Unforeseen Consequences

Related to last month’s lesson about apprehension (the anxiety or fear that something bad or unpleasant will happen) I wanted to write about another useless concern that most of us, including myself, hold on to at some point: fear of the unknown. I believe that this might be my lesson for this month.

Fear of the unknow can make us do crazy things as I have recently witnessed. My current roommate is a friend of mine who, having had to move out of her sub-let accommodation in a haste, needed a place to stay in a hurry. The length of stay was defined as ‘temporary’ as she has a part-time (shared custody) 7-year-old; who though I like immensely; I did not want to live with on any long-term basis. That was five months ago.

When my Korean friend, let’s call him Chan-neul (as I have in the book that I am writing about our meeting and development of our relationship) made the decision to come to Australia I asked my current roommate, if it was okay. She said “yes”. What I have discovered is that she meant “no”. Why she felt that she couldn’t say what she really felt I will never know, but I am guessing that it was the fear of my response, something that she had no idea about and probably expected the worst, and it was this fear of the unknown that constrained her.

In point of fact, if she had told me that she was uncomfortable about Chan-neul coming to stay at the time, I could have easily been able to arrange another solution for his accommodation. Instead she decided to blow up at me, (about a variety of unrelated issues which were more her stuff than mine) the day before his arrival with shouting and door-slamming (which I never respond well to – but then again who does?) I was particularly proud of myself that at the time, I didn’t say anything that I might later regret and managed to politely ask her to move out as soon as possible.

I am a particularly WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) person. My “yes” means “yes” my “no” means “no” and my “I’m not sure” is “let me think about that.” So, this has been an interesting lesson for me, reminding me that on matters such as these, I might investigate further and truly ascertain (as I am perfectly able to) whether yes really means yes. Interestingly I would note that we are all much more comfortable to challenge a ‘no’ to discover whether it really means no.

Though I am sad that both our living situation and our friendship have disintegrated past the point of repair, I am also strangely at peace with the situation. I do not want people in my life who can neither be honest with me, nor say the things that my former friend decided to tell me in the most non-constructive way.

When I used to tell her how sad I was when I lost touch with people, my grandmother used tell me that we have “friends for a reason, friends for a season and friends for a lifetime and never to mistake one for another.” I have been very blessed with many good ‘life-time’ friends, more than most people have. Part of my learnings this month has been to hold less tightly to all friends – the lifetime ones will stick around anyway.

New Beginnings

The renewal for this account and the attached url were coming up and seeing that I hadn’t posted on it since June of 2020, I was wondering whether I was just keeping it because I was overly attached to the url. As I began removing the old posts, I knew that I would be renewing the account and url and using it to document a new phase in my life that was about to begin. This is the third time I have started a writing project on this site to document what was going on in my life, despite owning both the account and the domain for many years. Perhaps third time is the charm.

I get to see some spectacular sunrises across the ocean from my apartment. I was hoping that I would get one before the end of the month that would capture the literal ‘dawning of a new era’ in my life and was very pleased with this one (in its original glory, no adjustments or filters.) Apart from being dramatic and spectacular it is also mysterious and enigmatic – much like I am thinking the new phase in my life might be.

The new beginning relates to a person who is about to arrive in my world (no, not offspring.) A most unexpected relationship, probably the most unexpected relationship I could possibly have imagined. Certainly not a relationship I ever expected to be having. However, as I am becoming more comfortable with the notion that “I do not know what anything is for”; following my intuition over my logic; and trusting that in the end everything turns out fine; I find myself both excited and a little nervous about ‘what happens next’.

At the end of October 2021, on a language exchange website, I found myself teasing a young man about his knowledge of jazz. A Korean student, in his mid-twenties, and 30 years my junior, he was, in my opinion, he was far to youthful to have any serious knowledge of a genre of music that was decidedly unfashionable. Little did I know that niche was the new fashionable. I was also completely unjustified in my mockery as his knowledge of jazz was quite considerable. Though I knew that jazz was still popular in Japan I didn’t realise that Korea retained a similar interest.

Thus began a friendship which is culminating in his arrival in to my life next week. The last 9 months of our online, message and phone have developed me in some particular unexpected ways and I am intrigued as to whether and how our ‘in person’ relationship is going to continue to do this.

I intend to write in a more in depth fashion about the nature of our relationship, the costs and benefits as well as development and learning, but I also wanted to track on this blog, once a month, a lesson that I have received from the relationship that I don’t want to forget.

This month’s lesson is all about apprehension which goes on in your head. There is no point expecting the worst or expecting the best: things will be what they will be and the only way to see the true colours of any experience is not to bring either the light or the dark with you to it, but evaluate it, in the now with the feelings that you feel at the time.