Saying I like lists would be an understatement. I am absolutely, positively obsessed with lists. I always feel as though I have one thousand and one things happening at once in my life. Putting things into lists always helps me organize my thoughts and gives me the impression that I may actually have my act together. It also gives me satisfaction to cross things off, as though I actually accomplished something significant when I perform that simple action. *check*
I make lists for grocery shopping. I make to-do lists at work. I make lists for my life plans. Wait. Literally. My life goals are a series of lists. When I was 14 I wrote out my high school schedules 4 years out. In college I made lists of the courses I needed to take to graduate with a double major on time. When I go on vacation I make lists of “must-do’s” and “should-do’s”, I probably drive my travel buddies crazy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way #sorrynotsorry.
And then. When I was 21 I had life all figured out (or so I thought). So I sat down one night in a rage of disappointment and typed a list that was probably the worst list I ever made. I made a list of qualities I wanted in a significant other and insisted I wouldn’t settle for anything less than that. How ridiculous am I? The list had things I wouldn’t compromise on, like “ambition” and other things that weren’t completely set in stone like: “has to be really tall so my kids don’t hate me.” It took me nearly three years to realize that things always seem better on paper. That some people pretend to be someone they aren’t just to get in your good graces. And most importantly, I realized that my list doesn’t exist. So, here’s the story that made me discover it.
As I was driving home from work one night I got a call from my friend. As I grabbed my phone to pick up the call and saw who it was I immediately knew why she was calling. “My husband wants to talk to you, he says he has the perfect guy for you”. In my head I was pulling up my list, ready to asses the situation and ready to be on the defensive because “guys these days suck”. I listened to my friend’s husband describe this “great” guy to me. “He’s going to add you on Facebook, just chat and see what happens.” He said. After a few days passed and I didn’t get a friend request I couldn’t help but feel stumped. Did I just get virtually rejected? I did. Wait. I’m supposed to do the rejecting, I always do. I felt exposed. I needed answers.
Well. Turns out, this guy had a list as well (and a girl he had been seriously seeing for several months). My friend’s husband eventually called to tell me how his friend had “checked out” my Facebook profile and made a “list” of all these great things about me. “She’s tan, check. Works out, check. Seems a little tough, check. Egyptian, check. etc. etc. Bro, you nailed it with this one.” These were some of the exact words via text this stranger sent my friend’s husband. Someone decided to make a decision about me as a person based on a few photos (even though he was already seriously seeing someone, now you see why I said guys suck these days? #thesehoesaintloyal #notheyaint). My Facebook photos don’t reflect my personality. My ambition. My sense of humor or the ridiculously quirky things I do.
This person turned me into a list based on his needs and desires. A list just like the one I had been using to asses every man that came my way. A list that probably didn’t exist. It wasn’t until I was on the other side of the spectrum that I realized how ridiculous I was being. That people set these expectations in their heads of qualities they want in a significant other without realizing that humans are humans. You can’t turn a human into a list. Check and cross things out, that’s just not how it works. I was so grateful that this happened because it made me see things in a completely different light. The reason I was so offended was because I was getting a taste of my own medicine and I was not having it.
So this is to me admitting the need to live outside my comfort zone, rolling with the punches and allowing fate to takes its course. This situation happened almost a year ago and I’m proud to say I stopped mentally using this list and I am doing just fine without it.
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