Not right or wrong.

Boldness or shyness, happiness or sadness, like or dislike, love or hate, all just normal emotions although they happen to be at the polar opposite ends of each other. You can feel both conflicting things in the same moment though, can’t you? Some balance of two of those at any time would be nice but you can’t always get what you need or want. Just dichotomies, the world is full of them and we don’t always realise that they’re everywhere in all of our lives. It’s like wanting to be in a relationship but also still having the freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want.

Now and again, maybe it would be cool to consider some of the things that are going on all around us. It doesn’t hurt to be aware of stuff going on in the world that we don’t acknowledge as much as we should.

The first Tuesday in November is rapidly approaching and US citizens will go to the polls to choose who they want to be the man in charge for the next four years. Voting to elect officials is a freedom afforded to many countries around the world and the process means that we all get to have a tiny say in how our countries are run. Many of us realise just how important this is, yet not everyone that’s eligible to vote will bother turning out. It’s not just an issue that affects America, there are plenty of other countries where nationals are apathetic about having their voice heard. Counter that with people in too many others to mention that will walk for hours to place their ballot in a box because they appreciate the significance of what they’re doing. To one person, being able to vote is incredibly important; to someone else it’s a burden, something treated with indifference. Governments will spend millions of (insert currency here) to save the life of a child and then drop bombs on schools without a second thought. It’s a fucked up world sometimes.

Dichotomies aren’t just a political thing, they’re in all walks of life. When you meet someone new, you can either want to know everything about them or next to nothing at all. It’s all part of that initial excitement, no answer is wrong, whatever works for you works for you. Perhaps one of you likes to do anything and everything on a whim and the other likes to make more considered decisions. Therein you have the difference of context in whatever your relationship is going to become.

You can be a joker with everyone around you but still be a deep thinker. There will be people in your life who can’t stand you and others who can’t live without you. Wouldn’t you rather ignite those polar opposite feelings than have people not care one way or the other? At least then you know who and what you’re dealing with.

That one tune you hear for the first time that you can’t stop listening to whilst not having an appreciation of how someone else might hate it because of reasons personal to them.

Somebody’s heart is broken and it becomes your favourite song.

A common saying is that school days are the best of your life, different for everyone though, right? Whilst some of us were fascinated by Pythagorean theorem, calculus and combinatorial mathematics, others would stare at the clock continuously wishing it to tick faster.

There were only ever really two kinds of people in our village when we were growing up, the ones who everyone knew would work minimum wage jobs and never leave, and those who couldn’t wait to get out. Neither choice is right or wrong. Bad or good choices are choices, it doesn’t matter why you make them, they belong to you. Some people who chose to stay are delighted with their lives and that’s a great thing, others wish they’d gone when they had the chance. Some left and found that their expectations of the grass being greener was misplaced, whilst others made it. Two of us chose to leave at the same time.

In completely different fields, in cities miles apart we both eventually made it, but sometimes eventually comes too late and isn’t enough. Life has a way of ripping you apart one minute and then making you happy the next. Dichotomy rears its head once more and in the most difficult of circumstances.

Lockdown rules mean that only 20 people can attend a funeral right now, it’s almost a lottery and maybe the only one you wouldn’t mind not winning. That said, you always want to pay your respects, especially when it’s your best friend. Another friend and I have a joke that Friday has been renamed to Friyay, but there’s nothing yay about this day. Having to social distance means not being able to give a mother who helped raise a boy she didn’t expect to a hug when she’s hurting beyond belief at the loss of her only daughter. Elbow bumping with a father and brothers who are all understandably utterly distraught is no way to show how much you’re feeling for them. Being introduced to a friend’s girlfriend for the first time is cool, she’s someone who’s also close to this beautiful family. The fact that she’s pregnant and will give birth to a son or daughter is heart wrenching, yet wonderful on a day like this. It turns out that it’s possible to cry sad and happy tears at the same time.

The circle of life.

Funny the way it is.

@TheSamMcLeod

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