There are a variety of pages that I have "liked" on Facebook and most of them I truly enjoy getting updates from, in particular two. Those two are Humans of New York, for its sheer, simple brilliance, effortless charm and profundity and the second one is called "Word Porn" which is a page that features lesser known words and their definitions and is updated almost daily. I am an unabashed lover of words and definitions and this particular page is right up my alley. Often they will post inspirational quotes or concepts and I usually always appreciate it and even when I don't, it sets me to thinking. For example, a recent post on there read this:
According to Greek Mythology, humans were originally created four arms, four legs, and a head with two faces. Fearing their power, Zeus split them into two separate beings, condemning them to spend their lives in search of their other halves.
As of this writing, that particular post has received 47,692 "likes". Granted there are thousands of comments, a lot of which are negative but for the most part, people read that and think "wow, that idea is so wonderful and beautiful and amazing." And because I tend to get sucked inside the vortex of my own navel at least, like, fifteen times a day for hours at a time, reading that did not make me think "wow, that idea is so wonderful and beautiful and amazing" but rather "wow, people have been emotionally dysfunctional and lacking in self esteem since Plato's time and likely before then." It is not the first time I've heard that particular concept but when I first read it I was in college and as such, was likely drunk when I read it. I just don't think I gave it much thought.
But this morning, it gave me pause. Putting aside the very disturbing visuals I get of these four armed, four legged creatures of the ancient world, the notion that we spend our existence in search of some other half of ourselves, that we were born half a person to begin with grinds my gears in the exact same way that Christianity purports that we are born with Original Sin and have to be forgiven through baptism. I realize I am prone to cynicism in matters of romantic love (Romantic Cynic since 1988, y'all! I should have gotten a pen or something in the 25th year) but when you start out thinking that someone else is going to "complete" you...despite the fact that most people call me negative, I see that as a 100% doomed idea. People spend so little time cultivating themselves into complete people and instead focus so much of their precious time and energy on finding "the one" who is going to "make them complete" that by the time they find someone who calls them back, they have nothing to say. By the time someone calls them back, they are so busy trying to fill up all the empty spaces left behind by doing no introspection whatsoever that they fill their lives with disposable throwaway stuff, meaningless experiences and they never really get to know each other because they don't know themselves. And then the relationship fails and they are left sad and feeling like they failed somehow because they couldn't find their "other half" and they are left depressed because instead of seeing it for what it really is/was. They see it once again as "I am only half myself." I call bullshit.
So, what's wrong with becoming a complete person on your own, growing and learning and developing your own self, interests, desires, world views and opinions? Being, in fact, a whole person. And then running into someone else who is also a whole person and instead of asking for things from that person (almost immediately...COMPLETE ME PLEASE), sharing what you have already with each other? Why do so few people do this? I think relationships would have a better shot at the outset if you start out not wanting someone to complete you but rather wanting to add more to yourself and give some to someone else not because they need you to do it but because they want to.
What the hell do I know though? I'm still single. And now I'm off to perform a task that makes me feel the most single I ever feel, and I include getting a drink alone at a bar: shoveling my own car out of the snow. In fact, I think if I ever did meet someone to marry (not that there's anything wrong with that), I'd skip a wedding and just have a ceremonial shoveling of my car out of the snow.
And it is sentences like that last one that necessitate me be invited to go to a party or any other social gathering because I"m not saying I resemble Miss Havisham yet, but I'm starting to resemble Miss Havisham.
|Is that you Pip?|