I would meet people. Boys particularly. And I would build our story. I didn’t always know I was doing it. It just happened naturally. This guy is heartbroken. He’s not a player. He’s been played. And all he truly needs in his life is for someone to love him. Love him so deeply that he reconnects to himself. And then he will love back. And that day will be brilliant.
It’s not today, not even tomorrow but it will happen. And when it does. It will be amazing.
Does that story sound familiar?
I’m not sure where I decided that love had to be this struggle. This journey to our best selves. That it was ok for someone to be one person one day and a different person the other. I began to find excuses for why I was being let down. And I told myself that it wouldn’t always be like this. I just had to get to someday. In the future. When he finally understood whatever it was I thought he needed to understand to treat me right. To treat me like I deserved. From day one.
Except now it was five years into the future. And the story had not evolved much. Which was oddly enough part of the story. It added to the drama of that final day when it all came together. Finally. How great that would be. That day. That one day far up ahead. After all the awful days. The lonely days. The ones where I started to question what I was doing or had I possibly even lost myself in the story.
We all tell ourselves stories, don’t we? About ourselves. About those we love. About what we want in life and what we should have.
About how things should or shouldn’t be. We write very elaborate. Very romantic. Very creative stories about our families, our friends, our love life, our passions and our careers. Some of us see a life in our mind’s eye that even in our mid-thirties we still can’t seem to grab onto. The ever elusive should have been’s.
I saw myself in a much different story than the one I am currently living and because of that, I can’t seem to find much joy in the present. It’s like I’m stuck on a page in a book that I don’t belong. Somewhere. Someone. Probably me. Screwed up. And now I’m misplaced. And it’s a constant battle to get myself to the place that I have seen for so long. To get the guy to the place he should be even though he may not ever be that guy. Even though he may actually be better than that guy all on his own but all I see is the guy in my story. Not the one standing in front of me.
Stories. We should keep the stories to the paperbacks. And let life be life.
You see the dangerous thing about not allowing life to unfold in its own way is that we often miss its beauty. We miss the plot that is being formed. We miss the point entirely. Always striving, constantly working to get ourselves “back on track.” When maybe the path we are on is exactly where we need to be. Just maybe.
The guy we are trying so hard to get to be this very certain way we think we need or want, may never be that way. And that might be good, because he is so much better than what we imagined but we miss all those things because he doesn’t have just these specific qualities. Or it may be bad because we overlook all the red flags he is throwing up in our face, constantly hoping and trying to carrel him down this perfect very thought out path.
You see not being in the reality of our life can be bad in many different ways. We miss the good and we miss the warning signs. We miss the life we are living. So busy to get to this other better life. We created. We long for. We desire. With limited understanding that honestly we probably started creating at a very young age having had limited knowledge of life and ourselves.
My point is, the stories most of us live by, long for and beat ourselves up over are outdated. They were based on someone we didn’t even know yet. Ourselves. And they were fairytales that we may or may not even want to come true anymore. There are things we have learned in life. Experiences we have been through that have shaped us. And yet we still cling to stories that most likely don’t even suit us anymore.
Have you ever stopped and asked yourself, like really got honest with yourself and asked if you truly want the things you feel you just can’t get in life? The ever elusive parts of your story that cause you to feel like a failure a little bit in life. Have you asked yourself lately if you truly want those things? If you would be awfully upset if they didn’t happen? What if you don’t want them at all. Maybe you have changed since then. But never allowed yourself to dream new dreams for yourself.
And maybe there are parts of the story you created that you truly do desire. Long for. And you have always known. And they have tried to come to you, but you didn’t recognize them because they looked different than you imagined. They didn’t come at the right time. Maybe you thought you deserved better. Because you thought you knew exactly what you needed. But you didn’t. And you rejected it. Maybe those things have been trying to come to you in many different ways but it’s not your way so you keep saying no. Just maybe.
It could be time to let the stories go. To empty our hearts and our heads of how things should be, need to be for us to feel happy and complete.
And for us to open our eyes and hearts to what is right in front of us. To start to actually look around in our life and find the good. The positive. The love story that we already have. Which may not be the way you envisioned it.
You see part of the problem is the inability to find the good in what we already have. We are all so quick to throw things out and start over. Without ever really looking at the blessings in our life. The people in our life that we didn’t choose but we were given. Maybe life isn’t ours to create. Maybe it’s ours to live. One breathe at a time. Understanding that we can’t see the big picture. And part of faith is to know that God can.
Putting our trust in him and walking out each day as if it’s a gift. Full of good things that can and will light us up if we let ourselves see them. Accepting that people may not be the characters we would have created but on their own offer us so much love and happiness.
Maybe if we stop trying to write a story and just observe the happenings of our lives we will find exactly what we need. Just maybe.