It's like once you have a delicious Sour Patch Kid, how the hell can an apple even compare? The apple makes no noise within the realm of the taste buds. Now oooooooobviously you have to have another SPK, you can't have just one. Shit…the marketing gurus have us brainwashed. Why can't we just have one and then work to balance out the amusement park in our mouth by just getting back on the basic Ferris wheel? We don't need to ride the tilt-a-whirl repeatedly until there's vomit all over our t-shirts and the people standing to our right.
They say that people that constantly jump out of airplanes are chasing the purple dragon - they're never going to have the same amount of adrenaline in their systems as they do when they take their first skydive. They literally become adrenaline junkies, just like any other junkie. Just like the first piece of candy, the second one is never as good. After a long, sweaty, dirty day of work, there's something wildly satisfying about an ice cold beer. But just like the candy, just like the skydiving…the second one is never as good as the first and the third becomes as bland as water. It's still delicious, but it cannot quench the thirst the same way.
As life goes on, we gain more and more of these experiences where it's as simple as, "It's not as good as the first time around." There's scientific explanations about dopamine, your expectations for an experience, yada yada…but when it comes down to it, the first time experiencing something is the most exciting, the most sensational. You remember the smell, the sight, the feel, the thoughts... they're all so new! Your first drink, your first love, your first pet, the list goes on. Now the question I want to pose is….
…through gratefulness, through meditation upon our passing through this world…can we make EVERY time we do something feel like the first time? Can our love for our partner be just as wildly out of control and lustful as the first time we fell for them? Can we be so overwhelmed with gratefulness that our home is just as special as the first day we moved into it? Can we treat each day that we wake more special than the last?
But on the flip side of the coin; does our existence lose its' power over time? Even though we can control our gratefulness for those around us, can those around us start to take us for granted, regardless of how strongly we may feel? Can the strength of a bond between two lovers fade over time simply because of one side's inability to take stock in what they have…what they've created together? As people grow individually, their perspective on the world cannot be the same, regardless of how similar it may be or how intertwined their lives may be. So as they maintain and grow their partnership…their life together, can their perspective become more similar with someone else's? And at that point, does their being become more magnetically drawn elsewhere? If it's magnetic, there is no blame to be dealt (not like it would do any good). That would be like being pissed at the north side of a magnet for attaching to the south side of a magnet. "You slut!" But if you turn the magnets around, they repel one another. Are you now angry they can't get along? Living is emotional. Just waking up you have residual emotions from a dream. Your day hasn't even begun and yet you're ready to put a hole in a wall.
It's certainly a conundrum. As we settle into routines, we settle into the comfort of the love of our partner, we fail to realize that as growth has continued together, it has also happened separately…as it must in life. We all leave this world alone. Someone could hold our hand until our very last breath, but they will not be taking that spiritual journey with us. That is ours and ours alone to take, which is one of the most difficult thoughts we all must embrace. It's entangled with fear as no one in existence has the answer to what happens next. We all want that answer, but we won't get it until that moment comes... and it comes for us all.
So our partnership is a blessing. We should be so excited that we found anyone in this life that can put up with our bullshit, that laughs at our shitty jokes, that reminds us that it's all going to be okay. We should understand that as we both grow that our paths are going to cross with people that magnetically pull us that we're unable to fathom what to do about it. There's no right and wrong in the universe, but all we can do is do what our heart, brain, and gut agree is correct. No one can tell you what's right or wrong but yourself. No one promised us this life would be easy. No one told us that the decisions we make would be simple. There are moments in my life that an ultimatum was set before me, choose A or B…and I knew, in that very moment, it would dramatically change my life. I will always remember them because of the gravity of my decisions. It's as if our lives are like a movie playing out and the music intensifies to alert audience members that something important is about to happen. How many of us constantly throw around the JAWS music when we're about to hunt our prey? duuuunnnn duun… duuunnnnnnnn dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dunnnnnnnnnnn dunnnn RAWR
Just like death, there's no one to guide us to the next step. There's no one to tell us what is right or wrong. There's no one that can give you the answer but yourself. The actions that you take will reveal said answer.. and there's no taksie-backsies. But you should know that you are important in this world, this is your movie. You are the protagonist in your own film. Therefor there are supporting characters that are going to be along for your ride. The choices you make will have consequences to those around you. They are not always going to react how you wished they would. How could they? The same movie that is playing from your perspective is not the same that is playing through their's. How they see things is different and although the action may be the same, the reasoning is wildly different. This character could have been with you since the very beginning of the movie, but some characters get killed off, they become the bad guy, or they may save you in the end. These are the complexities of human life.
