Wednesday, May 13, 2009

From Point A to Point B, passing Point Banana along the way

Trust me, the title of this post makes sense. Point Banana is a term a friend of mine came up with to refer to weird and random tangents.

Do you ever look back on certain periods of time in your life and wonder what the hell you were thinking at the time? I'm a big believer in everything happening for a reason, but I'm equally convinced that the reasons might remain hidden for a very long time. Which is unfortunate, because mentally shaking your head at yourself for sustained periods becomes rather disheartening.

I don't mean this in the sense of regret; more a sense of confusion and wondering what would have happened if things had gone differently. Like if your train of thought had switched directions at one point, sparked by some (seemingly) insignificant event or something someone said. Or didn't say.

And of course, there's the corollary to this--wondering what would have happened if you'd just said exactly what you wanted or meant to say at just the right moment...which, in the real world, never happens. You can imagine again and again in your head exactly what you should have said to a co-worker that was pissing you off, to a friend who needed a confidence booster, to the guy you secretly liked, to the girl in the grocery store who caught your eye one time, and a thousand other scenarios like that--and never know what would have happened. Seems to me that regret comes more from this path. Because at least you know what the results of actually doing something were, versus being left to wonder about all the conceivable "what ifs."

Perhaps that's part of what pisses me off so much about communication that is purposefully when you pass someone on the street and they look in the other direction just to avoid your eyes, and all you're trying to do is say hey. Or people who blow off store clerks. Or people who don't even smile and say hi to the person they're stuck next to on a plane for five hours. Granted, I don't expect to make friends with every single person I encounter, but to me, opening oneself up to the possibility, even in the most minute way, is part of common human decency.

And those are my thoughts on this frustrating Tuesday night.

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