Saturday, April 4, 2009

cold spring rain and dreams of Alaska

Last night, K and I were talking about the weather, bemoaning the fact that after a brief interlude of warm, springlike temps, they once again plummeted as the icy rain and sleet moved back in. Ugh. Spring in New England is terrible. (We do have lovely autumns, though)

K then said something that struck me as so utterly self assured and confident in his conviction: "I wouldn't want to live anywhere else, though. The mix of seasons make you appreciate them more. People who live in other areas don't appreciate the warm weather as much as we do here."

Nice sentiment. But my thought was: "How do you know?" K has never lived anywhere else but here.

I am fascinated by people who have that kind of confidence in their beliefs. People who can unwaveringly declare their preferences about things they have never personally experienced:
"I could never live in St. Louis."
"I don't like sushi."
"The food in New York is much better than the food in Chicago."
"New Englanders appreciate the nice weather more."

I am not like that. I am much likely to say "I don't know. I've never been there/ tried that/ listened to that music." Sometimes even after experiencing something, I'm not fully sure if I like or dislike it. I'll say "It's interesting". Or something to that effect.

I often wonder what it would be like to know yourself that well. To know -- this is who I am. These are the KINDS of things I like and those are the KINDS of things I dislike. To just KNOW that I wouldn't like something without experiencing it because it doesn't mesh with this fully developed sense of self.

Then I think, maybe it's not that there is something intrinsically wrong with my self concept. Maybe we just all need to experience the world in different ways. Maybe we all have different levels of comfort with new experiences from watching the travel channel to climbing Mt Kilimanjaro in person. And that's OK.

At least it was OK last Friday, while the rained poured down in New England and we sat on the sofa -- one of us happy to be warm and safe while watching a show about Alaska, and the other dreaming of the day she would go there.


Diane said...

I really liked this post. A lot. Ryan will make comments to me like your friend's and I'll ask, 'But how do you know?' I know it's different, as she's 9 and her world is still small, but I want her to grow up knowing that she DOESN'T know... until she tries. And that's about everything from food she's never eaten to sports she's never played to places she's never been. I LIKE not knowing... it makes me more inclined to TRY. And that's what life's about, right?

Heather said...

Loved this. You and I are so alike in some ways, especially the way we view things we've never done, or places we've never been.
Great post!