Monday, July 07, 2008

Cooking is like erosion. Long and complicated.

I'm hoping to be able to run to Ottawa county two mornings in a row before the time I go back to the 'Stan. I got about half the way there this morning, and probably could have gone the distance. (Except I was going for speed.) (And I'm never all alone...) (Cake!)

So, I said goodbye to my new friends of two weeks, I did lots of fireworks, hung out with family, saw the new Will Smith movie Hancock (Verdict - neat concept, poor execution) and am now in a little bit more limbo, waiting for more things that are supposed to happen to happen, like weddings and the progress of time.

Well, I composed the initial draft of this part of the blog post on the front-back page of notebook paper before typing it, as a different, perhaps more guided exercise. And since, I'm going to be more direct about something than I usually am on this blog, I wanted the opportunity to have a built-in editing and revising time. See, I went to these two weeks of training knowing something about my field and organization. The ratio of single women to single men in the organization is roughly 5:1. I'm in a fairly atypical school with a 3:1 ratio, whereas two of the schools have ratios of over 10:1. In the past, this ratio might have freaked Russ out, since I/he have/had a pretty low opinion of my ability to interact with women of the opposite gender who are roughly my age. However, the changing Russ sees less reason to be freaked out about this ratio. Therefore, I saw lots of opportunities to investigate myself and the people at the training. While I definitely made a effort to hang out with the single guys and some of the married guys, I also did not shy away from or avoid the single girls. In the past and in different situations, I might have done that, because of my aforementioned low opinion towards my abilities to and fear of interacting with attractive single women who are about my age. And it would have been easy to make a mental model that would have convinced myself of the acceptability of hermit-ing up and not hang with the single women or with anyone, for that matter. So after the second day, I made a conscious decision to do two things. First, I was not going to avoid interaction with single girls. Sitting at lunch, talking in the halls, I was not going to avoid them specially. Second, I was going to embrace the fact that I am me, and I was not going to worry about making sure I didn't 'goof up' or say something dumb, because when I'm me, I do things that may seem ill-advised.

Did these two resolutions work? I think so. I just hung out with whomever was around and wanted to hang. I had a good time with all sorts of people, large groups playing sports like Ultimate or Soccer, small groups playing cards, medium sized groups going places, the people I took to SONIC for ice cream (yay! for 99c shakes!), the random people that sat down at my table at meals. In fact, I got harassed once or twice because I sat down at a table for lunch and then had the table filled by girls, so it was me and 7 girls at a table. I got harassed, but what can you do when they choose to sit down by you? I certainly am not smooth. I think it might have been because I usually cleared the table so they didn't have to.

Perhaps you are wondering why I'm posting all of this on my blog. Firstly because this training was a subtly transforming experience for me in many little ways, including my interactions with attractive and interesting single women, i.e. freaking out less. Secondly because one f the girls I hung out with sent me a note via facebook (whereupon my profile I have the address to this blog emblazoned, and I am thinking it's a further good sign that it doesn't matter to me if any of the single women who are now my facebook friends read this) saying that she heard some of the women at the training say how much they respected me. Initially, this note caused me some concern, thinking maybe I had conveyed something I didn't mean to, or acted in some way that I shouldn't have. Then, the more I thought about it, the more that I thought through the word 'respected' and decided that this note was, in fact further affirmation that I did a pretty good job of interacting with the single female species, rather than a bad thing.

And I think this is in some ways a break through. I'm not exactly sure from what or to what, but I think it is one of some kind. I could be wrong. I see some things that are coming, but I can't look past them. And that's just fine. I think if I didn't have the insecurities in my life that I do, I would be way too bored.

One other thing that I have seen of late is that the nature of the Mercy that I have received is that I don't understand the depths of it, and I won't until I have the strength enough to stay on my knees while the tide rises around me.

It's time to work.

No comments: