You know those cliché movie scenes where the favorite couple breaks up and the girl is driving home all broken hearted- but when she rounds the bend to her house, the guy is standing there waiting? Ok, well maybe they don’t happen exactly like that, but you get the gist. Just when the girl thought she was going to be alone and that the love of her life doesn’t feel the same- suddenly there he is- waiting. I guess my point is this- have you ever wondered “why isn’t my life like that?” Come on girls- we’ve all thought it about one movie or another. But here’s the kicker- real life isn’t like the movies. Real life is messy. It’s broken hearts and broken homes. Its unemployment and family illness and you can never tie up all the loose ends in a 2 hour span.
I used to be that girl. The one who drives home with the small flicker of ‘will he be there waiting for me?’ I used to dream of the romantic comedy chance meeting- the falling in love with a perfect stranger over an ‘accidental’ meeting of fate. I used to hope for a two hour neatly tied up ending. And I say used to because I’m not that girl anymore. Or at least, I don’t want to be. That girl is a waiter. She waits for the chance encounter with the handsome stranger. She watches the ideal fantasies of often love deprived writers who create characters that have the romance and adventure that they crave. And yes- love stories do still happen. But the hard truth is- waiting gets you no where. Waiting= never going to have a part in any sort of story like that.
And that’s why I’m not that girl anymore.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about women in society today. More specifically, why it is that so many of us think that we need a man to be happy. And more over why we measure ourselves by how men see us. We’re supposed to be thin, but not too thin. Trendy but without caring too much about it. Successful but not more successful than him. Beautiful but not fake. Cook and clean. Need him but not be clingy. Sensitive but not overly emotional. We have to do jobs twice as well as men to get half the recognition- or it’s said that we’re sleeping our way to the top. And on top of all of that we have to be willing to give it all up in bed but not too soon or with too many people. We have to do all of these things just to be recognized by society’s standards and to what end? So that a guy can grace us with his presence until he finds someone younger/skinnier/smarter/blonder? Why do we hold ourselves to such a double standard?
I know I may sound bitter, and that’s really not my intention. I just don’t understand why we as women continue to torture ourselves to fit some mold. To be something that we’re not. To hide the true feelings and needs of our souls and to repress it so far that our only escape are these romantic movies that only briefly sate an unquenchable thirst.
Why do women love romance movies so much? Because we all ache for another person to ‘get’ us in some deep way.
Personally, I think it’s the same reason we all go for bad boys. Because even though we know they’ll break our hearts in the end, the brief explosion of passion and romance gives us the chance to feel like the women in all those romantic movies that we idolize. There’s something in our souls that longs for romance and adventure and passion. And those things so often seem to come at the expense of the bad boy jerks who tend to love and leave.
I’m reminded of one of those cheesy ABC Family movies I insist on torturing myself with where one of the characters says something to the effect of “You can change everything about a relationship except the most important thing- fate.” For some reason, all those other relationships that I’ve tried have failed. And there’s a line of thinking that says that someday in the future, I’ll meet the guy that will show me why. But that doesn’t change the now. It doesn’t change the fact that until that person comes along, I have to be somebody. I can’t just be the ghost of a person who goes through her day to day actions just hoping that she sparks some guy’s interest. Because as far as lives go, that one’s pretty pathetic.
Going back to the past for a moment, I just want to say this. No matter how good you thought things were or how perfect you thought the guy was for you, God has other plans. If you think that I don’t understand that this is a hard concept to grasp when you’re elbow deep in Ben & Jerry’s and snotty tissues- I promise you, I get it. But what if the heartbreak was preparing you for something? And I don’t just mean the cliché ‘you have to know the bad to appreciate the good’ although that is applicable as well. But what if it was preparing you for this time. Right now.
That guy (the one in my past and yours) was great for a reason. What did he teach you? Maybe to stand up for yourself? Maybe he taught you how to laugh again, or how to enjoy the little things- how to motivate yourself to do something you never imagined. And because of that you have the strength to be exactly where and who you are right now, today.