2/5/09 04:09 pm - Humble pie tastes good sometimes...
Despite my online-dating-disaster-aftermath a year ago that forced me to delete my account at OkCupid, I decided to rejoin there recently. Of course, the fact I had a new screen-name hasn't deterred all the sleazy weirdos who contacted me last time... I spend most of the time writing back "thanks, but no thanks" as nicely as I can (with some very bitter replies, I may add!), and blocking extreme annoyances left, right and centre.
I do have my eye, typing fingers, and a bit of my heart (already! Pathetic!) on a lovely guy who of course lives on the other side of the planet... why, oh why do I only find attractive men with brilliant personalities billions of miles away???????!!!!!!!!!!!!! Trust me, I've tried looking in Sydney and let me tell ya, those attractive, personable males must be effing hiding somewhere because I've never come across them!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously - take a gander at any dating site that tickles your fancy and have yourself a browse at the males on offer between the ages of 30-40 in the greater Sydney area... talk about personality-challenged, boredom-inducing, non-entities. Sure, I'm picky. And deservedly so once you take a look at that pathetic long list yourself!
(no wonder I'm single.)
But onto my more serious humble pie note from the subject line today...
There is also a guy who lives in the Blue Mountains who messaged me when I was in there last year, and messaged me again when he saw that I was back. I need you to see his picture so you can absorb what you will read a little later on...
He has severe cerebral palsy (I think), plus probably some other combined disabilities that I'm not aware of. From what I can see just from his pictures he's pretty much a prisoner in his own body, but has some controlled movement, as is evident that he took his own pictures. I can't help but say that I really have such sincere empathy for him. Not pity. I looked into myself and questioned my thoughts and perceptions about him today and concluded (with relief) that it wasn't pity. OkCupid is also a great personality quiz site and he's the author of the AWESOME "Which Star Wars Character Are You?" test. His mind is as sharp as a tack, and is a talented writer to boot. No, not just a writer - moreso a philosopher.
Of course, when he first messaged me I was struck with sheer fear of what to write back. I wasn't afraid of him, I was afraid of being a doofus and unintentionally writing something stupid to hurt his feelings. From his profile you could gauge his incredible intelligence. Even that was daunting enough. I deleted my profile before I could really chat to him via email in there. Maybe that was a cowards relief. But this time when he wrote again, I mustered the courage to write back without worrying about making any dumb comments.
We all know that Marina is famous for not being shy about asking anyone anything, so I actually replied to him yesterday and asked him point-blank how he dealt with his condition, the frustrations that ensued from it and where he gets his motivation to do all the amazing stuff he's accomplished so far. (Don't worry, I also apologised in advance for being moronic and/or possibly tactless!) This is the reply I got this afternoon:
"Firstly, don't ever be afraid to ask these sorts of questions. If I flipped-out and got all weird as a result, I'd be the arsehole in the equation. Knowing who the weird arseholes in the world are is handy and useful (as you already discovered on this site earlier)!
I've got a philosophical approach to life. The truth is that life can get pretty ugly; look at how many people suffer and die for stupid, petty reasons every day. So you can either recoil in horror and retreat from the world, or you can choose to at least engage in life. The world just *is*, and the meaning of life is whatever you bring to the table.
I honestly believe that life can be invigorating and enlightening with the right attitude. No matter the circumstances, you've got to constantly push past your own personal limits in order to grow as an individual. With that growth comes a real sense of contentment, and that only spurs you on to greater action.
(What were you saying about babbling?)
In short, if you have limitations X, Y and Z (and we all have different limitations), then it's that much more crucial to both develop your own strengths and discover new strengths at the same time. When someone just sits at home crying about what they *don't* have, that really doesn't make them any happier; the problem is that people tend not to see any alternative, unfortunately.
There's hope for *all* of us.
So yeah, I'm planning on bottling this stuff ASAP. I've actually started writing an eBook on this very topic, because even if my take on things isn't totally unique, I'd like to think my story is, in any case."
I had tears running down my cheeks like Niagra Falls whilst reading that. I was ashamed of myself for letting trivial challenges in my life rule what I did and how I felt day to day. I felt anger and frustration for this wonderful mind being trapped in a painful, twisted body that constantly depended on life with the help of someone else, let alone wondering if he would or could ever experience intimate physical touch and love. Who knows, maybe I'm over-analysing and assuming too much. But I wonder how many people passed his messages over and ignored him from fear as I almost did? I think I'm lucky to have the chance to gain insight from such a beautiful mind.
Yes, so I thought I'd share this lovely slice of nice humble pie with you, too...