At this point the jig is up. A few days ago, I debated with some of my friends here if I am an introvert or an extrovert. They were adamant that I was an extrovert, I insisted that I was an introvert (after all, my dad saying I’m “too closed off and serious” was one of the main reasons why I started this damn thing). I think my friends in the States would probably fall victim to the anchoring effect, and would disagree with each other (at least until someone took over the conversation and made everyone agree to see things their way). Anyway, just like my previous post, this post is dedicated to both groups of friends (introvert/extrovert,Europe/America,cool/uncool). It’s weird, I somehow have to refer to “my friends here” and “my friends there” in order to just talk about “my friends”… which brings me to this post! By now, just about everyone (here and there) knows that I am an over-thinker so I’m gonna over-think my way through my current situation and the following quote:
The human mind, if it is to keep its sanity, must maintain the nicest balance between unity and plurality.
– Irving Babbitt
It’s hard to draw a distinction between my friends in Europe and my friends in America. Frankly, I had this issue when I went from Mexico to the U.S.; I noticed that one of the first things I did was draw a parallel between my friends “there” and my friends “here” so I can easily tell you who of my friends here reminds me of one of my friends there, but then the issue becomes “Who takes priority? Is my European friend similar to my American friend, or is my American one similar to my European one?” This might seem like I am totally over-thinking the question (which I am), but the issue is easier to see if you ask me to “choose between the two” or if you claim that “my friend here is replacing my friend there”. They’re not. No one is replacing anyone.
Last night, I had a[nother] deep talk with a friend where we talked about relationships, falling in love, and getting over love. I told her that I have a close relationship with my ex and that I love that woman (If you’re reading this: “Hi! Thanks for the cucamelons!”). Technically some people would say that I didn’t get over her. But that would be wrong… partially. We talked about the fact that sometimes you don’t get over it. Sometimes someone makes such an impression on you, that you just never get over it. I briefly told her about the story of this other girl that I met 3 months before I came here. I didn’t tell this friend (or almost anyone) that I wrote an entire post on here about that situation (fuck, now you’ll all be able to find it). The fact is, I might never get over that story. The story that I had with this girl was insane, and the way it ended was even worse. Sure, it was naive for me to fall that fast, and it was childish, but it was still something that I might never get over. And it was ultimately a decision, not an emotion.
Still, the way I see it, I don’t have to get over it. Why would I “get over it”? Does “getting over someone” mean that you are above them? Am I supposed to care about someone only if they care about me? Not in my world. I’m not ashamed to say that at one point or another, I met someone who meant a lot to me (this has happened with people who I only met for one night) and I am who I am because of it.
At one point in the conversation, she said something that seemed obviously true and equally interesting. She said “When you love someone, you absorb everything from them“. I agreed. I thought “Sure, when you truly love someone, you practically become them and their problems become your problems, etc“. This reminds me of a quote that she and I talked about when we first met, but I didn’t remember talking to her about until she reminded me. It’s from Ender’s Game and it says “I think it’s impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves.”
That’s the conflict.
Having this conversation with my friend^^ reminded me of a conversation I had with another friendvv (I would number them but according to some smartasses like myself that might contradict the point I’m trying to prove here about who takes priority). She and I had a conversation about the fact that when we got here we both knew exactly who we were. We both had everything figured out. She specifically said these words. And I felt exactly the same way. If you can’t tell from previous posts, I left the U.S. on a mission. I knew where I belonged and where I didn’t. And yet, I went through some serious struggles about a month ago. I drank every night for a week straight because I needed to socialize and find some sort of base or “core friends”, which I didn’t have. I felt unappreciated for who I was, even though I had been so sure about who and what I was. So I understood exactly how my friend felt because I had just gone through it. Somehow we were so sure about ourselves that we could take on the world, then suddenly we were weak and insecure even though nothing major had actually happened. We had started opening up to people and understanding them, which suddenly made us insecure about our own identity because it wasn’t all about us anymore.
Perhaps the biggest catalyst on why I’m writing this post now, is because a third friend that I met during my German Summer Couse just posted about how he is unhappy, but he has hope. The coolest part about this is that somehow, I helped inspire his initial post, and yet here he is inspiring this one. So who is the real hero here? Who is interchangeable and who is irreplaceable in this story?
During my conversation with the first friend I mentioned (when we talked about love), I said that I could never “get over” my ex because no one would ever replace her. She also pointed out that I still seemed to be caught up on the girl that I met before I came here. So I said that I could love multiple people without ever having to “get over” anyone. I told her that I could probably fall in love with just about anyone, but then she said “…according to you… you’re basically saying everyone is interchangeable”.
I would never want to say that. This brings me back to that question/quote. “The human mind, if it is to keep its sanity, must maintain the nicest balance between unity and plurality.” I didn’t even know about that quote when she and I were talking, but I can immediately tell you that whoever Irving Babbitt was, he and I would get along. My answer to my friend was the ridiculous phrase “everyone is interchangeable, but everyone is irreplaceable” which seems to make no sense, unless you over-think it. Somehow I was trying to argue that I could fall in love with anyone (plurality/everyoneIsInterchangeable) but they were still all somehow special (unity/everyoneIsIrreplaceable). In order to say that, I’m either insane or I found that nice balance (man, I hope it’s the second one, but probably not).
The best example that I had was about my parenting. I told her that at some point in my life, I over-thought the question that parents might run into “Which one of your children do you love the most?”
As a parent, that’s preposterous “What do you mean which one do I love most?! I love them both!”
But how can you love more than one? If you truly love one, then you can’t replace her/him, so there has to be one that you love more because that’s the one who is irreplaceable. Some people would argue that “true love” or “romantic love” is different from “parental love” but that’s bullshit. Read “The Road Less Traveled” and you should realize how much of a psychological bullshit that distinction is. I could go waaay too deep into this topic and tell you how this fundamental flaw/distinction between “true love” and “parental love” that people have is the root of most problems.
…Which country do you love? Who is the “love of your life”? Who/What do you love most?…Those are the most ridiculous and idiotic questions in the world. The whole point of true/real/legitimate love is that it is unconditional, right? So why the hell would you say “I love this more, because ___”? If you love something more because it belongs to you, or because it has never hurt you, or because it will always be there, then it IS conditional.
So the whole issue becomes:
How do you make something interchangeable and irreplaceable at the same time?
How do you maintain the balance between unity and plurality?
How do you love one thing and everything?
I guess you just have to over-think your way into that one.