“That should’ve been me walking down that aisle,” is a phrase I have a hunch is sometimes thought, when women are watching other women get married.
How many detoured dreams “should’ve” happened? How many perfectly constructed moments are wrecked by the “wrong person?”
I’ve had those thoughts about things in my own life. “If only” and “I should’ve” and “if I could do that again” are phrases I have uttered on more than a few occasions. And it’s difficult to reconcile what “should’ve been” with what actually is. One of the hardest things to do in life, is to grit your teeth and say, “this is the way it is supposed to be.”
Americans are oriented toward changing their station and righting wrongs and not accepting the status quo. I’m right there with ya, brothers and sisters. And yet, sometimes, the story being told is bigger and more complex than we can imagine. Sometimes it really isn’t about us. Sometimes, there are forces at work that are deeper and wider than we can see. In the midst of tragedies, this is the hardest of all times to get a thirty-thousand-foot view and see the ultimate good that might be coming of it. We don’t like pain and we avoid it. But sometimes pain is the corridor we must go through to meet our true destiny. And many times, we can’t take the people with us we thought would be there at the end.
And when it’s all said and done, the finished novel often reads nothing like you thought it would. The character have changed and the wrong circumstances happened to the wrong people. It just wasn’t written the way you wrote it in your head.
The healthy person accepts it, adjusts to it, learns from it and builds on the lessons learned. The unhealthy person keeps trying to re-write it over and over and over again, and make the outcome turn out the way they KNOW it should’ve turned out.
We’re watching this play out in politics, right before our very eyes. Donald Trump was not supposed to ever become president …and yet he did. He wasn’t supposed to survive his first year in office …and yet he did. He was supposed to start WWIII …and yet he hasn’t.
Of course we are all watching, with great interest, what is happening on the Korean Peninsula. It is truly unprecedented. I don’t like a ruthless dictator’s flag waving next to my beloved banner of freedom. I can’t stand the idea of an American president glad-handing a man with gallons of blood on his. But I’m watching and I’m listening and I’m reading. I did all those things with the last president …and the one before him …and the one before him …and the one before him. I trust that either the fate of this nation is in the hands it’s supposed to be in …or it was doomed from the start, anyway. We’re either a special moment in history …or we’re just another empire, destined to crumble and fall. So I watch.
But some people cannot move into this place. Some of my own friends are still clinging to the idea that Robert Mueller is going to show up at the White House with arresting officers and carry Mr Trump away in handcuffs. I’m not making any of that up. I have literally read these very words. And it reminds me of that guy in the song What A Fool Believes. He conjured up a relationship that never was a relationship. He was there, sure. She was there, sure. But her smiles at him didn’t mean what he thought they meant. When she touched him on the arm, that one time, it wasn’t flirting …she was just trying to move him out of her way.
And so it is with those who still cannot and will not accept the election of Donald Trump. It isn’t that they just disagree with him …which is fine and necessary for a robust republic. They literally believe he will be removed from office forcibly, and somehow the person who was “supposed” to be president will finally be sworn in, in his place. And I just want to put my arm around them and have a real talk. None of that is going to happen. It isn’t what you wanted it to be. And it isn’t going to be what you want it to be. It is what it is. And if you can settle a bit, you might notice that a lot of it is actually okay.
Bill Maher rooting for a bad economy to emerge, overlooks the most important thing of all …it would have to overtake a good one. And isn’t THAT the goal? A good economy? While Robert DeNiro was embarrassing himself and unravelling part of his “national treasure” status on national television, the object of his ire was making world history and maybe …MAYBE …saving western civilization in the process. I wouldn’t have written him into that role. But there he is. And it’s not what I imagined.
I don’t know how the Trump presidency will ultimately play out. I have often said, I’m agnostic when it comes to Trump. I may be the only one in America who can say that. But I do know that it is very hard to unseat a sitting president. People think Nixon was forced out of office because of impeachment. The truth is he was never impeached and he resigned voluntarily. He might’ve been able to fight it out till the end of his term …who knows. The point is, I’m living in 2018 …not 2016. The wedding is over and the two people who showed up at the alter got married …not the one sitting in the pews, who SHOULD’VE been up there.
If you constantly live in a world of your own making, refusing to accept the situation as it is, you will go insane. Does that mean you stop voting and stop speaking out? No. Does it mean you accept things you consider to be wrong? Of course not.
But sometimes, the way we thought it was supposed to turn out, isn’t what was supposed to happen at all. Sometimes, we’re wrong about it. Maybe Trump was the one guy who could talk Kim Jong Un off the ledge. Maybe a brash, foul-mouthed real estate developer from Queens was just the thing we needed for a certain time.
As someone who’s been wrong about how things should’ve played out, on several occasions …I’m willing to accept what is and watch what happens.