If you were to hear the term "romantic realist," what would you think? Would you consider it an oxymoron? The two adjectives seem diametrically opposed... A romantic is generally someone who sees the world through rose-colored glasses, who thinks the best of everyone and looks for good in every situation. A realist is someone who looks analytically at every situation and never sugar-coats anything. So how in the world can one and the other live together in the same person? Honestly, I'm not sure. I know that I think of myself as a romantic realist. I want the best from every situation, yet am fully aware that the best doesn't come easily. I have no illusions that every person is good and just, but I hope to find a glimmer of good in everyone.
I look at life as a series of moments... Moments that can never be replicated, and that are meant to be lived for. There is space in between these amazing moments that has to be filled with living, making it to the next moment. We search for meaning in everything, when sometimes things are meaningless. There are snippets of being really, authentically alive that come few and far between. Those are what we live for. Every minute of our lives can't be made of the best, otherwise there would be no way to recognize the truly beautiful stuff when it falls in our laps. And there are some truly astonishing things to live for. Everyone's definition of a good life is different, but mine is finding those moments and squeezing every last drop out of them.
What sparked this particular post? Oddly enough, a Dave Matthews Band concert. Things happen so fast in life sometimes. One minute you'll be moving along in your everyday life, and then something jumps out and grabs you and shakes the crap out of you. I saw DMB in Tampa last night, and as I stood there with probably 30,000 other lucky souls, a thought occurred to me that I hadn't really had before. For me, in my life, standing there listening to Crash played live was a once in a lifetime experience. I doubt that I'll ever go to another DMB concert, not because it wasn't great, because it really was. It's just that sometimes life gets in the way of living. I'll move on to other things, the band may stop touring... Whatever the case may be. Going to the concert was not at all planned. Even though I'd always wanted to see their show, I'd never really given much thought to buying tickets myself and going. When a friend offered a free ticket the day before, I looked at it as an opportunity that could not be passed up. Now I can add that experience to an ever expanding portfolio of times to look back on and be so grateful for.
The moments you step away from yourself and realize, holy shit, I'm really alive, that's what I'm living for. It doesn't always have to be something as dramatic as a phenomenal concert with thousands of other people. I've found that feeling in first kisses, belly laughs, good meals, a sweet nap, sweating my ass off, running from South Carolinians chasing my best friend and I through the mean streets of Satellite Beach, having a glass of wine over good conversation, sitting in traffic, landing a plane by my own hand and so many others. Feeling those emotions make life worth living. It makes all the mundane shit we go through everyday seem trivial.
So yes, I think it's possible to be an oxymoron. I'm okay with being a dichotomy. Makes me more interesting, right?
*If you don't know where today's blog title came from, I feel sorry for you.