Wednesday, March 10, 2010
"What ifs" : a recent chat...
As a weird coincidence, especially following the thoughts behind my most recent post where I was contemplating the "what ifs" of whether choices or decisions were made differently some 30 years ago... I had this interesting exchange with Thomas last night. I think it reflects growth on my part... for a change, I'm the calm one, the less angsty one, and I see that as a good thing. (Thomas, for those who haven't followed, is a very dear friend that I met and fell in love with on my mission - I've posted several times about him, but not recently).
I had a hard time sleeping last night. I kept thinking about our chat. I've decided to share it here in hopes of receiving some feedback. Here's a translated version of our chat:
ME: So, what’s up?
THOMAS: Life here is about the same – nothing new to reveal to you. It’s nice to hear you say that you’re doing better. It’s about time that you found a bit of tranquility.
ME: But you, too, no?
THOMAS: Life is strange! At times I don’t understand why certain things happen that stain or mark us for the rest of our lives – forever!
ME: Like what?
THOMAS: I often think about things and wish I knew more assuredly the answers. Instead, I don’t succeed in knowing why certain things happen. So, I often become melancholy as I can’t accept the reality dealt to me.
ME: I know what you mean… so what would you change if you could?
THOMAS: If I could return back and do it all over, I would change lots of things.
ME: There are times when I have felt more at peace, more tranquil in my life. I still am confused with doubts that return and I don’t know if I’m going to be able to hold my “reality” together. It scares me, but at the same time I'm at peace. I have thought of how things would have been different if I had chosen a different path back then. But, we can’t turn back the clock, no?
THOMAS: Unfortunately, no. The errors committed you can’t repair anymore. It’s like this: When you’re up against a dilemma and you don’t know what to do, it becomes difficult to choose if you go here or there, especially if you don’t have the right knowledge of the thing you’re choosing.
ME: Okay? And so…
THOMAS: Well, this is what I’d do if I went back in time: I would be less naive and less good, and instead, more rational and less emotional. Being naive, good, emotional… these characteristics haven’t served me well – they haven’t helped me at all! And I wouldn’t have the traditions of religion on my shoulders telling me to live so rigidly.
ME: However, you can’t be less naïve without experience and knowledge. And those require you to make tough choices. To be less naïve, you have to face your dilemma!
THOMAS: In fact…
ME: So, the important thing for me right now is to not worry so much about what could have happened, the “what if” scenario of the past – I just need to go forward from here from where I am…. And I want to add: I am grateful to have known the “Thomas” that was good, and kind, and naïve, and emotional! That boy touched me very profoundly probably more so than a rational or less emotional boy ever could!
THOMAS: You’re sweet! But how has it served you knowing this “Thomas” if you have NOT been with him all these years? What was the point of knowing and feeling and loving each other as we did, as we do? Good grief, we’ve lived our whole lives separated from each other!
ME: I know, I know, but I’m still grateful for the decisions we’ve made. We both have families and beautiful children. You have two beautiful daughters. What would have been is just a dream.
THOMAS: A dream… Do you know what I dream?
ME: No, what?
THOMAS: I dream often of what it would have been like if we chose our hearts 30 years ago!
ME: And that would be to do what?
THOMAS: You know…
ME: No, I want to hear you say it…
THOMAS: I dream that we would have lived passionately together as partners for the past 30 years! Living together, loving each other.
ME: Nice dream. I thought that was my dream, not yours! I’ve had that very dream as well. But do you think we’d have been happy?
THOMAS: I don’t know… but then at least all of this emotion and love for you would have served a purpose. What’s the point?
ME: I don’t know either. Maybe it’s best to leave it in the realm of dreams. Sometimes reality isn’t as beautiful and neat and perfect. I’d rather fantasize with you about the “what if”, but be grateful for the choices we've made, and for the here and now – that I knew you once – that I had a dear, dear friend and that I will always love you for touching my life.
THOMAS: Why do you have to live so far away? I need you here. I need you to hold me.
ME: I’m always here. I’m still holding you.
Any ideas? What do you think? What's going on? Why are our rolls reversed: why is he now longing for our relationship to rekindle and I'm at peace where I am?