all things serve some purpose to someone

creature comforts is a concept that may seem to be obvious, but is in fact highly subjective. what leads one to feel more at ease, what provides even a small sense of familiarity, can be anything. literally. the way that word is really meant. our proclivities may be seen as errant to some, yet are perfectly logical to others. the inaneness that comes about from making some of the more generic choices can simultaneously bring up laughter and sadness as the roots of what is actually being sought come to light. once cultivating joy in a moment becomes the goal, the shared tether between us, the differing details matter less.

it is a human thing to make judgements about odd makeups, though, and the dichotomy of what things appear to be versus what transpires from what is triggered can be staggering. souls without the maturity that comes from surviving discomfort are apt to make light of certain security blankets, and we may never fully realize the fallout from not addressing them. as the population has homogenized, that which is assumed to be soothing seems to be more obvious.

individual nuances are overlooked as broader, more arduous efforts are accommodated in hopes of attaining a temporarily more copasetic setting. but once we’re removed from the masses, true feelings get aired. and as actions are rotely repeated as templates of what passes as “good enough,” even if it didn’t work perfectly, are used as guidelines for the next one, the same grievances get made over and over. uncomfortable feelings aren’t a calculable metric, and in many cases, participants now matter more on paper by their numbers alone. having or providing an enjoyable experience is no longer the priority, and all we endeavor to make suffers.

like the slime under manhattan in ghostbusters 2, all energy transmits. whatever it is. aligning with lackluster offerings without honestly honoring our truths can easily lead to negative experiences. we become increasingly dull as we allow mediocrity to become more palatable, and what we miss out on is immeasurable. what is fun to one is not always fun for all. if only we had a pneumonic device to consistently remember that. apparently, we need one.

running into people whom i knew through various parts of lives i once had has been comical. in the way that old sitcom misunderstandings once were. people’s expectations of my approval are obvious. and, highly unnecessary. what we may superficially show to have in common now rarely matches up with the underlying motivations. while my person is otherwise engaged when we’re out, i am regaled with stories of actions clearly assumed to be joyously shared by all present. my quietude feels usually to be taken as a more secret kind of high-five. it is not intended as such. candor isn’t always welcome, so my natural aloofness has its benefits. especially, i suppose, in such moments. not all people who like to go on drives also like to pull over as a group and loudly rev engines through a tunnel. conversation about mechanical parts is not enlivening to all. having a kind awareness of conversation partners encourages us to appreciate all the differences there are. we live and learn, and find respite in each other eventually. when we want it more than a feeling of winning.

if i’ve learned anything over the years of my various dealings, it is that it behooves us all to adopt a purview of “to each his own.” we all have our things, and what isn’t for me may be for another. it only matters when it really matters. and that is far rarer than we act like it is.

los angeles life was once described to me as high school with money. while stereotypes need not always remain, they generally begin from a truth we can find somewhere. what got glossed over in that judgmental assessment was the individual meanings of what it means to have resources. the different fears that arise with different accesses to wealth. spoken fiercely by someone who finds fear to be a requisite ingredient to life colors that statement more darkly to me. when i explained how my own thoughts of fear differ from hers now, how trying to get to the bathroom without falling on my face and breaking my teeth is of genuine concern, she dismissed that notion as relevant in comparison to my changed financial standing. to each his own, i remind myself as i hold back sad wails and ugly cries. to each his own.

on an international work trip once, one of my charges appeared uncomfortable. in what was designed to make the underground museum look like posh surroundings, the minions around me were flummoxed. colleagues scurried to find their walkie talkies to complain. how dare he act that way, they crowed. they lamented about all the money they’d spent to make this look perfect as if the monies were their own.

knowing that he had a penchant for french fries, despite being at a nice local setting in france, i arranged to send someone to a nearby fast food joint well known in the states when breakfast time was over. without care for the star-power of his colleague, while those around me nervously skirted what was, to me,
the common decency of asking him if he also wanted a sense of home by way of an inexpensive fast food offering, we went to him at the end of an interview and were met with a quiet gratitude. his known industry persona was curmudgeonly, but that we treated him as casually personably as the situation warranted without the hushed hubbub he had so long ago acquiesced to went a long way.

when they arrived a short time later, we halted the press for a break and quietly moved to another room. the men eagerly grasped at the overly-salted, thin strands of potato we were more accustomed to. their faces strained with an appreciation and calm none of us expected, and the remainder of the day operated smoothly. without incident. the foreign museum operators masked their confusion as best they could as we all marched to another interview location later that day.

why what was viewed by some to be such schlock would warrant such glee surprised many. but sensing how out of place some felt among things that many see as standard desires seems to have meant the world. righted the energy. that we really don’t know what we don’t know was cemented in my psyche on that trip. and as i find with most things now, instincts and information feel different even if they look the same. and it’s up to each of us to knowingly make that distinction.

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