I seem to forget how much of our existence and how we process it is related to perception. A recent (as in last night) example really brought it to the forefront.

I have been looking for an apartment and as of about 8 pm last night, I found one and was accepted. That’s awesome!!!

This is where the perception came in. There was someone that I needed to tell about the new place and while I hoped they would be happy for me, I thought there might be a problem since the person I needed to inform and my new landlord have a history and have had a few bumps in the road as of late. Because of this, I thought it would be best to not open a possible can of worms unless there was a reason to, like getting the apartment.

The party involved didn’t feel this way. They felt that I was creating a problem where there wasn’t one and that I had made myself a victim. I don’t claim to know everything that goes on in people’s lives and can only go by what they say, my hunches and instincts. From my perspective, I was trying to be kind and courteous until needed.

There was a few other issues as to my previous lack of enthusiasm (I understate it a bit) for moving into the San Fernando Valley. I had lived in Canoga Park until the Northridge Earthquake and then in North Hollywood for a few years and hadn’t really liked it. The heat, the bad air and the Valley just wasn’t any fun for the most part. Funny that I had this conversation a total of three times, my friend who told me about the apartment, the new landlord and their friend who I started with.

My friend told me about it and since I wasn’t having much luck finding much beyond a closet for the rent that I was looking to pay, I figured it couldn’t hurt to look at it. What I saw surprised me:

  • 2 Bedrooms
  • Huge Bathroom with both a Shower and Tub (not 2 in 1)
  • Large Livingroom
  • Large Kitchen
  • Washer and Dryer built in (sort of)
  • A Fireplace (both gas and wood)
  • A small yard
  • lots of windows and some view

To put it simply, I would have been a fool to pass it up. I think I am going to be able to make a home out of this place and shouldn’t want to leave for a long time,

The initial announcement was greeted a bit roughly, but after some discussion peace was attained. A couple of things struck me a bit.

One was the statement that “I have an answer for everything.” How could I not? When we do things, shouldn’t we know why and be able to explain if our intentions or actions are misunderstood by others? Do most people just act without knowing why? Are most people as truly reactive as the Church of Scientology makes out? (I have to admit, it would explain a few things about most people)

The other was that I am secretive. Now I tried to explain to them that I am completely open and that they knew nearly everything there was to know. My life is pretty uneventful unless they wanted to know about folding my laundry earlier in the day.

Perception is so fundamental in how we deal with the world around us and yet, we are so ingrained with it that we don’t realize it and hold other as slaves to our perceptions of situations. You mean well, but I feel slighted. I tell you everything but get the impression you don’t want as much so I close a bit and you perceive it as being secretive.

We need to become aware of our perceptions of things and address them as they pop up and try not to use ours as a weapon against those who perceive themselves just as well as we. This goes for victimhood as well, we perceive that state and may choose to live there but don’t make the people around you pay for it; it’s not their debt but yours.

Written by R. A. Burgener

After finishing the 850 mile trek of self-rediscovery on California's El Camino Real from San Diego to Sonoma, California, Robert continued, via Greyhound, to Portland, Oregon, where he is becoming familiar with the concepts of weather and seasons after 30 years in Los Angeles.

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