I did an aerial silks class one time. My thinking was that all the gripping work would be a great way to cross train for Jiu Jitsu. I liked the teacher and the people in the class, but I wasn’t great at it and the whole course moved unbearably slow for a stimulation seeking brain like mine. I bet if I was more advanced it would have been different but what can you do. I did the course for six weeks though, and I’m glad I did because I now have a slightly more informed opinion where I used to just have a theory. I thought it would help my Jiu Jitsu, it didn’t really, and thats ok.
I was having drinks last night with a friend and the conversation turned to exes and ones that got away. I feel like I’ve written adnauseum about both on this blog so if you’re not caught up, go read my book for the back story. Suffice it to say, I have loved people that loved me too and have had varying levels of fulfillment with it, much like I am sure you have as well.
But last night I was thinking, what if I actually got one of those relationships back? Or what if, they never ended? Where would I be?
I ended it with my Norwegian ex because I knew in my heart I was supposed to move back to America and build a life from scratch. She wanted me to come back to Denmark and start over again there, this time with her. It was very appealing. The right person, the wrong time.
I have spent all the years between then and now mooning over it. I used the memory of what we were and maybe what I was in that relationship and how she treated me as a type of nuclear fuel. Her belief in me was everything, and I’d do anything to prove her right about what I was capable of.
But in my heart, I know this is just a game I play with myself. I know, if I would have moved back, there is no guarantee of joy. I think that knowing is what made it easy to not move back. I feared most of all repeating a the past. Feeling I was stuck in a relationship with someone who’s respect I was slowing losing no matter how hard I paddled against the tide.
Faced with that, it was better to end it and have that memory die a saint instead of risk becoming a sinner.
As an older man, I know that joy is probability. There is no such thing as a certain pleasure. And if there is, there is no certain pleasure that does not have a great cost. Happiness to me is like ironing a shirt. I can get most of it flat, but there will always be a fold that will not obey me.
Being happy is two things: your long term strategy, and your day to day, moment to moment reactions to what is happening. Most are good at one or the other. Party people make shitty investment bankers, investment bankers make shitty mardi gras companions. I think having both skills is the goal.
I have no idea what will make me happy. I have guessed in the past and been right, I have guessed in the past and been wrong, and I have been completely caught off guard by things that appeared in my life like a breeze in a hot car.
I think all you can do is chase down your guesses, think long term, and treat people on the path with the knowledge that they too are looking for the same treasure.