“For someone with so much relationship advice, you seem awfully alone.”
A year ago, my friend sent this quote from the movie Beginners to me as a joke. But, it was true. Awfully true. I am the voice of reason between a girlfriend and boyfriend when they bicker. I am the drenched shoulder when my close girl friend has been dumped. I am the 3AM response unit, when you have drowned your sorrows in alcohol, and need a ride home. But at 4AM, I go home. Alone. This past year, I have been called the quintessential boy friend, but I am not anyone’s boyfriend. And that makes me happy.
Father: Well, let’s say, when you were little, you always dreamed of some day getting a lion. And you wait and you wait and you wait and you wait and the lion doesn’t come. Then along comes a giraffe. You can be alone or you can be with the giraffe.
Oliver: I’d wait for the lion.
Father: That’s why I worry about you.
[Beginners | 2010]
Our generation has this preconceived notion that we can always find better. In our love lives, we refocus our attention on the tiniest unsettling aspect that muddles our vision from the big picture leading us to form a flawed sense of self-entitlement. I’m not here to rain on your happy parade; I’m here to air out your cloud of smug. And I will be the first to raise my guilty hand of being victim to it.
In my past relationships, I’ll openly admit that I’ve been the first to jump ship at the sight of an iceberg, no matter what the size. Her lack of alcohol tolerance, penchant for lagging, and inability to dance have all been perceived glaciers even though they were just ice cubes. But in the overall scheme of things, I could have ignored them, and moved on silently through the night. And each time I ran, my girlfriend still believed in us. She had blind faith, because she looked past all of my flaws and focused on the big picture. What gave me the audacity to think I was better than her?
During the pursuit of my lion, I pompously assumed that I too, was a lion. A self-assuming proudly maned creature that was the king of the jungle. I’m here to tell you that my hubris has taken years to deflate, and I’ve learned from passing up multiple potential alternate futures. The truth is that we should find a giraffe, and appreciate them for being one. I’ve found what I’m looking for, but that never would have been possible with my preconceived value. What you want before the heartbreak, regret, and lessons is completely different from what you will end up with. Your giraffe may become a lion before your very own eyes, but you have to be willing to see it.
So while I may be awfully alone, I am delightfully surrounded. I’m learning from the experiences of those that consider me a confidant on the daily and value my opinion. I’m warmed by seeing their tears turn into a smile. I’m sharing memories on a drunken ride home as they blurt out whatever is on their mind. When I get home by myself at 4AM, I’m actually blanketed in love by those that trust me. With that being said, 2014 is about expecting good, and getting greater. My lion is still getting used to me being good, but the chance to prove I’m greater, makes me happy.