Friday, November 11, 2011

auspicious dates and constructing models of the world

i love how the interwebs go a bit mad when there's a date that has a ring to it - 11.11.11. those ones look so clean and pretty all lined up like that. so we ascribe all sorts of meaning to them. prime numbers, those 1s, so they must bring luck or change or good things somehow, if we just wish hard enough. or big enough.

again, i find myself thinking about words. and how they shape our world and most especially our model of the world - the one in each of our heads. the one we constantly work so hard to make true - finding in all of the people and actions and events around us, things which confirm that model. the model becomes bigger than reality. and it's all shaped by words and the significance we give them.

yesterday i had a moment of encountering my model of the world and especially of the culture around me and it was eye-opening. i had a lightning-like realization that my particular model was holding me back and causing me a great deal of anguish and unnecessary unhappiness, as i strive constantly to make it true. and i realized as well that i need to build a new model, but first, i had to think about where the bad one came from.

and my conclusion is that words really matter. my model is the result of a lot of things...those grim-faced women who ran over me with their big-ass prams and didn't even thinking of apologizing who i encountered in my early days in denmark. those doors that weren't held open an extra beat as i approached, but instead dropped in my face as if i were invisible. all those mornings on the train with the same people who never once said good morning or nodded an acknowledgement that we saw one another every morning. the public political rhetoric of the past decade that has demonized anyone foreign in denmark. these experiences and the words i have used to describe them have all shaped a model in my head that leaves me feeling pretty miserable at times and which hobbles me and makes me afraid to act, because i'm so loathe to encounter, once again, a situation that leaves me feeling invisible.

i've carefully constructed a barrier around me, to protect myself from such situations. and in doing so, have quite effectively blocked myself from many undoubtedly positive experiences. i realize that it's pretty exhausting, this trying to make everything and everyone fit what is essentially a negative model. so here, on 11.11.11, i've decided to tear down the old one and construct a new model. one which opens more possibilities for me. and leaves me much more open to happiness and genuine interaction with the people around me.

and just having seen my inner model of the world for what it is, just for a brief few seconds yesterday and realizing that i not only need to, but CAN change it, makes me feel immensely lighter. and somehow, tho' it's just words, 11.11.11 seems like an auspicious date to begin.


Corrine said...

a thinking and intuitive person constantly challenges their world and their place within it. instinctively, your challenges provoke the rest of us. for that i am grateful and also rather unsettled. recent turmoil has left me ravaged and losing my sense of self. in my profession we label these as sentinel events. 11-11-11 is a sentinel day merely because of the number sequence. this day has, although by accident, become a new starting point for me as well.

to their loss, those who made you feel invisible are unfortunate creatures. each person you meet, pass in the street or know well, has been placed in your path for a reason. we each have a responsibility to determine what the reason is to be. perhaps it was to bring you to this point of growth, to your 11-11-11.

Anonymous said...

I love how clearly you are seeing things today. I trust that your new model ("one which opens more possibilities for me") will be a success because you are ready for it to happen. Announcing it on 11/11/11 is a very cool and smart way to get things rolling. Wishing you all the best-- plus a little bit more!

Unknown said...

That's quite a task you've set for yourself, but a worthy one. You've been waiting for them to open the door to you and they won't do it. Now you have to leave the door open for them and entice them in. Much more difficult, but more rewarding, I think. Good luck to you.

Veronica Roth said...

#3 child said to make a wish at 11:11, 11-11-11. Apparently among Vancouver teens it was the ultimate wish date. Being in the UK, I forgot. Oh well, there's always 12:12, 12-12-12. LOL

Jody Pearl said...

Not sure if it's because recently I've started challenging my own version of my inner model of the world that I'm noticing others doing the same or if there's something in the water - seems unlikely to be the 2nd being you're in a completely different hemisphere.

I've never had a lot to say and have over a lifetime found it easier to talk with my hands however now that I need to use words to save a relationship and further a career it's like having to learn a new language.

I figure if I stay true to myself (the me that I know), when I do speak, I'll do it with love and regardless of the outcome I know I'll be a better person for the experience and with practice I'll get better at it - that's the plan anyway!

Having said all that I'm very grateful for you sharing your thoughts because now I have the perfect last piece for your parcel :)