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Wednesday, 15 January 2014

No consequences?

I was on the plane when I started thinking of the question LesMisGuy asked hoping I'd kiss him: "What would you do if you knew there would be no consequences?"

This time it had very little to do with LesMisGuy and, rather, led to thoughts of what it is I want. You see, about a year ago, when SmTn asked if I'd go to summer school I ruled it out because it would have been selfish and wrong and I couldn't afford it, nor could my parents. But I keep wondering if it wasn't the time to meet him and get something(-something... something) started. It occurred to me that if I could do one stupid thing without worrying about whether or not I could afford it, without worrying about how practical it would be or even about whether or not it had any chances of working out, I would fly out to where he is and just mention I'd be in town for a week or so and ask if he'd like to meet. If I could be selfish and reckless and horrible like that, that's what I'd want. I'd want to get away from the As, I'd want to be close to SmTn, I'd want to leave this university and falsely advertised career out of my mind. It all makes me want to ask out loud to other people: what are the things you want to do that you've given up on? It would seem that a great part of "being a grown up" is giving up on such dreams and ruling them out as impractical nonsense, the same way you rule out being the lead character in any interesting (read: film/telly show/book-worthy) story. 

In the end, I guess, LesMisGuy's question was a very good one. It was the exact same question I asked EBF when he broke down and the one I think everyone should be able to answer in order to get their life on some kind of track to some sort of happy place (the wording, I know). It's a question I'd love to ask SmTn because I think the answer is what I get when I received a drunk text message from him (and a possibly-but-not-necessarily-drunk Christmas greeting). He likes me and has feelings for me and sometimes entertains/ed the idea of being with me. But life is in the way of that because he's got everything set up to be happy and I'm nowhere in that picture of happiness. One could argue silly arguments and wonder how much he can really love his girlfriend if he's got time and feelings to spare for someone else, but the answer is “Less than the girlfriend would like, probably, and more than it would take to leave her.” In the end, this want of mine to see him and be with him no matter what is subdued by not wanting to risk being broke and rejected. If I knew he would take me in, I'd only risk being broke in a foreign country and trying very hard to make ends meet and I (or rather, my hopeless romantic self) daresay I could manage.

There would be, of course, more questions to answer: what would I do with my career? Well, I'm not that passionate about it (I mean this one, the one that is more accurately described as a future job) and between this and whatever maths I can do there (even if it means “as a hobby/as an amateur”) might be better. What would I tell my family? That I'd be happier there than anywhere else. What about the money I owe? I'd struggle for a lot longer to pay it back. What if his family/friends disapproved? I'd cross my fingers and hope I could make him happy enough that they'd get over it. I suppose what I want is the one thing I'm sure would make me happy enough to dismiss all consequences that came from it. Why, then, don't we usually go after it?

Pop culture and Hollywood would have you believe that if you follow what you want and pull through no matter what, you will actually accomplish whatever it is you set out to do. Life has taught us better. We've only too often seen what happens when you shoot for the stars: you crash and hit yourself harder, falling from a much higher place.

I see it in Yep2. He's living the dream, or trying to. He found music as his way of being smart and different and letting go and expressing what he felt and he stuck by music, even when it meant putting aside academia and “real world” chances at being ““successful.”” His parents worried, his brother worried and my parents worried. They tried to dissuade him. I worried, but I also listened. I heard him talk about his idealistic plans and about the way doing what he's doing now, even if it means sleeping onn the floor of a closet for 7 months, is also the same as “taking his one shot at making a living the way he wants to.” Not the way he has to, not the way that he's been told to, but the way he wants to. Now, don't get me wrong. I can see how idealistic (bordering and sometimes crossing the line over to foolish) his plans are. But I haven't the heart to tell him it's not going to work out when he's still making ends meet and he's happy enduring hardship for what he sees as a greater good. It's all I can do to mail him cookies and a birthday present every year hoping they will somehow speak out to him and say “I'm here for you.” Because he's broke (not that I'm not but he's worse off) and he bought me lunch. Because he's got a tattoo of Le Petit Prince on his arm and the necklace of a snake that ate an elephant finds a better home with him than with me.

Yep1, on the other hand… well, I see it in him too. Except his case is a possibly-not-that-happy compromise between doing what he wants and doing what he's told is best for him. He’s followed his heart where no economically responsible man would follow. He's sacrificed some dreams for others and if he keeps that up it will get too late for him to succeed the way he once thought he would. I couldn't tell if that's the way he wants it to be. I know he's working hard trying to make ends meet but I'm not sure he's reaping any tangible rewards for it. If anything, I sometimes fear he's where he is because he's afraid to take bigger risks. Then I see other examples of the adult life. People with nine to five jobs who live stable, normal, and honestly somewhat boring lives.

Granted, those aren't the only outcomes. They're rather the outcomes offered to me (pretty much) by staying here (versus doing something outrageous).


I guess a similar question would be “What would you do if you won the lottery?”. Except it's a weaker version of it, assuming all you're afraid of is financial insecurity. My answer to that, besides “settle debt, pay for a house, a car, tuition and travels” is still “run off to see SmTn.”

I wonder why, you know. I wonder why it's the only thing I can think of wanting and whether I'll continue to want it in a few years. I suppose I'll continue to want love in my life, of the kind I've always imagined and SmTn seems to represent so well. I don't suppose I'll grow out of wanting to be with SmTn, I'll just grow into wishing to be with him.

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