This is one of those lessons I probably would have learnt a long time ago if I had had any kind of long term intimate relationship. Alas, I have had to wait for my friendships to mature to a place where I can finally see this truth.
A close friend of mine has made some choices in the last few months that I know I would not have made. The choice she has made is in no way inherently wrong or problematic. I only know that I would not have chosen it. Watching her I have really begun to realise that other is just other.
My way is not necessarily better. It is just my way.
I find the process of walking with her fascinating. Firstly, because it is the first relationship where I have truly encountered the complexity of what it is to be different. Too often, my friendships have been forged in a sense of commonality, and when that has broken down – or found to have limitations – I have walked away.
Secondly, because it has forced me to recognise that just because she has chosen something that I wouldn’t, doesn’t make it wrong.
As I ponder this a little longer, I begin to recognise that in similar situations I have been driven by similar forces – the quest to find my identity. The difference between us is that we locate our identity in different places. So where we search to recover it is different.
My way is not necessarily the right one! It is just my way.