If there were a list of the not incredibly admirable qualities we humans possess, somewhere along it would exist the rather frequent inability to be entirely selfless. Though it would seem cynically pessimistic, we are most often interested in others for what they do for us. As with everything, this realization only dawned on me after years of patterns of pain that I was able to later identify as I expected someone to be something, and they weren’t, and I took it personally.
It’s the parents who are broken up because their child didn’t turn out like the fictional image they had for them in their minds. Because what parents have to eventually realize is that the idea of thinking it’s fine to blindly believe what their child will and will not be based on their own assertions of what success and happiness mean, and then losing it when they don’t turn out that way at all, is insanity. You can create another body, but you cannot create another soul, and for whatever that being has to bring to the table, you have to love and respect. Parents tend to believe that how their children “turn out” by the way of how straight they are, how wealthy they are, how eternally content they are, what honors they received and what team they were the captain of, are reflections on them, when the only real reflection on them is how they chose to love them even when they weren’t what they thought to be ideal.
It’s when prince or princess charming comes along and goes along just as quickly. When they pale in meeting the expectations you had for what it would mean for someone to love you. When they didn’t make you feel one way or another, when they were “failures” because they didn’t do a job you deemed worthy of your association, because their appearances were subpar in your opinion, you left. Because we try to compress people into the dreams we have for them, and the way we break them if they love us enough to let us do so. It’s not their fault for being a diluted idea of your perfect. It’s your fault for expecting such a thing.
And of course, what it all comes back to at the end of the day: what we have for ourselves. We project these ideas of should and shouldn’t as they pertain to our own idea of how we can understand ourselves. The ways in which things and achievements and people lend themselves to the dreams in which we are universally adored and wildly successful and completely appreciated once more by the very people whose love and appreciation we are the farthest away from. The people who, through their own expectations for us, drove us to need that sort of dream to begin with.