Are there "complex" PEOPLE?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-19-2003
Are there "complex" PEOPLE?
5
Fri, 09-05-2003 - 4:28pm
Most of you know my Tale of Woe (see Alone and not Lonely if you don't), but it's made me wonder: are there "complicated" people as opposed to "simplified" people?

It took a chaotic marriage to make me see and appreciate the value of a simple, uncomplicated life. But I also wondered: am I being realistic? Granted, XH made life unnecessarily complicated by introducing the drug-trafficking factor, but beyond that, is life really that chaotic? Or am I living in a fool's paradise?

And if I am, does that mean "fool's paradise" includes paying my bills, being on time, keeping my word--qualities I always thought were honorable. Or does having a family preclude all that in the name of necessity and expediency?

I'd like some thoughts on that ?...

Ash


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 09-05-2003 - 4:46pm
I think people are generally complex but make choices to live a simpler life style - I am not one of those people and I also think simplicity means different things to different people - I am single, never married, have never taken illegal drugs, never had a one night stand or been promiscuous, I am generally kind to people and give to my community, and I don't own a car, a cell phone, or a palm pilot. On the other hand, I chose a very complicated, complex and challenging profession, I do like drama at times in my life - but not too much - I would feel stifled/stagnated unless I could go to the theater, museums, the movies, interesting places for dinner, art galleries and on an occasional out of town vacation. I like to wear makeup and dress nicely and stylishly and I have a lot of friends and acquaintances who I keep up with in this complex Manhattan city. Does that make me complicated? On the other hand, if complicated means illegal or immoral or unethical activity or doing things that unnecesarily complicate your life, like quitting a decent job without having another one, or getting drunk every night, or being high maintenance with your friends and family, then I want no part of that.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 09-05-2003 - 5:08pm
Yes, but not by your definition. I agree with Deena: I don't have a car, cellphone, or illegal activities in my life - but I am CERTAINLY complicated. I am "Katie" from The Way We Were (*Barbara Streisand & Robert Redford). I have high ethical and moral standards, I am political, I am active, I am opinionated, etc...and for a simple man, that makes me complex. I am not "content" with things as they are...I must prune the branches of my life so that new shoots can grow in new directions.

The "simple man" I refered to is one who is content with his life as it is. He has his interests/hobbies, he has his job (which is one that stays at the office or job site - very UNLIKE mine that integrates with every aspect of my life!), he has his friends and he is content with all that. He doesn't look for more. I wouldn't call it a fools paradise, I would call it another lifestyle :)

Go.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2003
Fri, 09-05-2003 - 6:47pm
Hi Ash,

I did read your story, and wow! what a crazy tale! I'm so glad you got out of that marriage. It just sounds like it was miserable all around.

As for your question . . . it seems like you are talking about the distinction between people who lead their lives 'straight and narrow' and try to do the 'right' thing and be honest and obey the law, and those who play fast and loose with the law, societal conventions, who try to 'get one over on' and take advantage of other people. And I think that it is generally - not always, but generally - true that the more a person tries to push the limits of the law or what they can 'get away with,' the more complicated their life becomes. For example, if you tell a lie, then you often end up telling many more lies to cover up the initial lie. Then you have to try to remember who you told which lie. Sometimes you might involve others - say, a spouse, child, or parent - in covering up for your lie. This makes your life much more complicated than it would be if you had simply told the truth in the beginning. I wish I could come up with a more illustrative example, but that's all that is coming to mind at the moment.

Your ex sounds like he falls into the category of people who try to push the limits of what they can get away with, which led to a chaotic and unstable lifestyle. You sound like you fall into the category of people who tries to do the right thing, treat others with respect, etc. and thus lead a more stable lifestyle because you're not constantly trying to cover up for your wrongdoing because you aren't out there doing things that need covering up. Caveat: I don't think these 'categories' are by any means absolute, and there are lot of people who have characteristics of both depending on the situation.

I'm not sure if I answered your question, or even made sense; those are just my thoughts.

ginger

Avatar for cl_shywon
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Fri, 09-05-2003 - 10:57pm
I think that there are people who choose to make their life more complicated because they want fame, fortune, or popularity. For those of us who are content with a "normal" life, I'd say we make it as simple as possible. No life is "simple"- we all have problems and issues, but we work through them. A little bit of drama happens with everyone- it's those who choose to magnify it and dwell on it that make their life complicated.

Live your life for the moment, in the moment, and none of that other stuff will matter much.


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-19-2003
Mon, 09-08-2003 - 8:25am
I thank all of you for your replies; it helped clarify my definition of "complexity."

I think what I was really trying to define was, in fact, a CHAOTIC life, and if in fact I was deluding myself into thinking that my own was unnaturally simplistic. From your responses, it wasn't that at all; it's just that the life I just left behind was UNnaturally chaotic, and that wasn't a family "norm" at all.

I think I'm still trying to "get back my bearings" after everything XH was trying to feed me. His opinion was that b/c I'd never been in a family situation, I didn't know how to deal w/his; now I know that what I wasn't accustomed was a CRIMINAL family situation--nor do I ever want to again.

Ash