What We Expect "It" To Look Like...

When I was younger, I had a vision of what my life would be like... I thought I would be an actress living in New York City in an apartment with furniture that all had wheels so that I could easily rearrange. In my vision I shared that apartment with my then gay best friend from high school.

Today, I am a writer, not an actress (thank god), I am more country mouse than city mouse, my furniture does not have wheels and it turns out I prefer sex to living with gay men. Suffice it to say that it didn't turn out the way I thought it might when I was younger. But then again, I wasn't tied to the way I thought things ought to look, either. 

In relationships, though, we do tend to get more tied into what we think things ought to look like... it probably has something to do with movies. Romantic comedies are so alluring with their dramatic lines and grand gestures. We have these notions about love and how it needs to look or feel and rather than approaching it as we do the rest of our lives, with fluidity and a morphing picture, we remain so tied to this vision we have that sometimes we miss the picture entirely. 

This becomes especially true in marriage. 

Why people are obsessed with presenting perfect marriages probably has something to do with societal expectations... but rarely is there ever a marriage that is perfect and in fact I don't even aspire to have a perfect marriage. I like my imperfect marriage. While we are always striving to be better people (because that's just how we are) we know that no matter how great we learn to be, we will never be perfect and that is okay. 

Perhaps in the beginning, it wasn't always this way. I wanted people to think that we had it all together--that we had it all figured out. But the truth was, we didn't. We didn't know sometimes how we were going to learn to live together with all our faults and annoyances. We didn't know what our careers would be. We didn't know, but even still we held on to this notion that we should keep up appearances that we did know. And then one day, we stopped. 

The truth is when you let go of how you think things ought to look and trade them for how they really are, they really are okay--heck, they might even be great. These things come with age...and not necessarily your age as a person, but the age of your relationship....or the age of your mind. 

There are all different kinds of love and relationships in life. They tend to all look very different. What they have in common is a deep commitment to that love--one that is unwavering. It's not always easy, it's not even always fun... but if you expect it to fit in a box, you have probably already lost. Someday your box will crack into a million tiny pieces and be left ashes at your feet. If you don't know how to live outside of it, you might be doomed.

So the next time you start thinking about how life doesn't look the way thought it might, think about whether that is necessarily a bad thing. Don't be attached to what others think and instead focus on your happiness and how your life makes you feel. 

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