DISCLAIMER: I started writing this on February 20, 2006. I got as far as the first two sentences. After a rather epiphany filled weekend in April I finally put the rest of these thoughts together.
In the spirit of continuing a theme, I’ve been thinking about boundaries. And I’ve come to a conclusion.
This shit is hard.
I know. Shocking. You’d think that this would be no-brainer, but based on the conversations I’ve had with many friends, it would seem that this seemingly obvious observation has caught more people than me by surprise.
Like many people, or at least the many people who I seem to encounter, I have spent a sizeable chunk of my time working through the emotional landfill that results from various and sundry life experiences – relationships, career, loss, you know, that kind of stuff.
Though far from perfect I’m pretty confident that I can qualify myself as fairly well balanced and even – dare I say – emotionally stable. And then I meet someone who captures my interest and the wheels come off the cart.
Because here I am – fully therapized (I know, not a word, but it seemed fitting anyway), well adjusted and knowing what I do and don’t want; and there before me is someone who is stunning, charming, intelligent and … well … fascinating. We appear to have quite a bit in common, and I even get a sense that the interest may be, at least on some level, mutual.
So what’s the problem?
It’s these damn boundaries.
Because part of my fresh boundary definition includes the fact that I no longer rush blindly into things and now take time to get to know people on a deeper level, which means truly learning their boundaries. It also means that in my pursuit of being authentic with my own boundaries I cannot disrespect others’.
It becomes even more of a challenge because of course if the person in question is someone who you truly appreciate for their wit, candor and generally erudite sensibility, there is also more at stake should efforts at pursuing something more than friendship be … well … a bust.
Needless to say, this puts me in a bit of a pickle. I’d like to be honest, authentic and true to how I feel, and at the same time find myself both unwilling to risk the loss of what is the start of a friendship that has superb potential.
Thankfully, this is where a fresh lesson has seen fit to smack me soundly upside the head.
The learning here isn’t about the boundaries, it’s about the practice of getting to know someone and letting them, in turn, get to know me. The lesson here isn’t about boundaries. It’s about patience.
Like I said. This shit is hard.