1. He did want it all, just not with me. That’s the thing about love. So many human relationships become a kind of “you can’t fire me, i quit!” scenario that is much more about not being the one getting hurt than it is about actually having healthy interaction. Sure, I’d like to imagine I’m above the temptation of hating seeing someone I care about care wayyyy too much about someone else–but it’s nearly impossible. And though there are moments in which my own happiness puts me on a gentle pink cloud of “oh, that’s just so great for you,” if I’m ever going to learn to deal with relationships and how they come and go, I’ll have to accept the ugly, universal truth about breakups: They do want every amazing, beautiful, incredible thing to be had in this life between two people–they just don’t want those things with my crazy ass.
2. That person is much better looking than I will ever be. I can never fully understand why beauty magazines exist. I mean, I understand them in theory–there are new clothes to buy and new ways to put your hair up this month, and this collection of shiny paper will tell you where to find/ how to do those things. That part I get. But without fail, every time I find myself idly flipping through one in a doctor’s office waiting room or, let’s be real, my own room every now and again, I spiral into a deep, if brief, depression. “Why are these women all so god damn pretty?” I think. The injustice of it all just absolutely kills me–they are famous and rich and getting to meet some of my personal heroes just because they won the genetic lottery. Why? It can seem an inescapable tunnel of pointless jealousy.
But I think the first and most crucial step of the recovery process here is probably realizing that these Beautiful People have problems of their own. Being gorgeous doesn’t make you a good person (See: Naomi Campbell), intelligent (See: Tyra Banks), or immune to the appeal of every NBA basketball plater and that one American Psycho guy like the rest of us mere mortals (See: The Kardashian Sisters). They’re pretty, and that’s about all I know about them. I can either accept it, or end up looking like the Cat Lady in my many-surgeried quest to look like them.
3. Talentless hacks will get accolades. This is especially hard to swallow if your area of expertise/ ideal career field is one of the fine arts, like writing, music, or posting stolen pictures of people looking sad on Tumblr. People who I feel, just KNOW in my bones are completely talentless are going to be getting deals and interviews and humiliatingly flattering profiles in my favorite alternative weekly.
But my dislike for certain artists, after a while, becomes nothing more than pathetic. And the same is true for all of us, in any field. I can either accept that talent is subjective and people are entitled to like Katherine Heigl and Eli Roth and JK Rowling* as much as they want.
4. I am judged on the way I look. It’s true, and flies in the face of my frustration with the fashion magazine military-industrial complex. Whether I like it or not, people are going to look at me and make some kind of assessment about who I am as a person, even if they don’t realize it. And while it’s true that I can, in many cases, overcome their first impressions as I get to know them, there are going to be many times where a judgmental glance is all I’m going to get. And it’s terrible, because we’re told all our lives in the most hand-holdy, sing-songy, Sesame Street outtake kind of way that it’s what’s on the inside that counts. And that’s true–Big Bird was absolutely right. Who we are inside is what makes us truly beautiful. However, that doesn’t mean that a fair portion of the people I will meet in my life are going to make untrue and sometimes damaging assessments about me because my clothes are ugly or my hair unkempt.
But I guess the trick to this one is just accepting that it’s kind of a stasis of human interaction and to adapt accordingly. Sure, I can make a personal effort to judge people more based on who they are (and I do, I’m an incredibly good person), but it won’t change the fact that all these studies I’m too lazy to cite prove how important the first five seconds of job interviews are. So I guess I better perfect my handshake (none of that limp-wristed sociopath bullshit) and make sure to keep some spare bobbie pins for a bad hair day, because we’re still animals at the end of the day, and we just gravitate to those of us with the shiny coats of fur.
*I am kidding, for the love of God, I am so kidding. JK Rowling is a wonderful, visionary author who deserves every accolade that comes her way. Please don’t bite me, you insane Harry Potter fans, I don’t want your literary rabies.