There are scars on my hands, marks between cuticle and knuckle that remind me of how obsessive I was in my youth. They came from a mailbox, where I shoved an item into someone’s life that they didn’t want but I had to give them, because I was convinced they loved me. I was wrong. It took a very long time to understand how that emotion actually worked, and finally when I did, it became apparent I’d lied to myself for many years. I’d hidden truths and feelings because I’d assumed they were wrong, unreasonable expectations that only surfaced when I was at peace with what I actually was. However, that post isn’t what I’m here to do. Today we are here to talk about obsession, and perception, and how sometimes what you want from someone is never what was on offer to begin with, because you simply put too much emphasis on your side of the equation.
If you want a real friend, there is a scale that must be balanced.
Once upon a time there was someone on Social media I really liked. They were clever, funny and popular, and they encapsulated a lot of the qualities I really thought should be grasped by people who I interacted with. I was, at the time, looking to try and make some long-term connections with people that I felt I’d have a decent chance of being friends with, because my life was lacking meaningful associations with those who possessed shared interests. So, I reached out, and for a time it worked, until the first time I got upset about something that this person had removed from their life, by their own choice. I’d hoped that this person would be able to accept this, that maybe the difference would be something we could both agree to differ about, but one morning I woke up and they’d effectively removed me completely from their life. That was when I understood the scales had never been equally balanced. My perception was warped, twisted by the need to feel a connection with what I thought this person was. Whether they cared or not I have no idea, but it doesn’t matter. I made the fatal mistake of assuming this person cared about me, and would treat me with respect as a result.
In the end, I suspect I was never a part of their balance at all.
Anybody who believes you can make your way through life without needing at least occasionally to check the temperature of emotional behaviour around you is being very misguided indeed. A marriage, for instance, needs almost daily attention to maintain both beauty and brilliance. Those who won’t work at relationships will inevitably be served with flashpoints that can often be avoided, if they’d paid attention previously. Mostly, life should be a series of reassessments, the proverbial spinning of plates that actually don’t need constant attention but in truth just the occasional twist of the wrist. I’ve spent a lot of time this month looking inwards, because the first two weeks have pretty much demanded that effort. The world crashing into reality is undoubtedly messy, and out of your control. You just have to ride those moments out and hope for the best. Obsession is fine, but only in the right places and for the correct reasons. For everything else? Luck and judgement, people.
Hope you can manage with the minimal input of both.