Seated onboard a moving vessel, I listen to the sound of the train moving along the rails. Looking out onto the greenery I see the beauty in the suburban culture around me. I cannot fathom the fact that I have actually been pretty happy staying in the suburbs. Thinking back to last summer and how I positively loathed suburbia, it is quite ironic how I have found a sense of solace down here. So strange how things can change so easily.
The same is to be said with people. We are all selfish SOB’s in need of fulfillment. Looking at Maslow, he has studied the set hierarchy of needs… After years of studying (Others studying…not me), any university/college student could dispute those needs at any given time. Going through his list, we have: Physiological, Safety, Love/Belonging, Esteem, and Self-Actualization. Seeing as how my grasp of basic psychology is minimal, I will spare you all with a half-assed explanation. From my understanding, in order to achieve self-actualization one must satisfy a lower basic need in order to progress. While it is undeniably possible, it must be quite difficult to actually achieve full self-actualization! Think about it: As we continue on our day to day business, our lives are affected by secondary situations and life experiences. Say that you are fortunate to have found yourself in a safe home environment, you have found the love of your life, you are financially stable, and you feel as if you are on top of the world. While this scenario seems positively marvelous, what would happen if your finances turned to dust, your marriage fell apart, and your personal resources have depleted. Even though we may achieve a form of self-actualization, we can just as easily fall back to a starting point.
There is something quite beautiful about spending time alone. Not interrupted by anyone else; spending time with the one person you will always have to live with, yourself. After waking up late and binge watching The Good Wife, I spent my time on a solo shopping excursion, a companionless dinner, and after it all I felt a sense of comfort. I think the hardest part of a breakup is the concept of learning to do things yourself. When in a relationship, you begin to find yourself thinking in terms of two opposed to a single mindset. After living for so long in two, it is incredibly difficult to begin thinking for oneself, yet it is something that is deemed necessary for personal survival.
According to Maslow when you do neglect one of the founding needs, you are pulled further away from self-actualization. Correct me if I am wrong (And there is a 90% chance that I am), but seeing as how I have fallen off track with my own needs, does that mean I am no longer self-actualized? I have been so focussed on mending relationships that I did not realize that everything cannot be solved by only one party. I placed so much energy into the pillar of love that I neglected to focus on my other physiological needs. In retrospect, there is absolutely no one to blame but myself, but who am I to always take the blame? It takes two to tango.
While many actions can be accomplished by yourself, the act of tangoing is something that cannot be done alone. When you find yourself facing a problem, 9/10 times there is another party involved. As living organisms, we need to learn to not always take the blame for the things we cannot control. We need to understand that there are always external circumstances that will be in our way.
No matter how hard you try to pick up the pieces and to build back the structure of what once was, this cannot be done alone. While it may seem like a failure, I must assure you that nothing can be deemed a failure unless you do not try. Was it a lie? were we a beautiful lie stitched together by the fragments of happiness that I held on to? Of course not. While some find it easier to bury the situation at hand, we must accept that every person handles situations differently. Ambiguity is the killer of the soul. No matter how much anguish you face while undergoing a time of trouble, just know that it is not over. I will not lie, I seldom take my mother’s advice because it usually is accompanied with an accusatory tone or yelling. With that said, she recently said something to me that stuck:
“You cannot always mold the world in the way you want. You have to accept that people have their own mindset and that what you want may differ from what they need. While it may be difficult, I can assure you that after time has taken its course, what has been broken will find a way to be fixed. If a reconciliation is meant to be, then it will happen. Trust what you had, and do not focus on the changes that have happened. Let past love come back to you, and do not dwell. Keep busy and surround yourself with those that love you, and if he is the one, after time he will follow”.
I do not know about you, but I think that I should really should listen to my mother more often.