Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Stranger Within

   Live life long enough and it will amaze you. Live longer still and that amazement will become a gateway into bafflement and shock. The nature of people is always something to observe and explore because it never gets old, just increasingly curious. Granted, I’m putting a soft spin on it because there are a whole host of other adjectives that can be used to describe the feeling one gets when they find out that someone they thought they knew, was really a stranger all along.

   I don’t think there are enough words that can adequately describe the feeling that the Twilight Zone is a real place, and that in an instant…you have stepped into it. One moment life is “normal,” or comparatively so as that state of being is relative to how you live and what your views are, and the next it’s completely un-normal (not a real word, but “different” doesn’t quite cover how opposite things can get).

   Shock is the usual description to discovering that you have been a captive audience to a show you didn’t even know was being performed. However, the word seems so mundane for making a discovery that forever alters your life. Life altering events aren’t always bad, I mean….winning the lottery would be a good thing right? At least, it would be a good thing for me. I’m still trying to figure out how such a great stroke of luck can destroy lives, but there is no denying that some people just can’t handle the blessing.

   No, I’m talking about the type of alteration you never wanted to have, and never saw coming. Till this point I haven’t been specific, mostly because I really don’t need to be. As you read this, if you have had such a thing happen to you…then you know exactly what I’m talking about. It doesn’t matter what you’ve discovered or about whom it pertains…just that the discovery has forever shaped the days that are to come and “pleasant” isn’t the word you will be associating with those days.

   I say that because none of us share the same story. Everyone walks in their own shoes, and often on their own stretch of road. The commonality being that somewhere on that road, we have discovered the stranger within. We have discovered that hidden person that was always there, standing in front of us…but never being presented. We have been deceived, lied to, mislead, fooled, played…however you wish to describe it, the bottom line is that a surprise party has been sprung…and the truth wasn’t invited.

   What happens next is the process of rebuilding. The arduous task of putting back together something that has been shredded, shattered, ripped, pulverized…utterly destroyed…or not. Sometimes that which has been broken, stays broken, and we simply build something new elsewhere. We simply keep moving forward, the only interest in rebuilding being the small pieces of ourselves that we invariably lose when we invest a little of ourselves in another.

   It’s a story as old as time…no matter the different forms it takes. The news is replete with stories of people discovering the strangers within others. I sometimes wonder if such a stranger lurks within all of us, just waiting for the right moment to emerge. I wonder if one stands in front of a mirror long enough, will it reveal or reflect something different than what is being seen? I think one of the greatest things a person can do is learn and intimately know thyself. So many of us are oblivious to who we really are and the shock of discovering our own inner stranger can be even greater than when someone else reveals theirs.

   The stranger within leaves us with so many questions, and answers that never seem to be adequate. Perhaps it’s better if we simply don’t ask any questions, but accept that a stranger is just that…strange. Something not meant to be understood but instead, meant to impart one of life’s important lessons. Perhaps the reason for it all is for us to learn something important about ourselves, but revealing how little we thought we knew about someone else.

   I don’t have all the answers, in fact…I don’t have any. I just know what it feels like to discover the stranger within, and understand that as tumultuous such a discovery can be…stranger things have happened.

1 comment:

  1. oh well, isn't life a journey of discovering strangers, within ourselves and others? very intriguing insight!