The Allure Of The Elusive

Winston Churchill
Sometimes surrender is a wiser choice...Image via Wikipedia

I’ve wasted a lot of my life chasing things that weren’t there for the capturing — men, jobs, ideas, friends, affection from the wrong people, approval or admiration from those who were happier forgetting my existence.

I suspect I am not alone in my quixotic quest.

There’s a fine line between tenacity and bloody-mindedness, determination and obsession. We admire those who never give up or in (Churchill), but there are times and places it’s our best choice. There are people who will never reciprocate our love, no matter how sincere or ardent.

Men who were charming and handsome and witty — but forever flitting somewhere out of range — once ignited my passions. I loved the chase and the challenge of winning and wooing them. Then it got boring and exhausting. I wanted to love, and work with, people who simply saw my virtues and came to me, unbidden, to enjoy them.

One of the six agents I’ve worked with along the way said I was the most determined person he had ever met. He said it with admiration, and a little surprise.

I’ve become less driven, but not very much and less than I’d like. I find it hard to detach from a dream, to recognize when it’s gone stale and it’s time for a new one.

What is it you’re searching for?

Why haven’t you found it yet?

20 thoughts on “The Allure Of The Elusive

  1. “I’ve wasted a lot of my life chasing things that weren’t there for the capturing — men, jobs, ideas, friends, affection from the wrong people, approval or admiration from those who were happier forgetting my existence.” I could have wrote that. It’s a shame we don’t realize it sooner. On the up side, at least we learn it. Although in my case, I keep RE-Learning it because I always think, this time it will be different. I really loved this blog post, thanks for it 🙂

    And btw, Congrats on your new marriage!
    – Robyn

  2. I think we’re hard-wired to chase. It spurs us on, keeps up wanting more. The chase can’t be indiscriminate though and figuring out what’s worth chasing and what’s not is probably the biggest predcitor of the course our life will take. I’m 23 and am moving away in a few months to pursue my dream of writing. Yesterday, as my boyfriend and I were strolling by the sea in Dublin, in cool air and beautiful sunshine, I realised that no goal of mine could be greater than the desire to stay with the guy, who for the past four years has made me happier than I’ve ever been. It was a moment that I wanted to remember, in case I get swept away by lesser goals along the way.

    1. What a beautiful image..I love Dublin…

      I agree with you that chasing one’s dreams — as I still very much do at 54! — is important. All through life. But oh, the energy I have wasted on false hopes.

      You’re wise at 23 to know your heart’s desire(s) and to know they sometimes compete with one another. Jose and I, who married last week after 11 years together, have often said “If only we’d met earlier.” But the truth is that we were both far too driven and career-focused, too immature and too stubborn to have made it work when we were younger. I had several men who wanted to marry me when I was younger and I was not ready to assume the responsibilities of becoming a wife.

  3. Pingback: Quixotic Quest « The Edmonton Tourist

    1. Caitlin, I didn’t mean what I said above that you were writing about me “literally.” I should have worded it different. “It sounds like me”
      It is interesting how we get wiser with age, at least I hope so, and challenge ourselves to change for the better.

  4. I think that I’m not too much of a chaser, though I started out as kid chasing after things, people, etc. I actually have to push myself to pursue people, and a friendship, because I’d prefer to be alone. Though, with my job, I’m constantly chasing myself to do better and to push myself harder, and to reach the ‘goals’ my work has set for me.

  5. Interesting how you’ve divided up the labor of “chasing” between professional and personal.

    I know there are many times I’ve poured so much of my energy (and hopes) into work that I am pooped. I have very little left with which to be charming or social or “on” for others beyond work, so then I do tend to withdraw and hang out with Jose. Only when I feel I have sufficient energy to engage effectively (which is not always when it’s needed!) do I really want to head back into the fray. I like to be and go full-on, but that also means making time and space to fully recharge.

  6. Cheryl

    I know I am no longer the woman I used to be. The transition to awaken to and accept this truth has been a rough ride. People who connected with me for ‘what’ I could bring to a relationship, men, jobs, friends, organizations are not interested in this new me. I have become more selective and reclusive as a result … a good outcome. But every once in a while I just have to try the ‘old me’ on, to see if she still fits (like the wedding suit hanging in the guest room closet). Neither fit anymore, bulging and pinching in places where I was never able, years ago, to pinch an inch. Did I say I like the new me? Well, almost … I can see the horizon of convergence not too far off in the distance! Great post, broadside!

  7. Thanks, Cheryl!

    Change is hard not just for us, but for the huge shift in dynamics it forces onto others who think they “know” us. They only know whatever we have been in the past, however unworkable that was for us. My step-mother died four years ago next month and only in her absence have I finally felt able to become myself — and valued and loved for who I am, not some pale and crappy shadow of her.

  8. After reading you post I realize that I was never much of a chaser, except for one thing, one very important thing. This thing lives my head and at an early age I firmly embedded it in my mind as a truthful reality.

    What is/was that one thing? A loving and supportive family of origin.

    My daily reminder: “It’s not there, stop looking for it, move on.”

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