Roles people play

Initially when I created this blog, I wanted to use it as a place where I could voice my opinion and raise discussion on topics relating to biology, conservation or something along those lines.  The more I have gotten into blogging, the less I have wanted to talk about that stuff here.  I spend nearly all day and night buried in scientific publications, my own scientific work, or thinking about one of the two (or both!).  The things I usually use to allow my mind to switch gears for a bit are running and basketball, I’m now adding blogging to that list.  While I spill all of my science guts into my work, this is where everything else goes, the real life shit.  That leads me into today’s topic…

In the course of our lives we inevitably meet A LOT of people, some people are only for a day, a week, a month …. some stick as friends forever, some don’t.  It’s pretty safe to say, in most cases, that you’re stuck with your family, and if you’re lucky (like I am) to have a close nucleus of friends, you’re probably stuck with them too.  Recently it’s been those people who only come into your life for a relatively short amount of time, or only serve a prominent role in your life for a short amount of time.  I spend a lot of time thinking over past friendships and relationships wondering why things broke down (some of these are open and shut cases … like if you hook up with a good friend’s recent ex-girlfriend, no mystery there!).

I don’t believe in fate, or that things are “meant to be”, but I do believe that the choices we make, especially in choosing people to become close to (or for that matter, not to become close to), serve great purposes in our life, and are much more vital to the overall scopes of our lives than we realize.  I am a believer that as part of our innate drive to survive, we forge relationships with people, not to be there forever, but to serve a purpose in our big picture.  When the purpose is served, that person will typically dissipate from your life greatly, it might be a quick process, it might be a gradual process… and they might still be in your life (albeit in a much reduced role) or they might be completely removed.  This might sound bad, but I think it’s almost similar to having a rebound after a bad break-up (wait for a second before you judge).  There are differences!

I believe that this process happens without us ever knowing it, and you really won’t be able to notice it until you reflect back on it.  There is no dirty, underlying motivation (as is often the case with “rebound-ass”).  It’s simply your mind making you create relationships with people to help with something going on in your life, something that would be impossible or extremely get through or achieve without an aid of some sort.  Again, I’m not talking about consciously using someone to gain an edge of some sort, I’m talking about times when your mind is doing behind the scenes work that the rest of you has no idea about… maybe an example will make things a bit more clear… Story time…

I spent 6 months working in South Africa, I had left my entire life bend in the states, quit both my jobs, and went halfway around the world.  It was all good, until I came home.  After being so happy doing the work in SA, I couldn’t find my place when I returned, I felt lost.  I had no car, no job, and was living at home with my parents.  I was not at all okay with being back, I was confused and not at all in a good place in my head.  Fast forward a small amount of time to meeting a young lady.  Basically we met, everything was great, we dated for a while, got along well, did the whole “love” thing.  Gradually, things changed, and the relationship ended (probably a combination of my leaving for grad school mixed with some other stuff).  I sent a lot of time thinking how this could happen, and why things went the way they did (sometimes having a very analytical mind can be a hell of a burden!).  That’s when I realized that in a sense, it’s possible that the connection we had had served it’s purpose.  I have no shame in admitting that it was largely this relationship that made me feel okay about being back home, and got me back on track.  I made some huge strides in many aspects of my life during this time… and that was it.  I think it’s an alternate way of viewing situations that can typically make people nostalgic or sad which shines a different light and can make people feel better about it.

I recently got to thinking about those times where the person’s role isn’t there, when someone comes through your life, and when you reflect, you can’t put a point on what exactly they were there for (when you feel that there should be some significance to it).  I racked my brain for a while over this…

It was after reading this: AWESOME BLOG POST that maybe the reason I feel that there should have been a significant role, but can’t find it… well maybe I was the one who had to serve a purpose for them, and once I fulfilled whatever need was there… off I went.

A quick synopsis on the blog post I linked above:  A man realizes that marriage isn’t something you do for yourself, it’s something you do for that other person.  We live in such an egocentric world that the thought of doing something for someone else without something in it for you can be a foreign concept.  

To put this theory on those relationships that do stand the test of time forever, well those people are the few who never finish serving a purpose… family, best friends, a spouse … those are the ones who never stop aiding you along, and who in turn, never stop requiring your aid.


About mdnichol87

Marine Biologist studying towards a Master's in Conservation and Biodiversity at the University of Exeter.
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2 Responses to Roles people play

  1. Sven Lauke says:

    Going trough roughly the same stuff right now, it often helps to hear other people having the same thoughts. I am not convinced that my relationship with said girl had run it’s course, but she was.
    We met when I also came back from S.A.
    I felt just as lost and starting uni was really scary. She helped me turn everything around and i became a different person.
    I also helped her a lot through some of her stuff.

    Great thoughts Matt

    • mdnichol87 says:

      Hey Sven,
      Glad you found the post helpful. It’s not always cut and dry, where both parties are ready for things to end (seems that we were in the same boat with that one), but sometimes that’s just how it goes. Just be sure and hang on to the thought of how much you grew during that time, and look forward to the next chapter. We as individual humans are constantly evolving, so many characteristics of us change throughout our lives! Be excited for whatever’s next! If you find yourself having trouble with things like missing someone, watch this Ted Talk:–_R6xThs it’s a really great spin on how to look at ourselves and complex emotions like jealously and longing.

      Cheers man

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