be balanced and you don’t do balanced.
So here is what I think of you. I think that you are quite mysterious despite the fact you seem to hang around a lot. I think that you can come off quite rudely and abrasively at first. I think that it takes a lot of time around you to get used to you and I’m just not sure you really hang out with everyone enough for that to happen. I am sure you hang out with other people way more than you hang out with me and they probably have a much better feel for you but I’m also pretty sure you hang out with me a lot.
I am definitely not used to you, yet. Every time I run into you, I think I run a 50/50 chance of handling our encounter well or poorly. This doesn’t have anything to do with you really, it’s more the way I’m wired and whether or not I’m running hot or cold, you see.
However, it seems to me that I have spent enough time with you to understand something very important– you’re not a bad guy. You’re not a good guy either. You just are. But I guess in this case, the important realization for me personally was that you can result in bad things just as much as you can result in good things. I am trying to shift my focus primarily to good things.
In my culture, there is a lot of talk of paths– the wrong path, career path, etc. There is talk of ladders and of destinations, of goals and benchmarks. In my culture, we are incredibly linear and I am starting to appreciate how futile that sort of thinking is because we can’t vaccinate ourselves against you. You are bound to enter everyone’s lives several times. You are all around us all of the time. We breathe you in, we drink you, we eat you, we hear you, we brush against you, and sometimes we watch you.
This letter is long and this letter is rambly but I think that you appreciate that. I hope at the very least that you appreciate this:
I know you like me. I know you like to hang around me a lot. I’m ok with that. I’m not saying that we should totally be best friends and spend every waking minute together and go on adventures and take over the world or start a cult. I am just saying that I am done trying to push you out and I am done trying to keep you out. You’re here again, and that’s ok. Do what you gotta do and hang out until you’re bored and on your way out again. I’m not even mad because I know that you’re just as likely to bring me some good as you are to bring me some bad and that’s ok. There are some extra blankets in the hall closet– the other one. Help yourself, I need to tidy up in there anyway.