How many times have you heard a break-up reason being, “Oh, I was in love with the idea of a boyfriend, but not my the person who is actually my current (and soon-to-be ex-) boyfriend.”? This concept of someone vs. the idea of someone has really got me thinking, because how often do we mix up the two?
Say, if I had a specific idea of how a parent should act and I love them for that. And–face it–we do have our own ideal standards of how a parent should behave and teach their children, like how it’d be great to be rewarded a good ol’ cup of ice cream to celebrate an achievement. If they turned out to do an action that’s different from what we had in mind, maybe saying that the money spent on ice cream is better off used to prepare us for our next achievement, we get disappointed. Are we disappointed in them for who they are? Or at the idea of ideal parents?
There’s also an issue of me versus the idea of me. I might not have seen you for six months, but you still remember me with all my traits: physical features, weird laugh, obnoxious voice and all. And then a major event happens in the six months and it caused me to alter my behavior. Then I come back to see you after six months and I have changed in ways you didn’t notice before: I no longer find the things we laughed about six months ago funny, and now I wear my shoes and clothes all funny. And then you say you miss me. But, you see, the me you missed does not exist anymore. It is only the idea of me. But the me six months ago was definitely me, it’s just that present me cannot really see herself anymore in six-months-ago me.
Confused? Yeah, me too.
The conclusions I have for going through the ever-changing people around me (so far) are:
- To accept that identity is arbitrary, identity is fluid. Parts of your identity can change, and it’s okay.
- That we should never hold onto a person’s characters and traits so strongly; because people can change. You might not even notice those habits that annoyed you six years down the line. The person might drop the annoying habit, or you might have learned to tolerate it. Either way, it caused friction now but might not in the future.
- The most important thing for me, though, is to be conscious as to how I remember a person; and to never be fixated on the idea of that person over time. ‘Cause attachment is a funny thing… and soon enough you’ll figure out that you’re missing people who no longer exist. And that’s alright, because maybe the old you doesn’t anymore, either.
Blueaholic is listening to: David Bowie – Heroes