I had a great hospital meeting with a friend today. A better friend today than he was yesterday. He not only allowed me to do virtually all of thentalking, but he seemed to relish in it and at thend end, comment he felt it was a rewarding experience. I used my position of sickling to calm my inner anxiety and just let it happen.
Normally I would not have been able to dominate so heavly and just bounce much of my ALL THAT REMAINS ARE THE STORIES philosophies for over 4 hours but once you get me started, and the share reactions are mostly positive, I want more… I just keep talking.
I mentioned durng our summaries at the end that much of my life I would have been the one listening, commenting and punchlining as the other party talked. To serve and service rather than ask for an audience. Since I opened this pandoric box of sharing, I recall it is hard to stop.
As I have accomplished in the past, I’ll grow past the over active initail stages and eventually learn a balance closer to conversation. I’ll master slipping in references to my ideaologies and philosophies without feeling the need to keep talking. I got past it when I was learning to be a storyteller of my own. I got passed it when — I feel like there were two learning moments, but I blanked on the second, while pre-thinking bout the first.
When I first started intergrating my stories into conversations as analogies instead of only using Star Trek references to include myself, I went overboard and for what I’ll say was a short time, I was that irritating guy who had a story for everything.
My listening partner talked of his experiences with such a guy. The party dude who always needs to top your story with their own. His version was bold enough to break into your conversations with; “That’s nothing… When I …”. The version I draw from my experiences used; “I got you beat”. Both seem far to bold and close to egotism for me, so I hope when I was learning how to be human, I used something more like; “I know what that’s like, I have a similar story”… but in truth, I’m not sure. I just know I noticed it one day, made the connection of how irritating it is in others, and adjusted.
I never wanted to dominate the conversations, but I needed my way in, that didn’t feel like I was breaking my oath to not interupt, irritate or annoy. I still don’t often go to parties but I’m happy with that growth. I’ll get there without becoming that weird old guy who won’t shut up about stories.
I’m not there yet. I’m just passing through the “old guy who won’t shut up about stories if you let me” phase. The good news, is that so far it seems it’s not annoying as that guy who has a one up story about everything you mention. I have two examples in my memory banks to use as how wrong that is. The guy who had a story of pesonal experience that topped whatever you were talking about was in my teens, and nobody really believed him.
It was only later in life when I was reorganizing my personal stories that we all have a story about almost anything our peers may be discussing. That might even be the definition of peers. The day I was watching my gaming roomates play this wild crazy game on the XBox and I said out loud; I jsut realized. I have done literally everything in this game in my real life, that I figured out life experience is benificial to us coming in, but when we tell the stories, they’re not as useful as analogy stories becuse you adjust them to a situation and if nobo–
I stop. I’m not happy with that whole paragraph. Take two.
Essentially your own life experiences can make good stories but be careful trying to use them as anaology stories because they’re not a shared community so their value isn’t the same to others. I had done all of the things in that game, which included dune buggies and watersking and all sorts of activities but my versions were vastly different and so they either came across as lies, exagurations or they were just ignored. I felt bad because in that moment I realized; Darrel probably did live a version of all the stories we never believed a word of. He hadn’t yet learned not to use sitting in a Jet figher at an air show as an anology to flying an F15.
I think I need to start considering alternative forums for my expression of my own stories about my theories about stories. A book, a forum, a panel… whatever. Not a conversation. I know from my experience of the firts 5 shares, I will always be unhappy with sharing just a part of the ideas, because It really needs to be more, shared as a complete lesson with all the components.
Dale tells me that is what true friends do. They shut up and listen, they interject reactions and replies, but in reason. Friends are OK with being a sounding board and he tried to help me understand my sharing today was a gift. Much like the story I share about my tech staff learning it can be a gift you give someone to allow them to share a story about something they love, but It can also be a gift to be the person who listens.
He felt rewarded by my share today. He did his best to help me understand he the thought reactions I had pre-placed in his head where false. I was annoying him. He was learning who I was at a deeper core level than ever before and it was a joy.
It was not so much however, party conversation. I get that.
We had a mutually enjoyable and near equally rewarding exchange with substantially less punchlining than usualy and an excellent amount of praise that was just shuy of the level that triggers my egotism guilt responces and makes me start the summary end that usually happens before the Jeff run.
Today was a good day to be sick I joked at the end. Its wrong I would never have had these discussions had it not been in the public food court of my hoistial while I trapped on day 7, but it’s right that it may lead to a deeper friendship in the future where neather of us have to be sick.
As a quick end note, he also accepted my request for help and drove me to my home for a care package restock. The things oneshould have in their hositital care GO-BAG. That included picking up a power supply and my bed side go-bag so this journal was made possible.
End of Day 7, Second Thursday, Part one.
This post has not been revised since publication.