Archive for the ‘Friends’ Category

Updates

December 10, 2009

Well it’s been over a week since the last post, and a lot has happened. I want to just tidy up a couple of issues that I know some of you were concerned about.

First of all, my friend finally asked the question (see Uncertainty) and whilst they didn’t get the answer they hoped for, they have still remained good friends with the other person. So that was good news.

And I finally took the step down the path I was being pushed in, and although I got a little scratched and bruised on the way, I have come out ok. It didn’t lead where I was expecting, but it has led to something new. And that is good news as well, as I was expecting to get really hurt. But I still don’t know why God has made me take this route, I expect it will become clear when the time is right.

So there you go, two stories with happy endings. And the moral of these little tales? I suppose it’s that if we don’t take the chance we will forever be wondering “what if…?”. Will I take that step in the future if a similar situation arises? That I don’t know, it took a lot for me to do it this, but I’m glad that I did. And to all those who helped and guided me on the way, once again I’d like to say thank you.

Past, present and future

November 30, 2009

Well, here we are at the end of the month (at last!) And that means that this is the last post I have to write! Yay!

I’m going to start this post by having a look back on the month. I think some of the posts have been thought provoking and some have just been pure rubbish! In fact, now I’ve read some of the more thoughtful ones again, I can see that at least one of them is rubbish! How I managed to get two disparate ideas like that in to one post I’ll never know! (And no, I’m not going to say which one or ones I’m on about!)

To say this month has been traumatic for me would be a slight understatement. I think I’ve been on a bit of an emotional roller-coaster these past few weeks. I can see this in my writing, and may be you can as well. I have some good friends who have helped me through this period as I mentioned in Friends. As well as getting me through the emotional stress I’ve been through, they have also helped with this blog by supplying me with ideas and thoughts, whether intentionally or not. And I’m especially grateful to that one friend who was there when I was really having a tough time (yes that’s YOU!) I really can’t say thank you enough.

Some of the hardest posts I’ve written this month have actuallybeen the shorter ones. These were the ones where I had a complete lack of inspiration and really struggled to come up with something to write about.

Conversely some of the easiest to write we’re the ones that probably give you the most to think about. Regrets, wrong decisions and hindsight, A blank piece of paper and Uncertainty (and if you look back just a little before the month started at The light at the end of the tunnel) were all written with very little effort. The words just flowed naturally. I know that some of them are a bit disjointed and perhaps could have done with a bit of proof reading and tidying up, but never mind. More than one of those posts were written not just because I needed something to put on the blog for that day, there were other reasons too. But those “hidden” reasons I’m afraid are not something I don’t wish to discuss here. Sorry.

And so to the present. As I sit here and write this, I’m in what I call “my happy place”. This is not a physical place, but a state of mind. I’m happy and content with things at the moment. Why am I feeling like this? I feel I’ve managed to survive the last month and at the moment I don’t have anything to worry about. Even getting soaked in the rain today didn’t worry me!  Also, over this past weekend I’ve seen and chatted with quite a few of my friends. They included old friends, new friends, closest and bestest friends, and ones I care deeply about. Some are going through or have been through some tough times recently, and one has come through that tough patch and in the space of six weeks has become the happiest I’ve seen her in a long time. And that has shown me that no matter how bad things look at the moment, they can get better and it can be from a really unexpected direction.

And what of the future? Will I keep blogging? Will I stay in my happy place?

As I said at the end of November last year, I’ll try to continue, but I can’t see it happening every day. But I’ll do my best to post regularly, especially if I have something to get of my chest!

And how long will I stay here in my happy place? Well I don’t know. I want to stay here as long as possible because I like feeling like this. But I suspect it won’t be for long.

As some of you may have figured out, there has been an underlying theme to some of the posts I’ve made over the past few weeks. Something happened quite unexpectedly that made me look at how I wanted my life to progress. I decided for various reasons, I didn’t want to take a particular route. But it hasn’t been that simple. Ever since that decision, it seems that whichever path I take, I always seem to be heading back to the same point. But I’m still unsure about heading in that direction because despite there being a slim chance of happiness, I fear that most of the routes will lead to hurt and pain. But it’s as if I’m being herded in the direction. I did ask God for a sign, and as I posted he gave me one very quickly. I read it one way though and other people have read it a different way. Which really doesn’t help. At the moment I want to just sit tight and see what happens, but I also fear that if it is what God wants me to do, then if I leave it too late, he may take it away from me. So I think I’ll just put it back in to His hands, and pray that I don’t lose the opportunity if it’s what He wants me to do.

But whatever happens, I’m sure that you dear reader will find out from this blog!

Uncertainty

November 24, 2009

In quantum mechanics there is a theory that says an object can exist in more than one state at any one time. The simple act of observing that item determines what state it is in when we observe it. This is best demonstrated by the thought experiment known as Schrödinger’s cat. In this experiment a cat is placed in a sealed box along with a radioactive source, a Geiger counter and a flask of poison. At some point, the radioactive source will decay, and the radiation will be detected by the Geiger counter. When this happens, the flask of poison is broken and the poor old cat dies. However, from the outside, because the box is sealed, there is no way of telling whether the cat is alive or dead at any particular moment. It can be said that the cat is both alive and dead. It is only when we open the box and look inside that the outcome has to be determined. At this point, the cat is either alive or dead.

