An Epiphany

What do you get when you mix a hopeless romantic with a hopeless idealist? Well, me, or course. It is my blog, after all…

Anyway, the thought occurred to me the other day as I was walking in the pasture.

After years of being by myself—completely by choice—I was beginning to think that perhaps I was incapable of loving another human being. My animals I love dearly and hug and kiss a lot (on the shoulder or neck…), but I just don’t feel that way about people, or at least I never have. It was getting me down. I’ve been a bit of a hopeless romantic my whole life (as I’m sure my writing shows). It’s bad enough believing there is nobody out there for you, but let me tell you: it is far worse to believe that there is someone out there for you, but you are incapable of loving and appreciating him.

That is a truly depressing thought, and it has weighed on my mind a lot this year. Perhaps it’s living in the camper and truly being completely alone, or perhaps it’s the whole nesting instinct that I’ve heard comes over people in their 30s, but although I’m still fiercely independent, the idea of being alone for the rest of my life is beginning to sound pretty awful.

Enter the hopeless idealist. I’m sure my writing reflects this, too: the bad guys get their comeuppance, the good guys end up together, and everybody lives happily ever after, just as Nature intended…well, okay, maybe not Nature or God, but at least as I intended. And since it’s my book, I have decreed that things shall end ideally, and thus it was written, and this it was. Hehe.

But I digress… Enter the hopeless idealist who believes that you shouldn’t settle for mediocrity and combine it with my pragmatic nature that says that while you can fit an initially square peg into a round hole through the great effort of carving it down and making it round, it’s a terribly inefficient and wasteful way of going about it when a little more searching might actually find the correct peg. And since these are people and their personalities we’re talking about, it’s probably not good to go whittling away at them. That’s got to be unethical.

When you mix these together, you get someone who has a pretty specific idea of what happily ever after looks like and won’t settle for less. And that person ends up alone because there I no such thing a perfection, and depending on how high you set the bar, it’s pretty easy to rule out everybody. Compounding the trouble are the issues of proximity, awareness, and mutual attraction. I consider myself a pretty good guy, but I’ve got flaws—lots of them—and it begs the question that if I were to overcome all the issues of distance, awareness, and impossibly high standards and actually find the perfect person, why would that person choose me? That’s not low self-esteem talking in case anybody’s worried—I’ve had my years of beating myself up and am over that—but it is practical. I mean, if you’re the perfect person, you can have literally anybody and can afford to be choosy.

Of course, everybody’s definition of perfect is different, and so maybe the guy I see as perfect is less than perfect to many, and his self-esteem has suffered for it or he’s started needing a nest and has settled.

One thing I am not is a hopeless optimist, but it is encouraging—I think—to be back to a point of believing that I can over and appreciate someone else once I find someone worthy of it.

Damn, I sound stuck-up. Maybe I am, or maybe it’s that practicality, idealism, and hopeless romanticism talking. If we’re supposed to live happily ever after like the romantic believes, then practically speaking, it’s not going to happen if I jump into a relationship with the first guy I see and we’re not compatible. We can work through the little things, but the idealist won’t suffer huge incompatibilities, and from experience, we’re going to be miserable.

Maybe another year in self-imposed time-out will have me more receptive…

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