The Ideal Life
I awake to the sounds of bacon sizzling and eggs frying. It is another wonderful, lazy Saturday morning breakfast. This weekend is like so many others, and yet it is unique in and of itself. The shadows on the floor coalesce to form the german shepherd, Hg, we once rescued. Then, like Mercury himself, the shadows disperse leaving nothing but emptiness where he once was. "Breakfast!" comes the call from the kitchen. "Coming," I respond, fully intending not to. I remain where I am, reminiscing about the past, about elementary particles, about how I've reached the point where I now am, and about who I was 10 years ago.
I've never wanted my life to stand out much. I've never dreamed of winning the race, scoring the goal, or saving the day. I don't mind at all having the appearance of just another faceless mass in a crowd, because I am so much more than anything anyone could catch in a glimpse. Not that I think I'm special or anything, since there are very few people who one can know instantaneously. Spending the time and energy to make an impression on people I will never again see is not normally my style. I care much more for the depth of a single relationship than the mind-numbing breadth of a multitude. This attitude has both saved me from pain and caused extra. Not making the effort to reach out to people leaves me in my own isolated world, sparing me from the feelings of rejection and boredom which my brushes with society have caused me. It also
strengthens the ties with those few whom I choose to develop real, lasting relationships. However, purposefully secluding myself from others leaves me vulnerable when I do decide to open myself up. Since I do it so rarely, the times when I approach others and for whatever reason feel rejected sting me to the center of my being. Usually, I feel rejected even when someone else does not intend to make me feel rejected; I am very insecure at times.
Although much of my life has been spent in isolation, I am ultimately dependent upon others. Although I am mostly self-sufficient, I need the reassurance only attainable by validation from an external source. Because of this, my ideal self is not truly a self, it could never be a single entity, but it is based upon my interactions with other people. I don't fantasize about becoming a hero; I might not even accept the job if offered. Instead, I treasure the enormous, personal difference I can make in just a few lives. My ideal self opens the door for those with their hands full, and is always ready with a comforting smile and a laugh. This is who I try to be every day.
My belief in a simple, realizable ideal can be traced to a dream I had as a child that has remained with me: I wake up in my own room that is not my room. It's subtly different from the room I went to sleep in. There is a soft, background luminescence lighting every corner. In a daze I wander out of my door to the hall. I glance in my parent's room to my right, but...