Thursday, June 01, 2006

Equilibrium

I'm no Buddhist, but I'm absolutely convinced that life is about equilibrium. This entire world seems like it has to follow some order of balance. With me, for example, when good things happen -- rest assured -- something bad is lurking around the corner. Oppositely, when stupid things happen to me, great things find their way to the surface.

I've been having an absolutely shitty month (sorry for the profanity, but it gives dimension to how I've been feeling lately). I hate grad school (though I'm toughing it out), my health has been a little suspect, I've dealt with some other pressing issues (and did a lousy job of 'dealing' with them, let me tell you), etc. I kept asking myself "Will things ever get better for me?"

Last night, they did.

I got a call from a close friend last night. Given the strange and difficult climate that I've been in lately, it was really good to hear her voice. During our conversation, we played a little catch-up (we really hadn't spoken to each other in about six months). She's doing very well. She's happily married, gainfully employed (maybe now would be a good time to ask for that $7 she owes me), and will be having her first child; already named Serena; this month. In fact, she was calling me because of baby Serena. More specifically, she asked me to be her little girl's Godfather! I'll admit: I've never really thought that non-biological roles (i.e. Godparents) made much sense. But, once she asked me, I was incredibly elated and humbled. We've been through a lot together over the years so -- to me -- her request was almost a validation of sorts.

** Moment of digression **

This is all especially exciting for me because I'm also going to be an uncle for the first time this month! My little brother and his girlfriend are having their first child. An uncle and a Godfather?! I can just feel my wallet burning now...

** End of digression **

After we ended our conservation, a few less-than-happy thoughts jumped into my head; which quickly extinguished my excitement. As I mentioned in a previous post, what would've happened if I had never given up on her? Would I be in a different place in my life? Would I be in a happier place? Would I be celebrating the birth of my own Serena?

Every once in a while, I think that we all find our gem. But how many of us fail to find the real value in that gem until it's too late?

Not too long ago, I was watching an interesting episode of the Twilight Zone. In this story, a man and woman -- both living highly stressful lives -- found themselves in their own modern-day Garden of Eden; a beautiful home in paradise. But, they couldn't resist the temptation of reverting back to their former lives; their stressful jobs; their past friends/family, etc. Because of which, they wound up back in their old lives with no memory of each other or their experience in paradise.

My story is somewhat similar. I had an opportunity to land the perfect girl. She's unbelievable beautiful, incredibly intelligent, successful, modest, God-fearing (!!!), and has always accepted me. As an added bonus, not only does she play video games, but she can completely annihilate me in Madden '06 (this isn't a diss on my gaming skills. I'm pretty good. She just happens to be much, much, much better...) But, I was too unwilling to let go of my past for her. The end result was her moving on to bigger and better things and me staying here facing the difficulties of breaking away from my past; and doing it alone. Unlike the Twilight Zone episode, however, I have a reminder of my failure; baby Serena. Looking at her will be a reminder of what I could have had if I wasn't so misguided.

Now, am I implying that my life with this girl would have been perfect? Of course not. I'm sure that she and her husband have their own problems (one of the reasons why I will never, ever, ever, tell her about my blog). But, would my life had been different if I took the road less traveled? I believe so.

Baby Serena is yet another example of how up and down life can be. I'm going to be a Godfather on the one hand, but I'm also going to forever be reminded of how I totally dropped the ball on a true shot at happiness.

Stupid equilibrium...

- ACL

25 "Insiders" spoke their mind. Join in...:

lorna said...

Truer words have never been spoken!

Such a tragedy.

Anonymous said...

For the record, Buddhism is about the balance of body and soul, not the balance of good and bad.

Food for thought

Andre said...

@ lorna: Tragic, indeed. Shakespeare's got nothin' on me...

@ anonymous: No need to split hairs here. Sorry! I made a mistake! Sheesh...

But, you do get the ultimate point of this post, right?!

green eyed girl on planet earth said...

My Greeneyed man
Better to have loved and lost than >>>>>....... I feel we are all exactly where we are suppose to be and on the path which is destine to be ours , how many mistakes we make along the way is like how many hills we have to climb but our end result is the same :)
You are a young man and love as you describe will ebb and flow through your life until it is right , it may be the right" one "or maybe more , happiness is a gift in life , dont waste it thinking of what could have been if you cannot change it, work on what can be today .You have alot of life ahead of you to have your own child if you so desire , with someone you may love more deeply than you ever imagined .You may have been with this woman and been horribly unhappy and the love die , be happy for that hill you did not have to climb.This relationship has made you think and learn that if something great comes along , you may recognize it , lesson learned
Greeneyes

Monique said...

