swordspoint: art by meltesh88 @ tumblr. Icon by sharp_pastels (pic#3840140)
Sapphire ([personal profile] swordspoint) wrote on July 18th, 2012 at 11:51 pm
Sometime last year, I picked up Terry Pratchett's Nation, out of loyalty than anything else. It wasn't until last summer that I had the chance to read it properly during a family visit. Perusing the book was such a relaxing, delightful experience. It's not often that I get to read fiction that is simply "feel good", so Nation was a pleasant change.

[personal profile] polyserena summed its beauty best in how it is a story of two people who are purely willing to believe in the good in each other. This is something I struggle with on a daily basis. Fortune Telling or Mind Reading is a cognitive dissonance where we--sometimes incorrectly--anticipate the worst possible outcome or reaction to a situation of others. The schema we're trapped in is built on a series of experiences that muddle our healthy reasoning with unrealistic, exaggerated fears. Sometimes, it's like being trapped in an un-ebbing tidal wave.

I'm seeing my dear friends next week, and I'm already harboring illogical fears of them not liking me anymore or not wanting to spend time with me. These fears are unfair to myself and to them, and I wish it was easy to snap out of that mentality.

At the end of a trip to New York last month, I managed to get a cab to the airport from an area where cabs don't usually travel to the airport from, so I was pretty relieved once I settled inside, agreeing to whatever price the driver set for me once I climbed in. Once we neared the airport, I tried to confirm the rate with the driver (a habit of mine in any taxi, regardless of an existing meter or not. In my experience, some cab drivers neglect to add the tax until after I've gotten the money out). This action had really set my driver out. "We've already agreed on a far, weren't you paying attention? Or you just don't have the money for the fare, is that it?" I didn't get the chance to explain that I was just getting the money ready.

Once we pulled over at the curb outside my terminal, I asked the driver this time whether he had a change for a twenty. This time he erupted. He started yelling, agitated, reminding me what the original fare was, how I was wasting his time, and why did I get in his cab to begin with if I only had a twenty to pay him with (which was roughly half the fare). Once he'd quieted down, I explained that I wanted to half the bill so I could tip him.

My driver went very quiet, looking down, before muttering a thank you and wishing me a safe trip. I admit I was upset for all of five minutes at being yelled at, but I soon forgot about the whole trip. I was just relieved to have arrived at the airport with time to spare. He must have been having a bad day.

A few days ago, I was going over this particular cognitive dissonance when I remembered the story. It just popped into my head out of the blue. I don't want to be the cab driver anymore. I don't want my mind to be prey to these thoughts anymore. I feel like if I let go, I could be so much happier than I am right now. I want to believe the best of people, and just shrug that weight off my shoulder.

Because no one deserves to be judged based on feelings rather than actions.
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