The funny thing about life is we keep waiting for it to get better, without ever accepting that what we have is pretty great. Or, we miss out on the "pretty great" opportunities by being assholes who don't see what's right in front of their faces.
Relationships, in particular, have been on my mind.
I read something recently about how "settling" for things isn't bad. It was in the context of romantic relationships, but I thought it was a fairly relevant statement for every aspect of our silly lives. The article basically said, look. Look. We could always roam the world and seek people we could make it work with for years and years. It's true. We could be 60 on Match pulling dates, and there's nothing wrong with that. But for those of us who haven't been married or who haven't actively decided to not marry, there's something touching about stopping to say "NO! I have searched enough and am weary. This girl/guy is absolutely fabulous and I just want to spend the rest of my life learning to love them more." It is probably optimistic to think that's how it goes, but I do think that settling has received a bad name.
My parents have been married a long, long time. Some of the years haven't been so wonderful. I imagine I don't know the half of it. Yet they're much older now and they can still laugh, still fight, still criticize, and still flatter. I find that beautiful. There is something absolutely amusing about the way my parents criticize each other. Even when they fight hard, I've never thought, "Holy shit, my parents are going to divorce." Perhaps it's because of the kind of people my parents are, and the kind of bond they've always shared.
Someone used me for a long time. I don't like talking about it because I feel like it feeds into the inflated vision they must have of themselves. They distracted me and took advantage of me. Plain and simple. A part of me wants to say I'll wear the wounds of that time forever, but a much fiercer part of me says I'll forget about this time much faster than I could imagine. Parts of it-- and him-- have begun to fade.
I've started seeing someone exactly my age whose only flaw is being normal. God help the poor man, but I analyze everything he says for a long time because I'm not sure what's normal and what's abnormal these days. It's still early, but I get the impression he's a tad wounded, too. That he has insecurities like the rest of us. He's totally human... and sarcastic, and funny, and smart, and CUTE. I'm equal parts afraid I'll ruin this as I am afraid that I'll settle.
And isn't that ridiculous?
Perhaps because we've tied "settle" with "affair" or "divorce" too often.
"Well, she settled for him, you know. That's why they ended up divorcing."
"He had an affair. It's all because he settled for her."
That's all ridiculous. There's something beautiful about settling, if you want to call it that. It's saying... yeah. Yeah, I could travel to China or Africa or Lebanon or London or New Zealand... I could go to any country, continent, village, town, city and find someone to hook up with. I could be happy with them for a few months or years.... Yet in this moment, I know I want to fight to be happy with you. Forever."
There is something human and flawed and majestic in that. I love it.
And I am writing, by the way.