Confessions of a drinker student abroad

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Just got done watching a film, quite a good film actually, where the main characters parents have just recently gotten divorced, citing the reason that there was nothing left to keep them together. After dealing with this, and talking to his parents, he finally asks himself, and them, "What's so wrong with ordinary? What is the problem with boring?" Nobody has an answer. I think this question reflects almost perfectly a primary cause of broken families in the Western World.

Originally people painted love as happy and peaceful in movies, it was beautiful, romantic and our realistic perceptions soon became too jaded to accept it. We knew full well that love wasn't always peaceful, love had bumps and bruises with it. We were okay with love not always being portrayed as 'eternal bliss' because when the fallings out came, the drama mounted, we learned something about ourselves, and always ended up coming back together knowing that it wouldn't always be easy, but we would always grow and change and love.

The problem is that even that portrayal isn't a true one. Love, life, boring sometimes, but that seems to be the one thing we cannot stand. We have been conditioned (by self or others) to expect adventure and drama from our lives. We expect the monumental peaks and dismal valleys of emotion, we want to have a rosy tinted photograph of best friends on a beach, and we want to stand out in the rain when our heart has been broken. But this melodrama that we have come to expect is counter-intuitive to real life. This is why when we reach a level place, be it a plateau or a river delta, we don't know what to do with it.

How many people have said, or at least heard, "I wish I had more excitement in my life, I want to have adventures." I'll be honest, I always wanted adventures. The problem is that adventures are fairy tales. Even when they happen in your life...they aren't real life. They may be a sustained vacation, they may be a diversion, but they aren't real life except for a select few. We all suppose ourselves to be the protagonist of the story, but the truth is that we are actually the villagers who eagerly await the return of the adventurer.

This determination that we want adventure, we expect adventure, has created an entire generation that seems to be incapable of settling down and living their own lives. Irreconcilable differences, that's what they call it. Or maybe even mutual agreement. A divorce where nobody did something overtly wrong, but both parties agree to end it anyway. Why? Because it's boring, they want something more. We may all claim to want a normal life, but what we want is a normal photo album. We want the highs, some lows, and everything framed just right. Unfortunately that's not what life is. Life is boring, love is ordinary, and if you are unable to understand the difference between boring and unbearable then marriage isn't your thing.

Boring is okay, it's fine, it's living day in day out with people you love. I'm not saying there won't be ups and downs, but they probably won't be high in frequency or amplitude. Today, you get up, go to work, and come home. Tomorrow you do the same. Only by seeing each moment together as a victory, something to be cherished, do you realize that life may be ordinary, but ordinary is miraculous.


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