Initial Thoughts on This Election Cycle

I recently found this show, and I really enjoy it. You take it for what it is, of course, and the bias of it matters. But it tends to reveal a lot of interesting viewpoints. I think it's pretty important, especially as the various issues of today become more and more relevant in our unfolding lives, both young and old.

I want to say first that I'm not very politically-minded, never have been, but I have been trying to become more aware and involved. The whole business of it has always turned me off, but I need to push that aside at least enough to care enough to have some awareness.

That being said, the whole Trump thing has become really unsettling. I'm going to share a few thoughts, and may or may not have an informed-enough mentality to have a respectable opinion on others. But I do hope that I do. I've not been saying much lately, to avoid turning people off, but I think I do still need to every now and then. I hope that anyone who actually reads this will have that in mind. Peace and goodwill is what I wish for more than anything.

Anyway, the Trump thing. I get that “telling it like it is” is a good thing, for sure, generally. I do truly believe that. But it matters what “like it is” is, when the things you believe include, among many troubling things, banning and/or literally walling-off enormous groups of people. I mean, the same people that insist that our constitution and the foundational values of this country support and protect freedom of gun ownership should -also- respect that the same foundational values support the freedom of immigration and what a better life could bring for anybody who seeks it in America. There's a lot more to that, of course, but that's an argument I hear a lot. On the guns, I mean. Not as much on immigration and the like.

I get that there are concerns over immigration, especially today. But, I don't know, geez, ANY time I've taken the time to listen to anything this man has said during this candidacy, he turns me off like crazy. Brashness, brutality, and outright actual public demeaning of other people is a very troubling idea for someone who is trying to become our president. I feel like we need to get away from that. Like, the world NEEDS less of that. We need peace and goodwill, patience and, especially, care for the less fortunate among us. Not just in America, and we need LOTS of it, but worldwide.

I worry that some of his success is simply because he's running Republican, and people who identify as Republican are going to support him--and I've personally heard this from people--that even though he's not their “first choice” if he is nominated they'll vote for him. That -terrifies- me, that a vote is earned potentially regardless of individual stances because of party identification above all else.
I don't even know where I stand myself. I've never really thought of anything like that. I get that party lines exist and that it helps to identify some similar issues and standings, among surely other valuable political factors, and maybe most “Republicans” get along best with other “Republicans”, or “Democrats” with “Democrats” because they tend to agree on issues, but, geez, shouldn't what matters be the combination of the actual individual opinions that any person is pushing, and who matches the best combination of your own? I mean, seriously. Really think about it, if you don't already believe this. I hope more people think that way than it seems like to me. I'm not trying to offend anybody, or any ideal (unless that -is- actually the case).

But, I don't know! Maybe people supporting Trump and (seeming to) simply because of the Republican party just -actually- side with that combination of politics. That could be. And that's worthy of respect, for sure, and there might be details of his campaign that I just don't know, again, I'm not myself very political-minded, but I am trying to be more so.

When I've taken political “quizzes” (and I know not to take them particularly seriously) I tend to get a Democratic-ish result. I don't really know what that means. I have to push myself to really care. I care more about who the quiz tells me my own opinions side with now and throughout history. That's what feels to me like should be what's important. I hope it is! But I'm genuinely worried, more and more.

I just hope, as things play out, that the actual realities of what people are supporting and pushing become the issue, and NOT what the party identity is. I couldn't care less, but the Democratic ideals seem to resonate better with me, personally. But if Bernie or Hillary, in this case, were themselves turning me off, I wouldn't just shrug and vote Democratic anyway.

Again, I'm not very political-minded. I don't know much of what else it means for the President to be of one party or the other. I'm sure it trickles down with many other factors into the larger government as a whole, and who has or hasn't advantages in various ways. And that matters, I'm sure. I just hope it's not actually that much of an issue, and that the collection of beliefs for the country (and the rest of the world) -IS- vastly more so.

