There is something about a cracked wall paper, that causes my mind to fixate on the cracks. The minute I notice any crack on a wall, regardless of how small it is, somehow, in my mind it is magnified, such that whenever I walk into that room the first thing my eyes fixate on is the crack. Same applies with nail polish. The minute a crack appears on any one of my nails, it doesn’t matter how small or how insignificant it looks, my mind will fixate on it and it will drive me crazy throughout the day.
I am like that with most things, and also because I am a doer by nature, my next instinct is to try and fix whatever small crack I will have seen which always makes it worse. Always! Possibly because the crack was not a significant one to start off with. If it’s nail polish I try neatly lay on another coat, and the end result is always a large blob which will chip ruining my nails and therefore forcing me to undo the entire nail polish. All because I fixated myself on a minute crack that was on my otherwise perfect manicure.
Recent events got me thinking about this particular character trait of mine and made me realize just how much peace and joy that sucks out of me. Apparently I am a very talkative person. I say apparently because I don’t agree with what my friends and family think, I much prefer to identify as a quiet girl who ocassionally has something to say, but anyway. I replay conversations, events, etc and all the cracks in what I said or did become so apparent to me that instead of me laughing it off, or at best not care and move on with life, I instead rehash the scenarios in my head and I end up so frustrated as to why my brain let me down that I did not say the correct thing. I am still upset with myself that I forgot the cosine rule in my maths O level paper. 😤
It does have it’s perks though, this character trait. In my line of work, it allows me to see potential dangers ahead when the picture is painted, allows me to see the cracks in the painting, and therefore allows me to plan ahead and avert any potential pitfalls or dangers that may have otherwise arisen; however, it is not such a great trait when it comes to interacting with other human beings.
It’s no secret that I love love. I love people being together, I love to hear their stories, to watch them grow and love each other. So it also would make sense that I am forever trying to link up single people. I have had one successful match so far, and that fuels me to keep going. 😜 In doing this, I have found that people often use this character trait of mine that I have spoken about, on other people. People have been speaking about how we are an impatient generation that demands perfection from people, demanding a standard that we ourselves are unable to hold up to.
We read everyday on social media how girls will tell a guy straight up to his face, that he isn’t in their league, only to find out that the girl’s expensive taste and adornment isn’t as a result of her own hardwork, neither is it the result of the hardwork of her parents,but is instead, solely based on her looks. We use our looks to determine what our standard is, wanting to live a “kept” life without having worked a day in our lives.
OK, maybe I have used an extreme example, so will use a simple one. I spoke on an earlier blog post of how people turn down a perfectly good match, giving flimsy reasons such as his accent, the number of siblings he has (yah I eye rolled hard at this one), his background, I was trying to link up one of my bosses with one of my Zimbabwean brothers, and the minute I mentioned he is Zimbabwean, she said no. Zimbabweans will always want you to go back to Zim in December so no. 👀 And other stupid reasons that we have convinced ourselves of, which keep us from enjoying life.
We build fantasies in our head, of the perfect person, who always agrees with whatever it is you do or say, who is rich, understanding, good looking, fun, etc etc etc, and absolutely refuse to compromise on anything less than perfect, forgetting that we ourselves are far from perfection.
This holds true even in the non romantic type of relationships. We are so quick to judge others after hearing only half of the story, that we don’t even take the time to stop and weigh the situation, but instead will come out with a quick harsh verdict; yet when the tables are turned we cower and demand mercy. This scenario plays out such that in the end, we are forever the victims, and never the villains, and it serves to rob us of joy, peace and intimacy with other people in relationships, romantic or otherwise.
So here is the deal. People are not picture perfect. Real people in the real world lack that finesse that we see on television, that we read about in books whereby the biggest fight between Edward Cullen and Bella was who loved whom the most… 🙄 It’s beautiful to read about, it’s beautiful to watch on television, and unfortunately thanks to Facebook and Instagram, other people will give the impression that that is what their real lives are like as well. Its not true.
Real life is dealing with real people who have real issues. Real cracks in the wall, that will never ever give off that perfect finish. So it’s about deciding which cracks you are willing to deal with. A gaping hole in the centre of the wall is an obvious no, so for example if he is abusive, she cheated on you, she lies, he calls your parents names before he has even met them, these are obvious gaps in the wall and you need to just jump ship early whilst you still can. But small cracks are what make life worth living. Any relationship that I have had to hash it out with the person, and it has survived the aftermath of that confrontation, proves itself a solid one and allows a new layer of intimacy to be plastered on.
I will tell you what, I am far from perfect. I have issues, which if my friends and family were to sit down and talk about they would all agree on what those issues were. But what matters is not that I have issues, it’s that they see the cracks in my wallpaper, yet still love me anyway. That right there, is the crux of any relationship. That you see the other person, faults and all, you see the painting on the wall, cracks and all, and yet you still want to buy it.
So I guess I will ask us this? What standards do we demand from people? What image of ourselves do we portray, vis a vis what we really are like? No-one wants perfect. We think we want it, until we have it. It’s like in a vase shop with perfect looking china, it’s nice to see and view and woo and whoa about its beauty, but somehow you would rather not take it home to have the dog eat out of it. You don’t turn to your perfect bowl of china to have soup in when sick. Probably a bad analogy, but intimacy is also kind of like that. If my friend is forever portraying this image of how she has it all together all the time, then it’s very difficult to approach that person with my very imperfect life story, therefore the level of intimacy will have a ceiling.
So look at yourself with the proper eye lenses, identify your own cracks, but also see the perfect picture that is up against the wall, cracks and all. Use that same approach when it comes to interacting with other people. Be careful not to turn down a perfectly good opportunity to friendship, to companionship, to intimacy with someone, because you are hiding your own cracks, whilst magnifying his or hers.
Finally, life is for the living. Only those alive today can make choices, and live life. Live it. Embrace it. Live!