I was 12 when I first started obsessingabout love and all its possibilities.
I’d come home from after-school drama rehearsals, and my brain would whiz over beingrejected by thefirst boy I ever liked.Not over how good I was at singing, or how I was bullied because how good at it I was, or how I was just one of three brown people in my grade, or how I was the only one in my social examines class once to score an A+ on a paper.No, it was the love thing that always got me.
I’d come home and crymyself to sleep because I guessed I’d never find true love, which was a cycle I’d repeat throughout middle school, high school, college and even now.
I was bear in Long Island, New York, in a town called Manhasset, where the average person’s problem was trying to figure out if they should buy a David Yurman bracelet with a turquoise stone or an amethyst. My extended family is a mix of the physicians and dentists with their own private practices, someself-employed businessmen and a couple oflawyers.
Don’t get me wrong; I was no Rockefeller. ButI had a nanny, a flashy vehicle and a big backyard.( I alsogrew up not knowing the value of a dollar, or how to make a bed or cook a simple meal .)
Now, you might be thinking, “Poor herwith her petty problems, sinking comfortably into the cushion of her BMW convertible and wondering if she’ll ever find a’ perfect’ man.”But, hear me out.
One night, my uncle hurled a dinner party in his gated community and invited all the big people he knew. Champagne and oysters were catered. Men wore suits, females wore cocktail dresses and the whole thing was just as stuffy as you’d imagine it to be.
They were discussing where one can find the softest polo shirt around, celebrity news and other things that didn’t truly matter.And the whole time, I was suffocating, thinking to myself, Don’t these people ever want to talk about real problems? Abstract ones that may not really have an answer, like world peace or the pursuit of love and happiness ?
I couldn’t make their problems my problems. I was morally opposed. I needed a realproblem to solve. That’s where observing love came in.
Now, lacking in any “real” problems, I am very fortunate.( And when I tell “real, ” I mean problems people all over the world consider problems, like finding a job that pays enough to get by on or how to get access to healthcare .) But observing love has pitted me to the point of lunacy. And, in my opinion, philosophizing to the phase of insanity is very much a real problem.
I owe myability to think critically about these things to the opportunities I was givengrowing up. Most of the world isn’t blessed with a big home, a caring family and the means to afford a good education. Becausefinancially privileged people have these opportunities to expand their knowledge, they can fall into the trap of being too smart for their own good. They become too smart to get out of their own heads about a problem who are likely to doesn’t need as much attention as it’s being given.
So, I constructed amega-real-problem of my own, one I use to very much define my existence and purpose.
Astudy conductedby Arizona State Universitysuggests there’s actually a correlation between wealthandthesearch for happiness or true love. Researchers found that children whose mothers earn more than $150,000 a year were twice as more likely to suffer from nervousnes and depression than infants whose mothers didn’t earn that much.
Psychologist Suniya Luthartold The Daily Mail ,
The children of affluent mothers expect to excel at school and in extracurricular activities and also in their social lives. They feel a relentless sense of pressure.
And oh, did I bend underpressure. Pressure got me to score straight-As and gain admission to a greatcollege.
In the same vein, I also felt pressure to bring home to my familythe very best person I could bring home. I suffer from a cruel kind of anxiety about detecting the perfect love. Often, you can find me crawling into a darkhole where my supposes on it don’t make any real steps, but simply move in circles.
The obsession with seeing the perfect love has forced me to turn down some men who weren’t perfect, but good enough for me. Most normal people will take“good enough.” Not me. I am on an endless quest for a human who has it “all.” Aman I’m not only proud to bring home to my family, but also a human they’re proud to insure me with.
The problem is, it’ll takequite a manto knock my family’ssocks off, but I don’t really have a selection. I’ve been raisedto weigh the value of aman the same style I weigh the value of any other commodity: I want to be proud to be seen with him, the style I’d be proud to be seen with a real Louis Vuitton bag over a fake one.
When it comes to finding love, I’m not so much worried about the style I feel when I’m with a human as much as I’m concerned with what people will think of me when they look at him and me side by side.The man I choose needs to be a man worth showing off.
Technically, I could bring home a tatted-up artist with dreadlocks( hey, I have tattoos myself ), a rich guy who isn’t that great-looking or a great-looking guy who isn’t that rich. But it would comeat the expense of being forever judged by the people in my extended social circles whom I’m forced to see more often than I’d like to.
It’s tough having a problem like mine, a problem so round around the edges that I’m not even sure I’ll ever get to the bottom of it. That’s because there’s always something bigger, better, shinier, richer, more good-looking and more worth showing off.
I hope I don’t come off as braggadocious by talking about materialism. I am, however, trying to eradicate the stigma often tied to those who grew up with fund to spare. We, too, have problems, and the objective is our problems for the sole reason that we’ve been raised to see the world in a way different from most.
Manhattan therapistClay Cockerel tells,
Even when “theyre saying”:’ I don’t have to struggle for money, ’ there are other parts of their own lives. Money is not the only thing that defines you. Your problems are legitimate.
Cockrell is right. Love defines me( or lack thereof, I suppose ). And I still haven’t solved my problem.