January 12th, 2006

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The 12 Year Epiphany: Part II

I am going to write through this... And make it make sense in the process.

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Monday night, I went through the "Between Deadlines" archives to look at some old posts. I stumbled across a phone post that I'd saved privately and evidently never listened to. In fact, I'm not sure I remember recording it on December 26 of 2004. Listening to it -- and then transcribing it -- was an interesting process. I found that what was just a random, confusing stream of consciousness then was making sense to me now. A lot of our thoughts are like that. In the present, it's like cereal that's spilled across the table and the floor. It's all there in front of us, but not in a form that we can use. Put a little time between you and your thoughts, and suddenly the cereal finds its way into a bowl.

"Notes to self here. I mean I've always been caught between... I've always found myself caught between two things. Sometimes they are self-created conflicts. Sometimes they are ones that I'm just kind of thrown into. I mean. Obviously the earliest conflict is Mom and Dad. I mean. There. Boom. Uh. You've got a funny family like mine, your gonna find yourself caught in between the two. Um... Caught between... I mean... One recently is Jessie and Alex... Caught between those two. Not that... I mean that they each represent so, so different things. Its not like -- and that's the problem with the conflict is that I'm caught be two things that aren't like good and better because then it wouldn't be a conflict. You'd just pick better. I'm always torn between choosing between apples and oranges. Uh. And that's frustrating. Even to the extent of Smallville and Franklin. Smallville and Oakdale.
"I always feel like I'm spread out over the board in different places. And I want... I'd like to be more simplistic. I'd like to be more centered. If that makes any sense. And I want to be more genuine. But the problem I see is that when I see genuine people, I see people that get hurt. They get suckered. They get lured in. Genuine to me is oblivious. And so I always have trouble I think being genuine because I want to know what's going on. I want to look at things third person and not first person. Because first person gets you in trouble. It breaks your heart. It makes you disappointed. Third person you get to see what everybody's doing. You get to be the manipulator. Not the manipulator -- that's a bad word. But you get to better decide how things turn out. That's what I've grown into. And I'm not sure that's good. Probably not. And so now I'm torn with that. You want to be genuine but at the same time you want to see the big picture and its hard to do two. So once again, I'm torn in two different spots. But anyway. That's on my mind, so I thought I'd put that out there."

People say I'm afraid to commit. That's a claim that I usually only acknowledge jokingly. But there -- in two paragraphs of completely random thoughts from a year ago -- seems to be the proof. Two things are on the table and I can't commit to either. But is it a fear? Or just a hesitation? I think there is a difference. And what does that fear or hesitation stem from?

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The 12 Year Epiphany: Part III

For a long time, I've wondered if I'm the kind of guy who is even supposed to love just one girl. Certainly, there are people with no interest in doing the same job forever or living in the same town forever -- I've dabbled in those categories myself. So can the same concept apply to love? At one point in my life, I contemplated the possibility that it did... That I would fall into people's lives at the right time and fall out when it was the right time for that, too. In some ways, it's already happened like that. I know situations where people floated in and out of my life and served a great purpose for their limited time... And I think that I've reciprocated a time or two as well. It's almost the Sam Beckett Theory -- leap in, help out and move on. More importantly, it is the Firefighter Fletch Theory -- get called to a problem, fix it and move on to the next person in need. But, in the end, this probably isn't the best philosophy for a relationship.

So back to committing... Back to having to make a choice...

My spiel about wanting to live life in the third person was dead on. I want to know all of the facts before I jump into something. But when you are hanging back to see what everyone else is doing and where things are heading, it means that you're not leading. Truly passionate people always lead. Passion doesn't allow any other alternative. So, if you're not ahead of the pack... You're probably not passionate about what you're doing. How can any romantic relationship begin without passion? It can't. Thus, one of my problems.

The other big problem relating to the "third person" is that the next stage in my relationship with Jessie -- engagement -- is a giant leap of faith. I can't see over the edge of the cliff, but she wants me to not only hop over it... but do it with a running start, too. As I've told her, we haven't even lived in the same town since 2002. The only time we see each other is when one of us is on vacation. Either I'm visiting her while she works and I bum around or vice versa. When she's not here, I live a different life. My schedule is different. My eating is different. My activities are different. My sleep habits are different. Because we live two hours apart, I never get the chance to call her up and go to lunch spur of the moment. I can't just up and take her to a movie on a whim. I wonder if the leap from living separate lives in separate places to being man and wife is too great. Third person is the guy watching the cartoon. First person just might be The Coyote. As much as I think a lasting relationship with Jessie would be a good thing, I don't want to end up at the bottom of the ravine.

But risk is a consequence of passion -- perhaps even a benefit. Without those two things, you never achieve anything in life. As hard as it is, I must remember that.