Saturday, April 4, 2009

Adventures in Wanderland

Well, I'm back from a slightly short of transcendental trip to the other side of the state. I was going back to my hometown and close towns for a mix a business and pleasure. I had a bunch of errands to run, people to see, and shopping to do so I started out early. Really early. Like 6 AM early. I could have been on the road sooner, but I waited for Dwight to wake up so I could say goodbye. The morning was gray, rainy, and a bit foggy so probably better that I started out later, anyway.

In a way, my timing was perfect because arriving where I did when I did was one of the things that made this trip so important. Not so much the planned parts, more the unplanned parts. Not to be misinterpreted, the planned parts were great fun, and helped me a lot, but the unplanned parts were the most meaningful by far.

First surprise was a fellow wanderer near the highway. Adam was going to Medina from Kent, and since that's on the way for me (mostly) I took him. He's a nice guy, just unlucky lately. Lost his job, car's not working, and needed to be in Medina for a job interview on Monday. Has a girlfriend, but she's pregnant and having trouble finding a job even though she's a Master's in education and has her teaching certificate.

In Medina, I picked up Phil, heading toward Ashland. He's working his way out to Chicago, but had to pick up some stuff at a friend's house along the way. Started in Philadelphia, two weeks ago.

Stephanie was in Ashland, just going over to Bucyrus. She was leaving her husband and going to live with her sister. They had been a one car family, and it was his car, so it stayed with him.

So what was the big deal about these people and how did they change my outlook so much?

Well, for the past few months, I've told myself I can't trust anyone after what happened. If I could trust someone as much as I had for the past year, and gotten hurt so badly, imagine what just a regular friend or neighbor could manage to do to my emotional state. For my own sake, I had to put up a wall.

But what does a wall do? It keeps dangerous things out, but any danger that is already in with you is trapped inside too. And it doesn't let any good, wholesome things in either. If you're familiar with a closed system, eventually the resources run out and the waste products build up, and that spells disaster. Stagnation. Fouling. Death.

Still don't get the connection?

Adding into the equation is a good friend that I met up with later yesterday. She offered me something that I thought I had been wanting desperately. But after she offered (and lots of thinking on an unfamiliar couch while I couldn't sleep), I realized that what she had offered to me was not what I was after. What she had offered me was merely a symbol of what I truly wanted, and Adam, Phil and Stephanie gave me what I was really craving- trust.

These three had trusted me, when they had no reason to, and I had trusted them when I had no reason either. They were stuck out in the rain and chill, hoping for someone to lend a hand. I was with my son, the reason I get out of bed each day (and the reason I want to crawl back in by noon some days, but that's another issue), looking for the better side of human nature. They sought help, but gave more than I could have ever imagined.

The fact of the matter is that humans do whatever they do, without much real reason. It's like chaos, every decision going one way or another, just because that's the way the cards fall. Yes, there are plenty of factors that can weigh into any given decision or action, but when push comes to shove our decisions are random. We're too illogical for it to be any other way.

We can't control our own actions, and we for d$mn sure can't control anyone else's, so the options are trust people to take the higher ground and believe in the positive side of human nature, or keep your guard up, believe the worst, and wait to whither and die for lack of vital nutrients- humanity and love.

The stores were running low, the wastes were building up, and I had realized that this was not a war that could be won. So I've decided to tear down the walls. Maybe I'll get hurt in the process, maybe the occasional maurauder will ransack the village, but I can trade for what I need, I can expand my own horizons, and I can have access to everything I need but can't make myself. It's the way I used to be, the way I want to be, and the way that makes sense. Who knows, maybe I'll even make friends with former enemies this way. But I can't go against my own human nature, and I can't shut myself in anymore.

Thanks to everyone that aided in this little discovery, you know who you are even if I don't mention you by name. And to those that would try to attack me still- go to h%ll. With the walls down, I can go mano y mano and you're gonna loose, either by my hand or by one of the many friends that I'm allowing over to my side and with whom I'm forming and renewing alliances.

And that was my big adventure for Friday. Hope you can realize some great truth that enriches your life as well, and I hope you can do it without the pain that it took me. Blessed be!

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