Wednesday, July 7, 2010
so i thought i would put something to a little test. it was testing myself as well as another. although i am always aware of one of the rare jewels i got from my mother, "never test someone unless you will be okay when they fail" or something along those lines. its the same way for everything; if you ever lend money plan to never see it returned. if you ask a question, be prepared for the worst answer, and dont blame the person, its you who did the asking. you know, hope for the best but expect the worst kinda thing. no one would describe me as pessimistic, and i dont think i am. but human beings are so amazingly fallible. even the best of people cannot take the right road every time. sometimes we will be selfish, sometimes arrogant, sometimes greedy. but the thing that is a deal breaker for me, the reason that i refuse to get married, is that no person can be honest, all the time. at least not any i have ever met. and i dont mean everyone is constantly throwing blatant lies around, to me not telling something you know you should is just as bad as a lie. i have tried my absolute best to be completely honest. i think that is why some people appreciate my writing, because there is nothing i would feel ashamed to share. the same reason i am able to earn respect in this crazy house i am living in. recently (i'll blog about it later when i figure out how to do it safely) i was in a situation with an individual who was drunk beyond anything i have ever seen. total loss of control emotionally, physically, a complete mess. ranting and raving and throwing ill-timed punches into empty air. but i grabbed this persons hair, yanked their face down to mine, made sure our eyes locked, and forced them to be aware of me. the reaction was astonishing, and makes me a little proud of how hard i have tried to be as close as family but still the authoritarian, at all times. instantly, the eyes focused and the yelling quieted. the look of total trust and respect was amazing. it also made it clear to me that this person as not a lost cause, but could be brought back to reality if done with patience.
im not trying to tout myself here, but that is something i have really tried to develop as i get older. i have always been an open book, probably too much so for some people's tastes, but there is no part of myself that i will try to bury so it wont be noticed. this includes my past, my dreams, my flaws. and it took me a little while to realize that it not only made people trust me, but i gained their respect as well. and since then i have tried even harder to always be exactly who i am. even in the workplace that should be more professional, once i have proven myself to be committed to doing my best, i take liberties that most people would not. my emails to bosses are still peppered with vulgarities, in japan i was wearing short sleeves within 2 months, in direct violation to the very strict "no visible tattoos" policy. because i knew it was bunk, my tattoos became a great talking point, funnily enough most often with the older housewives. i would explain why sakura appealed to me so much, how it represented different parts of my life. after the lesson the would look at me differently, i think because japan especially is a place where almost all honest personal information is kept below the surface, and one always "shows a good face". rules that are made to make people feel less offended, more comfortable, are just assuming that one cannot respect something that they arent used to, dont understand, or have had a negative experience with in the past. people really welcome naked honesty, and i think maybe because it is so rare.
even in relationships, sexual or platonic, i feel that if all information is shared completely, any type of relationship can be sustainable. straight married, gay married, committed, open, monogamous or not. if everyone has the truth at their fingertips, than they have no one to blame but themselves if they make a decision and it goes awry. if the relationship is built on truth in the beginning, there is no need to worry about infidelity if you tell your partner that you love them and want to be with them but still want the opportunity to be involved in other relationships. and the opposite is just as true, if a person is looking for a deep, committed, monogamous relationship, the other person had better not be bitching about things getting "too serious" if they were already made aware of the other persons intentions. and even if the one-off happens, a moment of weakness perhaps, the best thing to do is to is to bust out with it asap. because the lying is usually what hurts the most, at least for me.
of course i am an impossible individualist, i never put any sort of important decision in someone else's hands, or trust anyone to do as they say they will all the time. honestly, i have zero trust in people. when things get really rough, just about every time someone will cover their ass before they admit wrongdoing. this can be something as minor as breaking a shopping date or as major as infidelity. one of my biggest pet peeves is when there is a large group of people together an everyone gets excited about an activity (spending the next weekend at the beach perhaps), but everyone knows it is meaningless chatter. and im the one standing there with my beach chair and a lonely look on my face. i am a bit of an impetuous person, so if someone says (true story), "hey, you want to go to maui with me tomorrow", i say sure. at first they dont believe me, but when they become aware of my sincerity, they are pleasantly surprised. because it is such a rare thing.
now im not saying if things really got hairy for me, i would be able to be little miss goody two shoes. i have yet to be in a situation where i have really had to question if i could fess up to something. of course im not perfect, everyone falls through sometimes. i will keep a date even if i get a better offer (ha), but will tell them honestly if i have to break it for a job interview or something. but this i really the small stuff. when it comes to the big, the really big, i cannot understand why SO MANY PEOPLE cannot be totally honest. even when they are good people that you know love you. my ex-fiancée was very much in love with me when i found out he had slept with someone from work. but the lying to unsuccessfully cover it up is what really disgusted me. the people closest to me in my life fail time and time again to keep their word, and then they wonder later why it was so important to me anyway. no one can be all themselves, all honesty, all the time. well, why not?
