We might as well be aging in dog years, as fast as life is moving nowadays. From the trap to the cubicle, we sustain wrinkles, greys and stress on a level unprecedented. Our families gave us what they could, but even they couldn’t prepare us for a hostile society on warpspeed. Many of us were forced to grow up much faster than our biological ages permitted, seeing things that cannot be unseen and learning more about life’s underbelly than we were prepared for. Although we made it through patchworked families and shoddy early educations, we have developed abnormalities that we then passed onto each other.
It is not without cause. One must only look toward the open combat engaged in on the streets, neighborhoods occupied by a military police force, glass ceilings in corporate environs, and shrinking resources available for our families to see the loaded dice we are forced to play with. It all adds up to a very delicate dance that you must learn to master, or fall through the trap doors strewn throughout the dancefloor. As a generation, we exhibit textbook symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and we have yet to acknowledge it, let alone undo it.
Instead, we are engaging in all manner of self-medication to numb the pain and cope with harsh realities we face, prescribing ourselves pills, powders and elixirs; fogging reality through clouds of smoke and sexual deviance. It’s no wonder some of us are advanced in some areas, and infantile in others. We have advanced degrees, high-powered lifestyles but can’t even understand the simple language of the heart.
You’re doing everything you can to stay afloat: buying EBT Cards for half of their face value, overdrafting as if it were a line of credit, and exercising every postponement option available for student loan repayment. And overall, it still seems like you are playing high-stakes Jenga with life, hoping it doesn’t all fall to shit with one false move. Male or female, we are holding breath hoping that we can secure peace and stability in this quake of a life. The last thing you need is someone to enter your mix and threaten what little security you do have, lover or not.
A quick glance out at our world shows countless people destroyed by those they were involved with. Make the wrong move, and you risk financial, emotional or mortal ruin. The smallest decisions have the largest consequences, and you will not allow that sort of trouble to befall you if you can help it. Initially you erected an elaborate system of defenses along the path to your innermost being, in the hopes that someone would brave the level-four ropes course to your heart. As time went on, you noticed that it had the unintended effect of closing YOU off from everyone, instead of sifting out those who aren’t worth it. And that simply won’t do.
Opposite this paranoid reluctance is an almost superhuman impulse for that forever shit – you know, accrued interest on a long-term investment with that kindred spirit. Banner years with that star player who takes your franchise from obscurity to prominence. With an unexplainable conviction you know that it’s out there for you, and you will know when you see it. You’ve seen how well it works when done right, and you have set your expectations on finding it.
One of these dueling impulses is going to prevail and dominate your outlook, behavior and ultimately your destiny. It is impossible to live in the center of those two sentiments and not lean toward one. To be clear, you take a chance every time you invite someone into your life. It is impossible to remain guarded and open at the same time. The goal is to pursue your desires with some sort of compass, an astute method of reading people that shears away those with ulterior motives and malicious intentions. You want to take measured risk, not blind gambles.
Notwithstanding the variety of romantic arrangements that people engage in, our ultimate objective is the freedom to love the way we want, free from societal influences and social approval. Whether that relationship be traditional or unorthodox, we affirm our right to define our lives with unyielding compromise to norms and conventions. Doing it, on the other hand, is precarious at best, and so we will work to tip the scales in our favor by employing several strategies.
It is almost impossible to choose wisely with all the anomalies, so we will focus first on personal self-improvement, with the intent on becoming a better mate. Later, as we develop our personal selves, we will explore strategies for selecting mates by character traits.
In the end, we must acknowledge that our progress will be measured as a people, not as individuals. Every relationship, every family, every romantic connection either bolsters our progress or hinders it. You must decide what role you will have in our history, because whether you like it or not, you are not an island. You are part of what is going to be the greatest comeback story in human history, aside from the Israelites. Hope you’re ready to play your part.