A friend of mine, who I used to work with at LOJ, has confided in me about her marital problems. In a nutshell, she and her husband have a 7 year old son, and due to the problems they are having they are drifting apart, and it is affecting their son. They are still living together but contemplating whether to continue like that, the father claims to want to spend time with his family but due to difficult circumstances is unable to do so. So basically the son hears his father say he wants to be around more, but not seeing him do it. This was explained to me in an email. Now, although it was quite a lengthy email, she said something that really struck a chord with me: "...as I dont want my son growing up taking relationships for granted."
hmm...."taking relationships for granted". Out of everything in that email, this line hit me. I had never thought about it before, but now I realize this is exactly what I have been doing, for basically all my life. As I thought about the why, another line from a past conversation came to mind. In a post breakup conversation, my ex and I were discussing our communication problems (this seems to follow me everywhere I go, the rest of this post will explain why thats not at all surprising) and she made an observation that I never before thought about: "...but I cant really blame you too much because your parents dont talk".
hmm..."your parents dont talk". Thats right, they dont talk. But so what? I never thought about how significant that was until the moment she said it. Of course parents should talk, talk about the day at the office, politics, and whatever else. But my parents didnt talk. At all. About anything. The only time was to say "Good morning" or "good evening", or when one needs something from the other, or when they were having an argument. No discussions, no jokes, no nothing. And up until the point where my ex said that, I had never thought this as strange. As far as I was concerned this was the norm. This was what I grew up seeing. Hence, this was what I did for most of my life.
I was a quiet kid in high school. Very quiet. I never saw the importance in saying anything unless it was something meaningful. "Idle chatter" was a foreign notion to me, and a waste of time. I "compartmentalized" my relationships. My teacher was strictly my teacher, and we corresponded only in a manner a teacher and student should. The fact that my teacher knew me and my parents since I was 2, that myself and their children grew up together, really doesnt matter anymore as that was the past. Right now, in this moment, you are the teacher, I am the student, and we communicate as such. Why do we need to talk about anything outside of this sphere? Talking isnt important. When I get a summer job I am only there for the summer. Once the summer is over, the job is over. Hence there's no other reason to continue "talking" with anyone that worked there. Talking is an integral part in forming and maintaining relationships. If talking isnt important, then forming/maintaining relationships isnt important.
And this was how I saw the world for a long time. This kind of thinking has led me to "take relationships for granted". Relationships with friends, coworkers, fellow students, band members, choir members, prep/high/uwi teachers, potential/actual/ex girlfriends, even family. And of course my introvert nature and love for solitude with my own company didnt help matters much. Eventually there came a time where I wanted to establish and maintain relationships. But for one who for a long time didnt see the point in learning to talk to people it was not easy. I didnt know how to effectively put my thoughts to words, I didnt know what to say in certain situations, it was a difficult time. One must wonder how it is I have relationships any at all.
And yet I do.
I have crossed paths with many individuals that have helped to reshape my thinking on why and how to interact with other people. Some of these people are still in my life, some arent. My friends stuck with me because I guess they could see past the quiet exterior and see other qualities they were drawn to (thanks guys:)). Girlfriends now, for someone who wasnt exactly a "smooth talking brother" who rarely knew the right thing to say at what time and "took relationships for granted" how in the world did I have any? Good thing I cute, thats all I can say. But that can only go so far, which would also explain why none of them lasted very long. Nevertheless, each was a valuabe learning experience and helped me to "learn how to talk to people" and how to open up, amongst other things.
I learnt a lot today. So much of my life in terms of relationships were better explained with that one profound statement.."taking relationships for granted." I am still learning though, and still have a ways to go. My friends still reach out to me in various ways, even though I dont always do it back right away it doesnt mean I dont care. Just because I dont initiate a conversation doesnt mean I dont want to talk to you, i'll talk back to almost anyone, youd have to do me or a friend of mine something really bad for me not to want to talk to you. Its just that initiating and maintaing a convo is a skill im still learning. To all those who I have taken for granted our relationship, Im sorry, I know the law says ignorance is no excuse but Im hoping you'll be lenient with me :) To all my friends who continue to be there for me throughout, I am grateful for you all.
Will expound on this later.
I wonder why it is you still haunt me so
After all this time
A simple, seemingly insignificant act, or lack thereof
Has certain memories rushing back
And I wonder why
Why is it you feature in my dreams
When I rarely ever dream
Why are you still at the forefront of my thoughts
When I have pushed you to the back
I wonder why we were, and never were
I wonder what we could have been
I wonder why I still wonder
I wonder if you sometimes wonder
What I wonder
I wonder about friendship
I wonder why this ship sticks out
Among the others
I thought that ship had sailed
I wonder why that ship didnt survive
The fierce winds and strong seas
I wonder why, from time to time
The ship seems to return from the bottom of the sea
I wonder if its occasional sighting
Is an omen
That I still dont know mistakes made
In building that ship
And is doomed to repeat said mistakes
I wonder if that ship didnt actually sink
But was just lost at sea
And, with enough effort, can be found again
In the 1970s
Michael Manley of the PNP was intent on a "social experiment" with communism
Was involved in many talks with Fidel Castro
Conspiracy theorists suggest
The United States did not take a liking to this interaction
And played a significant role in the well known violence that occured
Leading up to the 1980 elections
Fast forward 30+ years
PJ Patterson of the PNP
Agrees to do oil business with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez
A well known communist leader
Also involved in these talks
Is Fidel Castro
A close friend of Chavez
Is anyone else just a tad bit nervous??