Anyway, just sharing some thoughts and concerns. It's been a very interesting campaign season, for sure. And I'm sure it will only get more intense! I am just advocating for some peace and goodwill, and for the person who resides over us to value those as well. Where it matters, for sure--warfare and “harshness” matter for sure, and are sometimes regrettably necessary. So that's important too, someone who can handle that. But that person will have advisers, right? Entire groups of people to help inform and advise?

These are pretty basic, initial feelings. All in all I just feel like we can do better, and that the world NEEDS better in troubling times, and our country's influence is very important.

Peace, my friends ¦]

Posted by Eli Stanley | at 6:49 PM | 0 comments

Thursday, March 24, 2016 -- Blizzard Workload

So I've decided to give this journalistic approach to chronicling life's events another go. I used to do this almost religiously, years ago, and I have -so- much appreciation that I did so. I can as near as possible travel back in time when I read those, especially the run on Xanga during my early/late high school years and slightly beyond, and relive the moments so much more clearly than I could if I had left them to fallible memory alone. It is a truly beautiful thing, the thoughts and feelings in the moment solidified into written exploration such as this. I'm not proud of myself for having drifted away from it for so long, but here I am eager to scratch a new narrative beginning into the concrete walls I have built around myself among the unfortunate circumstances that have played out since this was last a solid effort.

The history in-between will be an update of its own; I won't delve into it right away. I just want to chronicle the past couple days.

We had a pretty gnarly blizzard yesterday morning, which apparently set a Cheyenne record for snowfall for the day of March 23rd, 2016. My coworker Kelly had, the night before, agreed to pick me up for work, as my Camaro was unlikely to have much luck if it snowed more than a few inches. As it turned out, we had a full-blown blizzard situation declared, and various places around town, including the Warren AFB itself, had already declared themselves closed. Nevertheless, we endeavored to make it to work, and he eventually called me saying that he was here.

But he wasn't “here” in the expected sense, as some poor woman was stuck in the snow trying to get uphill out of the neighborhood. So I was to trudge through the knee-high snow several buildings down the street to where he was stalled, while he tried to turn his Honda around in the meantime. Once I painstakingly got there, pant legs partially soaked already, it had become obvious that the best route was still forward, unfortunately blocked by this stuck woman who had failed in finding her way uphill the way she was facing. So we got out, collectively pushed her free of her snowy prison, backwards, and wished her a fortunate journey. Returning to Kelly's car, we found that it had in the effort, itself, gotten stuck in the snow. So I returned to the blizzard conditions outside to attempt a rescue effort, helping to move his Honda from one snow-sinkhole to the next, at least three such mighty attempts before I was almost entirely physically exhausted. Thank goodness a neighbor came up to us and offered help, and with this assistance we pushed the Honda over the final snow-obstacle and as he let it roll down the hill, unwilling to stop again, I thanked the neighboring helper and jumped into the passenger seat as it continued to pick up momentum. We made it the rest of the way to the hospital without incident, although our boss expressed his disappointment at him arriving to work before us (he lives a ways out of town where there is even less care given to road conditions).

The rest of that day went rather predictably, although, at lunchtime, being Wednesday, we had begun trading turns bringing in “Crockpot Wednesday” meals where we take turns preparing a dish for us all to enjoy. For whatever reasons, Kelly did not bring his with him in the morning but planned on traveling and swinging by his house to bring it to the shop around noon. Unfortunately, he got stuck in the snow on his way to pick it up and sorrowfully informed us that he would not be back in as he had to get lifted the rest of his way home.

The rest of the day went typically, and another coworker was gracious enough to give me a ride home. Assuming the roads would not be cleared away enough for my Camaro to have a safe ride, she agreed to give me a ride to and from the next day.

The next day, Thursday, she picked me up and we signed in to work. As it happened, it was only her and me present this day, the other three technicians all having requested days off, for Spring break with their kids and Kelly's visiting mother needing a ride to Denver International Airport. So we powered through, having to go throughout the entire hospital updating the configuration settings of all Spacelabs DM3 vital sings towers needing an IP address change to accept this upgrade. We split up, with the help of two Spacelabs reps and one IT tech helping as well, and stepped into every patient room with such a unit to update the IP address. Once the main building was completed, Andrea and I were tasked to visit the two outside buildings which also had DM3s, the “East Campus” and the “Davis Hospice Center”, where we had success (Davis Hospice had three units) and not so much success (only one of three units at the East campus would cooperate).

