“I can’t read your mind”

I’ll fail to say what I’m thinking. Or what I actually want. And that leads to her having to remind me: “Matt, you need to tell me these things. I can’t read your mind.”

Sometimes I wonder, why not? 

When you’ve known someone for years, why not? When you’ve seen them triumph and fail, why not? When you’ve seen them experience joy and pain and suffering, why not? When you’ve seem how they behave around other people, what they do when they’re alone with you, and how they act when they think no one is looking, why not?

Because, no matter how well you understand a person, you never completely know them. You can’t access their deepest thoughts and desires. Their darkest insecurities and greatest motivations. You cannot know the seemingly trivial moments in their life that shaped them as an individual. You cannot see every twist and turn their train of thought makes.

This is in part why relationships can endure. Because after ten, twenty, fifty years, there’s still so much to learn about the other person. There’s still so much you don’t know. So much you cannot know.

The people we care for are like an infinite puzzle. Slowly and inconsistently revealing pieces of a bigger picture we will never completely see. 

We might be able to imagine what the complete picture looks like from the pieces we have assembled. But we can never know.