I had a very fascinating conversation with Wheel yesterday and needed to get it down on blog before I forgot all the details.
It covered many different topics, but the two I found most fascinating were:
1. How getting in a new environment can let us discover who we really are, and what we are capable of.
2. How we don't need to know all the details of a person's past.
I have first-hand knowledge of #1. It seems every time I get to a new place that I try to reinvent myself... not in a bad way. No aliases or anything like that. I take the stuff I like and try to build on it. I take the stuff I don't like and try to banish it. For some reason being in a new environment makes this easier.
The second is a newer concept for me. In the past, I was the type of person that had to know everything there was to know about the person I was with. But, I've decided that it really is better if I don't.
I don't need to know how the person came to be this person that I now see before me. They are what they are and those past experiences shaped them to be the person I see now. Do I really need to know how they got there? Not really. Some things are better just left in the past... unless those experiences affect the present and future (i.e. a serious criminal record. You need to be upfront about something like that...)
However, there is a difference between leaving things in the past (or not sharing certain stories) and being deceitful. Lying sucks. Being lied to is even worse... Having been on both sides of that equation, it's not good from either angle.
I'm learning it's best to just be upfront about whatever it is and let the chips fall wherever they may... regardless of how hurtful or embarrassing it might be. Not easy... trust me on this one.