Thursday, October 18, 2007

A desirable fall

I read an advice column yesterday and the reader’s problem was that she “had been spending time with a man she was interested in, but that it seemed friendly rather than romantic.”

She wanted to know if she should tell him how she felt.
She wanted to know if it would “ruin” anything if she did.
She wanted to jump into the arms of a man who may have his hands tied behind his back.

The advice?

“Don’t rush anything you don’t have to and risk making a mistake, things will eventually fall into place and you’ll have your answer.”

Fair enough.

I’ve always thought it better to wonder than to know.
Better to hope than have disappointment.

But when does this become a hindrance to happiness?

Is it better to actually jump from that cliff into the unknown...
our fall only cushioned by the people we hope are there?

Or to want to jump?
To stand at the edge...
fully aware of the possibilities
but never suffering a bruise.


Anonymous said...

i think "better" is a subjective term here.

is it "better" to jump and know whether or not you will be able to fly...

or to stay grounded and suffer the tension of standing at the edge?

tension can be good...

metaphor stealer.

Chrissie said...

it's interesting that you say tension can be good...

while also saying it is something one can suffer from.

sounds like you're the type to enjoy a good conflict;)

(i'm no plagiarist... i was just trying to get your attention;)

Anonymous said...

i chose the word "suffer" over the word "feel" very deliberately.

you may not get bruised just standing there...

but that doesn't mean you won't suffer;)

Chrissie said...

bruises go away with time...

while a person could suffer at the edge forever.

Anonymous said...

suffering can be sweet...

and some scars might never heal.

(i think now i'm just trying to conflict with you;)

Sarah said...

unless they are comfortable just with the view

Chrissie said...

oh anon, i know you're just trying to create conflict for me... that much is obvious;)

so are you a jumper or what?!


if a person is given the option of looking at a photograph of a spectacular view


given the option of exploring that terrain...

what kind of person prefers the photo???

Anonymous said...

am i a jumper?

i have yet to find out.

though exploring the terrain certainly sounds interesting... ;)

Sarah said...

That's easy -- someone who is afraid of heights!

Thomas G Henry said...

I thought this was going to be about seasons...

At the risk of being redundant or altogether irrelevant, as I am so by nature, and as I have not yet read the other comments.... um[end sentence here].

I realized this week that there is a relationship between disappointment and creativity/insight/(the ability to see possibilities).

There's only ever going to be one track that history will have followed, despite the many possible directions it could have gone.

We're set up to see options and the millions of possible things that could be, but the universe of human perception is only going to be in a single state at a time. Of those million things that "could" happen at any moment, only a few, if any, do.

This leaves our ratio of "perceived potential vs actual outcome" at around "arbitrary hypothetical millions vs only a few or none".

Being a dreamer is valuable. It's the folks that can deal well inside and outside the box that thrive. But, creativity and insight are also a curse, because with them comes a lot of disappointment, frustration, and a sense of failure.

So... to put a bow on this non-comment... I guess I mean... that... whether we're discussing relationships, afternoon plans, or delusions of grandeur... the folks with the higher ratio of "imagined possibilities vs actual realities" are gonna be the folks that will be challenged by disappointment more often and probably more deeply.

I hope this made sense and was worth your blogtastic while.

I'm not going to proofread this.
And neither should you.

Ok, I lied. I totally just re-read it... but only once.

Thomas G Henry said...

oh!! and to the general convo I must also point out the 3 kinds of regret:

regretting the things we've done,
regretting the things we haven't done,
regretting the proximity of the 3-key to the 2-key.

Vanessa said...

Toms post is just way too long for me to read right now, but I'm sure he has new insight and just the right amount of humor to add to it, making him look incredibly suave. haha. love you tom.

But anyway, I'm really here just to tell you what I think, and we all know how great my opinions are :)

Anyone who refuses to take the plunge in telling someone their true feelings deserves all the unhappiness they reap. They are a coward afraid of looking like a loser. Let me tell you I've had this "true feelings" conversation 3 times in my life and I'm 1-2 in reciprication, and we've now been together almost 4 years.

If this other person really is a friend, then you should already know that they wont laugh at you. They SHOULD, appreciate your honesty and be flattered, regardless of their feelings romantic or not.

If they dont have the same feelings, they will let you down gently, you can both laugh about it, and continue on with your friendship. Eventually, you WILL meet someone else that tickles your fancy, and your friend will be offf the hook.

However, if they DO have feelings for you too, but they're the one thats afraid, if you dont take a leap, then you both may go through life madly in love with each other, and alone and depressed because you think the other will never feel that way.

Its ridiculous, happiness doesnt just fall in your lap, you have to be willing to take the risk in order to acheive it.. whether it be your job, significant other, or otherwise.

On the other hand, if they do laugh at you and make you feel like a loser, then they're just a scumbag and not really your friend anyway. That'll will in turn make you get over them MUCH faster.

I'm rambling now, but Chrissie and I can continue this at a later date.

vanessa said...

haha. I think I beat Toms post in length!!!

Chrissie said...

thanks for the novels vanessa and tom!!

(it's got to be evidence of a good blog topic when the comments are longer than the actual posts;)

vanessa, i agree with a lot of what you just said, my only concern is that relationships aren't always "I like you and you like me so let's do this."

sometimes time and circumstance play a factor...

and maybe in these areas a little sight seeing is the answer rather than taking the plunge.

because it's better to have something good and the idea of something great...

than let that great thing disappoint you.

err... maybe not. maybe this is the argument of the whole post;)

vanessa said...

Chrissie, NO relationships aren't always as easy as that. But why shouldn't they be. People make things more complicated than they really should be. It SHOULD be I like you and you like me, so what should we do about this.

Timing and circumstance are just MORE excuses people use to deter and prolong things so that the, what they see as an "inevitable let down", doesn't happen right away.

The more and more you build this "perfect relationship" in your head, about how great it'll be when the time is right, the more likely you are to be dissappointed... or even TOO late.

There never really is a PERFECT time for anything, and there will always be circumstances standing in the way, especially if you're LOOKING for them.

Besides if you wait on the edge for too long, you may miss the boat alltogether... and then you'll be in your tiny apartment with 6 cats instead of one.

Chrissie said...

that was a low blow.

i love my tiny apartment.

Anonymous said...

vanessa, i admire your ayn rand-esque objectivist perspective on this, and in a theoretical world i'd be right there with you...

but in reality things are not always so simple.

and while i don't necessarily agree with the advice to sit back passively and wait for things to "eventually fall into place and you'll have your answer", i also don't see the need to rush the conversation.

what fun is there in rushing?

like i said before... the tension can be good.

the tension could be just what you need to wake you up and open your eyes wide enough to see the entirety of the landscape.

so maybe sometimes it's "better" to just stand there... at the edge... to consider the possibilities... to savor the height... to sense the drop... all the while feeling that tension... maybe even suffering thru it...

until you just can't take it anymore.

and that is when you leap;)

vanessa said...

Well anon I'm glad you have a plan in place... but frankly I'm just a third party in this fiasco and I CANT TAKE IT ANYMORE. I have proven to be a patient person, but you are wearing me down. So when do you think waiting to take the leap is waiting too long? When you're 40?

Oh and anon... you're not so anonymous to me... Someone's been talking.

Chrissie said...


i wouldn't mind waiting until i'm 40 for something spectacular... i think there are some people who never get to experience great things at all so another 15 years won't kill me.

and i'm alright with this whole "cat lady" thing too.

i actually don't really like animals.

just mine.

i regard other people's pets how i regard their children, "aw cute... now get it away from me."