*Insert witty/philisophical title here*

Damn, you’ve caught me.

From perusing my archives, it’s been at least a month since I’ve posted something of real substance (and that’s being generous), and I finally got called out on having more blog space dedicated toward food than actual substantive thought.

Don’t get me wrong – I imagine this space more as an open journal than something I write for anyone else, but still…a month without at least writing down much beyond a laundry list of what I’ve done/what I want to do and food planning isn’t really a great sign.

I’ve been more reactive than proactive lately, putting out fires as they pop up in various areas of my life but never quite getting to the part where I install extinguishers or fire alarms.

But tonight, I have no fires to extinguish (apart from the one I just remembered and took care of with a squeal of panic and a flurry of typing), so here goes a “real” post.

I’ve had a heightened awareness lately that, true to form of my tech-savvy generational stereotype, I almost always defer to technology over real time, person-to-person communication. I’m also coming to realize that it puts me at a distinct disadvantage.

At least three or four times in the last several weeks when I’ve tried to only use more sterilized forms of information – a PDF I Googled, a website, or a brochure – I end up baffled and frustrated. Actually calling someone for information, or going in to see them has always yielded an easier time getting information. It may not always be good news (“I have to do what to graduate?”) but it’s ended up significantly easier than combing through websites and instructions that are near non-intelligible. My safety blanket of technology in some cases actually puts me at a disadvantage.

On another technology and human relationship related note, tonight the Abbey read and talked about a New York Times article discussing internet trolling, particularly the harshest segment of it that all of us pretty solidly agreed could be considered evil. It was a long, and interesting talk, but it reminded me once again of my conviction that relationship is one of the main tethering experiences that keep humans…humane. Empathetic. Compassionate.

And as a sorely narcissistic barely-adult, I started applying some of this to me personally. I’ve wrestled with how I deal with relationships for awhile. I tend toward a theory of having a core of close friends, with a moderate amount of acquaintances – if nothing else, networking is pretty necessary.

If I’m at all stressed or busy, or even just not paying attention, I usually end up narrowing most of my relationships down to close friends and letting most others fall by the wayside. Which probably isn’t good – I value having different opinions and outlooks, not only for a different viewpoint but just even to keep me mindful that, God forbid, there are people different from me out there.

Unfortunately, I definitely put all my relationships into little boxes, which probably inhibits much of the input I praised just last sentence. It’s just too easy! For all the essays where I’ve written about how human relationships are hard, messy, and unpredictable, I really don’t enjoy living that out. Stay in your box! I don’t like having to constantly reconfigure all those boundaries and assumptions.

But without them, I end up losing track of some of the boundaries that I really should be mindful of. It’s not necessarily that I usually say different things to different groups of people, but I certainly say them differently. When I do try to let go of my host of relational boxes, fairly quickly I find myself mid-sentence and realizing that whatever I’m saying should have been done much, much differently.

I guess I do okay juggling that, trying to not box people in while still maintaining some sense of organization. What’s really thrown me off  is a specific relationship that I’ve been trying to work out for the last year or so and come to some sort of closure. I’ve tried snipping the whole relationship off, but that caused undue drama, and at least one other broken relationship, but just letting it sit also allowed more hurt and heartache to happen.

Since I put such a value on relationships, it feels like this one needs to be resolved before it sucks out more of my emotion, time, and trouble, but my neatly labeled relational boxes aren’t much help here.

So summing up that train of thought: dealing with people in relationship is valuable, can’t be replaced by solely technology (as much as I wish it could), and is a huge facet of being human. But sheesh it’s hard, and messy, and there isn’t always a clear answer even with all the analysis and pro-con lists in the world. I’m stealing this line from somewhere, but interacting and engaging with people is the worst way to live – except for every other option.

In true jumbled-up relationship fashion, I’ve just spent the last two hours trying to get this post into something at least vaguely coherent (another benefit of technology: you can’t edit the words you say out loud!), since it’s been a rather large part of my thoughts for some time now and I had several trains of thought that I tried to put into one.

So my apologies if my only significant post in weeks is largely disjointed, but I am tired and resorting to using a thesaurus about every three words because this is my third draft and I feel like I’ve said “interact”,”engage”, and “relationship” about a hundred times each. This may not have been an eight page treatise on a chapter from Ephesians but it’s what I have to offer, at least for tonight.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mom
    Feb 28, 2010 @ 18:20:21

    Hey, Andrew spoke Feb. 7 at church about relationship. I hadn’t thought about God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as our example for relationship. If you’re interested in hearing what he said, it’s available to download to ipod or mp3 (you have one of those, don’t you?), from the ncchico.org website.

    Reply

    • aisle4b
      Feb 28, 2010 @ 21:32:58

      Thanks for the heads up. I don’t have an ipod (*sigh* the money I save for it keeps getting lost to unexpected bills), but I can play it on my computer.

      Reply

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