We stopped at the nearby Bread Basket for lunch, had some light chat, and headed back to the shop. Not long after returning, my boss informed me of a problem he had gotten a call about, where a bipap ventilator (Phillips Respironics V60) had had its patient circuit removed by the patient themselves, presumably to his/her death. The department wanted an extraction of the error logs of the unit involved, although it had happened overnight and the staff had not isolated the unit in question (WTF?!). So all I had to go off of was a starting time for treatment, and the approximate time of the removal of the tubing (roughly 21:05 hours). As of this writing, I have looked at the “significant logs” of five different units and have found none that match the timing windows. It's a wonder to me that the staff would not have isolated this particular unit, having resulted in the death of a patient, but apparently such ideas can extend beyond the thought processes of nurses and technicians in the business of the day. So we'll see what I might be able to uncover tomorrow, if anything. I certainly hope something useful can come of it.

So that's a couple days' worth of events, as my life is unfolding these days. It's been a long time, I know, but I'm eager to begin at least some sort of chronicling again, akin to the days where I began this sort of thing on Xanga back in the day (oh man! The memories!!). I'll delve deeper into the thoughts, for sure. As a sort of hesitant return, this I hope will serve well as inspiration for myself, and, I can only hope, interest in those who have subscribed either on here or follow closely enough on Facebook to care to click into it.

More to come. A new beginning. A release of pent-up thoughts ready for an outpouring -somewhere- and where better? It will be a nice exercise. The writing bug has been itching at me for quite some time and I've been ignoring it. I'd like not to ignore it anymore.

Anyway, more back-history to come, as well as the present newer developments, I will try and keep a more steady mindset devoted to this.

Posted by Eli Stanley | at 6:37 PM | 0 comments

Persisting In The Depths

As a warning of sorts I just want to say that I am about to be openly, brutally honest. And it pains me to feel like such a disclaimer is necessary, because I feel like this should not be the case if people were less judgmental and more welcoming and accepting of the thoughts and feelings of others of especially their very own generation, whom they should relate to more than ever.

Yet I see all the time people openly criticizing others for “being vague” on social media or for “confusing (social media outlet) with your diary.” This strikes me as odd because here are two extremes both seemingly frowned upon by the more general public. But this should not be the case. There should be no imposed limit to the amount of “acceptable” sharing. It troubles me deeply to see this in my own generation, because we in particular should be pioneering this treasure of a communicative outlet and appreciating all that it allows us to share with each other. This is amazing, what we can do on here, how many connections we can maintain and interact and identify with. Absolutely amazing, and I for one cherish every single last glimpse into the minds, into the feelings and emotions of any person I’ve ever met (or haven’t) and have connected with, here on the internet where input ones and zeros amount to so much societal potential. It should not be a stirring pot of judgment and resentment. But if you think I’m mistakenly writing in my diary? Excuse me; I am only trying to share my inner thoughts and feelings with you.

Sometimes people just need an outlet, and an outlet can take so many forms, be it a diary entry, a face-to-face conversation, a blog, a punching bag, a book, a long drive, a phone call, a jog, some painting, some music to make or listen to, a dance floor, a chat room, a puzzle; it could literally be anything. Something makes somebody feel like they have dealt with something, made some progress, and this should not be seized and stomped on and pulled apart because others felt annoyed at having witnessed it. Projecting it outward is an act, deliberately executed, and whether or not you agree with whatever it is, or think it “whiny”, you should respect that brave lunge and feel privileged to have been a recipient of an outward expression.

So I write this, because I feel like I am close to achieving some measure of peace with my particular circumstance at long last, and this outpouring I have been putting such careful thought and consideration and feeling into is, I feel, an important step in the final stages of this progress. So I’m just going to leave this right here, after it’s completed. It will already have served its ultimate purpose whether or not it’s brutally ripped apart or appreciated, the underlying objective being to express oneself, and share a passion… and passion has no bounds.

