The grass is always greener on the other side-season is upon us. Every year I fall into the trap of the old colloquial saying, believing there is something outside of myself that will make my life better. I look for something to make me feel whole while wanting it to come as easily as the changing of the seasons.
This time of year, once the temperature hits 80 degrees, I am left sweating profusely due to the blubber I packed on to survive the winter. For those people who actually care for their bodies, 80 degrees means its time to show off the fruits of their labor. Out for a jog, partying on a boat, or just rocking the hell out of a baseball jersey, I just can’t help consuming the beauty of the human form regardless of gender.
While I understand that these bodies are not put on display for my ogling benefit I cannot help but give in to my gaze. After a long winter of ogling someone’s Gore-Tex jacket, the flood of bodily beauty into the world makes it hard to rise about the distasteful habit of objectification.
I see a chiseled body and I think the grass would be greener if I had a the body to flaunt a speedo at the beach. I see a glistening body I desire sexually and I think the grass would be greener if only someone like that were attracted to me. Both of these thoughts fall neatly into the meaning of this colloquial phrase, the grass is not actually greener.
To imagine how much fun it would be to have a rocking beach body when Summer hits ignores how much fun I had gorging on deep dish pizza, drinking full-bodied IPAs, while bingeing an entire season of Schitt’s Creek on Netflix. It ignores the fact that stress eating Chicago mix popcorn made my stress level manageable and counterintuitively may have prevented a heart attack. It ignores the fact that I made the best choices I could, and some years eating my feeling is healthier than turning heads at the beach.
This is also the season when seeing the most attractive people tricks me into thinking I would like to be single again. As a younger man I assumed this seasonal tendency towards cabin fever was based out of a lust for physical attractiveness. It’s summer, more people are being social and the weather lends itself two more alluring outfits, why wouldn’t my mind wander to pursuing something new instead of the familiar?
On the surface, lusting after a P.Y.T. showing some side-boob may seem like a shallow desire or a new and alluring partner, but it really reflects a desire for the affection of someone new to fill the hole inside me that tells me I’m not good enough. In a committed relationship, I am forced to accept that my happiness is my responsibility. I am with a person who loves me for me and supports me through everything, so the hole still inside of me is my job to fill. If I allow my mind to wander to a new partner in the season of greener grass, I give in to the delusion that there might be someone else out there so perfect for me that their attraction towards me would finally make me whole. I give in to the delusion that feeling fulfilled and self-confident might come easily if one of these new beautiful people desired me. What I really lust for is to be rid of the work of fixing myself.
The grass is greener where you water it. I must find my fulfillment by working on myself not by looking for something new outside myself to do it for me. I am going to start working on myself by trying to objectify people a little less.