Friday, June 29, 2012

Eat, Pray, Love

Back in April, I finally read a book on my list that spoke to my soul and touched me to the core. I felt like Elizabeth Gilbert was in many ways writing the story of my life (minus all of the traveling) as she chronicled her search for balance. I know it's not a new book by any means and I even saw the movie before I read the book, which is not something I generally like to do but Eat, Pray, Love captured perfectly some of the emotions that I have been feeling in the last few months... I only wish I had read this book sooner!!!
One thing she said has stayed with me, like a haunting dream, even a couple of months later. It was like she took this feeling directly from my heart and put into words something that I couldn't verbalize on my own...
              "I have a history of making decisions very quickly about men. I have always fallen in love fast and without measuring risks. I have a tendency not only to see the best in everyone, but to assume that everyone is emotionally capable of reaching his highest potential. I have fallen in love more times than I care to count with the highest potential of a man, rather than with the man himself, and I have hung on to the relationship for a long time (sometimes far too long) waiting for the man to ascend to his own greatness. Many times in romance I have been a victim of my own optimism.” 

I have a tendency to do this too-romanticizing and idealizing a guy until I am blind to the real person and can only see the pedestal version that I have created. I am the very definition of a hopeless romantic; I consume more than healthy doses of romantic comedies and happily ever afters and I am always the biggest cheerleader for relationships (mine and others) even when it might be healthier if the involved parties went their seperate ways. This optimism causes me to go overboard sometimes (ok all the time) because I want so badly for things to work out. I spend hours agaonizing over my relationships, deciding on the perfect card from Hallmark, or the perfect just because gift and I go out of my way to make sure the guys knows how awesome I think he is. This optimism helped me move 1,500 miles from my friends and family to Houston, TX. This optimism has led to more heartbreak and tears than I would like to acknowledge.

In some ways, I think this optimism is vital to a relationship. It is what keeps me wanting to put forth effort even after the "honeymoon, lovey dovey phase" has ended. It is what helps me to sacrifice my needs for his. Yes, I know this optimism can be overwhelming and even smothering to guys because I don't know how to reign it in and it is probably the reason I almost always end up with a broken heart, but it's not something that I will give up, because maybe someday there will be someone who will appreciate that I see the best in them and will want to work at being the person I see, just as I will work to be the person they see.