I've come to a number of realizations over the past week or so, none of them are necessarily carved in stone, and a great many of them are strictly my own opinion, based on repeated experience, and on the experiences of others around me.
One has been that I have never been, and never will be, like most people, try as I may.
When I see people laughing and talking in a restaurant I wonder if they are the type of people who are like that all the time. I know they can't be, but still--I feel removed from the basic experience, even though I have laughed and talked in many restaurants in my time, and will continue to, I suppose, for a long time to come. I've had the fortuitous good luck to manage to meet and surround myself with people who are the same way--who look at life in a real way, who have had to make their own way in life, often without the benefit of the guidance of a mentor or adviser.
Another realization I have had is about love. You have love in your life almost all the time, even if there are times when it doesn't feel like it. You often yearn for love you HAD more than love you HAVE. You often don't get to stay put with the 'love of your life' if there is such a thing, if you're lucky enough to have such an event occur. You might marry the life of your love, as I have re-arranged it in my head. Meaning, you marry someone you love, that much is true, but on the other hand, you also may marry this love because you can LIVE with them, ie, create a LIFE.
The "love of your life" on the other hand, sometimes has the side effect of there being so much love, you can't live life with them. It's just too much. Maybe you're too much the same person, or maybe you want them to be a certain way, and it can't happen. So you love the life you create with another, simpler love. The realization I have come to about this is that it is not nearly as depressing as it sounds. The attainment of more love with your life person is a constant dangling carrot, and it motivates you to try harder.
Years ago I read an amazing article about 'the human condition' for lack of a better turn of phrase. It was written by a woman whose husband had sustained a brain injury, and she was living out the last few months, weeks, days of having her husband cognitive and aware of himself. He was, as a result of the injury, going to lose this ability. She talked of wanting more time with his aware-self, and her longing of the past times they had had together, that simple, routine life they had built as a twosome, without giving a thought to how special it was. She came to the conclusion that it is that "longing" that makes us what we are. The longing for something more, someone more, another goal, something we can work toward, attain, and triumph over. She defined it as part of being human. It was a thought that had never in my entire life occurred to me, and I have to say, it left me wondrous.
I see the parallel between the love of your life and your actual life, the one you live everyday with everyone else, parking the car crooked, the heal of your shoe breaking at a key moment, your temper flaring, impatience rearing its' ugly head, your missing someone far away, your frustration with people who are determined to make life (more) difficult, because it already is difficult. In your head, you can create a perfect conversation with this missing person, whom you long for, whom you idealize, whom you idolize. But the reality is there at home, on the couch, being his very im-perfect self, but still being THERE, not out there, launched from your heart and head into a deity-like form, which, as we age and hurtle forward on what I always refer to as this revolving-door planet, we know doesn't exist. However, as I pointed out at the beginning of this posting these are MY realizations, based, for the most part, on my opinion, with a little bit of experience thrown in there for good measure.
It's not disappointing, it truly isn't. Life is full of failure, of mis-steps, of guilt, of regrets, of all those broken-shoe days that conspire to make you miss the little packages of hope that show up.
I read another article very recently that talked about this very thing; little packages. It summed it up thusly: In life, those big packages we wait for show up few and far between. It is those little packages that we are to take note of, to sit up straight for, to use as motivation for that endless longing that is to be human.