Monday, July 8, 2013

The Same Mistakes

Today I sent my husband a message (one of many as we both work semi-boring desk jobs) that said: "I'm having a bad hair day :(" to which he replied,
I wanted badly to reply with a sassy answer, but instead decided on: "One of life's great questions."

Aside from the norm of "great questions" we all ask (who am I, where do I come from, why am I here?) there are a subset of ones (what is truth? What is beauty? What is love?) that I have pondered, but the phrase itself triggers deeper thought, whether you are contemplating your existence or simply why your stupid bangs will not stay in a french braid for anything.


So is this post on something as trivial as the pain of growing out bangs? Unfortunately, not. Following the above mentioned exchange, I decided to read the blog of a person with whom I am acquainted, but who I would not necessarily refer to as a bosom-friend. I had recently heard of her plight in a quick marriage resulting in domestic violence and a broken heart. She posted this blog with a comment that she could tell her story and also help herself heal by writing it all down. She also told her readers to "enjoy," although I quickly learned this was to be unlikely in my case.

She (we will call her Carly) began the post with the beginning of her doomed love story to the man she is now separated from. It was sweet and interesting, not to mention fast-moving. But amongst it all, there were definite allusions to a tragic ending, one which a writer can only weave into the tapestry of a story with the hindsight that can be gained by living it. And so, successively, each post was sadder, and more real, and led each reader to dread what was written next. The most interesting thing about this blog could be condensed into two things:

1. Carly claimed that she was spiritually guided (despite the horrid results) to this marriage
2. I knew another acquaintance that had almost an identical story

So could the two women be the same one? No, I knew both women well, and was shocked at how their stories were so similar. Meeting a man on the internet, falling in love over video chat, becoming emotionally involved within a matter of days, ignoring the warning signs of lies and a darker side, being hurried into a lifetime commitment due to his involvement in the military, only to find their prince charming was quite alarming (rhyme not intended). Both women poured out their hearts to me (1 through her blog, the other in person) and were in agreement that they were spiritually led to this men thinking that they were the One...but having misgivings the whole way.Why is it always easier to see our mistakes after the great error?

This brings me to the title of this post. We are all human, but why in the heck do we make the same mistakes over and over again? It would seem we were prompted by some higher power to make a decision that we regretted later. Perhaps these promptings were of our own making, or not as strong as we hoped them to be, or even a combination of the two. How did we get here?
We need to recognize the difference between when some big confirmation happens, and when we are just trying to make our lives more like a movie (seminary, or of another nature). Do you know what I'm saying? Maybe these women felt they needed to be there for the scumbags. But I'm less certain they felt as sure about feeling the absolute command to marry them. It is far more likely that they had been force-fed by years the story of true love happening within a couple of days and no matter how mean and awful he is sometimes, it's true love, because. Media is a scary thing, and we as real human beings need to be aware that life is not a movie. It is not a TV show. And if you have doubts about a man that said "I love you" the 2nd time you skyped, who you're about to marry, and could see him being a future wife-beater, then don't marry him. It's as simple as that.

I am not in any way blaming the women who were victimized in these situations. I just want to say that we should be aware that it is easy to fall into to the traps they did, if we do not think for ourselves and really ask ourselves if this is something we feel right about. Even then, we can be deceived. If you're really listening to a spiritual prompting, it will never say, "Go ahead, what's the worst that could happen? He's not angry and violent all the time..." So no, I'm not attacking either of the women aforementioned. I'm simply pointing out the human tendency of desiring our lives to be like a great story, and the negative effects that can have. We none of us live in a fairy tale, but when we realize that, sometimes we can come pretty close.

So one of life's great questions that's on my mind today: How can we avoid making the same mistakes? As for that question's relation to why women get bangs and grow them out again repeatedly? I have no answer.