Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The tree in the forest

Last night, the tourist posed that question to me about the tree in the forest in one of our many many engaging conversations. I cant remember the context, really, but I can remember my unspoken thought: if I cant see it, it didnt happen. Some times I can be very literal (#injoke).

Something happened to him earlier that day and I had joked that I wouldn't believe him if he didnt have pictures. Pics or it didnt happen is basically the millennial version of the tree in the forest question.

 And while struggling today to come to terms with the fact that he has now left the country (2 hours ago or so), and then trying to summarise my emotions in an appropriate, but not too sad, facebook and/or twitter post.... I came up with: "If it's not seen or heard or spoken, did it really happen?" Which I didn't post, of course, because no one likes vague booking.

 But the sad realisation is that, for me, external validation is everything. If my thoughts aren't vocalised or expressed in some way and has some kind of feedback, positive or negative, I dont feel like they're real or worthy of anything. And that really sucks, on multiple levels.

Firstly, it makes me super addicted to all kinds of social media. I am not so proudly aware that I'm on at least ten active websites... the excuse is that I spread myself around so I dont become "too much". But I am "too much" or, more honestly, I actually feel "not enough". For many of these profiles, it's not really about the validation. Sometimes I just want the chance to see my thoughts written so that it feels real. Just thinking them is not enough...

Secondly, it makes me very vulnerable to manipulative people. I hope I've had enough of these types of people and I've become better at just not engaging with them anymore. But it's still difficult to walk away and not feel guilty that I cant save everyone.

And thirdly... man oh man do I worry a lot about what other people think. I sort of hoped that I would grow out of this by 35 but it's a pretty stubborn belief. I've learned to stop caring what random strangers think about me... but it's still important to me that I dont look like too much of an idiot to the people I know.

The only good thing is that I'm aware of all of this now.

And with all of that... I still have to somehow document how important the tourist was to me. There are very few people in the world that I can spend so many days with and not get bored. He's one of the easiest people to talk to and super nice, funny-ish (I was teaching him to be funny :P) and pretty smart too.

He was also pretty intuitive and an excellent listener. I will miss everything that he taught me about myself in a very mischievous way. His very sarcastic and teasing sense of humour helped me to look at some things that I didn't really want to look at. But I'm learning... and I'm grateful for the mirror. Also... literally. (#injoke)

Anyway... I will miss you, tourist.... until we meet again.
Today raba.


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