hey pretty

Ceci n'est pas une "dating blog."

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Happily Ever After What?

"Because the soul is progressive it never quite repeats itself, but in every act attemps the production of a new and fairer whole." Ralph Waldo Emerson.

My last couple of posts seem to have hit a nerve with many of my readers. Not surprisingly, the whole issue of fitting romantic relationships into the context of our lives, both in the short and long terms, is a challenging proposition for many of us. Last night, after a night on the town with Sailor, I was settling into my evening routine when a re-run of an old Sex in the City came on. I'm sorry to return to this show again as a reference point, but this particular episode brought up an interesting topic. The theme was relationship myths--those fables that illustrate people overcoming seemingly impossible odds to find "the one" that people hold on to as a source of hope that they too will someday find somebody right for them. Aside from the notion that "the one" is a rather outmoded and unrealistic construct in and of itself, I was particularly struck when one of the characters used the term "happily ever after" in describing the outcome of finding "the one."

An old boyfriend of mine once told me that he believed that fairy tales were the worst possible influences on the female psyche because they ingrain little girls with impossible notions of princes and knights sweeping them out of harm's way and carrying them off into the sunset of unidentified bliss that in reality, are never actualized. He said that too many women carry these dreams with them as baggage throughout life, and that nothing ever matches these expectations because they're impossible to attain. In other words, they set women up for failure.

Setting apart the fact that he was probably giving these stories a bit too much power, I mean, I think most of women are capable of seeing fairy tales for the metaphors that they are, but he did have a point. That being, that finding that perfect relationship should never be regarded as the sole catalyst for transforming your life.

So, continuing with this idea that I laid down the other day, that relationships should be considered as dynamic portions of an overall whole, not a means to an end, I pose this question: If another person isn't your happily ever after, what is?

Here are a few of mine: Publishing a book; taking the perfect photograph; finally finding an occupation and job that's 100% right for me; making absolute peace with my body; forgiving myself of my previous mis-steps.

And to pose yet another question, wouldn't it be best if we all just agreed that happily ever after begins right now?

What are some of your happily ever afters?


Blogger Irish Red said...

Bravo Bravo, darling!

My happily ever after: Owning my own condo, seeing the great wall of China, spending St. Patrick's Day in Dublin, surving cancer another 3 years (and beyond of course), and owning my own piano :)

You are fabulous and i send cyber-hugs out to you!


5:47 PM  
Blogger EclecticBlue said...

Right on again, HP.

My HEE's: Getting a PhD, living in a fabulous place in the city (preferably a place that I own), travelling the world (Hong Kong, Bali, much of Europe, particularly), owning a Mercedes SL500, reading to the point of being as well-read as I can possibly be.

6:06 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Mine are pretty simple, I think. I try to live life fully. Here. Now.

I guess I'd love to buy my own place in the city, to move out of my basement into a townhouse all my own. I'd like to read more. Drink less. Continue to be challenged. Continue to travel. I want to grow more confident and more humble all at the same time...

Maybe they aren't so simple. I want to be a better person. Is that too much?

6:26 PM  
Blogger "Write this in your book..." said...

I like this post. I liked yesterday’s, too.

While I am not naïve enough to believe that there is such a thing as a perfect relationship or a “soul mate”, I do strongly believe that that there are kindred spirits with whom we’ll eventually bump into and the relationship will just makes sense. All relationships leading up to this point are fine, and until you find one of these people, you really don’t know the difference. This is not to say that past relationships up to that point weren’t a source of love, friendship or whatever else, but when you come upon a person who is your match for a life long partner, you just know it. This person does not “transform” your life or rescue you, but together, you enhance, compliment and bring out the best in each other. Happily ever after it is not, but it’s still a nice way to experience life.

I like the sentiment you expressed here:

And to pose yet another question, wouldn't it be best if we all just agreed that happily ever after begins right now?

You’re right. We should be living fully in the present and seek out enjoyment and/or fulfillment in what we have, and use that to spring forward and grow.

That said, a few other of life’s “nice enhancements” (past, present and future) for me include buying my house, freefalling from 14,000 feet, and welcoming my future children into the family.

6:27 PM  
Blogger EclecticBlue said...

Whoops, that should be "HEAs," not "HEEs." Duh.

6:40 PM  
Blogger Hey Pretty said...

1.) Hi again Red, kisses!
2.) EB, maybe you can combine a couple of those--own a fabulous place in a far away land? Read all there is to read while getting your PHD?
3.)Kristin, yes! Living in the moment is exactly where it's at. I find it hard some times because I'm always like "when I achieve x, things will be great." better to appreciate what's great in the here and now. To quote that cheesy 70's saying: Be here now.
4.) Write this, welcome back! I really like your writing style. I agree whole heartedly. It's a yin-yang type of thing.

and as a side note: I am beyond sleepy. Coffee, not working.

9:27 PM  
Blogger Ryane said...

Good question: for me, that would be:
~Living in Europe
~buying my own house
~Not having married any of my ex's!
~Autumn approaching and humidity LEAVING!
~Peace with my family...

12:18 PM  
Blogger Rothko said...

"And to pose yet another question, wouldn't it be best if we all just agreed that happily ever after begins right now?"

I don't mean this to sound depressing, because it's really not intended that way, but I'm pretty sure 'happily ever after' doesn't exist for me. Or rather, as you say, it's happening right now, and right now, and right now, but it will always feel just out of reach. Forever. That's the nature of 'happily ever after.' Here's another quote. Not quite as 'refined' as Emerson, but good nonetheless: So I'm drinking, breathing, writing, singing; Everyday I'm on the clock; My mind races with all my longings; But can't keep up with what I got. -Bright Eyes

4:29 PM  

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