05 April 2005

Up Another Hill

When you least expect it, the progress you have made will suddenly be revealed. Methinks this is especially true when you aren't overtly obsessed with progress and instead are focused on those things greater than you. Or perhaps something smaller than your wants, like simple survival. Perhaps some background is in order...

Like many at , I've been struggling with meaning, purpose, and relevance. The terror that is social contact and the vulnerability of friendship can be hard to meld into the simple solace that is solitude. It is easier to be independant when no one is depending on me. I don't have to hold up my end of conversation, no one needs to disagree with my opinionated and judgemental thoughts. I can bury myself in my work, my workout, my reading, my learning. Writing these posts gives me a way to stay talking, keep making eye contact, don't let my feet fail. Today, I realize that I'm not the only one. Funny how knowing someone else has it hard makes my load lighter. It must be another way I am changing because one would never think to hear me empathize in such a way.

Someone else took the time to comment on one of my posts and naturally I went to read their work. In reading the honest monologue I found myself saying, "I know how you feel". Now this is terribly uncharacteristic of me. After all, it is well known that I am completely self-centered and lacking any of the basic human traits such as empathy. Alas, it didn't stop with that one traitorous utterance. In moments my inner monologue had betrayed me yet again. "You'll get past this", "It gets easier", and the ultimate disgrace "Just look at how far I've come."

There you have it; my admission of guilt. Somehow I got sucked into understanding the position this noble chap found himself in because I have felt it too. I perceive in my own way how hard his challenge will continue to get, and how much perseverance and determination it will take to stay in the game. I applaud the steps he forces from his faltering feet and treasonously wanted to call out "You can do it". It was like we were in a race and I am winding and struggling mightily. I look back and see someone pushing hard up the very hill I so recently found myself upon. You want to cheer their progress and you forget how hard it is to catch your own breath. For that one moment when you are distracted by thoughts of their success you forget the challenges that currently embroil you. Here I had been dutifully ignoring my own progress, simply gritting my teeth and pressing on, and suddenly I came face to face with having become a {gasp} better person. Okay, so when you have a Grinch-sized heart and you only see half a hearts worth of growth you can't get too puffed up. So let's not read to much into this, okay?

Here's hoping he continues his journey and it remains long and full. Here's hoping this empathy garbage doesn't become a regular thing with me. It's entirely too inconvenient and just might end up impugning my hard-earned image as an egomaniacal dork.

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