Updated: Dec 11, 2020
What I cherish most about talking with someone new is I have no idea really where its going to go. When you go to a movie you know exactly how it is going to go. You may be surprised by some of the beats they take in-between but when the couple who was unhappy with their lot on life at the end has the perspective and growth to be happy you aren’t surprised. When you meet someone new and talk with them there may be some familiar ice breaking beats you dance through. You aren’t surprised by their favorite spots to eat or maybe some of their choice hobbies. It is the things at the end that surprise you.
I guess you could call it the stuff we make sure to shuffle to the bottom of the conversational deck. The story about drunkenly longboarding on the back of a truck being driven by your not so sober friend. Or that you found your uncle’s white hood in the garage when you were trying to steal some booze. These aren’t the usual beats one normally hits when still drinking their first glass with them.
I don’t blame anyone for burying the lead on all of the most interesting parts of themselves. It is safe and normal to talk instead about your favorite Weezer album or how dumb Instagram is even though you both spend at least two hours a day on it. Those are sanitized confessions. It is real enough.
You don’t know how other people take your personal strangeness. You have seen people freak out when others bring up they don’t like pasta noodles. How would they react when you tell them you sometimes try to pop a tooth out because you the gap you could play with in your mouth during commercials?
Being completely honest that is partially why I love hearing about it. I think if we were cutting up the pie on why meeting someone new is so great it is roughly 50% learning something novel and 50% how great it feels to be trusted with the novel past and feelings. To be trusted with the knowledge that the person you just met will sometimes go out on a run at 1030 a night because they are so stressed about their lives they feel the unstoppable urge to accomplish 1.5 miles. That is some really assuring stuff. It means you are someone trustworthy and possibly understand the strangeness. That you won’t shame them for the story about how you spray painted dicks at the local school. Well, maybe shame because they weren't the "rocket" style they used in high school.
It also really scares me. That feeling of letting loose parts of me that I don't know will be well received. I have never really shared much about me. I think I have spent more mental energy trying to forget parts of me than trying to articulate parts of me. I find it not just scary but legitimately hard to share. Hard in the way its hard for a 45 year old dad to just do a half marathon after half a decade of no jogging. It is so heavily atrophied I am not sure how much blood we can get there. That’s what this is for though.
Tonight I had a pretty bad anxiety attack. I was laying in bed worried that I haven’t done enough. That I haven’t worked hard enough and I really really wanted to go for a run. That was after yanking on a tooth. What scares me isn’t that I can’t do it but that I won’t. I have confidence and I have ability but I don’t have a path. I have no role models and no model of success or progress. So I kind of just blow in the wind hoping to catch onto the right ride. I love you.
That was an email I sent to my wife after watching a really good movie. The movie was While We're Young directed by Noah Baumbach. I had the same feelings of a lost past. Which looking at could seem ridiculous. I am still in my 20's! That would be a quarter life crisis?
I do still feel that way at times though. That I have thrown away valuable time watching YouTube, playing video games, and just in general fucking off. I am hoping that feeling comes less and less as I continue to write, read, and help.