And there is a passionate pull, an intense burden so heavy inside me that it’s all I can do to not outwardly portray it. As I’m sure many know, I’ve found quite a lot of success lately: I’ve graduated, I’ve moved, I’ve gotten a good job, I’ve met so many new people, I’ve more deeply connected with so many existing acquaintances, I’ve had so many good times and I have so many places I can call home and so many friends with connections so deep I can’t ever imagine losing touch. I used to endure an entire year before I got the chance to visit friends in Cheyenne for a woefully brief two weeks for vacation. And now that I’ve brought myself into the region, and have spent so much time up there, I begin to feel deprived if I spend those same two weeks without being in town, I’ve re-adapted so fast. The acclimation was startlingly swift, even though I anticipated swiftness.

But I left behind an unimaginable fortune when I got here; she did not follow me. I did not know if she would, that was the mighty risk I took. But I felt like I needed to be here. It was so deep inside me I couldn’t just brush it off. It tugged at my heartstrings, persistently escalating over eight long years to the point where I had never felt so sure, not about anything. And so went for it, and so I am here. And I am happy; geographically, I feel like I am where I belong. I look around and I just appreciate being here. I swear there is a greater beauty in the skies, in the colors sometimes shining at particular angles of retreating sunlight… perhaps this is due to the altitude difference. I enjoy being physically nearer to the cloud cover overhead, and even the landscape has a certain appreciable quality to it. It’s somehow in the shapes and the colors of the rolling countryside and the mountains so nearby in such contrast to the stretches of plains seem to cast a majestic quality upon everything around; I just adore it all.

But for all of this, romantically I lost it all. My arms were wide open just in case, and the truths of my most hopeful intentions were, as far as I could judge at the time, made entirely known. In my head it all fit so well: she was having trouble job hunting after her own graduation, a lot of her friends had moved away or were not very responsive, and at such a point in a young life it is perhaps the most opportune time to embark on such a commitment as moving so far and striking out fresh. Yet she stayed and moved on, despite the efforts, despite my attempts to convince her of my hopefulness for us. And I hold no ill feelings toward her at all, of course. It was not ugly in any way. And in a reversed situation I can’t say what I would have done… I feel like I would have gone along, had I been in a similarly uncertain situation, but of course I cannot know, having never been there. So this must be stressed: there are no hard feelings.

But I close my eyes and there she is, wearing that so-familiar outfit. It is that simple, if I wish to call upon it: in my mind she is unchanging in all of her incredible beauty. And there’s her laugh, so hearty and contagious, and there is that characteristic sparkle in her eyes so hard to look away from. They are ingrained into my memory as deeply as any learned equation. And I drift off to sleep at night and she’s here, or I’m there, or we’re somewhere entirely unfamiliar, but it’s we, and I cannot help but wish with all of my being that I’d wake up and find this to be reality. And her slightest, most gentle touch just effortlessly peels all of the hard-won armor from my skin; I am utterly powerless against her. Sometimes I walk into a room and catch such a brief whiff of a familiar scent that for a fleeting moment she’s right there beside me, and sometimes I hear the faint whisper of a voice so deeply entangled into my mind that she appears in context, bright-eyed and strikingly beautiful as ever. I might taste the gentle touch of her lips upon mine and I imagine the cascades of a thousand waterfalls which cannot possibly manage to drown out the joyful ringing in my head. Such is her legacy to me.

I’m like a tiny creature cradled in the palms of her gentle hands, gazing up into dark brown eyes so deep as if an entire galaxy could be harbored within. Her slightest breath could topple mountains and turn landscapes to dust. My heartstrings are tangled into every last part of her body and mind, doomed to be tugged every which way with the slightest graceful movement. I would want to follow her anywhere, yet her presence fills the sky from horizon to horizon and churns within the individual grains of dirt beneath my feet as I wander the Earth. If not into her arms then there is nowhere else in particular to go because she is everywhere, is in everything.

