Dear Dr. Brilliant Cliché;
I think I may have spent the entire first half of my life believing that a magic prince was going to ride in and save me from all of my problems. I believed that if I found The One, I would be taken care of for the rest of my life. I also thought that success meant the high paying job and recognition. And that being attractive was the most important thing of all.
Just about every TV show or movie I saw supported these ideas. Even the bloody fairy tales I was read as a child did!
I am in my 60’s now and I realize the whole thing was bunk. I wasted a lot of time looking for guys to take care of me that I could have put to much better use
gathering skills so that I could be independent and strong. The times that I managed to have a fully funded relationship were some of the least productive times in my life.
I always felt insecure because something seemed hollow at the center of it.
Here’s my question- is it just my imagination, or does the culture around us support a largely meaningless set of values?
When was a child, I believed that it would all work out, for myself and the human race in general. I was convinced that there would always be a rescue. As an adult, I realize that it is irrelevant if everything works out or not, or whether we are saved or not. What matters is the work we all do towards being the best we can be. Knowing that I do my best is enough. Trying to live a good life is enough. Expecting salvation is self-defeating as it only becomes an excuse to give up trying when things get too hard.
Dr. Brilliant Cliché
When I was younger and wanted to grow up to be an artist, I thought you “became famous” and if you didn’t, you’d failed. Now I realize that in the bigger picture, failure and making mistakes is how you learn new things…and success is having the time to do the stuff that means something to you.
Some 15 years ago I was married to a man who worked in advertising, a very lucrative field. A memory that stands out is of the lavish Christmas parties the agencies used to throw. Inevitably, at about 2am, one of the executives with a six figure income would be drunk and maudlin and tell me a story about how much he wished he could just hang it all up and do art for the sake of art again. But he was saddled with a big house, three luxury cars and several ex-wives who were bleeding him dry. He was caught in the American Dream and wished he was dead. I can certainly believe that he would wish he was dead when he woke up the next morning.
Yes, we are taught many empty values in this country. Fortunately we still have free choice. Make good choices. It is the one thing you will never regret.