It is one of the most positive, powerful words in existence. And when we find it and share it, we learn that it is one of the most beautiful things. The most beautiful thing.
Our ultimate, true purpose. The one thing that really unites us and transcends language and culture and ethnicity. After all, it is what we are all truly seeking, isn’t it?
And sometimes love changes; it doesn’t have to stop, and I don’t believe that true love ever really does, but it sometimes changes. Because life changes, and we know that to be inevitable.
So when the nature of the love as we know it shifts, it’s ok. It’s ok for love to change with life. In fact, sometimes it may feel forceful when we don’t allow it to bend and move and flow as life does.
My life, the context for my love, has shifted drastically in the past month. My perspective on life and how I want to live it has changed.
I have decided, at least for now, that I no longer want to be enslaved by money:
I don’t want to return to a 9-5 job—sit at a desk for 8 hours staring at a computer screen, sit in traffic for two hours a day—to earn it.
I don’t want to put my dream on hold due to a lack of it. And instead build someone else’s dream to raise it.
I don’t want to feel like I need the “stuff” it can get me.
I don’t want it to be my life line. I don’t want it to be my source of happiness.
All of which means: the life I had is no longer the life I want.
So what happens to the ones I love who I shared that life with? What happens when the life we were supposed to build together is no longer the life I want? If the entirety of my life is to change, how can those in it remain a constant in the same way?
I don’t know.
And while you may view this as selfish of me, is it not more selfish to force the one I love to change with my life, my new priorities? And equally unfair to me to return to life as it was, out of ease…for the sake of his happiness, at the sacrifice of my own?
Maybe this is a phase. Maybe I will miss the way life was in a few months. Maybe I will want it all back.
I don’t know.
My older sister–the logical one, the one who keeps me grounded should my mind drift too far up into the clouds–reminded me that (“no offense,”) there is a reason why my friends used to call me a flake, that maybe I change my mind too much without thinking.
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself–I am large, I contain multitudes. (Walt Whitman)
But the way I see it, all I can do is act on my truths, right now. And be honest with those I love as I feel those truths. That truth for me right now?
I don’t know.
All I know is I don’t know.
I am on this personal journey trying to figure it all out; me out. And it isn’t fair to take those I love along for the ride, blindly, while I do so.
What I do know? I love him. I still do. I think I always will. And should I ever want to return to my old life, my old plans, there is no one else I would rather build it with.
Will I want that again? I don’t know. Will he be there waiting should I decide I do? I doubt it, but I don’t know. And it would be selfish to want that. I realize for his sake, I don’t want that.
Do I risk losing him forever? Yes. Will our souls find a way back to one another if it turns out we were really meant to be? Yes. I absolutely believe, yes.
My hope for me, and my hope for him:
To remember that everything is love.
While the context, the environment in which it lives has changed… Love—in its intention, beauty, positivity—remains. And it never has to go away.
Even if it has to exist as a breeze, a memory:
An unseen presence that raises goosebumps to the surface with its soft touch. A sudden burst, though brief, refreshing; one that flows through our bodies unannounced and only from time to time, but raises a smile when it does.
Rather than what we knew it as before:
A blossoming flower in our hands; Durable, growing before our eyes. Soft to the touch, delicate. Vibrant in color, aromatic in smell. Arousing all the senses. Tangible. Mine, his. Ours.
Whatever form, it still brings us happiness. It should. What we had, what we have, is something that deserves to evoke those types of feelings.
Hatred, bitterness, anger. Those feelings aren’t appropriate, they don’t belong in this space. I have done nothing wrong, he has done nothing wrong. There is no reason for it.
What of suffering, of heartbreak? Well, yes. This situation, life, is full of it. And that’s ok.
Whatever purpose this time is meant to serve, I hope we find it. Whatever lessons are meant to be learned, I hope we store it and apply it. Whatever growth this is meant to cultivate, I hope we embrace it. I hope this journey serves me well, makes me better. I hope his journey serves him well, makes him better.
I am made and remade continually. Different people draw different words from me. (Virginia Woolf)
That’s how life should truly be lived, no? To grow, learn, love. To break, slip, fall. To rebuild, continue onwards and forwards. To remake, rediscover. Keep learning, keep loving, keep growing. Keep reinventing. The details, the sequence of events, vary from person to person. But isn’t it all the same cycle? Aren’t all the same elements necessary?
“Think how you love me” she whispered. “I don’t ask you to love me always like this, but I ask you to remember.”
“You’ll always be like this to me.”
“Oh no; but promise me you’ll remember.” Her tears were falling. “I’ll be different, but somewhere lost inside me there’ll always be the person I am tonight.” (F. Scott Fitzgerald)