You don’t get to leave X yet. It is smoothing out your edges.
The unpleasant reality of life is that what you need at any given time is probably not luxurious or even comfortable. The Secret notwithstanding, what you intellectually think you want is often very different from what you actually want.
Do you have any idea how many lists I’ve made over the years of “the man I’m looking for?” If I had a dollar. Every single list included all the positive, pleasant, well-adjusted qualities I could want in a man. It’s taken me years to admit that the qualities I’m actually drawn to are way over on the other side of the spectrum. Try anger, eccentricity, risk-taking. Try cynical, sarcastic, moody.
Try “bad boy.”
There was no point in my twenties or early thirties when a well-adjusted, happy, cute dude like the one in my “Dream Man” lists would have ever gotten my attention. Much less become my boyfriend. I know I passed by many guys over the years who matched that dude. But I wasn’t really looking for him.
Intellectually you tell yourself you want good things. Why wouldn’t you? You want pots of gold, metaphorically speaking. Since most of us don’t use gold these days, let’s say you want a sexy bod, an end to the political fights at family get-togethers, a pair of red shoes and a fully-funded retirement account.
It’s easy to come up with a wishlist life.
But what if you really want edge-of-your-seat suspense, and the only way to get that adrenaline rush is to stay broke? What if you have a domme side and want sexual adventure – probably didn’t mention that when listing your Dream Man? Probably didn’t mention either that you’re still working for a jerk, because working his ego is teaching you the silent art of strategic manipulation?
Anyone who says jobs are for money is an idiot. Jobs are to teach you, in the purgatory of pretense, what you do and most definitely do not need to care about. Your soul thanks you for your corporate, soulless 9-5 and all that it is learning from it.
Life is full of opportunities for growth. Most of them aren’t fun. That’s why we love tragic love stories and sad country songs, because we know deep down that it’s the sadness that teaches us. Not to be sad, but to not be sad anymore. Pain teaches us to leave an abuser. Hunger teaches us to share. Weight issues teach us not to judge by appearances.
If we didn’t experience sorrow and loss, most of us would have the compassion of a feral pit bull.
In this way, I think suffering leads one to joy. It burns the bullshit out of you so that you are left, free on a sunny day, to look out over the horizon and smile.
That’s why I don’t get to leave X yet. It’s smoothing out my edges.