But reality, of course, inevitably sinks back in… eventually, as it must, because I must move on as well. There is no other option when you’ve given every last effort you know to express the open invitation for someone. It simply becomes the reality which must be accepted. Our own personal desires may drive every single thing that we do, but our own personal desires do not determine what’s true. They do not themselves alter the separate desires of another person. The sheer force of my will alone cannot influence the situation any further.

And so I admit now that I do not know how to move on, myself. I don’t know how one does it without eventually coming into another such companionship which works to overtake the one just left behind, smoothing out the “moving on” process. I don’t mean to trivialize the following relationship, but rather to acknowledge the power it could hold in salvation. You shouldn’t seek it out because of this, but because you find it you could be freed. But without that path, I stand at infinite crossroads, no specific path being chosen, and time itself becomes the means by which I move on.

You hear that time “heals all wounds”. But I don’t believe that time itself should be what gets the credit, rather, I think we just forget how much they hurt. Time is the means by which we ever so gradually lay new, fresher memories and feelings upon the previous. You may forget one as it fades into the ever-receding past, but it will always linger, always persisting in the depths of you, ready to be called upon by random sensory triggers. Such is her reality to me, now. It comes and it goes, it’s fleeting and it’s persistent, it’s vivid and it’s vague, and it’s all of these at once in uncontrollable combinations.

The frustrating part about it now is that somehow I start to feel guilty if I begin to develop feelings for someone… as if I’ve let myself wander across some boundary I somehow should know I have no place being, even after all these months. And this is silly, I know, but it’s real, and I’m unsure of how to combat it. Because when I have tried so hard to be such good friends with so many incredible people, I then don’t know how to not jeopardize this, how to conclude that -this- particular one could be more somehow, and reciprocated. I feel like I don’t know how to be more than friends with anybody else after all of that, no matter how deeply I want to, or if want to. I don’t even know how ridiculously obvious this might have already been to anyone on the outside.

But I can say one thing with absolute, unwavering certainty such that I’ve never once been able to say about anything before: it is because of such an intensely emotional investment into this one single relationship I managed to let slip through my fingers that I still, and always will, believe in utter confidence that true love is a thing, is obtainable and is worth every single shred of effort you can put forth to call your own. It is as fragile as it is real, as painful as it is wonderfully blissful, and can be as heavy a burden on the soul as incredibly free as it makes it.

I do still believe the best is yet to come.

Posted by Eli Stanley | at 10:49 PM | 0 comments

Rising Above the Haze

I feel like there’s something special about the view of the sky at higher altitudes… maybe it’s from being physically nearer to the clouds, or perhaps it’s something in the air pressure; probably it’s a combination of both. Or perhaps it’s just my own placebo fooling my senses because I feel so powerfully that I am at finally where I belong. There are times when the sky looks so strikingly indistinguishable from the most beautiful painting, just placed there in all its glory so high above us, particularly at those fleeting times when the sunlight hits the clouds from just that right angle to unleash those gorgeously glowing vanilla skies.

Whatever the case, I find it so incredibly interesting that there is so much grandeur in this world all around us, particularly in the sky so high above us because we rarely get the chance to view it from any other angle than we have here at ground level. We’re so utterly confined to the planet’s surface, not necessarily any less beautiful in its own right but so much less identifiable simply because we are so bounded by the surface, by the relentless tug of gravity rooting us to it. But when we get those exceedingly rare opportunities to free ourselves from these chains and actually bring ourselves up above the haze of the surface world we spend so much of a majority of our time viewing it all from, and look upon the same familiar world yet from such an unfamiliar vantage point, there is so much more beauty laid bare we are otherwise entirely ignorant of.

Consider a simple airplane trip, for example. As the plane begins to roll down the runway it’s not so different from any typical car ride. You feel the wheels rumbling over the imperfections of the pavement, and the shuddering of the vehicle as those vibrations rumble through its body. But something amazing happens as the plane reaches that critical speed and the upward lift of air acting on the craft’s body almost seems to cause the oh-so-familiar ground to just casually drop away just as much as it seems like the plane is actually being lifted up from it all.