I totally agree with you, green eyed girl. That "perfect girl" may not have have been the PERFECT one for you. What God has for you will be for you. You shouldn't spend your time worrying about what you don't have. By doing that, you could be missing out on YOUR "perfect girl". I believe that there is a reason for everything, and that there may have been a good reason as to why you aren't with her. You just don't know that reason. It sucks to not know that reason, I'm sure, but God has his way of doing things that may not be your way. You don't know what would have happened if you guys got together, sure she's beautiful, smart, successful, blah, blah, blah, but how would you guys be together? You can't just play Madden all day. I said ALL of that to say God's blessing for a wife for you may be on the way, if you allow him to show you. Oh, yeah, there is no such thing as a perfect girl. Let's start with that first.

Andre said...

@ green-eyed: Can't argue with that! Well, actually, I probably could...but I don't really feel like it. :)

You're right in that I can't change the past; and shouldn't spend time wallowing in misery because of it. But I think that the hidden part of this post not only concentrated on who I lost, but also on WHY I lost her. The "why" is the most frustrating part of it all. I mean, she was RIGHT THERE calling for me and I turned my back on her for something else that looked a little more appealing at the time. When I examined that "appealing" thing up close, it turned out not to be worth what I gave up. That's a tough lesson that I'm stuck to deal with. This is the WORST kind of learning to do.

Oh well! I guess that always leaves you to go after...

Thanks for your comments!

@ Monique: I appreciate your insight; especially as it relates to finding (or NOT finding) the "perfect girl". But, before you nail me to the wall, I think that -- once again -- you should reread what I said.

To help you out, maybe I should rephrase some things. I didn't have the "perfect girl". I had the perfect girl for me. Like I said before, she is not without her flaws; many of them I've experienced first hand. But, to use the cliche, "you don't get rid of a Mercedes just because it has a few dents."

Secondly, I'm inclined to agree with you when you say that everything happens for a reason. However, I'm not so quick to say that everything that happens is in God's will. It's reasonable to say that this girl MAY have been the one for me. But, I was the one who screwed it up. Sometimes God's will is compromised when WE mess it up.

There's a difference -- a HUGE difference -- between what God WANTS and what He allows...

I don't know if this girl was the "it" for me or not. But, not having her DOES sting; especially when I had a chance to snag her and brushed her off for something else that wasn't worth it. Maybe the remorseful feelings I have are God's way of punishing me for screwing up His plan. Who knows...?

Thanks for your comments, also!

Andre said...

By the way, I used the phrase a "shot at happiness", implying that I don't know WHAT could've happened between us. But, now that I've completely screwed it up, I'll never know.

Stupid poetic justice...

joanne said...

Andre,

I think that Monique is right in saying that you really don't know what the reason is that you and this girl aren't together. You don't know if the feelings that you too have for each other now would be the same five years down the road. You can't tell if someone else would've come along and replaced you, etc. The only thing you have to go off of are theories.

The fact is, you don't know WHAT God has in store for you. Likewise, you don't always know when God is working in your life. So, you should be extra careful when you start attributing things to Him.

a woman Thinking out Loud said...

It seems to be that you learned your lesson the hard way round, following sweet hips and a physical form is delightful for the chase but what you get when you unwrap that package can make you realize your mistake fast, we all make them as does the moth to the flame . Now it is time to chase inner beauty as well . you have an interesting blog .I look forward to Butting heads .

Andre said...

@ a woman Thinking out Loud: I guess that's now's as good a time as any to "butt heads"...

I wouldn't exactly say that I was allured by "sweet hips". Maybe a more accurate statement would be that I was more interested in pursuing someone with whom I was comfortable at the expense of someone who may have been a better catch for me (and who was ACTUALLY interested in me).

But, I understand your point about guys chasing after everything that's glitzy and curvy. Normally, you'd be on to something. Except that just doesn't apply to me...

Andre said...

@ joanne: I missed your comment. So sorry...

I'm not trying to be the stubborn mule here, but -- contrary to what you say -- I know exactly why we're not together. It's because I messed it up.

Not, to be clear, you're right in saying that I don't know what would have ensued down the road. But, the decision to not even give her a chance was all on me. Hence, the lamentation that makes up this particular entry.

As it relates to your "attributing things to God" statement: that's exactly what I said. To reiterate what I said earlier in response to the 'everything happens for a reason' line that Monique: Maybe the "reason" we're not together had more to do with me and my screw up than it did with God unveiling His will.

I'm not going to blame God for everything that happens to me. Being God's mouthpiece is not something that I do well...

Thanks for your comments.

a woman Thinking out Loud said...

Andre
From your response to my post here , it seems as though you are a gentlemen, well , I thought you were exstinct. If you are what you state , then bravo , it is hard to think that a man who does not chase curves and beauty has a beating heart , I am sure there are few of you left , they do not surface often.

Butthead # 1 :
you state in reply to another post

I mean, she was RIGHT THERE calling for me and I turned my back on her for something else that looked a little more appealing at the time.

as I was saying ...following sweet hips ...............

