I am not an artist. At all. I cannot draw a straight line to save my life. This confession is necessary to me maintaining my integrity for the rest of the post. Back before I had determined my complete lack of skill in manipulating lines on paper, my Mom tried to teach me how to draw. She tried really hard. And of course, she covered perspective with me. About how it’s all in the way you look at it. I honestly think that my biggest problem with art, well besides not being able to draw a straight line, was that I never could keep a consistent perspective. I’d start from one angle and end from another. It doesn’t work very well.
In life, people are always talking about keeping things in perspective. But we can’t. Oh, we can try, and the best of us do. In the end though, we all have one perspective that weighs us down and directs our path – our own. We all see each event in life, read each story, and hear every word colored with our own perspective. Our past experiences influence our viewpoint on everything we encounter. It’s who we are as human beings. It’s how we relate to the whole of humanity. Think back to your last get together with friends – how often when one person relate a problem did people nod and say that they’ve been there. Now think harder – how often did someone offer the dissenting viewpoint?
As bloggers, the only perspective we can efficiently relate to our readership is our own. And as a reader, we digest the author’s view; but only as tinged by our own experiences. We cheer with one as she gets a job, mourn with another when she doesn’t and never consider the possibility that they could have been going for the same job. Our responsibility as bloggers is to share our perspective while still keeping things fair – but, it seems that there is always a side to land on, a part to defend.
All of this stems from a recent post that a girl made referencing her ex. I’m torn as to whether to link to her or not, though for now I’m going not and if she reads this and chooses to identify herself, that’s up to her. I’m not trying to make her feel bad about what she said in any way, shape, or form. It’s simply that I see her situation from the other side. In a nutshell, she posted because she was hurt that her ex had made his relationship with his new girlfriend official and public – she thought he would have enough respect for her to not do so this soon after their break up. I feel her pain, as much as I can having not been directly in her shoes.
The problem is, for me, that I’ve been the other girl. The one in the new relationship with no knowledge or perspective of the ex-girlfriend. And, my tale, from my perspective with VJ (B’s ex) has garnered me plenty of support of my own from the blogging community. Just as her tale, from her perspective, gains her the same support.
But our stories aren’t that different. B and VJ dated for 1.5 years, at the end of it they were long distance. Just before Halloween of 2009, they decided to call it good. Since she already had tickets to fly in and see him 3 weeks later, they still planned her trip down. B fully intended to reconcile with her when she came down. But she came down to see him bursting at the seams with her excitement over her new relationship. For B, that was the end. The very next weekend he met me on a Saturday night and we started dating the next day. Three weeks later, when he bid me farewell for the foreseeable future (thanks USAF, you’re a pal) he stopped by her place on his long drive home. She asked him to get back together. He said no. One month later he and I were official – both with each other and the general internet at large.
Did we disrespect her by being that open about our relationship? Did she have any right to ask us to not be public? Did we owe her any consideration regarding our relationship?
I guess it depends on your perspective. From my blogging friend’s perspective the answers would be yes – because it was yes in her situation. She was hurt by her ex’s lack of consideration of her. From my perspective, the answers would be no – because B and VJ’s relationship was over and had no bearing on my relationship with him.
Of course there are a lot of variables in our situations. Though they do both raise the sticky issue of maintaining contact with your ex’s via social media. Trust me, there’s nothing much more awkward then writing on your husband’s facebook wall that you love him and telling him that he’s the best husband in the world and having his ex “like” it.
How much contact should exes (let’s assume that this is dating exes only, with no kids) have with one another? When does the contact with the ex become disrespectful to the new relationship? Can any of us even answer any of these questions without our own perspective on the situation coloring our response?
I think this post struck such a nerve with me, because of how volatile our relationship with VJ has been. Because, from my point of view, the ex has no right to ask or expect anything once the relationship is over. Again, that is my perspective. Because, even though I’d been warned that I was probably just his rebound – I knew better and so did he. We’re less than a month from our 1-year marriage anniversary.
Perspective, it’s an amazing thing. It lets us view and relate to the world. It’s just something we have to keep in mind when we read/see/hear news from others.