Saturday, January 4, 2014

Late & Lame

This is my end-of-year blog post.
It is late.
It is lame.
In 2013, I learned that I hate one of the most trendy things on the internet: infographics. Geeeeez. Pleeeeez.

After years of doing 20-25 events a year, in 2013 I only did three races. But I did more big adventures, like R2R2R, All American Man in Canyonlands, Four-Passes Loop, Pawnee Buchanan Loop, and smaller stuff. So I'm still quite active, but not into organized, expensive events that require me to get up early, pay money, or follow someone else's schedule. Work isn't nearly as satisfying as it used to be, my stress levels have gone up, and the last thing I need is stuff that requires me to be at certain places at certain times.
The theme of this year for me has been to plan stuff of my own, then back out of it. Or change it. Whatever I want whenever I want. More times than ever before I've been packed and driving out of town, not knowing where I'm going yet. I just leave town. Sometimes the only concrete decision is do I want to leave on I-70 west? Or do I take 285 west? Leadville? Salida? Buena Vista? Elsewhere?
I am sooooo lazy. Really very bad, worse than ever. Not going to running groups as often as I used to these past two years, but I still go often enough to stay in touch with various people.
I've become quite the hippie, sort of. Sleeping on the ground (or even snow) under the stars with other lazy people who don't want a ceiling blocking the view of the stars or paying for lodging has been the trend. Thought I'd never find anyone else willing to do that, but somehow have found a couple of people as mentally deficient as myself.

Finally made it through a whole year without anyone I know dying on me. Only friends or relatives of friends have died this year. And one friend who miraculously survived 2013, but will probably die within the month.

No resolution - I don't believe in them. Basically, if you ever think of something you want/need to do, just do it then, don't wait for the beginning of a year. If you can't stick to it during a year, it won't be any different at the beginning of a year.

I've had to think long and hard about relationships this year. There are so many different levels of friendships, types of friendships. Plus a loving or romantic/sexual thing can vary tremendously. Not that I'm an expert in that area, mind you, but some things seemed to spell themselves out to me.
The way it works is, relationships aren't necessarily about someone being awesome or perfect. It's so much about flaws. Odd paradox, flaws are actually important in a relationship. Can humans even love each other if neither has a single flaw? Maybe most of you will claim they can "of course", but I'm not convinced they can. It's like being flawless is boring and unattractive.

I definitely don't believe that opposites attract - at least not so for "healthy" people.
Still, finding someone just like you is not healthy, and is also boring. "You know..." "Yep" "And..." "I know." "Like" "Exactly!" "Uh-huh." You wouldn't actually be sharing anything interesting, you wouldn't gain anything new, you wouldn't grow. It'd be like being with a carbon-copy clone.

The thing about flaws, though, is they shouldn't have to be fixed, necessarily. Some serious flaws, yes, no doubt. Someone is a kleptomaniac, yeah, not okay. Someone has a belief you find politically abhorrent, maybe not so important to change.
Misery loves company, but if you try to pair with someone who has the same really damaging flaw you have, it could make you less healthy. It could even doom you. Flaws need to be compatible for each others' health.
I hear lots of my friends, and many strangers, criticizing the opposite sex scathingly itemizing their alleged flaws. After a while it seems most people just don't get it.

1) We all have to allow ourselves to be flawed, and think that in many ways, to certain extents, it's perfectly okay.
2) We also have to be okay when someone notices our flaws. Granted, there are ways mean people will try to capitalize on your insecurities and rub any/every flaw they notice in your face. That's not okay. But if you have a flaw, and someone simply mentions it, you have to allow that.
3) We even have to allow some of our friends the right to talk about our flaws behind our back. This might sound counter-intuitive, but this is important. If friends love you, and they're concerned about you, then talking amongst themselves when you aren't around is how they figure out if maybe they should leave it alone, or maybe they should figure out what to say or do for your best interests. Talking behind your back about your flaws is only bad if they intend to undermine you, not if they're trying to figure out how to collectively do what's best for you. The latter is a version of love.

I've had the unique opportunity to witness a close friend's decline into bitterness because this friend found out that people "they thought were freinds" were talking about them. Unfortunately, hatred and an obsession to return alleged harm is ruling this friend's objectives.
You can choose your friends but you can't choose your family. Well, sometimes your friends become your family. At least, that's how I'm wired. I somehow can't simply stop caring, even when someone seems profoundly fucked-up, and a hassle, and even kind of scary. That's probably the kind of friend most people would breathe a sigh of relief that they can simply walk away from. Except for me, this friend has become a family member I can't seem to divest from.

And another friend moved away.
And I've kind of "moved" myself further away from many "friends" here in Denver.
So I've thought a lot about these things. I'm more accepting, even as I distance myself. I've distanced myself because I'm not feeling the need to be with friends as much, even as I still go to parties and trips and runs.
Life has no meaning without relationships. Nothing we do, no matter how "fun", has any meaning devoid of attachments and sharing with others. I'm a recluse, so this is important for me to remember, and I've been practicing what I preach. Socializing has been my therapy. In 2013, I've felt the urge to crawl under a rock and stay hidden there more than ever, but I keep forcing myself to involve myself and stay somewhat active with people. My friends are flawed, and I like that. Because I'm flawed too, and they know that. And that is okay.

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