And then gradually the influence of humanity upon the planet grows less and less apparent, even as the networks of straight lines and right angles so absent from the natural structure of things bare themselves so glaringly to you. The awesome immensity of the planet is further revealed to you as you climb higher and higher and still there is no end in sight. What a truly gigantic landscape we are all a part of!

As you approach the cloud line which was once so high above, so utterly and completely out of your reach and comprehension, you start to notice what I have found to be one of the most striking observations I have ever witnessed—that the blanket of clouds, for the most part, is so much like another surface, as if occupying its own sphere encircling the planet. This was never apparent to me looking up from the ground. But gazing down from the window of an airplane I find myself captivated by this; somehow it’s incredibly beautiful that this should be the case.

And you realize how relatively insignificant we each are, individually for sure but even as a whole. There are no actual boundaries; unless you’re looking at a fabricated map you could not possibly tell that some arbitrary invisible line separates one state, or one country, from the next. You see how pockets of civilization tend to be tightly packed, especially around significant landmarks, almost as if huddling together against the incredibly vast expanses of unsettled wilderness still surrounding so much of our prized civilization.

Even the cities themselves don’t have actual boundaries. There is no protective bubble enclosing a city and declaring it as such. If not for the signs on the roadside, or the data from your GPS, you would not truly know that you have entered or exited some decided “city limit.” No, they are simply collections of structures and grids placed upon the Earth’s surface, utterly at the mercy of all of nature’s influences just as everything else is. They have no privileged rights, no advantage over any other point on the globe except for the most carefully positioned among them. You’re just surrounded by structures and a certain density of other people.

At some height the roads and highways vanish into obscurity, as do entire cities at sufficient elevation. From high enough above the surface you cannot even see evidence of the presence of our own race, except maybe for the grid work of landscaping so blatantly obvious because of all the straight lines and right angles. But then your aircraft starts to descend upon its destination, ever so gradually, and you are left to observe the reverse of all of these thought processes as this privileged vantage point is taken back from you, and your suddenly-heavy feet are returned to within the haze of Earth’s solid surface so that the glory of it all can tower over you so tantalizingly once more.

Posted by Eli Stanley | at 11:25 PM | 0 comments

The Fragile Eggs of Companionship

I've had the sinking feeling, at times, that I've put too many precious eggs in too few welcoming baskets. And at times I’ve been afraid that some of them, some of the most carefully and deeply invested eggs, have been casually dismissed…neglected…tossed around…even stomped on, crushed and obliterated, whether intentionally or not. And when this happens, what else is there to do but pick up the pieces, these shattered remnants of what had been a blossoming interpersonal relationship, and try another approach? I’m not one to just turn my back and walk away, because there must have been a good reason why I had been compelled to invest so deeply. Some combination of factors had made it worth it, had made it seem reciprocated in kind, and I want to put all effort into at the very least reevaluating and redistributing these factors so that something, if not all of it, can still remain between us. Sometimes this was just a casual friendship, sometimes a much more enduring one, once it was even an intimate one. As it turns out, obviously enough, the magnitude of the resulting damage is in this same order.

Interestingly, it's not those who blatantly stomp on the eggs who inflict the most pain. In this way it's quick and made very clear, at least, despite the violence, despite the pain. No, rather, it's the more casual, slow-going dismissals that are particularly difficult to make sense of and deal with—when you don't realize the damage that has been accumulating, that mess slowly growing in the bottom of that particular basket, oozing and spreading over any other still-healthy eggs. It slowly infects the entire scope of the relationship, so gradually that it goes almost entirely unnoticed until one day you open your eyes and all of the damage, all of the shattered broken mess, is laid bare.

My first instinct upon realization is to gather them up, all of these eggs I've distributed, all of the ones still healthy and functioning at least and, after cleaning up the messes of those that didn’t endure, encase them in something hopefully impenetrable like diamond, or adamantium. Protect them, these fragile investments of mine, so as not to let any possibility remain of such abuse and hardship. Then, once properly armored, maybe give a few of them back (just a few!) to each connection of mine, enough to at least enjoy a nice friendship, and keep the rest of them locked safely away inside an unbreakable vault to deny any access.

