The Day Whitney Houston Saved My Life
I was in my car the other day, listening to the radio, and this song by Whitney Houston came on—And I… I… will always love… uuu—when a thought careened into me, almost blowing me off the road:
Stop waiting, Alex.
Waiting for what, you ask.
To be happy.
Creeping into my subconscious, and slowly building a home there (unbeknownst to me) like a parasite, was this idea: “when I find my person, then I’ll be happy.”
I know this is a shocker to some (perhaps many) of you. Wait, Alex. You? And, to be honest, it kind of shocked me, too!
But there it was, staring back at me, and I couldn’t deny it. In my semi-depression over not having many close friends in South Florida, of feeling starved for physical intimacy, of hating the reality of having to fit myself into the capitalism juggernaut to “succeed,” and of feeling tragically misunderstood in this world, I made up this idea when I find my life partner/soul-mate, then I’ll be happy.
Writing this out makes me feel so dirty!
I was living a cop-out existence: waiting for someone to make my life great.
And I loathe the idea of waiting!
Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with wanting or dreaming of having an amazing partner. But what I was essentially doing was using the lack of a partner as an excuse for having a lackluster (read: crappy!) life. I was abrogating my responsibility—my agency—to create a great life, instead putting it “over there,” out of my control.
So, in that moment, I decided: NO MORE WAITING.
Waiting for someone else to (finally) be happy is a load of shit.
If I want it, I have to create it.
Thankfully, I woke up in time to see (thanks, Whitney!) that this thought had infiltrated my OS and was insidiously running—and ruining—my life. And an OS (Operating System, for those of you over 40), particularly when it’s subconscious, can be a dastardly destructive thing!
That moment I made a pledge to myself: I am now responsible for making my life great. I am no longer making my happiness contingent upon someone else.
Did this automatically give me a great life? Hell, no! But I feel empowered.
Remember that what parasites do is furtively feed on the host, getting nice and plump while the host is left feeling lethargic. That’s what this little bugger of a thought had been doing to me.
And once we identify the bug in our OS, we have a responsibility to root it out; to banish it. It’s like that scene from the Matrix: “we think you’ve been bugged.”
The fundamental LIE in my belief was that someone else would magically show up and make my life happy, when the truth is that I need to magically show up for myself!
Then, maybe someone will enter my life.
And if/when they do, I won’t be waiting—
I’ll be living.
Don’t chase love—chase life.