Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Choices and Obligations

Big difference.

I've been kicking this around as a result of figuring out what irritates me so that I can eliminate those things and be a little bit more carefree. When the list of irritants gets pretty long, you start to wonder what can be eliminated and what is just your personality. I had a conversation recently about people having the ability to change. One side said people can't change - they are who they are. The other said people can change, if they really want to. Think about quitting smoking or dieting - those are changeable behaviors. But the ability to change the way you ARE emotionally? That requires some thought.

A big item on the list of things that irritate me is when a person is somewhere they don't want to be. Generally this becomes MORE of an irritant when that person is a part of a couple, which most of the people I know are. I can almost understand (having been there often) a SINGLE person being unhappy with their surroundings, but it doesn't irritate me as much simply because as a single person, it's their choice to make the change. If they don't make any changes and continue to bitch, then they are just bitching for the sake of it. I don't pay much attention. Sooner or later they will do something about it. For now, bitch away, until they get sick of it and change or WE get sick of it and quit talking to them. Easy solution.

The couple thing, though, hm. I haven't been part of a couple in a long while now, and frankly, at 42, I'm not so sure it is as appealing as it once was. I know plenty of pairs where one of them is just miserable in their surroundings, so when one suggests changing their situation, one is met with complete opposition. The reason? The other one is perfectly happy in THEIR world. So how can that be? How, if you are part of a committed relationship, can you be oblivious to your partner's obvious unhappiness? Isn't coupledom supposed to be about compromise and wanting to see your partner happy? Or isn't that at least a little part of it? Can you really say you are pleased with your situation when you are sharing your life with someone who is only in the same surroundings so that YOU can be comfortable?

It's a pretty wide open plane. Like the O Henry classic indicates, in the world of coupledom, you sacrifice for your partner's happiness to the extent that you have given up that which you prize the most, when maybe just TELLING your partner what you really want and need might eliminate a lot of unhappiness. Compromise, and don't lose your self. I guess that is the most unappealing part of coupledom for me - losing my SELF. Because I see it all the time.

On another hand, you've got your obligations - things you cannot get away from, beyond your bills and your job. All those things can still be changed to make you happy or at least content. But emotional obligations, I don't know. Those things are hard to get around. We're supposed to be happy to make other people happy, but it can spin dangerously out of control when you're the kind of person that sacrifices their own happiness for that of others. People tell you to let these emotional obligations go, but it is a lot harder than they might think - and they know this, because they probably have a few of their own they can't blow off.

I started this post on Saturday morning and couldn't figure out what I was getting at, but somewhere in there is some good observation, so I am posting it as is. Not to like, teach you anything, but just to give you a little peek inside my mind when it is fairly idle and there are still five days before ANTM's cycle 10 opener.


At 8:35 AM, February 21, 2008, Anonymous Heather said...

That's the million dollar question that I struggle with all the time. It's not hard being half of a couple, but it sure isn't easy, either.

At 9:04 AM, February 21, 2008, Blogger Mexico Way said...

I wonder if Diesel realizes my unhappiness of having to pick up his shit or, if he realizes that I'm standing there like a dork while he's got his nose stuffed in the grass. Do you think he knows this and doesn't care, or is just completely oblivious?

I think you've got some good points. I think I will have a discussion with him this evening.

At 6:34 PM, February 21, 2008, Blogger JJ said...

Remember, I think he only speaks Spanish. You don't want to completely confuse him.


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