February 14, 2013

thoughts on love

Happy Valentine's Day! For those of you who think this is a cheesy Hallmark driven, flower price spiked, restaurants over-booked kind of holiday, I tend to agree.
But, no matter what you think about this day, it still has the power to make even the biggest cynic say, "Look, I'm not saying this to you because it's Valentine's Day, I'm just letting you know I love you."
It makes us, even if fleetingly, think about love.
I've been lucky enough to find love a few times in my life and from what I've gathered, it always starts out as a passionate, all consuming, "I'm going to drive this car as fast as it will allow me just to get to you" kind of way. There's an urgency and tangible chemistry to the beginning of all great love stories. It's what love songs, movies and romantic epic stories are based on. And some people need love to always feel that way - so they hop from relationship to relationship every year or two. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it - because we all know how amazing the beginning of any relationship can make us feel - I'd even paraphrase that song, "I'm walking on sunshine" if I didn't loathe it so much. And I'm here to report, those same people are also exhausted. If all we have is the initial stages, we'd seriously never get anything done. We'd be doing it all. the. freaking. time.
To find love that stretches beyond the initial stages, you have to have a solid foundation of compatibility - I know the word compatible isn't sexy at all -in fact it conjures up images of people walking in matching track suits. At the end of the day, if you want to go the distance, you have to ask yourself - is this the person who wants the same things from this adventure? Is this the person I have the most fun with? Is this the person who doesn't mind sharing hundreds upon hundreds of very ordinary days together and still wake up excited to see me? Is this the person who will be phenomenal to raise a family with? Is this the person who will help me up when I fall down? Is this the first person I want to call when something big or small happens? Is this the person I can get old with? Is this the person who won't run away the very first time we have a real problem? Is this the person I'd like to see the world with? Okay, I think you've probably passed out from exhaustion with all of these questions. There are a few things I know for sure about love: the loss of it can leave real scars on our hearts, even temporarily breaking them, the mutual admission of love is one of life's greatest moments, and when you really love someone, you always want what is best for them, even if what's best for them isn't you. We learn the most about ourselves through love. When we think of love, we think of our romantic pasts. But love is also those we choose to give our time to. Love is showing up. Love is knowing that I will do whatever it takes, even if I'm exhausted, to make sure my daughter is happy. Love is hanging in there for a friend, even when they lose their way because you know there is a lot more to them than their current condition and the investment is worth it. Love is what you feel for a parent when their superhero costume is no longer visible, because you also know that being a grown up isn't all that it's cracked up to be sometimes. Love is looking out for yourself, even if the road you choose isn't a popular one, but it's the right one for you. I will leave you with this little clip, which I believe is the truest depiction of love in film. xoxo sweet valentines. I hope you shared your time with someone special to you.

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