In today’s modern world the word belief is used carelessly. It is thought of as a meaningless verb that can be substituted into any sentence when stating expectations. If you really think about it, “believe” can almost always be replaced by “expect”. I believe that the war will be won. I expect that the war will be won. I believe that he will survive. I expect that he will survive. I believe that he loves me. I expect that he loves me. However, these expectations, like most things in life have in some ways morphed. They have turned into not expectations on situations, but on people. I expect them, to win the war. I expect him, to survive. I expect him, to love me. These mutations continue to grow and develop until nothing is left but expectation. Impossible expectation that is universally known and universally disappointed. There is always a stereotype. Always a mainstream model that everyone pretends to brush off as too basic but secretly all aspire to be. There is always the perfect girl who hates how she looks and even though everyone wishes they were her, she still cries herself to sleep because she doesn’t see what they see. Because people think that you want what you can’t have. However, in reality, it’s not that you can’t have it that makes it appealing. If you think about it a thin girl with a fast metabolism doesn't necessarily wish she was fat. It’s not that we can’t have it. The truth is, that every human organism grows up in a certain unique environment. Every human organism is accustomed to certain conditions. But by the basic laws of existence, nothing is perfect. Nothing is truly without fault. So perhaps it’s not that we can’t have something that makes it appealing, but more that we haven't had the time to find the faults in a situation that make it so seemingly perfect. Perhaps if we had more time we could see the makeup covering the models flesh to make her skin seem perfect. Or we could see the sadness photo shopped out of her eyes. Perhaps if given more time, we could see that expectation is just somebody telling us what they personally think we should be. And perhaps we could see that they were wrong. Because even within expectation there are faults. Even within the universal belief that everyone needs to be a certain way there are faults. If you look around you at the world you are living in, you will see fault. And if you look in the mirror, you will see fault. However, fault does not have to be negative. Fault can be unique. Fault can be interesting. Fault can be the one thing in life that keeps us from dying of boredom. But in the end what is fault really? Fault is the reality of unrealistic expectation. And without reality what would any of us really be?
Monday, June 6, 2016
Looking out my window, I have noticed many things. I’ve seen sun sets and sun rises. I’ve seen seasons change year after year. I have seen human life going on, unaware that it was being observed. As a child, looking out my window wasn’t just a pastime or a thing to do when I was bored. It was a routine. A tradition. A necessity in my day to day life. Moving from Mom’s house to Dad’s. Moving from building to building. From street to street. From window to window. From view to view. There was always a new story to be observed. However, in an ever changing life taking place in an ever changing world, I suppose I was looking for a constant. Something to rely on. Something to hold on to. Unfortunately, my search was in vain and it didn’t take long to realize that the only constant in life is change.
My first window was at my father’s house. A large slab of glass with a shiny wooden border and dull green curtains. A rust colored radiator with a smooth flat surface was fit right beneath it. Inviting warmth flowed from it and it was the perfect size for my brother and I to sit and watch the people walking. Little bubbles of air were trapped within the glass and if you looked closely you could almost see a little scene inside each one. The sun would shine on our faces as it was setting and the tall brown stone buildings across the street looked as if they were letting off a golden glow. The willow tree on the corner would transform from green to orange to brown to pink to green again as it moved through the seasons. It felt like we could just sit there watching forever. People who had no idea they were being watched rushed up the block. The baby tree that my dad said was ours grew stronger and taller each day. My dad waving goodbye as he drove off to work. Just my brother and I. Me, smiling like I have never smiled before. Maybe he never realized it, but I loved our spot by the window. Watching people who had no idea they were being watched. Observing life without ever being exposed to it. Of course he grew up though and joined the world we had watched together. And I watched as he walked away.
My next window was a few years later. In my bedroom at my mother’s house. My bed laying against the wall so that I barely had to move to gaze outside. You could hear the screams of children from the school across the street. Everyday kids would walk by but there was never a single familiar face among them. The cracks in the pale pavement made the street look like a web and you had to be careful not to get caught. I saw the the big tree across the street get torn from the ground by a storm. I saw a new baby tree being planted. I saw the newborn across the street grow into a preschooler who knew my name. I saw my brother taking out the trash on thursday nights. I saw him growing away from me. I saw the same little kids trick or treating year after year until they stopped. I saw the same groups of friends having snowball fights winter after winter until they stopped. I saw life through the glassy eye of my window frame until I stopped. Until i stepped away. Until I put on my shoes and went outside. Until I finally joined the world I had been so content on watching.
Looking back, I guess I was looking for a constant. Something to rely on. Something to hold on to. However, at the end of the day. At the end of the year. At the end of your life. The only constant is change. So I suppose that looking through my window for all those years I noticed change, not only in my surroundings, but in myself.