i have a reoccurring conversation with one of my friends.
you know... the conversation that keeps reappearing after several glasses of wine... over days, months, years...

it's about how no matter what your morals are for the way you treat
your friends and people in your life... you simply can't have the
expectation that those people will treat you in kind.
because at the end of the day, you can't control their decisions.
you can do, is be happy with the decisions you make about how you treat
people you care about... and hope they respond in the same way.

reason why this conversation comes up time and time again, is that
usually, people don't treat you the way you feel you treat them.
with that, comes an inevitable struggle with reevaluating the
relationship and sad feelings about the way you were treated by someone
that you felt certain would never do those things to you.

part of it is simply because what we know to be true is our perception of reality.
it's not the reality that other people perceive.
no two people will perceive events, conversations or anything else in life exactly the same.
it's flat out impossible.
we truly do make our own reality.
the things that are in my head, no matter how much of them are shared, will never be fully understood by anyone.
just as i will never really understand or know what anyone else on this planet really thinks, feels and sees.

this disconnect between humans is not a bad thing... in fact, it helps us to retain our individuality...
but it also makes us lonely at times.
because in reality, no matter how close we become to anyone else... a mate, a child, a best friend... we will never really know them.
all we will ever know is what we perceive of them, and what they project to us.
it's a strange existence, this humanity.
very solitary at the core of things.

one of the most important things to learn in life is that no matter who
we choose to love and let into our lives, we come in to existence alone
and we will leave alone.
living for someone else will always end in disappointment.

here's the thing. as much as i love my husband and the life we've created together, there are grim fact of reality.
off, i will never know what's inside his brain. i only know what he
chooses to share and what i decode by his behavior patterns.
second, half of all marriages will split up... and half of the other
half probably should. humans don't do well at long term monogamy.
i think we'll split up at some point? well, i sure hope not. but
that's the thing about relationships... you don't really get to control
them. if my partner made a decision one day to leave, there's nothing
i could do to change that.

but to be honest, i'm not thinking about this stuff because of my husband.
in fact, my husband is the last person that i worry about.
i find this stuff generally pertains more to the friendship side of life.
maybe because friendships have such strange life ties that are hard to define.

a lot of people it's hard to make the definition between what you
expect from your friends vs what you would expect from a partner.
expectations bleed across reasonable lines and eventually cause rifts
in friendships because the difference in the expectations for the
relationship become too large.
the fact is that you really can't treat a friend as you would treat a lover.
and also thus why when friends become lovers and vice versa the friendship changes forever.

anyways, this is one of the things that kept me up last night...
brain churned with thought of my friendships, and the things i would do
for my friends... and that no matter how i can hope they would do the
same for me, it's not something that i have any control over.
does it come down to trust?

this strange existence that we have can get you down at times...
friends and lovers will betray you
children grow up and leave you for their own lives
parents grow old and die
heck, we all die sooner or later.

and i know we should focus on the now
and all the good things that surround you on a daily basis... well,
because we can't control what will happen in the future... tomorrow...
or even in 5 seconds from now.
but isn't that thinking just a patch for the reality of the solitary human existence?
drift from one temporary relationship to another... some last for 5
minutes in the form of a pleasant conversation on the bus... and others
last for years in the form of a dear friend or mate... but in the end,
all we have is ourselves.

i guess that's the big life lesson...
love others and try to not expect anything in return... but love yourself more.
because really, you're all you've got.
and at the moment of your death, i imagine that is becomes very clear just how alone we really are.

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