Stuck with my internal monologue clamouring for my attention, as usual, one night recently I realised something about the choices we make. It was an odd night; I had just been on a performing weekend away from home, with my housemate whom I hadn’t really seen to talk to properly for a good while before then. We had a hard time returning to our giggly private wavelength after working apart for so long, and actually spent most of the recent past bickering. Not that that’s uncomfortable territory to us, but it was decidedly less jovial than the norm.
Going through the necessary post-battle catch-up chat that inevitably always leads to bigger picture discussion in a generous gesture of late-night passionate, amateur philosophising, the monologue was watching her mouth move as we talked about things that were now completely off-topic, irrelevant to how we had been behaving and feeling, of course proffered in peace, suggesting that actually, behind the battle that must have been blind confusion, we had true time for each other – making time for the irrelvant seems to be a massive action in our lives these days. I can’t remember the last time we decided to allow ourselves to play computer games and not talk about work. It is only a decision, after all.
The monologue was watching her talk in that post- period, the frustration-exhausted thankfulness going through the motions of chattering out that stressed energy, and it said, “You care what she thinks. That’s why you’re still here. That’s why you’ve argued. You would have walked away otherwise.” And that was such a comforting reminder – that the reason this had been a long, bumpy process was that we were each being so careful and so thorough, not wanting to let go of either our own principles or each other’s. Wanting to acknowledge every passing thought and experience it fully, talk it out fully. And all the little comments along the way had been known as the cads that they were. We had been getting on with this situation in the best way possible – letting it exist but not consume.
It is so easy to dismiss the things or people that provide us with something important, when you feel for a moment that they are not providing it. You can get defensive and choose to forget all the other times that they have had your back, have seconded you, laughed with you, in the first instance that they don’t. But everyone else is just as complex as I am, and as wanting, as ambitious, as proud. Or, at least, I have to allow them to be. We could all do with flexing our independent personalities every now and then.
What is it that you hold onto most stubbornly? What friendly decisions have you made?