Happy Valentine's Day! If I can still say that at 12:20 am. I haven't blogged for some time now, but I feel that this holiday has warranted the occasion. Primarily because it's led me to ponder. And what better way to ponder than in a written blog that can be accessed by anyone online?
It's amazing how we can move through our lives blissfully unaware of how far the sphere of our universe extends. Who's noticing you? Who's watching? Who remembers the remark you tossed off so casually to them? At the root of all the rhetorical questions: how aware are we of those beyond ourselves?
I got a valentine today. Plus three. Which makes four valentines total if my calculations are correct. My roommate Jess gave me a Sponge Bob (not sure if that's one or two words)gummy hamburger goodness, Jason Jones gave me a chocolate fish---yes, a fish---Brian gave me a heartfelt Power Ranger card and then someone gave me a surprise.
I came home from school and there was a card waiting on the porch with my name printed across the envelope. And inside was an unsigned valentine from a "secret admirer." Novel and exciting, right? Anonymity holds a certain magic for the human psyche. Which holds true in my Valentine's Day scenario. But this card was so much more than novel. It was beautiful and it was sincere--by far the best Valentine I've ever received.
The message was straightforward. This person had formed initial judgments about me which he felt were incorrect and warranted apology. He then proceeded to write how his opinion of me had changed over time and concluded with an expression of gratitude for our friendship and the influence I've had on him. My words don't do it justice, but the sincerity of my beautifully scripted valentine made an impression on me. As a result, I've been thinking. So here are some thoughts:
Few things have meant as much to me recently as the sincerity which this writer was able to achieve through anonymity. If such sincerity seems rare, then what do our lives consist of in actuality? Are we living life only on a surface-level and never actually letting our true feelings permeate our actions and being? Not to suggest that everything in this world needs be deep and life-altering. But aren't their times when things should be said? Things that mean something? Are we afraid of honesty? Of the risk we run when we show a true piece of ourselves?
Beyond that I've been thinking about how unaware I am of the people in my life. I know they're present. I love having them there. I love talking to them. But how much to I invest in them? Do I treat everyone with the value and worth they warrant? Do I really care? The rhetorical questions may be getting a bit old at this point, but I'm inclined to think that they might be warranted to shake me from my sphere of oblivion. I think I'm too quick to listen lightly. I think I don't ask enough questions. I think I don't really know the people whom I interact with on a daily basis. I think I need to be more aware. I think I need to see something somewhere beyond myself.
And finally comes the issue of judgment. My admirer, if that's the appropriate term, initially thought me vain and self-centered. And I'm sure those are true to some degree, as I have owned up to in the previous paragraph. But I would hope that fundamentally, those characteristics are at least somewhat inaccurate or compose a small percentage of my personality. That being said, how many people have I typeset into a box based on initial impressions? To some extent, judgment is necessary and appropriate. But am I open-minded enough to let someone prove me wrong? Is there finality in first impressions or do I take them lightly enough that they can easily be forgotten if incorrect?
The questions are rhetorical. The thoughts posed will continue floating around in my mind. I do know, however, that someone made my day. Sincerity and honesty made Valentine's Day '08 one that I'll never forget. And I haven't even begun to mention the rockstar "Where's the Love?" party we had at 595 Landings....