I’m admittedly a flawed person. I know it may be tough for some of you to believe (you newbie readers, anyhow) but I’m pretty screwed up, even on the best of days. But knowing is half the battle right? Or did G.I. Joe steer me wrong on that one?
One of the great things about being me is that I’m actually pretty good at recognizing the areas that I’m kind of screwed up in. I spend a lot of time thinking. And talking. And blogging. And thinking some more. Running is great for that, by the way. The thinking part, I mean. Running gives me ample time — hours some days — to go over my needed areas of improvement. At least I can never get bored while I’m out on a long training run.
See that? I’m all about making the most of things.
Through my years of introspection and navel-gazing, I have come to see that we are a lot like onions (Onions — not turnips. Or even rutabagas). We are many-layered. As one layer gets peeled back, another reveals itself underneath (I was also going to add something about making people cry, but that might have been taking the metaphor a little too far).
Where was I? Oh…that’s right. I was discussing how messed up I am. Back to business.
This onion-layer quality that we have (yes, I know that this metaphor isn’t original, but whatevs) means that we are never really “complete”. If we are growing, learning, and questioning, then we are constantly in the process of peeling back more and more layers. But there is no end to this. No “core”. The layers just keep peeling back forever.
It’s not as foreboding as it sounds. Really.
Recently I became aware of another onion layer that needed to be peeling back. The hard truth is that I had another one of my many flaws shoved in my face by someone who always seemed to have the talent of pointing out those areas of mine that required work. My ex-husband.
Yes, kids, in one of our less than flattering conversations in the past several months (I’ll spare you the gory details at this point in time) he pointing out my tendency to put people up on pedestals. Not just on a pedestal, but on a pedestal framed in black and white.
Now, this is not a brand new realization – for either one of us. I’ve long since been aware of this tendency of mine. I put people up on a pedestal – enthralled by their every thought, word and action. I look at them up there and see unicorns and rainbows and bacon flying out of their ass.
(Metaphorically speaking, of course. Ew. No one would really want ass-bacon, no matter how perfectly cooked and delicious it was).
But then, sooner or later, this person begins to disappoint. I see that it’s not really bacon coming out of their ass after all. Maybe it’s just a shitty bacon imitator — like that awful bacon flavoured tofu that vegetarians try to fool themselves into believing tastes as good as the real thing. In any case, eventually the shine begins to wear off. Because after all, nobody is perfect, now are they?
Except maybe Ryan Gosling. But I won’t know that for sure until he finally convinces me to run away with him. But I digress.
Usually when the shine begins to wear off, I find myself increasingly disenchanted with the former pedestal-dweller. I not only begin to focus more and more on their “human” qualities, I find that I’m even more actually kind of disgusted by them. The fall from the pedestal is always hard and swift. Soon, I find myself unable to see past those flaws, much less forgive them. Just ask my ex-husband. He knows all about it.
Being reminded of this tendency of mine has come along at opportune time (thanks again, Universe, you wise old bastard). Because now, as CBG and I are entering our second month of cohabitation bliss, I am beginning to notice, more and more, his human qualities. It was easy to keep him up on a pedestal and worship his many, many fabulous qualities when I only saw him for our five days a month. Four or five days of fun, I might add — where “real life” rarely entered the picture.
But now, we are together day in and day out. I have to face the fact that he is not, as I once told myself, a perfect specimen of a man with god-like qualities. Both in and out of bed, just in case any of you were wondering. You’re welcome. The truth is that for the last little while, his imperfections have been niggling at me a bit. Maybe even one or two specifically, even. Theoretically speaking. The kind of “human” qualities that, left unattended, have the potential to grow to unmanageable proportions.
Just two nights ago, as we were retiring for the night, I found myself watching him
creepily intently when he didn’t realize I was doing it. And I heard one of those “Little Voice” messages that I sometimes get.
Not to be confused with having voices in my head, though. That’s something entirely different.
The voice spoke to me loud and clear and it said, “He’s human, just like you are. That’s all.”
And in that moment, I found myself flooded with a profound love that I have never felt for another person. Because he is flawed, and those flaws that we all have shouldn’t make us any less lovable. In fact, they should make us even more loveable, because those flawed, broken, human parts of us are the parts that need the most love of all.
When I made this realization I almost felt as though I was seeing — truly seeing — CBG for the very first time. Because I wasn’t just looking at all the incredibly awesome things about him — his good looks, his sense of humour, his thoughtfulness, his mad bedroom skillz — I was looking at every single part of him, even the fake tofu bacon part.
These are all of the things that make up the person that he is. The bad stuff doesn’t in any way erase the good stuff. Just because he’s as forgetful as a dementia-plagued octogenarian doesn’t take away from the fact that he’s a rockstar
in the bedroom in the housework department. Both of these qualities can – and do – exist in the same person. In this man who loves me with his lovely, flawed, human heart.
None of us are black and white….we are all many shades of grey. Just not 50 Shades of Grey. Because that shit is effed up.
I feel like the other night I made a radical shift in not only my thinking, but in my ability to love. That Little Voice gave me the key to being a better wife and lover to CBG. In an instant a flip was switched. All thanks to my ex-husband, who ironically was actually being kind of a bunghole when he said it.
I probably at least owe him a beer.