Tug of War

Young and old. New and used. Up and down. Backward and forward.

Past.

And.

Present.

It seems to me that everything comes in pairs.  Everything has an opposite. There’s always another side to the coin.  But at what point does one side become the other?  How far do we have to go before the present becomes the past?  If we go too far forward in one direction, do we eventually start going backward?  When does new become used or young become old?

Can you pinpoint the moment? Can you go back and forth? And is that right or wrong? What are the pros and cons?

I’ve been reflecting a lot on past experiences in the last couple of days.  For about 3 years now I’ve been viewing this one particular theme of my past in a certain light.  One that I thought was helping me feel better about my present state.  And then I had a conversation with a friend that was a part of my past and has recently become a part of my present in a much different way.  His perspective on shared past events completely changed the way I saw my past.  It blew my mind.  I’d had this recurring monologue that defined this theme that I was holding onto for comfort.  In reality that wasn’t exactly an accurate description of events.  Both perspectives couldn’t be true so when I decide to accept his perspective, I had to let go of my whole theme.  In order for him to be right, I had to be wrong.  There was true and false.  I was wrong. I’d been wrong for all these years and when I finally accepted that, I felt lighter.  The very thing that I thought was helping me make sense of things was actually holding me down and anchoring me to these past hurts.

So instead of staying in the present I was shackled to the past.  But now I’ve turned it around.  I’ve allowed my past to inform my present but I’m cutting the ties.  I’m leaving the past in the past.  But it’s not all back there.  I’ve brought forward some friends to be a part of the present and it’s been a very rewarding and enlightening experience.

Young and old. New and used. Up and down. Backward and forward. Right and wrong. True and false. Past and Present.

What do you think? Are all these opposites really mutually exclusive? Are they on opposite ends of a sliding scale? Are they really all that different after all?

Isn’t it really just about your perspective in the end?

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He’s Just Not That Into You (Alternate Ending)

In honor of all the relationship-related conversations I’ve been having and the current news on my Facebook timeline, I felt inspired to talk about dating for a moment. Enjoy!

Lately I’ve been chatting with my girls about men and relationships and why we keep finding ourselves in these interactions (they never get to “relationship”) that end so abruptly. It’s weird.  I’m reminded of the part of the movie “He’s Just Not That Into You” where they talk about exceptions and rules. The norm isn’t this fairly tale ending where we all live happily ever after, especially after a less than stellar relationship or break up where the other party realizes the error of their ways and comes running back to claim your love.  THAT’S THE EXCEPTION. But even in the movie that goes through all of the classic signs of when it’s not working out or it’s time to move on, everyone ends up freaking happily ever after either with someone that realized the error of their ways, or with the potential of a new relationship that they want us to believe will last, or happy with their singleness, or with nothing (but they were the villain and that’s what they deserved).

So, I’ve written an alternate ending that is much more realistic and provides support for those that make up the “rule”.  Congrats to those of you that get to be the “exception” but this post is not for you. Go kiss your S/O and be happy that you’re not still single in this cold, cruel world.

Sorry. That sounded really grim. I promise life isn’t that dramatic. For what it’s worth, I’m actually settled into my singleness. But don’t be fooled. It’s still a little lonely and I’m not going to pretend that I’m exactly satisfied. But I also won’t try to pretend like I’m taking some high and I’m “married to my PhD program” or some other thing that people decide to focus on instead of their love life. I’m just accepting that it’s not my time right now. God has a plan for my life and who am I to argue with that? It hasn’t exactly worked out when I thought I was in charge 🙂

Alright so here’s how the movie, “He’s Just Not That Into You”, would have ended if it weren’t a movie.

1. Ben Affleck wouldn’t have come around and magically decided he wanted to get married.  Jennifer Aniston may have decided to just be with him because she loved him and she realized that Ben was more of a partner and a husband than the lame-o’s her sisters had married. And with her dad’s heart attack she would’ve realized that life is too short to bicker over something to trivial as a marriage certificate which wouldn’t change their day to day. It would give them legal rights and the ability to have a say in their partner’s medical health. But I don’t know the rights that come with common law marriages so they should look into that.

2. Bradley Cooper would have ended up alone as he did in the movie. He deserved that. He cheated.  BUT don’t worry he would have found a new love about a month later either with Scarlett Johannsen or some other young thing.  He can’t be alone. So he’d be the ever bachelor moving from girl to girl making no promises and moving on as soon as it got too serious.

3. ScarJo would have found some strength and realized that she needed to stop using her body to get through the world. She would have learned that it sucks to be treated like a play thing and she would’ve realized she was doing that to her poor friend Conor (Kevin Connolly).  So she would’ve hung out until she matured and then in her 30s she’d probably find success or love.

4. Conor and Drew Barrymore would have not started dating as the movie wants us to believe. They might have had their coffee or tea and then gone back to being client/newspaper ad salesperson (or whatever it was that Drew was in charge of).  They might have eventually found love, but it wasn’t that beautiful summer day at the coffee shop (and it probably wasn’t with each other).

5. Bradley’s wife, Janine (Jennifer Connelly) would have gone on to reconnect with her old, fun self and blend it with her new, mature self. She would go on to focus on her career and her friends.  She’ll always love Bradley, but she’ll recognize the signs of trouble a lot earlier. And she won’t ignore them.  She’s had her heartbroken, but she’ll be stronger for it. She did the hardest part. She asked for the divorce.  So she’ll be just fine.

6. As for our main-ish characters, the cute little curlyhead dreamer (Gigi, played by Ginnifer Goodwin) and the cool guy friend that keeps it real (Alex, played by Justin Long)? There is just soooooo much wrong with their ending.

A. First of all, he will not fall in love with Gigi. Not happening. He’s hardened. Now he may fall in love one day as he watches all of this transpire from the female perspective but it won’t be with Gigi. That’s just too convenient and their friends. Every girl needs a guy friend like that to keep it real. And real platonic.

B. Now one of two things could happen for Gigi. She could continue to make these crazy mistakes until she’s 30+ and finally owns her crap and starts seeing things as they are. OR She could go out with Bill (Alex’s friend who she finally went out with at the end before Alex had his “epiphany”). Bill and Gigi could date for a while and maybe even fall in love. OR She could just start dating smarter and find the one in a couple years. Either way. Alex and Gigi do not fall in love. That doesn’t happen as a rule!

Now, you’re probably thinking, “Stacey! But this is how my S/O and I got together! We hated each other for years but it was because we were so similar and we drove each other crazy and then magically it just clicked!”  Ok ok ok wait. First, I told you and your boo to stop reading a long time ago. Second, YOU’RE THE EXCEPTION! Good for you! I’m not trying to rain on your parade, I’m just not recognizing your happiness right now! You’re the single person’s worst nightmare because you fill our heads with possibilities that aren’t really there for us. We keep waiting and dreaming for this grand love story and we miss out on all the realistic options that are right in front of us because they seem so mundane and boring.  Our great love could be just around the corner! But we’re too busy searching dating sites for the hottest person or the one that types just the right thing or overanalyzing every thing that is said for some hidden meaning and sign of deep lasting love.  We miss out on our person wait for “perfection”.

I strongly believe that there is someone for everyone. We just have to be smart about filtering through the distractions, the fantasies, the self-doubt, and the settling for less than we deserve.

So, get busy living your life! Love yourself first! Spend as much time searching your own words and actions as you do stalking the one that isn’t texting you. They’re living their life, so you should go live yours.  You’ll find the one when and where you least expect it.

And if you made it to the end of this super long post, you deserve a treat. So enjoy this little video. I laughed way too hard when I watched earlier today.

Wedding Season Is Coming