What’s that saying? Something about a zebra and his stripes.
A zebra can’t change his stripes.
A zebra will never change his stripes. Maybe from a distance, the stripes look faded or appear to be completely gone. But looks are deceiving. Rose-colored glasses forget to see gray.
Take a few steps closer. The stripes never left.
I believe that it’s human nature to only hope for the best, to see people for who you want them to be, not who they really are.
And maybe this is a good quality; maybe it’s okay to see the good. But the fact of the matter is that you’ll drive yourself insane if you refuse to acknowledge the truth. A vision of gold is blinding. A vision of good is dangerous.
I guess I’ll share a tale about my friend. For shits and giggles, we’ll call her Ashley. Oh, sweet, sweet Ashley. So long story short, Ashley was on and off with this guy for the longest time. I’m talking years. Their relationship was a cycle-—it always started with the honeymoon phase, which quickly came to a crashing halt following an epic fight. Then came the breakup.
The breakups lasted anywhere from five minutes to five days. Yeah, everyone thought it was annoying, including Ashley’s closest friends.
However, after every breakup, Ashley entered the honeymoon phase with a new attitude and she always—I repeat, always—expected a different outcome.
“He’s really changed,” she’d say. “The fear of losing me forever, really opened his eyes.”
Sure, I kind of sound like an asshole, but at the same time I also don’t blame Ashley for always entering the honeymoon phase with high expectations. She was in love. And love certainly makes you do stupid things. At the end of the day, she believed that no matter how tough times got, he was her end game. And is that really so wrong to believe?
The hopeless romantic in me says no. Though her love was a crazy and chaotic roller coaster filled with constant highs and lows, she chose to see the good. Her heart told her that things would eventually be different.
But the more pragmatic side of me says yes. Yes, it was wrong for Ashley to believe that things would be different. It was wrong of her to believe that her boyfriend had changed in less than a week. She continued to hit a button of self-destruction. Happy. Sad. High. Low. She put herself through years of pain, and for what? For the possibility of stability or for love?
I’m not saying don’t follow your heart. But I will say that the human heart can mislead us. Insanity is doing the same thing time and time again, expecting a different outcome. And this mentality will break you. It will cast a cold shadow over your soul.
It’s not a bad thing to see the good. However, it is toxic to only see the good.
Sometimes it’s better to look for stripes than to look past them.