Being dissatisfied keeps me moving forward. It keeps me from settling for less than what I want and it keeps me charging toward my goals.
On the other hand, being dissatisfied makes it hard for me to appreciate what I have and it means that I’m always vaguely unhappy on some level.
What is worse is that sometimes I am dissatisfied, not because of a failure to reach my goals (yet!) but because I get this feeling that I’m supposed to want something, whether I do or not. Sort of like my dilemma about my newly freed weekends. That’s silly but I do it to myself constantly.
For example, I am divorced.
Divorced but not dead, mind you. Setting aside sex (because sex is not an issue), I find that I am torn about my love life. On the one hand, while I have no interest in remarrying, I am interested in companionship. Romance, even. But on the other hand, I really don’t have any interest in that kind of companionship. Or maybe what I should say is that I have no real interest in commitment.
I tried that. It didn’t work.
No, I know I should not judge all men by the sick fuck I married. And I don’t. But I find myself wondering to what degree I am missing “romance” in my life because I have some vague sense that I ought to be wanting it or looking for it or missing it? Do I really want it or am I looking for something else?
The way my marriage ended left me with a pretty bad taste in my mouth. I came away from it feeling very un-.
I could go on but I think you get the gist.
For me, the appeal of any given fictional love story is my secret wish that somebody somewhere would feel that way about me. And maybe not so secret. This is no doubt why romance fiction is the top selling kind of genre fiction in the country. I am probably not exactly unique but that doesn’t make me feel any better.
But if I think about this hard enough, I realize that it is probably a good thing that I am not exactly involved right now (for the record, I will say that I am currently in one of those “it’s complicated” relationships — with which I am dissatisfied). It’s never a good idea to walk into a romantic entanglement looking for what you’re going to get out of it rather than what you’re going to put into it. I’m needy enough to make any psychologically healthy man run screaming from the room.
People who tell me that I am patient make me laugh. They are also evidence of the difference between what it is like to watch me be me and what it is like to live inside my own skin. I am not patient. But sitting here thinking about it makes me wonder if maybe romance or companionship is not going to come my way until I am ready for it — which I clearly am not right now.
Maybe the best love affair I could have right now would be for me to fall in love with me. All things considered, I have quite a lot of damage to repair.
And in the meantime, maybe I need to tangle a bit with that dissatisfaction stuff. Goals are good. Movement is good. But I have an awful lot to be thankful for and it ought to be possible to find peace and contentment in the life I have in the moment without sacrificing my vision for my future.
Sometimes I feel like I still haven’t finished growing up.