***Warning: Generalization alert***

What is it about instinct and conditioning? Conditioning, especially social, is very important, it teaches us not to spit on other people, and thus reduces the spread of the common cold, for example. Or how, as I was just discussing with She Who Sees Clearly, one always feels a little less lonely when the phone rings. Then again, instinct is a pretty cool thing too, it is instinct that makes you shut your eyes when an evil butterfly with treacherous designs on your cornea pops up around your head. But when it comes to personal life, what is it about us hoomuns that makes it impossible to PICK ONE!

Well ok, maybe it’s only me that can’t pick. In all the years (oh shush) that I’ve been poking about in other people’s bizniz, I’ve found that most of us seem to love torturing ourselves. To being with, we like to declare our individuality. We are who we are and to hell with those who want us to be someone else, be it parents, lovers, teachers, friends or even ourselves. After all when we tell ourselves to change we only say that because we are accepting the *hiss* social conditioning that *hiss* society has thrust upon us. Of course, come the situation when one has to call on one’s individuality, it’s never quite that simple. We DO live within this society and there are benefits that accrue to us, so we must compromise somewhere. It doesn’t just affect MY life, so I can’t be the person making this decision to completely change the way the company works. Etc. Fair enough.

But, what happens when it truly is a decision that affects only me? I’m single, live on my own, got no dependents, ain’t dependent on no one. What makes it so hard to step out and make a decision on my personal life? Why must I dissect it minutely with every single person I love and then discuss each opinion with the others? Why is it when I rail against The Game, and declaim about my refusal to stoop to such a level, that I still subscribe to it passively? I won’t play, I shan’t play, I declare! But, even when it is most out of character, when I hate to acquiesce, when I KNOW that the only way I’ll move on is to do it my way, I still droop and slouch and whimper about The Game. The social conditioning tells me that I should interpret something in a certain way. But it is only an interpretation, and I’ll never KNOW until I ask. In-so-many-words. Agonizing over a non-date to a friend today, I got my wake-up call. “Did you call and ask him what’s going on? What am I thinking, of course you did.” quoth said friend, making me realise that MinCat has, in a flurry of protestations, relinquished her newfound control TO THE GAME! And then it all makes sense again, it’s so easy to just smile and say, hey, what’s going on here? Instead of talking of everything else under the sun and trying to make THAT into an answer.

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