Thursday, 13 November 2014

The Unforgiving Shroud of Idealism

I was once told by an acquaintance to never be an idealist. I understand why one would give this piece of free advice to people around-an idealist will always expect things to be of a certain textbook standard and never leave enough room to accommodate others' mistakes. To summarize, such a person will always be left hanging in an uncomfortable state of limbo; neither here nor there. Always disappointed to not have received as much as they gave, always dejected to not be able to get an appropriate representation of the script they wrote for the world around and how it ought to be.

In my quest for mental peace and my impassioned pursuit of happiness over the past quarter-century, I suppose I have inadvertently and unwittingly been transformed into an idealist. Was this the deed of all the books I read over the years which advertised happy endings and perfect worlds with perfect friendships? Or perhaps the wrong doing of all the life-lessons taught to me as a child and adolescent by parents and well-wishers?
Either way, it did its job and left me in that unenviable position of living a life of great expectations and therefore, constant let-me-downs.
All those friends that you had saved from turbulent storms conveniently seemed to disappear when your wars were being waged and your body took on beatings. And sometimes, they complained of you not caring enough and not being present when you should have been. When did life become this busy whirlwind where you had to actually set aside a time to come up for air just to make sure that you didn't drown? How did the days compress into hours which flew by like seconds when you least expected them to? How did mornings turn into nights with such speed and mercilessness? Whatever happened to the world living up to be like what all our books promised?

I am undoubtedly naive and unarguably daft to truly have held such beliefs and expectations in my head and heart for people. I am also extremely stupid for expecting a pat on the back for something I may have done for another's benefit, even if it was devoid of any selfish intent and executed purely out of concern and a deep, understated love.

No, this world is unforgiving and harsh. People are strange and cold. Nobody stops to stare at the flowers anymore, or to even say hi and exchange a smile or two.
Idealists ought to hang their boots up in shame. Their time is past. Their reign is long over.
This world now belongs to the heaviness of a man's wallet and the mileage of his car; the length of a woman's legs and the smokiness of her voice.
No one has the time to peel layers and dig deep.
I must remember that the next time I'm in a soup and expect a friend to turn up or help out. That's the thing about great expectations-they always fall, ungracefully and unattractively, flat on their porcelain faces.

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