It's been a few days since Ayutthaya, and I feel I've had enough time away from it to be able to come back to it after processing through it mentally.
This city of ruins was another cast member's choice of venue for us to hash out our issues, and enjoy the ambiance. I went to Ayutthaya with no expectations whatsoever. I did not expect us to leave this place the best of friends, nor was I looking for an enlightenment of any sort. I was going to be open to the elements and the conversation.
I asked him his take on his own life during our train ride. More so than anything, I searched for perspective. I wanted something within his stories to reveal a 'reason' as to why certain traits were present, and actions were taken in the past. I let him speak, and he reciprocated. We revealed to each other what we felt comfortable revealing.
Over lunch, the most surprising thing that he has done thus far happened, he apologized. I was stunned and grateful. I also accepted fully and open heartedly.
He said that immediately after the altercation at the previous dinner he realized that he'd been judging me, and that is not within his character and he was sorry.
That was definitely phase one, possibly for both of us. The beginning of a point where we can begin to relate. My only goal for the day trip was to get to a point where we could deal/live/travel with one another for 90 days without all the negative energy. I wanted the awkwardness between us to cease for our own personal benefits, as well as for the betterment of the group. All I needed was a starting point, and I feel that, for me, it was definitely achieved.
There have been blogs, and vblogs on this situation. It will definitely be a part of episode one. Yet, as I tell people, I have not (and will continue not to) read other people's blogs and comments. At least not while I am here, in it. It's too easy, in a situation like this, to get caught up in other people's opinions of your own experience. At the end of the day, it is just that, your individual experience. All the extra bells and whistles are uneeded. So I freely, hope everyone does stay honest to their experience, and if that means revealing issues with me, then so be it. Own it, and I will own the right not to partake.
I never disliked this person without merit. What readers, and viewers alike, are unaware of, are the communications that have gone on prior to departure. This has been going on for months at this point. Let me clarify, then be done with it:
From conversation number one, I saw the difference between the way he and I operated, and it was that conversation that set the series of unfortunate events for me. It went a little bit like this:
In my mind, the likelihood of three other people wanting to go to the exact same city/country as me for this trip was extrememly low. Approaching it, I didn't find it smart, nor realistic, to get my hopes up on one place considering the odds. What I brought to the table was a list of around six places, scattered throughout nearly every continent that I'd be interested in exploring. Morocco. Spain. Greece. Brazil. South Africa. Cambodia. for starters. I felt it was an eclectic mix, and it'd be cool, once the cast was picked, to see if we overlapped on any. To me, it seemed fair and more realistic. It still left room for everyone to have a say. But this is just my thinking process, so I was open to hearing other recommendations on how we could go about this fairly.
During this same first conversation, he noted a pointed city/country he wanted to go to, down to the T. Ok, that's fine. Then he continued on to explain how he'd already contacted people for potential jobs and living arrangements there...Ok, wait. Now to someone else that may be innocent enough. However, to me, I registered that as "You haven't even spoken to anyone you will be on this trip with. You haven't even considered their options. You, actually, don't even know who these people are, yet you have already taken substantial steps forward in trying to secure your sole option." To me, it came across presumptuous, and a tad bit inconsiderate of me, and those future members yet to be picked.
I like fairness. I like everyone's voices, contributions, and additions to be heard, and I felt that from the beginning it was being a bit muzzled. I also realized quickly upon arriving, it was a bit of foreshadowing.
So, in a nutshell, in conversation one, this is where it started for me. Maybe this will give more perspective from where I came from. Maybe it won't, but it's my truth. It is my beginning.
The ruins at Ayutthaya gave a wonderful backdrop to the healing...healing from the first conversation, to the first human interaction, to this very moment right now in Chiang Mai speaking with the Frenchman who have stirred (and shaken) my love affair with Paris.