I realized recently (and by recently I mean today) that it had been quite some time since I had last posted. Given that the semester has been over for almost three weeks now, I certainly have no excuse.
But here we are.
I can confidently say this summer has been moderately productive. I have already been Food Service Certified for the state of Illinois and the city of Chicago (exciting, right?). I’ve read The Grapes of Wrath (which I’ve owned since my sophomore year in high school, so it took me long enough). I’m doing pretty well in my summer class (Statistics in Daily Life). I am actually practicing piano (I know, try not to have a heart attack, geez). And, finally, I’ve started arranging for DePauwCappella again (less frustrating when you actually have time to do it).
Even with all of this, I have been pondering the nature of relationships. It doesn’t even necessarily have to be the romantic kind that everyone thinks of when the word “relationship” is used. I think one of the most interesting (and potentially frustrating) things about our relationships is the kind of dynamic that we establish or find ourselves in during the course of that relationship.
This crossed my mind as I made my bed this evening and turned on the radio. An old Billy Dean song (yes, country music, eye-roll, are we done now?) was playing and the lyrics go like this:
So let’s leave it alone, ’cause we can’t see eye to eye.
There ain’t no good guys, there ain’t no bad guys.
There’s only you and me and we just disagree.
And, besides its gratuitous use of the word “ain’t”, there’s a fair amount of wisdom there. Even though people may not agree with one another all the time, that doesn’t make them friends any less. A disagreement about anything shouldn’t lessen the foundation that has been built between those two people. If one of those two people doesn’t realize what’s there, or sees it in terms of “good guys” and “bad guys”, that relationship is doomed.
However, beyond that, the dynamic of that relationship needs to be thought of as well. If one person is always giving of themselves, or thinks of it in terms of what the other person’s not doing, the value of that relationship is diminished because the relationship isn’t being appreciated for what it is, but, rather, for what it is not. Certainly, it’s absurd to say that one should have no expectations for a relationship, because, whether we admit it or not, we all have expectations. The people who say they don’t have expectations for anything have probably faced a fair amount of disappointment, and would rather think they have no expectations than admit that they haven’t had the best of luck with their expectations.
But, indeed, relationships are a complicated matter. The only single thing I can offer up about relationships that makes any sense is that you have to trust your counterpart in any kind of relationship. Not just trust them, but trust in the fact that, if that relationship is strong enough, things will work out for the best for everyone, even if there are moments that that fact seems very dim in present light.
As, in the wisdom of The Fray, “sometimes the hardest thing, and the right thing, are the same”.