There is a mating behavior I am constantly fascinated with and have experienced recently with a few people I know. In their search for a partner to make themselves whole, they give up the things that makes them desirable. Their hobbies, their passions and, most of all, their friends.
What interests me is the complete and utter lack of foresight that accompanies this condition. Ultimately, many of these people will wake up one day, when the magic has worn off of that once pretty little thing – when the kids are going through a tough phase – when their spouse is always working – when they realize their mortality – and they will wonder –
They will wonder when the adventure left their lives. The will wonder why their friends don’t call them. They will wonder who to talk to about their struggles, who they will share their victories with. They will blame their partner for their loss of interest, they will lament their mistakes, they will think that cute girl/boy in their office looks like the path to reclaim their youth, their freedom, their lives –
I cannot tell you how many people I have watched go through this process and come out on the other end feeling confused, lost, anxious, unhappy. I cannot tell you how many of my young friends in their late 20’s and early 30’s I am watching jump on board, believing that they are riding the bullet train to Happilyeverafter.
There are two things we do not learn to do in this country. One is to learn to be alone, the other is to learn to be a community. Love obsessed, hollywood/bollywood stories with happy endings and eternal youth are the lies we tell ourselves. Even when we know better. This magic will last forever, this person will make me whole, my children will be perfect, I will always be young, attractive and healthy. (Okay, well, at least more attractive than the average person my age.) These are our lies. When these lies begin to become transparent to us we grasp desperately, cling diligently, and tremble in fear of the unknown and unanticipated.
The truth is under all that magic is a person who farts and snores. The best children are loud, expensive, time consuming, dirty, sometimes angry, self-absorbed and completely unpredictable. You (and I) are mediocre looking at best. Gravity still tugs on my breasts, you are still loosing your hair, my ass has cellulite, you do not look exactly like the picture of yourself from ten years ago that you post on dating sites or secretly send to potential mistresses. In fact, you probably look a lot like your father or mother when they were this age. Take a good look at them now –
If you want to cling – cling to your friendships. If you want to grasp – grasp for things that will make you a more interesting and generous person. If you want to be free, go travel along for a bit and allow your partner to do the same, while you take up the mantel of responsibility for them. If you want to feel the magic of love then go volunteer for a charity, go back and make amend with someone, or throw a big fucking dinner party for all your friends and family. If you want to be eternally youthful – learn to grow old gracefully and joyfully.
This is what I will be making for my friends:
“Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone; for the heroes of all time have one before us, the labyrinth is fully known; we have only to follow the thread of the hero-path. And where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence; where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.”
― Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces
CARROT AND ORANGE SOUP RECIPE (from http://souvlakiforthesoul.com)
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red onion finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 whole chilli finely chopped
- 1 5cm piece of ginger grated
- zest of 2 oranges
- 8 medium sized carrots, chopped into even chunks
- 1/4 cup dried lentils (optional)
- 4 cups chicken or veggie stock
- 2 tbsp honey
- juice of half an orange
- salt and pepper to season
- chopped coriander for garnish
- Heat the olive oil in a medium to large pot and lightly saute the onion, garlic, chilli, ginger and zest until translucent (approx 2-3 mins).
- Add the carrots and lentils if using and stir to combine for another minute. add the stock and cook for 40 mins or until the carrots are tender.
- Blend the soup using a hand blender or food processor until smooth and creamy. Add the honey, juice and seasoning and cook on the heat for a further 5 mins.
- Garnish with freshly chopped coriander and serve immedaitely.
CORIANDER AND CHILLI BUTTER RECIPE
- 75 grams butter
- 2 heaped tbsp chopped coriander
- 1 whole chilli
- pinch sea salt
- Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Spread over warm toasted bread.