We can do very little to change the amount of time we’re given here. I’ve carried this awareness with me consistently over the past few years and have made radical changes in my life to address the areas where my efforts and past beliefs were bearing no fruit.
I’m learning to expect more from myself and less of others.
I’ve been on my own for about two years now, and I’ve chosen not to get into a romantic relationship because it is critical to me to bring my best self to the table. The relationships I see around me are (mostly) the kind I do not want to replicate in my own life and I knew if I didn’t do my own work I would end up the same way. The interesting thing about that is when I adjusted the way I communicated, it changed in all my relationships across the board.
The common denominator in all my relationships is me.
There is a failure to communicate effectively between male and female, but our habits bleed all over our friendships and familial connections too. We don’t lean towards keeping things honest, simple and clear. We don’t ask questions to clarify. We don’t offer open minds or a willingness to understand the other side. We seem to be so locked in to what we “should” have, how we “should” be treated and how things “should” be that we neglect to see the possibility that we haven’t achieved those standards in our own behavior.
We whine when others cross boundaries we haven’t drawn for ourselves.
What is it about the word “romance” that causes two people to pretend to be who they aren’t to end up with someone they don’t like, respect or have time for? Honest and mutual compromise is not the same as being a chameleon to love the one you’re with at the moment. We end up with all the cliches men and women say about each other because we’re not bringing out the best in each other, we’re just miserable perpetuating the myth of “romance”.
Hell, we don’t even know what that is at that point.
What if we worked harder on ourselves than we did trying to make the other guy comply? What if we respect ourselves enough to be honest about what we want and ask that question of our partner of choice? What if we quit the filtering and game playing and rule imposing and enjoyed them instead?
What if we quit expecting more of others than we demand of ourselves?
We are not worth any more than we’re willing to offer. We are in no way superior to who we choose to spend time with, and when we begin to think we are we’re just full of shit and setting everyone up for misery.
I have it on good authority that when we overlook disrespect or (god forbid) any kind of abuse, we are giving our permission. I’ve also learned that presenting yourself as other than you really are, feel or believe means you are a living lie. It’s not honest to adjust yourself to a life that doesn’t align with who you are to make someone else happy. I know this, I’ve done it.
It’s fatal to any relationship worth having.
I’ve played a lot of roles, some of them for a long time. None of them made me happy or productive long term. I didn’t make my dreams come true or anyone else’s for that matter. I’ve learned the difference between living alone and being lonely.
Somewhere out there are people like me who enjoy sometimes odd and intense conversations, writing, plays, music, puppies and laughing till they cry. We will bond over books and bonfires, philosophy and making a difference to those we meet along the way.
I’m good with holding out for that.
I think we spend too much of our lives killing time. Waiting for this insignificant bullshit thing or that. Don’t you think we were born for more than pretending and filtered living? Aren’t we all worth more than settling or placating or doing our duty? It’s ridiculous what we do to ourselves and each other over a lifetime. It’s sad and unnecessary.
We label each other, we generalize and we withhold from the world what we have to offer by doing so. We cheat each other out of genuine fulfillment. We throw who we are under the bus so we don’t have to be “alone”.
Maybe it’s just me. Maybe not.
Something to think about.