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Not Like a Song, Not Like a Movie

Expectation vs. reality can be a harsh thing. Perhaps nowhere is this more true than in our interpersonal relationships. So often we strive for a connection with someone, only to discover that they do not desire the same. We want an affirmation from others about who we are as human beings, yet do not receive such interaction when it is most wanted. And, of course, we want a storybook closure to our relationships with others, an ending that all too often is never written the way we'd like, or expect, it to be.

We'll see a movie where someone likes someone else and, in order to let them know, will write them a love song. Maybe there'll be a scene where, in a crowded night club, person A will get on stage, strum their guitar (it's always a guitar, isn't it?) and coo their homegrown lyrics to person B in the audience. Person B, the object of the affection, will tear-up, fall in love there on the spot and eventually the two will go off together in a blur of romance.

Real life doesn't happen in such a fashion. Most often, person A would accomplish nothing more than creeping out person B, who likely would not reciprocate the amorous feelings. Such is life.

What about the movie where a parent is dying, and the (now grown) child has some unresolved issues with them? On nearly every occasion, the parent and child will have some sort of heartfelt reconciliation before the elder passes away. All will be right with the world, and their emotion well-being. Again, such a Hollywood ending doesn't always occur. Trust me on this.

Recently I discovered some information about the first person I fell in love with. He represents a pivotal point in my life, the impetus for my coming out. We haven't spoken with one another in over twenty years, though I always imagined we would again some day. I envisioned some sort of occasion wherein he would let me know that I had been as important a figure in his life as he'd been in mine. Alas, judging by what I've discovered, it is unlikely that is the case.

For better or worse, we live our lives in search of others to connect with. It is why we form relationships -- platonic and romantic. We seek someone to be a mirror of our lives, to share it with us, so that we may feel some sort of resonance with the world. We seek acceptance. We seek love. This can affect our mood and our outlook. Unfortunately, we must also learn not to expect such affirmation on a regular basis. It can be really, really hard for people to click.

In the meantime, best to appreciate the successful connections we've made during this life.


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