Saturday, August 19, 2006

Life's rich tapestry

I’m not a man who’s easily surprised in normal circumstances. But I have to confess that I’ve received one or two emails of late that have caused me to raise a metaphorical eyebrow. And they were much appreciated too, providing as they did an insight into another’s psyche... a glimpse of that person that isn’t normally on public display. In fact, I’ve been quite touched.

Anyway, I can feel myself digressing, so I’ll get back to the point. I was answering a specific issue the other day and it related to my decision not to carry on seeing Dina, as I called her - who you may remember was someone who I felt could just have been “the one”. I wrote something about it here at the time, but didn’t really explain why I was just walking away, and it seems that my actions might have been misinterpreted as those of... well, some kind of player.

Dina was absolutely gorgeous, and from the second we met each other it was as if we’d known each other for years. Everything was... right. After our third date, we knew we were both feeling something that was really special, and I had an absolute belief that I was going to fall completely in love with her.

In my original post I said “Yesterday afternoon, then, she sent me an email, an email that gave me a little more information about her. Information of a very personal nature. And the consequence of her sharing that with me is that I can never see her again, even though I know she was a woman who I would have loved. Life sucks sometimes, doesn’t it?” What she told me, in fact, was that she had – years before – contracted Hepatitis B, and that she had to tell me at that point because she knew we were about to sleep together. And she was right, because it felt like an unstoppable force.

Anyway, I agonized, talked, researched, and thought… but to cut a long story short the reason I determined that I couldn’t see her again was the risk not to me, but to the children; either indirectly as a consequence of my becoming ill (yes, there’s a vaccination available but it’s not 100% effective; and the mortality rate amongst those infected is around 10%, even today), or more directly through their own exposure. So I really had no alternative but to walk away, and even now I think back occasionally in that “what if…” kind of way. But that’s life, I guess.

The reason that I’m mentioning this is that it’s all too easy to make judgments and assumptions about the people who choose to expose something of their lives through their blog. And if I’ve learnt anything in my life it’s not to judge, and not to assume. Even when a relationship is conducted in the full gaze of the public (or in this case, the reader) there are always things that we don’t know… that we can’t know.

I talk a lot about my love for the children, and the importance of conducting myself in a way that feels like it has some kind of integrity. But believe me when I say that reaching this point in my life has been something of a journey. If I choose to look back there are times, and things that I’ve done, that leave me feeling less than proud. So I don’t want to give anyone the impression that I’m something I’m not… I’m just a flawed human being, but one that still manages to go through life with a bit of a twinkle in his eye. I try to do the right thing, act the right way… somehow be a positive force in the lives of the people I meet. If I succeed, that’s good. And if I fail, it will never be knowingly, or willingly.

Have a lovely weekend, all of you. As always, I’ll stop by and say hi before too long.

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