If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you already know that I’m no optimist. In fact, I pretty much loathe the eerily happy bastards who smile so much you wonder if they have a central nervous system. Frankly, half of the sepia-toned, captioned out of focus sentiments are so out of touch with reality, that I can barely scroll through my Facebook newsfeed without bile physically rising in my throat.
All the motivational sloganeering can’t resolve real life problems. To be honest, if your problem is so banal that a captioned photo provides the answer, then the issue couldn’t have been that difficult to begin with and you should consider sterilization so that your seed may be wiped from the earth.
The issue I take the most umbrage with, is these uplifting sentiments that encourage you to think big, aim for the stars and never give up. This advice, while sometimes helpful for lost little league games or for singing competition hopefuls, is mostly bull. It fails to account for the inevitable, unavoidable truths that are simply unchangeable.
There are certain things that I must accept are never going to happen. I can’t will someone into being something that they’re not or supposed to be. This is doubly true for individuals who don’t wish to change themselves. All the loving support in the world can’t make someone want to be an adult, nor will it make an alcoholic put down the bottle or the compulsive kleptomaniac to be trustworthy alone in a room full of your stuff.
I also can’t make the past any different, nor can I ignore it in the blind hope that some day the asshats who treated me like garbage will suddenly change their tune simply because of my new sunny disposition. Indeed, unsatisfying relationships with others are very unlikely to improve unless both parties are willing to accept their flaws and commit to change. One party’s refusal to acknowledge boundaries set by the other lead only to heartache.
So, what? Some would argue that bad relationships should simply be accepted, especially those society dictates that we maintain. There are people who swallow the hard truth every day and live with bad behavior, simply because the existence of the relationship in their life gives them some sense of satisfaction. If that’s how you roll, more power to you. But, as someone who spent a majority of her life as a glorified doormat, and has been working quite diligently to change that, that option doesn’t work for me.
No rosy hued sentiment got me to this conclusion, only the disheartening grip of countless disappointments. The people who are in my life are lucky to be there. They are the few that understand what boundaries I set as rules for engagement and that societal roles hold zero sway if they are not respected. It has less charm than the shoot for the stars sentiments, but it does help me sleep better at night.