I’m an idealist. I’ve always been an idealist.
I think a lot of that comes from having grown up with such a firm belief in God. I knew that things were supposed to be a certain way, and even if they temporarily went awry, God was so amazing and powerful and all-knowing that He would somehow make it all align with his plan in the end, amazing and delighting us that the things that we saw going wrong and how could He ever let that happen? were actually key contributing elements for the full and complete realization of His plan. You know, the all things working together for good sort of nonsense.
A lot of my idealism also comes from having been an avid reader all my life. In the majority of fiction—and, perhaps surprisingly, non-fiction as well, because we are, after all, only human, and we do like our stories—all sorts of debilitating setbacks occur, scary events happen, dangerous threats loom, but somehow, often in spite of great adversity and against all odds, the protagonist ends up saving the day. The challenges are only there to provide a delay between wanting a thing and getting it, to increase the tension in the plot, and to make you doubt, but by the time the story is over, the main character has achieved his goals.
I’m older now and smart enough to know that life doesn’t follow the supernatural myths of religion or the artificial plots of our favorite books. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself. My problem is, I don’t know how to stop being an idealist. I don’t know how to let go of my dreams. I don’t know how to accept—fully, finally, and absolutely—that something that I desperately want, something that seems so right that it must be inevitable, is never going to materialize in my life.Continue reading