In life we often find ourselves in similar situations. We need to know the answer top a question, but by simply asking that question could alter the outcome. Take for example the situation where two people have known each other for a very long time and are really good friends. One day, one of them realises that what they feel for the other is more than friendship but is unsure how the other person feels. If they were to ask then the follow situations could happen:

  1. The other person feels the same, and they go on to have a happy relationship together.
  2. The other person does not feel the same, but they manage to carry on as if nothing had happened with their very good friendship.
  3. The other person does not feel the same and is now uncomfortable with the friendship and ends it.

From this it can be seen that simply by letting the other person know how they felt, the friendship ends. The fact that they didn’t feel the same is not the determining factor, it was the fact that they now knew how the first person felt that altered the situation. If the first person had not made the second aware of their feelings, they would have carried on with the friendship. Simply asking had altered the outcome. In this situation it may have been better not to say anything and just carry on with the friendship as if nothing had changed.

The difference between life and quantum mechanics though is that sometimes we really need to know the answer. Not knowing can give us all kinds of problems from anxiety to stress. In fact it could make the situation worse. We could see  signs in everything the other person says or does, either to us, or to other people. We begin to imagine things, and this could really mess up your head.

I have a friend who is going through this situation. Only in her case it isn’t just a case of “does he feel the same about me as I do him?” there are other factors as well. She reads things in to his actions with other people that really upset her. At the moment she has chosen not to say anything and just carry on as friends. She values his friendship more than her happiness.

What would I do? I don’t know. In the past I’ve always played the coward and opted for the friendship and not said anything. But that doesn’t mean it’s the best solution or what I would do in the future. But I do know that sometimes it’s not the potential answer that is what your afraid of, it’s the possibility of losing everything just because you’ve asked. And I also know that the uncertainty can sometimes be very hard to live with.

What would you do dear reader? Would you risk everything just to know the answer? Or would you settle just for the friendship? I know some of you will say that you should ask God for a sign, but if you’ve read my previous post on the blank piece of paper you will know that sometimes even his signs are not always as clear as we would like them.

Friends

November 14, 2009

As some of you will know, I’ve been through a pretty rough patch lately. And I’ve been on a bit of an emotional roller-coaster with a few ups and lots of downs. The deaths of three friends and family in less than 48 hours has that effect. But the funerals are all over now, and I think I’m over the worst of it.

And I would like to say thank you to all my friends that have supported over those last three weeks. Quiet a few of them offered to listen to me if I wanted to talk, and some of them certainly got their ear bent on ,ore than one occasion. The conversations I’ve had, whether it was face to face, by email or instant messaging, has been invaluable. Some of them had problems of their own, but they were still prepared to listen to me. Of course, I returned the favour and was more than happy to listen to them talk about what was troubling them.

We don’t always let people see how we are feeling, or how a situation is affecting us. We put on the brave face and carrying on as normal. But inside we are going to pieces. It’s at times like these that we need good friends. Sometimes just talking about a problem helps you get through it. Other times just knowing that someone is there is all that is needed.

So if you’re one of those who offered me a shoulder then thanks. And if you’re one of the unfortunate ones who had to put up with me babbling on then double thank you. And to the friend who offered a shoulder and ice-cream: I’ll come round for the ice-cream later!

Regrets, wrong decisions and hindsight

November 9, 2009

Three separate things have led me to today’s post: Firstly, a discussion a couple of weeks ago with friends about things in our past that we regretted. Not the little “Oh I wished hadn’t eaten that extra slice of cake” type regrets, but the big ones such as “I wished I’d never had that relationship”. Secondly, the post I did the other week about heading off down a wrong turn in life. And thirdly a Church service where the preacher spoke about looking back with hindsight at the decisions we had made in life.

Now I’ll start be telling the story which Rev Trevor Gerhardt told us at the beginning of his sermon. There was a man walking through the desert and he was beginning to suffer from dehydration and really need water. Eventually he found a tent with a Bedouin standing outside. He asked the man for some water. “Sorry,” came the reply, “I don’t have any water. But I can sell you a tie”. “I don’t need a tie, I need water!”. “Sorry I can’t help then, but there is another tent about three hours away in that direction” replied the tie-seller. So reluctantly the man continued on his way through the desert. Eventually he came to the second tent, and again there was a Bedouin standing outside. “Water, water, I need water” said the weary traveller. “Oh I have plenty of water, but you can’t come in” he was told. “Why?” “Because you’re not wearing a tie!”

So all through life we are presented with choices, but it is only with hindsight that we can see if we have taken the correct path or not. However, whichever path we take, it affects us for the rest of lives. It’s not possible to go back in time and alter our decision. Once made, the path is set, and even if we decide that we are going down the wrong route, it’s not possible to go back and start again. We just take a different route from where we are now.

So when my friends were saying that they regretted taking certain jobs, or having relationships which didn’t work out, I can honestly say that I don’t. I may not like the way some of my decisions have played out, but if I could alter them, I probably wouldn’t because I wouldn’t end up where I am now. If I had never met/married my ex-wife, I probably wouldn’t have the daughter I have. If I had taken that other job (the one I would have enjoyed more than filling shelves, paid better and had better prospects), I probably wouldn’t have some of the best friends I now have. And if I had not gone to Church on that particular Sunday (and just carried as any other Sunday), I wouldn’t have my other best friends. Yes I admit I have made some really bad/stupid decisions in my life but on the whole, I am happy with where I am now. I have a good set of friends and a daughter that I wouldn’t change for anything.

So I challenge you, next time you’re thinking that you’ve made a really bad choice, and are regretting it, just think about what’s good in you life and imagine if it wasn’t there. If you had taken a different route, you life would be entirely different, and not necessarily for the better.