But what good would that do? Sure they'd be safe inside the confines of their hardened shells, but life would then be almost unbearably dull and lonely. Because what at first seems better and more comforting, to carefully reinvest the new batch and take in the comfort of knowing they will be safe in their armored shells, is actually its own separate kind of trap; the comfort would be short-lived. The relationships they symbolize would now be unchanging by definition, perhaps even more destined to fade because of this. Because again, a gradually fading, casually dismissed investment is much more damaging in the end, being unchanging in this decline, than one that can be addressed and modified accordingly.

The deeply-rooted trouble here is that addressing the complications of any relationship requires the willful cooperation of all parties involved. So your friend, or your partner, must also desire to make amends together with you. I believe this is the supreme difficulty we all face in our relations, why it sometimes seems so difficult to connect with those we hold so dear. They must also realize that there is something which needs addressing, that there is perhaps not enough cushioning for those ever-fragile eggs you are incubating together. This is the case with even the most casual of friendships, and I assert that this is the primary cause of most, if not all, damaged relations of all kinds.

I think, then, of all the potential, all the as yet unrealized beauty that these priceless, fragile little eggs can bring me and others, the fullness that will otherwise be hopelessly lacking among all relations. Whether this is a “standard” friendship, even if maybe one of those incredibly fun ones that are destined to dwindle somewhat in time (but on good terms), maybe even one of those exceptionally real, dependable, everlasting ones that you can rely on until the bitter end of time, or maybe, just maybe, a romance, the truest most beautiful fairy tale come to reality, it doesn’t alter this fundamental idea of cooperation and mutual effort and consideration.

And sometimes a little nudge is all another person needs to realize a shortcoming on their part; for this reason it is always important to keep up your own efforts. I’ve noticed a lot of people tend to sit themselves on the sidelines and insist that the other person is the one who needs to come out and say or do something, but the danger here is that if everyone involved is under the same impression, nothing is going to happen. Somebody has to begin the effort! But I, or anyone, cannot bring out this potential alone. It is, as uncomfortable as the realization makes me, entirely dependent on others. This has to be done carefully; it can't be forced, or pressured, or otherwise coerced without jeopardizing the very thing being attempted to develop.

No, the eggs need to be able to grow, to hatch and blossom, on their own time. If we want any chance of a meaningful relationship (any kind, friendly or romantic), the eggs need to exist in all their full fragile glory. For when you are entrusted with these eggs you are their incubator, their basket. You need to understand the responsibilities you have been trusted with. Understand that they need love, patience, and understanding—all that you can muster, to the absolute best of your ability. They will thrive and reward you beyond the wildest dreams imaginable. Nothing else in the world can provide this like a truly understanding, mutual relation can.

I can't help but wonder what things would be like if people, with all their feelings and emotions, could be reliably fit somehow into a calculation. A set of calculations can triangulate the position of a tiny rock, or spacecraft, hurtling through space to incredible accuracy. This can be very, very useful, for obvious reasons. That the factors involved are even able to be recognized and predicted make all the difference. The same goes for many, many things in our lives. But such a strategy is all but useless with a person's feelings. Sure, there must be people who have developed an uncanny skill in reading people, and maybe can make startlingly accurate predictions about others and how to go about building whatever depth of relation is most achievable between them. But I don't think there is the slightest chance of such a practice being even remotely reliable on a large meaningful scale, or across a meaningful timeline, by most people. The depth of each person's mind is an unimaginably complex place, and I find it somewhat… frightening, to be honest, but ruthlessly fascinating. Maybe it's a wonder anyone gets along at all, let alone bond like so many lifelong friendships have or especially truly fall in love. These precious eggs we are always entrusting into each other represent so much of what is so advantageous to us as human beings, able to form these sorts of bonds among each other and face the wild complexities of the world together.

