Sunday, March 20, 2011

Fantasy v.s. Reality

High Fidelity is one of my desert island, all-time, top five favorite movies. First of all, it has John Cusack, who I find so terribly charming. Secondly, it's about music, which I love. Finally, I enjoy the honest male perspective it provides. In one of my favorite scenes, Rob proposes to Laura in a bar, telling her that since he was 14 he's been chasing this idea of a fantasy woman who doesn't come with the inherent complexity that arises when people get close in a real way. He explains that he's come to realize that this fantasy neither delivers nor exists and that he's tired of it.

This week I've been resonating with this fantasy v.s. reality theme in relationships. There's this dance we do early on in relationships where we reveal little bits of ourselves, test the waters, carefully check out this new person. Some people are good at this. I am not so much. I have little patience for small talk and a total lack of interest in playing pretend. I want to know who you are- no, really. Who are you? I don't care what you do or how much money you make. What gets you excited about being alive? I can get behind talking about books and movies and childhood TV shows, but what really feels fulfilling for me, what gets me excited, is diving right in and connecting with people in meaningful ways. It's not easy to come by, but it's what I live for.

Years ago my friend Brooke told me that I was a "real girl," and that people were drawn to me because they were looking for a real experience of life. Although I have had trouble existing in my own reality at times, by and large I am pretty deeply rooted and steady. When I'm in, I'm in 150% without question...the bright side of obstinacy. Because I'm interested in peoples' authentic realities, I can comfortably hold space for them in their depths as well as their heights. For better or worse, I'm here for you. All I ask is that you're honest...which I know can be a tall order. Sometimes we don't even know what the truth is, or are afraid to voice it. I get it. As sensitive as I am to the possible anxiety in honesty, I'm here to challenge myself and you to get at it. As a Kundalini yoga teacher, I'm called to be a forklift- elevating people, sometimes abruptly, but elevating nonetheless to an experience of their highest Self. On the path of true service, sometimes one has to tell people things that are upsetting. Honesty is not always 'nice', but it should always be elevating.

That being said, I am aware of my own intensity. A long time ago I figured out that I'm just not one of those easy girls to date. All women have their own brand of coocoo, but if I am indeed real and I give people an experience of reality, that's not always easy to handle. I think I'm pretty gentle about it...but I get why it would be off putting. I am not a late night TV fantasy. I have baggage I'm unpacking, funny quirks, and no wherewithal or desire to hide them away. Why compromise myself or try to lie? I'm a terrible liar and compromising my truth always results in an icky, hollow feeling when I get what I thought I wanted. From my perspective, we are spiritual beings having a human experience. I challenge myself and the people around me to strive for that experience of the Divine in the human...Consciousness...which is hard.

And in other ways, I'm probably pretty easy to date. I don't necessarily need (or want) to talk to my significant other every day. I like handmade gifts, matinee movies and cheap, hole in the wall eats. Parents and grandparents find me delightful. I have a policy of never taking boyfriends shopping with me. I bake like a mofo and I'm a sweetheart until you give me a good reason not to be. I feel super neurotic right now, but it's only because I'm working all my weird stuff out before I get married so my husband and children don't suffer from my crazy. So, the reward for people who are willing to show up for me is a super cool woman to play and learn and grow with. Maybe intense...but 100% worth it.

Not everyone is going to appreciate me and what I have to offer, and despite what my mom says, there's nothing wrong with them. I don't resonate with everyone I meet. Attraction is complex, sometimes (often...) irrational and rarely within our control. Some day I hope to meet a dude to resonate with who appreciates me for who I am and has the gonads to dive in and be real with me. It's not the fantasy that I think a lot of guys picture...but I think it might be better.

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