The thirst is real out there. I don’t commit now. I don’t see the point. I’ve always said there is plenty of fish in the sea, but never before has that sea of fishes been right at my fingertips on the streets, schools, church, Twitter, Instagram, take your pick.
When I choose—if I commit—I’m still one eye wandering at the options. I want the beautiful cut of filet mignon served with sweet mashed potatoes, but I’m too busy eyeing the simple kenkey and fish by the roadside, because of choice. My choices are killing me.
I think choice means something. I think opportunity is good. I think the more chances I have, the better. But, it makes everything watered down. I’m one foot out the door, because outside that door is more, more, more. I don’t see who or what’s right in front of my eyes asking to be loved, because no one is asking to be loved. This is not just me, this is my entire generation with you inclusive.
We long for something that we still want to believe exists. Yet, we are looking for the next thrill, the next jolt of excitement, the next instant gratification. We soothe ourselves and distract ourselves and, if we can’t even face the demons inside our own brain, how can we be expected to stick something out, to love someone even when it’s not easy to love them? We bail. We leave. We see a limitless world in a way that no generation before us has seen. I am not saying limitless is bad but it can be destructive when applied to relationships.
The point is that we know we can, even if we don’t have the resources to do so. There are always other tantalizing options. Open up Instagram and see the lives of others, the life we could have. See the places we’re not traveling to. See the lives we’re not living. See the people we’re not dating. Our #WCE and #MCE who don’t even realize we stalk them. Thirst traps everywhere.
We bombard ourselves with stimuli, input and more input, and we wonder why we’re miserable. We wonder why we’re dissatisfied. We wonder why nothing lasts and everything feels a little hopeless. Because, we have no idea how to see our lives for what they are, instead of what they aren’t.
And, even if we find it. Say we find that person we love who loves us. Commitment. Intimacy. “I love you.” We do it. We find it. Then, quickly, we live it for others. We tell people we’re in a relationship. We throw our pictures up on Instagram. We become a “we.” We make it seem shiny and perfect because what we choose to share is the highlight reel. Shiny picture. Happy couple. Love is perfect.
“Do two walk together, unless they have agreed to meet? (Amos 3:3)
Then, we see these other happy, shiny couples and we compare. We are The Emoji Generation. Choice Culture. The Comparison Generation. Measuring up. Good enough. The best. Never before have we had such an incredible cornucopia of marking schemes for what it looks like to live the best life possible.
We input, input, input and soon find ourselves in despair. We’ll never be good enough, because what we’re trying to measure up to just does not exist. These lives do not exist. These relationships do not exist. Yet, we can’t believe it. We see it with our own eyes. And, we want it. And, we will make ourselves miserable until we get it.
The inevitable creeping in of latent, subtle dissatisfaction. The fights. “Something is wrong, but I don’t know what it is.” “This isn’t working.” “I need something more.” And, we break up. Another love lost. Another graveyard of shiny, happy couple selfies. Another set of love paraphernalia lost to smokes. So, we break up because we’re not good enough, our lives aren’t good enough, our relationship isn’t good enough.
On to the next. Searching for the elusive more. The next fix. The next gratification. The next quick hit. We worry about settling, all the while making ourselves suffer thinking that anything less than the shiny, happy filtered life we’ve been accustomed to is settling. What is settling? We don’t know, but we don’t want it. If it’s not perfect, it’s settling. If it’s not glittery filtered love, settling. If it’s not Snapchat-worthy, settling.
We realize that this more we want is a lie. What we need are phone calls. We want to see a face we love absent of the blue dim of a phone screen. We want slowness. We want simplicity. We want a life that does not need the validation of likes, favorites, comments, up-votes. We may not know yet that we want this. We want connection, true connection. We want a love that builds, not a love that gets discarded for the next hit. We want people we can grow with and accomplish great things with. We want to lay down our heads at the end of our lives and know we lived well, we lived to the fullest of our lives.
This is what we want even if we don’t know it yet. This is how we ought to live and love but the thirst inside of us will not permit us. Simple advice ….drink Sprite it was made for the thirsty just like you!