I mean, what could be more natural? Throughout human history and certainly since each of us first started attempting to create ‘relationships’, we have naturally projected our own needs, desires, and preferences onto anyone around we found handy and appealing. But reality can be so harsh. If we spend time to get to know our latest “possible friend material”, it’s always disappointing. “Oh no, this is just one more flawed, imperfect, lost soul. Damn, I thought I’d found someone more together than me.”
Then AI comes along and before long we had some fascinating new ways of (mis)communicating. Artificial-intelligence gone wild! Spring break for cheaters! Open season on imagining anything or anyone and then hoping for the best!
Databases like Facebook and most dating sites made it much easier to imagine others’ lives instead of bothering to get to know them… at all! Imagine projecting across the globe and so easily. It may well bring one of our worst traits to the surface, and then convince us that we have scads of imaginary friends. Oh well. I guess that beats no friends at all 😦
I marvel at the apparent power of Facebook. After decades of wondering (or not) we connect to a few we just barely recognized in high school, but back then most of us were too scared, self-conscious or self-absorbed to get to know anyone else. Or maybe just too high… I remember my high school self as a unique combination of shrinking violet and wallflower with just a hint of enforced invisibility. For me, being in public was painful, unless I was ice skating.
Sometimes I like to compare our lifecycle to that of the butterfly. One of the reasons I enjoy this image is that it means that we were only pupa in high school and college, coming out of our pupa in midlife, and we’re now moving into our full butterfly stage, as free and beautiful as we will ever be! One thing is for sure, we are just about as authentic as we are ever going to be now.
I find that transcendent…
Postscript: Perhaps death is such a relief because there is truly nothing else to go wrong.
The worst case scenario just arrived!
3 thoughts on “Aging, Imaginary Friends & Transcendence”
Ohmyword, this struck such a chord with me, Laura! And thinking of myself as authentic as I’ll ever be…
But don’t you think it’s true Diane? How could we be more ourselves than we are now? I know most of could care less about what anyone else thinks of us 🙂
I love knowing I’m in the butterfly stage of life. Actually I love the entire analogy, especially now that we know that the human brain continues some sort of development into our mid 20’s. It’s a wonderful thing to be freed from the “I don’t care what other people think of me” – almost completely, anyway. Alana ramblinwitham