On the Way to Breakfast

I met a friend this morning at one of my favorite newish restaurants. Eating out for breakfast is among my greatest weaknesses, and I really should do it less. I’ll add that to the list of things I need to change.

I’ll make the joke myself- It’s a long list.

This friend and I, we are neighbors but haven’t interacted much, and really are just getting to know each other. Because of that every topic of discussion is new and littered with tiny little land mines. I shouldn’t have been surprised when the conversation went great. We negotiated the dangerous places with the practiced ease of humans who are decent at adulting, and don’t let little things offend or anger them. Neither of us tripped any wires. Nothing exploded. It was really good.

This morning, before I left, I anticipated some of the topics we might discuss, and gave some thought as to how I wanted to present my opinions and stories. I sat in the drivers seat of my car, and an image of my 25 year old self came to mind. That person was convinced his opinions and beliefs were rock solid, and would be slow to change if they ever did. That concreteness gave my life meaning, defined me as an individual and gave me a place as a member of certain groups, political or social.

Ideologies are interesting things.

The person I have become sees things in a more fluid manner. I’m less convinced of or concerned with the rightness of my opinions, more willing to listen and change than when I was younger. I don’t think that is a unique perspective, but it was a strange moment of clarity, one I didn’t expect to have this morning.

I liked how that felt, the freedom (to use a word I really dislike) fluidity offers me, and the opportunities for continued growth that perspective allows.

I’ve come to understand that my personal beliefs have nothing to do with the rightness, the actuality of anything. Sure, it’s nice when facts and what I think align, but the person I was (and most of us were) years ago would easily have equated that accidental alignment with an affirmation of everything and anything I thought about.

I’ll add that understanding to the list of things I don’t have to change about myself. It’s a shorter list…

Breakfast was delicious, by the way.





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About Ryan Carty

There are some who call me, Tim?

6 responses to “On the Way to Breakfast”

  1. jmh says :

    I think going out for breakfast is a great way to catch up with friends. Why change it?

    It’s great you didn’t step on any minefields. When I was in college, I met quite a few people who were militant about their views. They took even a friendly debate as a fight to the death, and I knew I never wanted to be that way.

    Though there are a lot of things I feel very strongly about, life would be pretty boring if we were all the same. Whenever possible, I try to hear others out and understand them. Sometimes that’s more challenging today than ever before, but I’m trying.

    • fenster says :

      I was one of those rigid folk in my 20’s. I thought I had many things figured out and that I was clearly better able to understand the complexity of topics than the person in front of me, who shared different views. Looking back, I was always assuming…always. I like this more fluid way of thinking.

      It doesn’t mean I’m always ready to listen or accept another point of view, but I’m less likely to lose my mind over disagreements.

  2. Liesbet @ Roaming About says :

    I tend to think that this open-mindedness and respect of listening to others is a part of adulthood. I still have strong opinions, but always try to put myself in other people’s shoes and usually that works pretty well. Over the years, however, some of my unlimited patience and tolerance has been lost.

    Mark and I rarely go out for breakfast/brunch, but made an exception last weekend and it was wonderful and special. So many things sound good on breakfast menus! I gave in and ordered a quite unhealthy meal, to have my stomach regret it moments later. This is something on my list: stop ordering food I know will cause trouble. 🙂

    Why do you hate the word “freedom”?

    • fenster says :

      I’m not a fan of using abstract words (words are already abstract enough in general) to explain things. Every person has their own individual definition of words like that (beauty, truth, etc) and whatever sensation or meaning I’m trying to share gets lost in the jumble.

      • Liesbet @ Roaming About says :

        You are totally right about that, Ryan. I love my “freedom”, which means being free to (mostly) do what I want without too many restrictions or responsibilities. A very subjective definition, indeed. For the record: I’m not taking advantage of the word freedom right now, but hope to later this year.

        The word I really hate is “lucky”, as in “You are so lucky that you can live the way you live.” Nope, it’s all about choices! But, whenever I am enjoying my freedom, I’ll have an easier time being called “lucky”. 🙂

  3. Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor says :

    Interesting post especially in today’s political climate. It seems like people are becoming more entrenched in their views these days, probably including me. I try my hardest to listen to people whose views don’t align with mine. But some days it’s harder than others. {Sigh}

    I think I’m going out for breakfast tomorrow. I love pancakes.

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