i had a very good friend in hawaii who broke about 60% of the dates we would make. she drove me mad, but her personality was so adorable i always wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt. but after a while it was just too much. why couldnt she say, "i'll try to go but ive got other stuff going on too", or "definitly, id love too, but you know me, i might always change my mind at the last minute." so much better than the "i swear this is the last time, it wont happen again."
so like i said, i put myself to a little test. i decided to see if i could commit to someone in a relationship, as in trust them at all times, and know that they will make decisions in regards to BOTH of us. i havent done this in many years. but in the end, i only ended up lying to myself. the person failed miserably, even after repeated chances, constantly chose the more selfish route and in the end admitted (after a telephone slip up forced it), that he had been unfaithful. actually not a big deal, we said we wouldnt date anyone else, but it hadnt been long, and things were always a bit rocky anyway. and this is where i was really lying. the person i chose to do this with, i already knew the exact outcome. i knew from the very beginning he would lie, because not only is it with the odds anyway, this person is particularly shady. so i touted to myself and others that after years, i was finally going to give someone an honest chance at a relationship. but i had never once expected anything but dishonesty, insincerity, and hurt. i guess its good in one way, because it hurt a lot less than if i had REALLY thrown it all in. but as always, i kept a good chunk out to rebuild from when it all went to shit. to him, i was honest, even about doubting my ability to trust, blah blah. but i lied to myself, that i would ever believe someone totally and completely. that when an individual told me something, especially about a touchy subject, that i would have no reason to doubt their word. and the knowledge of that kills me.
and i know its my fault that i feel like this. humans lie, cheat, fail, disappoint. who am i to expect perfection, i have innumerable flaws of my own. but why is it so difficult for people to just be honest about their intent, their actions and most importantly, who they really are? not a front or a farce, but sincerity that pervades all aspects of their lives. i know, i have MANY MANY flaws, i am not saying i am better or worse than anyone. but on this point, why is it so exceedingly rare to find absolute honesty. saving someones feelings or covering up your own indiscretions only serves to feed the beast that is insincerity. it doesnt always work out great, just recently i was contacted by an individual in a very unprofessionally worded email about a very serious topic. so in the first few sentences i explained that the position she was inquiring about took an intense amount of professionalism in the right places, and the greeting of "hey girl" was just inappropriate. (thank god it didt say hey gurl, i cringe just thinking it). but after that i wrote paragraph upon paragraph to answer all of her questions, and that even my first tirade was just a way to stay sane in this job. i got a very terse two sentence email in reply. obviously being myself and letting her know my true reactions to her email did not go over well. but i wouldnt change one thing. like when i first began to contemplate my tattoos, one of the biggest worries was about being denied a job because of them. but my dad said, "can you really see yourself working at a place that would have a problem?" and he was right, even the place that did have an issue allowed me my freedom once i showed my professionalism in other areas. if they came down on me after being an otherwise exemplary employee, i would have just left. because i want to be taken as i am.
so this is all a bit less cohesive than most of my writing, because this issue has to be dealt with logically and emotionally, and sometimes it is hard to get those two to meet. logically i know that there is a good chance a person that i allow to get very close to will use that same knowledge to hurt me deeply. so i think that is why i have really taken this stance of "always being who i am". because if i am totally open with everyone, i dont actually trust that anyone is doing that in return. prepare for everyone to disappoint, and you'll never be taken unaware, and you will always have a plan b in place. maybe that in itself is dishonest, to act like i see this as an even exchange when i am really expecting failure. and like i said, isnt it too much to ask anyway? i dont know, but i have met people may have been as sincere as i am looking for, but never became close enough to them to find out, i have a feeling there are a few. but when eventually meet someone i can unquestioningly put complete trust in, and we actually have enough of a relationship that would allow me to realize it, that will be a pretty awesome day. because i know that there are others out there that ache for the sincerity that although unlikely, is still possible. i mean, just think of those rare conversations when you meet someone and you want to know everything about them, and they about you, and you feel you almost cant cover the topics fast enough. its a it of a childish feelings, like best friends forever blech. but it is such a pure feeling, that you have no roadblocks, nothing stopping all of you from just spilling out and mixing it around with the things that make up that other person. i've had it a few times, even recently, but never had the opportunity to see if it is long lasting or just part of the exciting newness of a just made friend or romantic possibility. so if you are looking for that little bit of sincerity left in the world, first let it out yourself. be who you are, unabashedly and honestly, understanding and dealing with your flaws but wanting for the world to take you as you are.
but i did learn one thing from this little experiment. it is pointless to get angry at someone for letting you down. it is who they are, and you have to take it or leave it. so although i cant keep it from hurting, i can keep it from causing anger and frustration. is this another way to put up a defense? i dont know. but i do know it allows for only an expected hurt and sparing feelings of malevolence. not my first choice, but sometimes you have to take what you can get. but i am ever the optimist, i know there are others who are burning with a passion to open themselves up and be accepted for who they are. but thats the catch. can we really accept each other, down to the core, with all of our flaws and weaknesses? id like to think so, but then should i accept those who cannot be honest as trying to cope to the best of their ability. but once, just once, i would like to look someone in the eyes and feel total trust and respect. for those who manage it, giving it or finding it, kudos. but i'm still looking...