But a good movie replicates life, not the other way around. Life is absurdly too complex to ever compare deeply to a movie. The variables that take place in this universe supersede anything Hollywood could ever curate. But if you have a supporting character in your movie, and you're not just living out a life on an island with a volleyball, then you need to be grateful for them. You need to understand how lucky you are to have someone that cares for you and loves you (sometimes more than you love yourself). If you've developed a deep and meaningful connection over the course of years with this person, then you're in the top 1%. So be grateful, just like you should be grateful for the food in your fridge, your gas in your car, the roof over your head, the opportunities that life presents you, the shower that you can take daily, the job that puts money in your bank account. We should be much more grateful for our connection with another amazing human being.
Now, is wanting more than JUST those things greedy? Yearning for a house when you live in an apartment, or more food in your fridge, or a bigger bed to sleep in…do these things make you greedy? After becoming complacent with one deep and meaningful connection with your human and wanting another one…does this define you as greedy? Does it mean that you're not sinking in enough effort and love into the one you already have? "Greedy" is a scary word to start throwing around because it starts to really make things black and white, where this life that we live is complicated by society, economics, and variables beyond our control. There's the argument that being overly grateful and complacent with our lives can lead to something people would call "settling." So to chase more, does that make you greedy, ambitious, a "go-getter"…or does doing the opposite make you lazy, complacent, and stagnant? To pursue another deep and intimate relationship with another person, how can it not take from the one you already have? We all have only so much bandwidth to give to other humans, then to give to those in our family circle, and then the tight intimate partnership. When you start to dish out bandwidth in too many directions, your attention will wane. And we all know, attention is finite. There's only so much of "us" that can go around.
Maybe you want space from that tight partnership you've formed over your years together. Maybe you need a vacation. Maybe you need to focus more inwardly than outwardly to understand your own emotions. But this is your movie, not mine. YOU figure it out.
There are not many answers found to these questions, but they're certainly something we must ponder. If I was going mattress shopping, and my reliable and comfortable mattress of 12 years was sentient…how would they feel? "No, no, no Tempurpedic…it's not you, it's ME. I just need a little more leg room is all. I promise, we're going to put you in the second bedroom. You get to be the guest bed! Isn't that awesome! You get to introduce yourself to so many new people when they come over! Then they'll ALSO get to experience how great you are."
What a fucking nightmare. Then when you toss out an old washer it starts bitching about how it cleaned all your poopy underwear and how ungrateful we are. I imagine our old washer to have a raspy, smoked until 85 and I'm still working, kind of voice.
Just like the movie's characters, just like what we're grateful for around us, just like the love we share with the people around us, we need to be mindful of it all and consistently take stock of what we have. Be grateful but stay your path in your growth. Love all those around you, but keep that special kind of love for someone. We all need to feel special and sometimes you're the one that has to do the heavy lifting for that person. Work hard to keep things new and interesting, because no one wants to settle into a rut. We're all going to grow separately and see the world differently, but keep your bond fresh and strong. Just like a plant, it's got to be fed. This ride is ours to take, and just like a roller coaster; you're only going to have one person next to you. Hold their hand on those wild drops, laugh with them when it's over, and when you get off that ride make sure to grab the picture from the booth because you may forget that moment and you're going to need a reminder of who was there for you when our stomach was up in your throat.