Andre said...

@ a woman Thinking out Loud: I think I should clarify something. When I said that the other woman "looked a little more appealing", I wasn't talking about physical looks. In fact, the woman who was interested in me (so that I won't reveal her identity, I'll call her "JJ") is physically more beautiful and sexy than any other woman I know. If I was solely going off looks, JJ would have "had me at hello". What made the other person "appealing" was the history that the two of us had. Essentially, I was more comfortable with her. Even though, looking back in retrospect, JJ would have been the MUCH BETTER CATCH FOR ME, I allowed my comfort zone with the other woman to blind me to this truth. I let a wonderful girl walk away because I was blindly pursing the wrong person.

At your second point: If you ever go to New York, you should stop by the American Museum of Natural History. If you go to the third floor, you'll see gentlemen on display...right next to the dinosaurs.

So, on the one hand, "gentlemen" are rare. But, there are still a few of us around. But, too many women either send confusing mixed messages or they just don't know what the hades they want in a man. The fact is: Chivalry is dead. And women killed it...

Andre said...

I can just feel an onslaught from the women folk coming at me. So, let me just assure you all: I'm not making a generalization about all women. I'm talking to who I'm talking to...

a woman Thinking out Loud said...

The fact is: Chivalry is dead. And women killed it...


Uhhh do I hear the sounds of a faint and distant war cry?

I'm talking to who I'm talking to...

That would be me or at least I think so . Well you must be fairly young , filled with hot blood and agression. Woman did not kill Chivalry, fighting for womans rights in a mans world killed it , in order to be equal partners men forget we are different sexes sometimes , and what makes a female is not all about equal pay, equal rights , equal jobs , we still need the same things but men cannot wrap their brains around it and accept both.Pardon me , most men .

Andre said...

My dear woman thinking out loud: If anyone is a feminist (having that silly belief that women are actually people too), it would be me. Yes, there is an alarming disparity between the sexes. Yes this is a male- dominated world (which explains why it's on it's way to destruction. But I digress). But that doesn't completely dismiss the fact that women play A LARGE ROLE in the death of chivalry.

I hold a door open for a woman (or any other "courteous" gesture) and she either (1) chews me out because she "doesn't need a man to save" her or (2) I get dumped for the roughneck brotha who -- not only doesn't open the door, but he smacks her in the face while he's at it.

Once, one of my exes told me that one of my problems was...get this...that I wasn't "jealous enough". I wish I was making that up.

So, back to my original argument: Chivarly is dead; women killed it.

Your move.

Monique said...

Wow, what a good read :)

Andre, some of the things you said, had me wondering. Now that the "perfect girl for you" is with someone else, could it be that you weren't SUPPOSE to be with her. Could it be that maybe she was suppose to be with her husband? I know we will never have the answers to those kinds of questions, which is why I try not to dwell on them too much. Like I said, you might be missing out on being with someone else. What ever happened with the girl that "wasn't worth it"? If you don't mind me asking.

Andre said...

@ Monique: You're just going to argue me to my grave, aren't you?! But I love it! Thanks! :)

In all seriousness, I really can't tell WHAT was "supposed" to happen. Maybe "JJ" was 'supposed' to be with her current husband. Maybe not. All I know is I had the chance to start something with her, but I didn't. So -- going back to my original point -- I'm not so quick to put a Divine spin on everything. Sometimes things happen because WE make them happen, not necessarily because they were in God's will. Sometimes God's will is carried out, while in other instances His permissive will prevails (what He "allows" to happen).

To your final question: The other girl who "wasn't worth it", wound up choosing someone else over me and decided to cut off (or at the very least, strongly redefine) our relationship for the sake of her current mate.

If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn't not have let JJ go that easily.

Stupid hindsight...

monique said...

I do agree with you about the whole free will deal. Now that you have learned this, what steps are you making to prevent that from happening again.

sorry if I'm being to nosey:)

Andre said...

@ Monique: You're not being nosey at all. In fact, I'm enjoying the cybernetic dialogue.

The truth is: I really don't know what to do to prevent myself from making the wrong choice again. I originally thought that -- by disregarding "JJ" for the 'other' woman -- I was doing the right thing. It felt good in my heart. I was sure that God was speaking to me. But, I was wrong.

I really don't know how to keep this from happening again.

Worse case scenario, I can just stay single. It's a lot more safe. Unless, of course, you're interested... :)

monique said...

sorry, I'm not single :)

Andre said...

Oh well. Worth a shot...

Oh, I'm only joking! Sheesh!

Paige said...

Just came across your blog after searching "I hate grad school"...sigh

Andre said...

@ paige: That's hilarious! Just by virtue of that comment, I'm not hating grad school so much now!

By the way, was that "sigh" an affirmation of my sentiment or were you saying it in a "shame on Andre" sort of way? :)

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