On the gift horse of choice.

I used to think that whatever my intial response to anything was, or my first reaction, was natural and authentic and maybe not necessarily right…but if it wasn’t right, then I’d make the necessary adjustments so my response was both genuine and correct. Whatever came out of me, though, at least wasn’t feigned. 

Tonight there is this local jazz band playing and this woman stands up and starts dancing. She’s in her 30’s, granola to boot and her boyfriend has on matching cargo pants. Her face is pink from embarassment and she’s smiling too much. She moves awkwardly, occasionally jabbing at her boyfriend who is refusing to dance with her but awkwardly forcing himself to get lost in the moment and laugh at/with her. He wants to show anyone who is watching that they are in love and that he thinks she is spontaneous and full of life. Just like she knows people are watching and is trying to prove that she is spontaneous and full of life. But, I have to wonder, by trying to prove that you’re something aren’t you just proving that you’re not. You can’t be lost in the moment and, at the same time, be worried about making it look like you’re lost in the moment because if you really were you wouldn’t be worried about what it looks like. That’s another entry though.

I think that was my initial response. That being said I didn’t allow myself to have an initial response, to just think about what I observed how I naturally thought about it. I only allowed myself to consider the different ways I could think about what I was observed. 

I could be inspired. Reverting to the mindset I had when I was 18, in short, that life was charming and living it to the fullest meant appreciating local art and dancing even when you’re the only one and everyone is watching.

I could be discouraged by the fact that even at 30 people still haven’t found any new meaning to life, still just trying to prove things and  trying to live the lifestyle they read about in a magazine. 

I could be forgiving and happy that people are out trying to have a good time.

I could choose to just be oblivious to it all and pretend not to notice. Of course then I’m faced with the dilema of trying to think of something else to think about and I’m almost out of roasted candied walnuts.

Of course, being prone to indecisiveness, I never settled on a perspective. 
Isn’t it awful that when you grow up you stop just reacting to things? Instead, you have to CHOOSE how you will react to them. It makes having opinions more difficult because there are almost limitless ways of looking at the same thing. With just a minimal amount of effort and creativity you could spend a lifetime trying on perspectives and never know which one fits or which one is accurate. Hoping, the one that fits is the one that’s accurate.
Which leads me to think, I’m sorry I wasn’t inspired or enchanted by the woman dancing. I noticed that I don’t react the way I did when I was 18, and I feel a little sorry about that. It seems to me I’ve lost something. Consequently, my next thought is, I don’t have to see it that way. I could decide that it’s ok to change and whatever change I’m noticing isn’t bad and deserves to be explored and given a fair chance instead of just resisting it and trying to remedy it without ever knowing what it is.

I think I’ll stick with that.


2 thoughts on “On the gift horse of choice.

  1. Jeff

    I thought I was the only one who thought about stuff like this. Props on verbalizing it understandably.I constantly aim to destroy the percentage of me that immediately looks upon such new input cynically, as that’s not the type of person I really want to aspire to be. But then again, my favorite people are usually those who are unassuming, with no ulterior motives, no matter how well-intentioned or pure. And yet, as I craft this response, I’m dealing with the same dilemma now. I’ll tell you one thing, though. My natural reaction (and first thing I wrote here) was wacky, so maybe it’s best I keep it hidden away.


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