Friday, August 16, 2013

Gut Feelings

Sometimes as we go through life we get feelings that we can’t really explain. There doesn’t seem to be any reason or forewarning that can account for our feelings or suspicions. Some people call it instincts, “you’re gut” or even paranoia. However, I always find that these feels, at least speaking for myself, are rarely completely wrong. Someone actually told me once that, as someone who is young, I have the opportunity to go wild and just do things…for no reason: be reckless. They didn’t say it in so many words, however their meaning was the same. Most people I’m sure get messages like these earlier in life, such as elementary school, middle school, or high school. Also depending on where you go after that, whether it be college or straight into your career, you can still definitely get bad advice from your peers. This however, though I am, and was at the time, twenty years old, it was the very first time that anyone had given me such “advice”. To tell you the truth, I was taken aback by it. To have someone tell you to be reckless is very much telling you to go against you instincts, which are there primarily to keep you safe. Even if you don’t consciously know the reasons for them, you inner self is detecting some form of threat. The very core and in fact the entire construction of recklessness is built when you put those feelings aside, stuff them down and ignore them. Throughout my early school years I was homeschooled, so the main influence in my life was my own immediate family. Who always, I believe, mean the best and want the best for me. They also never encouraged me to be around or associate myself with people who would lead me to ruin, emotionally, physically, morally, or educationally. Contained within her teachings, my mom encouraged me to listen to my gut feelings. Giving me examples of times she did and didn’t listen to them and the outcomes. My mom was nothing if not honest: she told me about the good outcomes with each circumstance as well as the bad. The result of these stories forged my opinion that in the end, it’s best to listen to these feelings than to ignore them and face the possible consequences. I vocalized this, my mom smiled and said after her life experiences, she had come to the same conclusion. I was pleased that I had come up with the “right answer”. When I was younger I worked off the theory that everything had a right or a wrong answer, since then I’ve grown less ridged and think in some instances there’s plenty of room for multiple answers to the same question and not be “wrong”. Not very scientific, but then again, neither is an article on “gut feelings”. Getting back to my acquaintance with the poor suggestion of my “taking chances” because I’m “young”. This was advice I had heard teenagers on TV shows and read in books give each other, so to hear it be said from a 26 year old man to me was very offsetting. To say I was taken aback, would be an apt description. Now I think it was at this point that I’d gotten “the creeps” concerning this individual. Upon the immediate examination of this feeling I could find no real grounds for it. After all, while the statement was a sign of the man’s juvenile disposition, it didn’t seem to come from a bad place. He didn’t seem to wish me harm. In the future, I just wouldn’t seek out this guy’s wisdom. It wasn’t until much later in my continued communication with this man that I found that my feelings were totally dead on. He had no interest in getting to know me or anything like that. His motives I must regrettably write were purely and solely sexual. Thankfully after our initial meeting I never saw him again and his motives were revealed to me via a facebook message. Not in so many words or as direct as I’ve described, but it was pretty damn clear what he was after. I was in contact with this guy for about a month, most of our communication was through text messages. We spoke almost every day, several times a day. Despite this constant chatter, I learned almost nothing about him, nor he of me. This entire time I fought off the “creeps”, it wasn’t constantly present. It would just occasionally crop up while sending or receiving texts back and forth. He would make me smile at times and I looked forward to texting him. Before the end of that one month, I got tired of talking and not learning. It was very weird to be in almost constant communication with someone and know that if someone were to ask me anything about him, I knew I wouldn’t be able to answer questions to their satisfaction. One mistake I will admit, though I do so self-consciously, I did give more information than I received. Not much, or on anything important, I wasn’t stupid. However, there was an unbalance in the information being given and received. This perhaps more than anything else is what made me take the time to let him know that I was not getting to know him at all, and that our conversations were getting tedious and very repetitious. Again, I didn’t say it in so many words, there’s only so many words you want to take the trouble to write via text messaging. He got the point. Within the next half a dozen messages he revealed his motive in knowing me. It was very much a clunky message, not well thought out. Crediting him with having some common sense (both for his sake as well as for my own peace of mind that I wouldn’t befriend a complete idiot). If he had put any thought into it before sending it, he wouldn’t have at all. Not to say I’m not grateful on some level that he sent it, otherwise who knows how many more hours we would have wasted, neither of us getting what we wanted, me a friend and he…yeah, anyway: he was never interested in being my friend. Otherwise he would have put up more of a struggle when our communication died. I’m kind of pleased to say that I was the last one to make contact. That he was the one who decided to drop it and not answer. Just think, I could have saved phone battery power and several minutes every day that whole month if I had just listened to that initial nudge. The first “creepy feeling”. Not a huge loss maybe, not as huge as my character Jackie in my vampire novel “Survival” which is still undergoing edits. Her consequences of trusting someone she got the “creeps” from, made her lose her mortality, humanity, morality and ultimately her entire life. If I gained anything from my texting experience, I was reminded to trust my instincts, even if in the moment they make no sense. 

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