That romantic ideal that is always just out of reach. You swear you see it in front of you, but as you grasp for it, it floats further away like a feather on the wind of your needy fingers. Or, maybe it’s more than a feather. Maybe it’s the whole chicken, squawking in a panic as you trip after it over your own feet, heedless of the ignominious scene and the knowledge that you’re scaring the chicken and that you sometimes eat chickens.
“No video please! I’m falling in love with The One.”
Falling in love is temporary insanity, but finding The One is even worse. The insanity lasts, because this person seems to complete you, and most of us would do incredible, embarrassing, courageous, shameful things to feel complete.
Marriage used to be about who inherits the cattle when we die, but now we expect our partners to fulfill what we once got from an entire village. A best friend, a passionate lover, an intellectual equal, a loving co-parent, a personal psychologist, a peaceful in-law. The list goes on.
Of course, finding your perfect person isn’t the whole story. Often, we find ourselves tagged as the perfect person, and the pressure is crushing. Now, I have to be an entire village for someone else? It doesn’t seem so fair when the tables are turned. After all, I have my own dreams, needs, and aspirations, but I have to fulfill someone else’s instead?
Or, can’t find completion in a partner? How about a child? I used to joke that, “If I can’t find the perfect man, I’ll make one.”
When my marriage ended, my supreme solace was the beautiful boy who was the result of our union. That’s egotistical to the extreme, and it’s hard to even write those lines, yet I’ll admit it’s the way I felt. I screwed up royally in my own personal life, but my son can fix it all since I made him and at least he is wonderful.
I was one of The Latch Key Kids, also known as Generation X (or, the tail end of it). We were the result of a stifled Baby Boomer generation giving their own kids freedom they never had, which really felt like neglect in real time. I’ve witnessed it in most of my contemporary friends/parents, though: the need to see our children as perfect and important because of a lack of parental care or guidance when we were young.
Yet, no matter how good of place that comes from, putting undue pressure on a child causes problems like anxiety, depression, and low self esteem. Does that sound familiar? Kinda like it feels when you constantly disappoint your partner for not living up to unrealistic ideals?
The point is, that finding someone to complete you–at whatever detriment to you and the object of your affection–doesn’t work. Anytime we feel that someone else is our answer, we miss the opportunity of a lifetime to see the truth.
Each of us is complete already, and always was.
This was Mean Greeting Card #5. To see the others in this series, go HERE.
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