What I’ve learned (so far)

Before I start, let me say that I realize that that title’s a bit condescending. Saying I’ve learned anything implies that I know something you don’t. That’s not true. I don’t know anything for certain. There’s this quote I’ll paraphrase because I can’t remember who said it right now, and it says ‘to know that you know what you know, and to know that you do not know what you do not know, that is knowledge’.

That’s also my defense for anything I might say here that you want to argue with. And anything that anyone unwilling to accept any insights yet can use as an excuse to disagree, with me and themselves. I don’t know anything, and this whole post is going to be a stream of consciousness thing about what I do know: which is nothing.

Recently, I’ve gone through a breakup (again). Deep, rich emotions to play with now. Like fertile soil, loaded with nutrients and potential. Always a good time for self expression. Pretentious, self-involved bullshit, you might say, but when is writing not ever that? I’m a slacker and I like writing. Combine those and you end up with a lot of free time for introspection. I like searching for metaphors in everything I see, or anything that happens to me. This means that even the seemingly insignificant crap that goes on in my life gets to mean something. You see me standing at the urinal, taking a piss, and I see the lost potential of the coffee I had slipping into the abyss. But that’s only when I’m feeling particularly moody.

Most hours, I’m actually finding a lot of joy and happiness in things. Even urinals.

Of course, once everything is a metaphor, it can be both the best and worst thing you’ve ever seen or thought about. Events, items and people have no value except whatever you imagine they do. How devastating, if you’re always looking for things to let you down. How refreshing, if you’re hoping there’s more to everything than first meets the eye.

So, love. I’ve been thinking about it’s value in terms of myself and “what I know”. So far as I can imagine, the only thing we’ve got that’s of any real value is our time. This is cos we have no idea how much of it we have. I could die in 80 years, tomorrow or even right now, mid-sentence (and then you’d never see this), and no one can tell me with any absolute certainty how much I have left. Imagine a bank account where you’re never told how much cash you’ve got inside. Every purchase becomes that much more valuable, but also has the same value as every other one, because it might be your last. So when you declare your love for someone – and when it’s not some creepy charade fueled by your insecurities about being alone – you’re really doing something much more significant. You’re saying “Here’s my time. I don’t know how much I’ve got left, but in it there’s all my potential, my dreams, my hopes for a future I may never see. But you can have it. Please just share yours with me.”

I don’t know about you, but that is a scary fucking thought. The folks who hand that over have got to either be brave or crazy (take your pick, depending on your lover or your perspective), or both.

When I was younger, these sorts of theories and metaphors used to mean a lot to me. I liked being reassured that I could figure anything out if I thought hard enough about it. Obviously realizing things like what’s above only reminds me that my perspective is always evolving, that the horizon is always getting further away, that nothing is exact or certain. That everything is made up. We’re all just each others’ perceptions colliding to form something that’s like a solid but isn’t. Holograms turning in the dark. Nothing means anything unless you want it to. No person is greater than any other unless you believe they are.

And that last part made me realize that the sad part about a breakup isn’t that you lost someone. It’s that you lost faith in someone’s value in your life.

Bummer, I know.

Despite all this morose crap, though, I have a shit ton of faith and hope. I know I have no assurances about how much time we have, but I’m inclined to roll my eyes at mortality in a way I never could before. I like to plan for a future I might never see. If nothing else, it keeps things from being boring and gives every little action a little more meaning and a little more joy. Even typing this out from my head to the digital page after 1am seems to have some purpose. At least from my perspective.

So that’s what I “know”, guys. What do you think?


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