Sunday, October 28, 2012

Idealist, Disappointed

As a die hard idealist, I often struggle with reconciling all the "should's" with the "are's."

Politicians should tell the truth. We should have friends in Madison. My mom's store shouldn't be closing. My church should be a great  place to meet God.

Reality isn't always kind.

But then, there are a lot of good things that happen out of the blue that by all rights shouldn't happen.

What do you do when you are disappointed? My personal trend is to run. Hit the deck and run like hell. Get out of there before any one else can hurt or disappoint you. But I have been thinking about this a little and have decided that while this is the easiest option, it might not be the best option long term. If you keep running, you eventually arrive at a place where no one knows you at all. None of your relationships can survive beyond a conflict. I learned this from C who for some reason doesn't consider running. Once you run, there is no way to fix it. You can't make a change (and neither can the other party) because you are gone. You stop giving the other side a chance. You take control.

Control is something I am a pro at in this context. I usually justify my decision to run with statements like "I'm not getting what I need, and I need to go somewhere where I will. Nothing's going to change." Or, "if I don't fight for myself, who will?" Or, "Why should I wait to see what happens?" It's all very "I" centered. It's gets close to the self-preservation instincts, and it's all about control.

I am not always sure how to fight the instinct to run. It's a habit that's been ingrained through a life of moving. It's easy to believe that my decision to leave won't affect anyone, but that's my impression of reality,  not necessarily the facts.

I have so many questions about how to live. I don't want to put a gloss over everything and pretend to be happy. I feel like a little kid in a pink dress outside under a tree. The bad guys came and knocked my glasses off and now they are standing around laughing at me while I grope around on the ground and try to find them.


  1. Sarah - thanks for your vulnerability in writing.

    "I feel like a little kid in a pink dress outside under a tree. The bad guys came and knocked my glasses off and now they are standing around laughing at me while I grope around on the ground and try to find them."

  2. I told a story this weekend about learning the economic theories and equations supporting the willful destruction of perfectly good crops, and how much that messed with my notions of intuition of right and wrong. That with all of my ideas of how things should be, I could be completely off.

    That being honest and open with the world sometimes makes it more difficult to enact change. That being honest about my faith is about embracing uncertainty, and giving up part of the rationality that governs the rest of my life. That my utopias aren't and cannot be true utopias. But there I go talking about me.

    Life is hard, and it sometimes sucks. The burdens placed on us are not equal, neither in terms of geography, time, or all sorts of other statuses. Sometimes we are at the high place looking down trying to see if there's a net, and sometimes we are holding the net. Sometimes we are looking and holding at the same time, in different contexts. Sometimes we can't just find our glasses, and sometimes we realize that we carelessly knocked someone else's glasses off a few days ago, as I did on Friday.

    And maybe, just maybe, we can hold the net a little stronger if we grappled more with the high place. Perhaps, in staying, we can discover what our limits truly are. Sometimes we are fearful of discovering our own potential. At least I am. Talk Tuesday?

  3. Thanks friends. Yes, talk Tuesday.

  4. This is interesting to me. Because I always tell people that you are the one who taught me how to be confrontational. I literally attribute my ability to nip conflict in the bud because of learning to live together freshman year. I learned it from you, and its always been one of the things I'm most proud for having learned, and from a best friend no less!

    Very interesting. Perhaps you are not as much of a "flight" creature as you suppose you are.