This whole thing has been a fascinating process so far, and I have been amazed by the response that it has created. I know I keep saying it, but I keep on being amazed on a daily basis as emails keep coming in, and comments keep being added, and new topics of discussion keep appearing on the Bulletin Board.
One thing that I have found really interesting is how much people make assumptions from what they read, or what they hear, and that has led me to wonder about my own assumptions.
Let me give you several examples, taken directly from comments that have been made about what I am doing:-
I have been asked many times about how I could possibly leave my dog behind. On the website there is a video featuring Baxter, the dog in question. People have assumed that Baxter is mine, that I am leaving him behind, and one person even wondered if I was planning on having him put down if the new owner did not want him!! I have never said that Baxter is my dog, in fact he belongs to my friend Marty, and I make that quite clear in the text that accompanies the video, but that has not stopped many jumping to their own conclusions.
I get many emails of support and encouragement about what I am doing. Alot of these offer counselling, or suggest that if I am so depressed, I should get help, and some people have contacted me worried that I may be a suicide risk. It is now over two years since I separated from my wife, and I reckon I have moved on pretty well, this is, I think, the final stage in that process. I have never professed to be unhappy, and in every interview I have done have always stated that I am doing this with an excitement in looking forward to a new future.
I get alot of emails suggesting that I need to turn to God for my answers, and the assumption contained within this is that I currently do not have a god in my life.
Many people have offered relationship advice, or even offered to go on dates. This would suggest that they assume I am currently single.
The above assumptions may be correct, or they may be wrong, I have never really discussed either in any detail, the point I am making is that we all jump to these conclusions, often completely unaware that we have done so, based on the less-than-complete facts at our disposal.
It makes me wonder what assumptions I may have made that might be completely wrong, and have tried to start to question my own assumptions. But it is very difficult to stand back and be completely objective, because it is hard to sort out in your own mind what you know to be true, and what you have simply assumed to be true.
Hmmm, I assume this will give you some food for thought!!