Do you ever get the feeling that people are in love with the idea of life, but not life itself?
That we’re all waiting for someone to start filming our lives so that we can play out the scene and deliver our lines? That we’re all waiting for our boss to say something really snarky because we have the perfect comeback? That we’re all waiting for our significant other to break up with us so we can stereotypically eat ice cream and binge watch Dirty Dancing? That we’re all waiting for it to rain so that we can kiss someone in it? That we’re all waiting to take a cruise so we can stand at the helm with our arms out like Kate Winslet?
It’s like we’re all waiting for our lives to look like something. Waiting for them to be “perfect.”
I like to refer to this idea as “Isn’t It Pretty to Think So?.” Stolen from Hemingway, it simply encapsulates the idea that life is really poetic, but we still try to force it into something that is meaningful to us.
I mean, it is really beautiful how most things in life come together in a way that you would have never expected but should have expected all along. And yet we still spend so much time trying to force the pieces into place, gluing everything down so that it doesn’t blow into the breeze, even though the breeze is what will guide us, if we let it.
I see a lot of people fall under the spell of “Isn’t It Pretty to Think So?” when they fall in love with someone new, and they think that they’re perfect together because they both like corn dogs and they both love to talk about how bad the last season of American Horror Story was. But I also see people who build up events or experiences in their head until they could not possibly go the way they had planned, even if it wasn’t just “pretty to think” that it would go a certain why.
So, how do you avoid thinking pretty? You simply remember that your life isn’t a Hemingway novel. Or a Fitzgerald novel. Or a Shakespearean play. Or a Quentin Tarantino film (thank goodness?). You write your own life, from beginning to end. And it’s messy, and confusing, and frustrating, and weird, and terrific, and great, and inspiring, and depressing, and glorious.
And oh yeah, it is also always, always perfect, no matter how bad or good it seems.