You know when you go shopping for a VERY specific item and you just can't seem to find it? For example, a few months ago I was going to a wedding and had the perfect dress, shoes, and jewelry for it. I needed a clutch or handbag of some sort, but kept putting off looking for one until the day of the wedding. I had a vision of what I wanted, and I KNEW I'd be able to find it. Well, you see where this is going. Of course I was frantically running around the Houston galleria for hours to no avail. My vision of what I wanted was so specific that my tunnel vision kept me from considering other handbags, just as cute, but not what I originally envisioned.
A few summers ago I was studying abroad in Spain and a few friends and I went to Rome for a weekend. I needed a little time to myself, (I'm sure you can imagine what living and spending time with 4 other girls for weeks can do to a girl) so I decided to go shopping alone. I didn't really have anything conjured up in my mind that I wanted to buy, I was just open to what I might find. So off I went wandering down Via Condotti, in and out of shops, just blissful to be in Rome. And about mid-afternoon, I walked in to this vintage store and spotted this pink dress, and I just knew it was meant to be. It was the most beautiful item of clothing I had ever seen. It was sort of like a shift dress, made of silk, just hanging on the rack waiting for me to come find it. Of course, it fit perfectly (despite not being my usual size).
These stories are perfect examples of what I think we do too often (myself included). In high school and college I had a few boyfriends that just weren't the perfect fit. I had always envisioned dating guys like them, so I wore the dress despite it being a little too tight around the hips. Of course it never really worked out, much to my dismay. And once I got out of college it felt like everyone was settling down and getting married (I am from the midwest) so I too tried to find the right person for me, looking a bit too hard. And that guy always seemed to elude me.... I'd go on dates with guys who had a good job, good morals, and a nice smile, but it never felt like a perfect fit. So finally I just stopped caring so much. I stopped looking. I started living. I gave up the need to have such strong control over the way my life unfolded. And it felt really good.
Then, one day, when I really didn't care about meeting someone, I was at Hotel Zaza here in Houston enjoying a staycation with a friend. And this tall blonde walked outside (of course he caught my eye). Thanks to fate, the only seat by the pool that was open was next to me. He sat down, this guy that was nothing like my usual type, and struck up a conversation in his cute Australian accent. It was his first day in Houston, starting a new job. And the rest (up to this point) is history.
Will we be together forever? Who knows. I sure hope so, but I guess my point is I've given up the need for this perfect life in the same way I've stopped hunting for the perfect dress.