And so absolutely any connection is meaningful and important beyond any combinations of words, and is worthy of every bit of care and consideration possible. It's just not worth missing out on because of what may very well be petty differences exaggerated by stubbornness from one or both sides. That person you met one time, who said something weird and you never talked to them again, could have been the most beloved friend or companion you could possibly have hoped to have. That person who you used to be good friends with, and who never seems to call or want to hang out anymore and you don't feel like you should have to "put all the effort in," could also be the most beloved friend or companion you could possibly have. One extra little egg entrusted to them could have made all the difference. You don’t know unless you’ve put forth all of your effort deemed worthy for their cause, and carefully but graciously invested upon them a portion of your own collection of priceless eggs for incubation.

Whatever the case, the nourishment of these eggs needs cooperation and uncompromising honesty. For the love of all things, please let’s communicate with each other. Effectively! It's stunning how often this gets in the way, this simple lack of communication, needlessly complicating things or destroying them altogether. When there are differences between two people, embrace them! Differences can help us learn together, see things from entirely separate vantage points, like nothing else can. And when there are similarities between people, embrace them as well! Similarities can help us reinforce our own drives and interests because we find comfort when other people have developed them similarly yet independently.

If you feel even the slightest shred of feeling for a person, even the tiniest bit of compassion for another, don't completely give up on them when things might have grown awkward or distant. And if someone, no matter how dear to you they are, wishes for you to lose touch with others (or if you realize that this is happening of its own accord), please consider this long and hard. There is probably more at stake than you realize. I submit that it is absolutely not worth it in the end if a newly found loved one imposes upon you to spend less time, or no time at all, with your previously held group of friends. I do not believe that one single romantic relationship can outshine a handful of long-held friendly ones… yet I see this time and time again and is, ultimately, one of the primary driving factors built into this writing.

Because it hurts, because there is no reason why a person can’t retain all prior friendships, even if somewhat less devotedly, after entering into a romantic one. That romance should be built into the already existing web of connections without drastically altering its structure. Otherwise one is going to come across as if those friendships were only mere placeholders for the one actual relation that was being sought after all along. And I don’t believe that anyone actually goes about their lives that way, but many seem to tend to react in such a way as if this is somehow what is “meant” to happen. I worry sometimes that societal factors have built into many peoples’ minds that that one true love romance-turned-marriage is the prime objective and all else is secondary if not spread out to the sidelines altogether. But no, with every bit of stress that I can place on a single sentence, this is not how our ongoing relationships need to play out. All of these precious eggs that have been devoted in such an interweaving mesh of interconnections have had so much care, consideration, and time built into their foundations that unimaginable havoc is bound to be wreaked upon them under such circumstances, havoc probably not even realized inside the blissful mind of the romanced party.

This isn’t always the case, of course, and I applaud all of those who manage to maintain the best combinations of relations possible. In my own experience, however, this is not often the case, and it troubles me more deeply than most things witnessed so far in my time. And I always try to tell myself that it’s merely a phase, an understandable phase where hormones and emotions run rampant, but in truth this doesn’t comfort me much because I know that by the time those emotions have settled, and someone begins to desire those friendly relations once again, they may be long gone after having moved on themselves, having exhausted their own efforts to keep that basket warm and nourishing.

I, for one, am going to always focus on distributing my own eggs as far and wide as I can manage, carefully considering those seeming to be most worthy and considerate of them, in order to enjoy as much shared fulfillment in life as I can possibly maintain. And I hope that others will do the same in return, not only for me in particular, but for everyone else striving so earnestly to connect with so many other people inhabiting this wildly complicated planet together. Each of us are all we all have to truly connect and relate with, and this should never be cast to the sidelines. Don't reinforce the eggs. They need room to grow. Reinforce the baskets, and reinforce your individual efforts to form, retain, and nurture these connections. The time we all have here together needs to be cherished with every fiber of every person's being. Every little tick of the clock occurs and is gone forever. I don't like to think of time as the means by which wounds are healed, but as the means by which they are learned to be dealt with and learned from, and maybe even simply forgotten if such is the case. Perhaps this is what some call "healing”. As long as we try hard enough, the best is yet to come.

Posted by Eli Stanley | at 11:07 PM | 0 comments