Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Two Hours

If you really want to get to know yourself, get into a car for two hours with someone you don't really know well at all.

That's when you truly see which parts of yourself you're willing to freely toss into the air and which parts you keep tucked away like precious jewels for those who are truly trusted and dear.

Even direct questions can be answered in a dozen different ways.

"Are you close to your brother?"
Each question brings with it a crashing wave of feelings and memories and associations, and even a simple query like that forces a decision about how forthright I want to be.

"How did your mother pass away?"
Though over 20 years have passed, that tentative curiosity brings with it a sting of pain and sense of loss.

"Why don't you speak up more if that bothers you?"
I find myself regretting not censoring myself more and awkwardly try to talk around what I've just revealed. How I wished I could read his thoughts and know what his true reactions were to my words.

Even silence is judged by others. When you try to simply listen and absorb and learn - that behaviour is interpreted in a variety of ways.

"You're not comfortable in a group are you?"
I can't tell if it's a criticism, an observation or a sympathetic acknowledgment. Nor did I feel comfortable pointing out that his loquaciousness rarely gave me the opportunity to contribute.

Two hours isn't a long time when choosing to spend it with those you truly cherish.

But with someone you don't know? It's more than enough time to learn whether you would like to invest another two.

Though we couldn't read each other's thoughts, and each off-hand comment was open to interpretation, those comments were still reflective of a choice made.

And who are we but the sum of our choices? I chose to be either forthright or guarded. I chose to either giggle at his humour or merely smile.

Many of those choices were subconscious, which made them even more telling to me, than they were to him of who I truly am.


MonsteRawr said...

I knew that my now-husband and I were a good match when we did a 9 hour drive together comfortably. It really does show you how well you work together.

Karen said...

I think a road trip tells so much about a person. Much like Monste above, I knew that I could spend the rest of my life with my ex-bf after our first 4 hour road trip. It is hard to hide much in that setting.

Kyla Roma said...

Oh wow- how did you get into this situation, this sounds wild!

Becky said...

I've never really thought about that before. But I've never been on a road trip with people that I weren't familiar with.

I have a tendency to over share. No matter what it is, I'll usually talk about it. 9 times out of 10 I have no filter. And I really need to learn to find my filter.

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