Saturday, November 21, 2009
Since the beginning of the human race, men have contemplated the meaning of life. They have asked questions that have stretched the limits of their imagination. Puzzled over the definition of their lives. Searched for answers to some of life's most illusive complexities. The most basic and fundamental interest of man's greatest endeavors has been to justify his own existence. But I believe there is something far more meaningful to life than simply understanding the basis of it. I believe there is something out there that every living person encounters at some point in their lives and don't even realize it. I believe this to be the mystery of human chemistry. How two people, regardless of sex, age, race, religion or political affiliation can find the ability to transcend their differences and become inseparably linked by something they can not explain. Most of our lives are a revolving door of individuals who have varying levels of influence on us. The better portion of them will come and go with no significant impact. These people are usually the friendships or romantic relationships we have when we are young and developing our social network. With few exceptions, most of us fall out of touch with these persons as we get older and move on to bigger and better things.
Another category might be the people that we establish a connection with later in life. For whatever reasons these people may be more instrumental in our lives because they are grown and matured, most of the time. There are always exceptions to every rule, this one being no different. The most common reason these people hang around longer is because they have been through a much more developed filtration process, which most of us attain through life experience. The standard is higher for them now that we're adults and have learned to be more careful as to who we allow to take part in our personal lives. Our instincts are vital in this process.
The final category would be the people that were there all along the way, in the shadows, in the background, who have gone unnoticed. Many times circumstance plays a key role as to why these individuals were never given a bigger part of our picture. Although, sometimes, in rare instances a person that someone has known for a great deal of time, who was always overlooked, can become an integral element in one's life. This entity can develop into something much more than what we ever intended. Time is usually the key factor here, although, some would argue that people change and this is what allows the connection to be made. I've personally never been a fan of the notion that "people change". It seems, to me, a trite and lofty platitude. A bumpersticker. I don't really believe people change. At least not in anyway that really matters. I believe people learn to adjust. Adaptation becomes necessary for people to cope with their differences. I believe people learn how to control their core. The ones that don't are usually the ones that haven't formulated many lasting relationships or friendships. I believe it's that some people learn to really open their eyes at some point in their lives and the reality of what's truly important sets in. I don't think of this so much as change or evolution as I do a sobering realization of what has always been there, waiting patiently to be discovered.
Tomorrow I turn twenty-five years old, which is realistically quite young but it's old enough for me to speak, without pretension, on all three of these categories from personal experience. However, the last category is particularly special to me. It's in the inspiration behind these very words. The truth is that I have had the fortunate luck to have one of these individuals come out of the shadows, out of the background and make herself noticed. She has become an influential and vital element to my existence; not through any intentional action, but only because of who she is at her core. The last three years of my life have been a random lottery of unanticipated tragedies in a series of near escapes; but this one person has maintained an unwavering interest and affection for me. It is because of her love and admiration that I have continued to put faith in the idea of happiness; which is exactly what she brings me everyday. She has taught me the ability to feel in the midst of life's misfortunes and disappointments. I have personally never been through more with any one person and yet still felt such a continually refreshing love. The fact that she can see through my short-comings and flaws and still be in love with me is something I'll never fully understand, but always be thankful for. The only thing I can really do is spend my life happily returning the favor, which I hope I have the fortunate opportunity of doing.
"The most wonderful of all things in life is the discovery of another human being with whom one's relationship has a growing depth, beauty and joy as the years increase. This inner progressiveness of love between two human beings is a most marvelous thing; it cannot be found by looking for it or by passionately wishing for it. It is a sort of divine accident, and the most wonderful of all things in life."
--Sir Hugh Walpole