I recently had someone tell me that love isn’t like it is in the movies. That it’s hard. When I read those words it made me sad, because while I’d always viewed relationships to, at times be difficult, the idea that love was hard seemed like a horrible way to view things. Less than a week later I had dinner with someone with which I shared my relationship history. “Love actually isn’t that hard” she told me, as if she somehow knew the discussion I’d had just days previously.
I’m going to make a bold declaration and say that love is what you make of it. We decide how we view things. We have the power to control how we react and respond, and we can choose what touches our hearts and what we focus our minds and memories on.
I’ve had my heart broken, just the same as many of you readers. Not just by lovers but friends and by family. It’s easy to be sad. It might even be easy to be so consumed by bitterness that it clouds your perceptions of what love can be. I know it’s further enhanced my inability to trust someone.
But can the fallout of a relationship be so damaging that it forever destroys your ability to see the fireworks and smell the roses? I’m going to be the jackass that has the balls to say if that’s the case you’re just being lazy. And I say this as someone for whom it took 5 years to get back on the relationship horse.
It’s hard to get past the hurt. The cliche about scars does, it turns out, hold true. Maybe that’s the part about love being difficult; working through your issues, fighting past the fear, being willing to trust someone with your deepest thoughts and emotions. But love, the kind that lasts forever, really does have the capacity to move you in ways that Bogie and Bergman would give a nod to.
How? It isn’t some magical spell, it’s just learning to let go. Let go of the fear. Let go of the bitterness. Let go of little things that bug you like how he snaps at you every time he knows he’s wrong or she has atrocious table manners. She may not be “the one” and he might not be “price charming” but when you find that person that makes you feel like you’re good together – let the other things go and only focus on the moments that bring you joy. Then it really will be like what’s in the movies, because the fireworks as the music swells is all you’ll ever remember.
The power of positive thinking, my friends… it’s hard, but the bitterness and sadness will kill everything that is beautiful and wonderful every time.
So… something happened that took my breath away. It’s been a rough week. First, I ate something that made me sick the other night… but the reality is for the last week I’ve been depressed about 50. Not because it was a great loss, although I do feel a sense of loss, not because I invested a lot of time and energy in him, though I did, but more that I let someone get to me and I’m pissed at myself for being so stupid. While talking with one of my best friends last night I explained where my “trust issues” originated, a story I actually haven’t ever shared with anyone before – not that it’s all that shocking, there are just certain times in your life where major events can impact you more and stay with you forever. I digress… So while talking to her about my trust issues I explained that it makes me want to shut down again. It makes me want to hide and cower in a corner like a feral cat and scratch and claw at anyone who comes near me. I know this is the wrong decision, but knowing what’s right and healthy for us isn’t always what we want. Eat your emotional and psychological vegetables.
But then I got the surprise of my life. I won’t go into great detail, but someone I’ve loved for quite a while that I realistically can’t be with but would like very much to be with… showed up at my apartment to surprise me. It’s difficult to explain the amount of work that went in to making this happen and that I knew nothing about. The email I got at 5pm read: subject line: come home. email text contained a photo of the metro station near my house. My eyes watered. We’d been emailing all week about how angry and depressed I have been. I really needed this. I sprinted from the bar where I was meeting friends for drinks, ran across DuPont circle, leaping over the medians as the “don’t walk” sign flashed at me. I slid through the doors of the train just as they were closing – then ran up the steps of the escalator… My eyes darted around looking but nothing. Breathless, I took big fast steps walking fast up Connecticut Avenue. I heard the voice behind me… and then the comfort and safety of our embrace……. and then…. of course…. the insane amount of making out that commenced in the elevator as we climbed the floors to my apartment.
I’m an expert at unrequited love. I practically have a degree in it. This is reciprocated love. This goes beyond sex, although the sex is always great, it goes beyond trust although we both agree we’ve never trusted anyone more than one and other in our lives, and it goes beyond a mutual understanding that I’m much smarter (though I would argue not smart just more informed because I consume more information)…. there is such a safety I feel when we’re together. I’m not afraid, or worried, or nervous, or anything – for once I can relax and let go. Like when you were little and your grandpa told you to jump and he’d catch you. I know I can jump … and fall softly in a lover’s arms. And while we both know it never lasts long and we can’t be together; when we smile a goofy grin between kisses and talk of our dreams of the life we could have, nothing else anywhere matters.
Much needed surprise. No one has ever done that for me before.