The Curse of the Romantic

The Curse of the Romantic

I just finished reading The School of Life: An Emotional Education, and I am convinced I am doomed to a life of romantic notions, to being trapped in the excitement of “how things might ideally be” rather than being firmly in what they really are.

I spend an unhealthy amount of time scanning real estate listings, particularly for dilapidated farmhouses in the countryside. It breaks my heart that so many homes in this beautiful country have been utterly abandoned. Their inhabitants fled to congested and polluted cities in search of “a better life.”

When I look at these ruins, I don’t see what they are, but what they could be. It’s a curse, really, because I can’t save all of them. It feels like being at the pound and wanting to take all the abandoned dogs and cats home.

The question is this: can I find just one to restore lovingly to a version better than it ever it was? To find a home in one of these ruins? Many (most) people see these images and simply don’t get what I see. How could I possibly entertain the idea of living in that?

Because I don’t see that. I see something else.

I’m like that with people, too. I don’t see what is. I see what could be. That, too, can lead to deep disappointment if (when) the potential that I see is never realized. But if I see just movement toward what I know, deep down, what is possible…that is magic.

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