A picture in our mind, a vision, of what life, and love, should look like.
Admit it - you have one. We all do.
We're conditioned, even as young kids, that love is supposed to look a certain way. In fairy tales, everyone is pretty and perfect; everyone looks, acts and talks the same.
We're taught that everything should happen in an order, and on a schedule. We're given the perfect formula for that picture-postcard life that our parents had, and for which we should strive.
But that's not how life works.
I'm as guilty as anyone. Convinced I knew what I wanted, I never thought twice about shutting something out if it didn't look just right.
But life's not a curio cabinet, and love isn't a recipe. You can't follow instructions, mix as directed and expect things to always turn out just right. Sometimes, you have to let people in who are too old, or too young, or who live too far away or have the wrong job. You have to take risks, and get uncomfortable, to find what's really right.
After all, some of the best things in life are the worst mistakes.