Monday, May 23, 2016

Always Becoming

Image description: A line drawing of a smart phone showing the scores I predict for the game this evening, Cavs 101 and Raptors 123

It's odd that people expect you to be who they think you are, all the time, without variation. Let me tell you something that happened yesterday and then go on to the bigger point. I was chatting with someone during the Raptors game and apologized, telling them that I was going to occasionally check the score of the game as we talked. We were just chatting, it wasn't a meeting or anything, and in my apology I acknowledge that I never do this, I don't like it when other people do it, but I was going to do it anyways.

The issue that arose wasn't about my rude behaviour in checking my phone for the score, it was that I was interested in the score at all. The person I was chatting with said, "But you don't like sports." I acknowledged that this was true, I don't watch sports games. "So, then you like sports now, when did that change?" I looked up at the semi angry tone, and said, "It hasn't changed, I don't like or watch sports, I just want to know what the score is. I'm keeping track." Ice came into the conversation. Again, not about my using the phone but what I was using it for. I asked, "Does it bother you that I'm keeping track of the score?" I was told, "I just didn't know you liked sports now." It was hard keeping my voice level, "I don't like sports, I don't follow them. I'm not doing this because I'm a fan of the Raptors, I'm doing it because I'm a fan of Toronto. This has the city excited, I want to join in, it's my city too, I hope they do really well." "Well, the Dave I used to know would never be interested in the score of a game."


I let it go, changed the subject and, yes, stopped checking the score.

I have thought a lot recently, as I'm getting older, that I don't want to be hemmed in by how others see me and what others have come to expect of me, except for things like manners and politeness and other good things like that, and I don't want to be hemmed in by how I see myself and what I have come to expect of me. I want to continually surprise myself, with myself. I don't want to grow old and stagnant, I want to keep thinking and acting and doing and I want a lifetime of forever becoming.

So, I ran into someone who reads my blog yesterday, and I did the day before to but that's another story for another time, and after chatting for a bit, they said, "I have to say, you aren't like I expected at all." I said, "Oh, dear, I hope you aren't disappointed." The said, to my shock, "Well, I kind of am."


What do you say to that.

They thought I'd be funnier and I'd be deeper (how can you be deep in a momentary interaction of introduction) and somehow more profound. Shit. You know in real life, I speak words that come at the moment, on the blog I write words that I think about. There's a difference.

I want to be different this time next year. I want to see the world differently. I want my heart to have been well exercised and be able to stretch to encompass more of the world. I want to have laughed more, I never want, as I have tragically seen, my laughter to rust inside me.

So if we run into each other, expect a very ordinary man, who does things in a very ordinary way and a man who loves the very extraordinary ordinariness of life. Please don't expect 'Dave' the creature that this blog implies I am.


Let me check the scores of the game tonight.

Go Raptors!


Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt said...

Ah, people. It is easier FOR THEM if you don't change - then they don't have to think!

Instead, it could have led to a conversation like your post, with an interested companion, and a nice little interaction.

Their loss!

I'm sorry this person got frosty on you - he should have been delighted to see you had a different reason for being interested in the score than following sports.

I shall try not to box people in; unfortunately, most of them a boringly predictable, and I find myself retreating into platitudes.

But when they're not, it's so much fun.

Frank_V said...

People don't like it when we change, because they themselves almost never change. People expect things out of us, because they cannot provide it themselves. And I hate Toronto. Well, more accurately, I love Montreal. But I do live in Canada, and I will be checking the score: GO RAPTORS!

Mary Nau said...

One of the most freeing things we can achieve, I believe, is not to give a flip about meeting others' expectations. Glad you're just being you and moving in the flow of time and life.

Rachel Schneider said...

Funny that, because I'm not really into sports either, but am okay with hockey, and I have family, one of whom is a big hockey fan, in the Tampa area. GO BOLTS! If they win tonight they win the playoffs and go for the Cup!

Also funny because the Canadian is talking basketball and the American hockey. Isn't it usually the other way around? :)