Falling

Falling in love feels a lot like drowning. You notice yourself falling deeper and you look around trying to find something to hold onto, to save yourself. You start to panic wondering what will happen, how you will make it out alive if you don’t find something to grasp soon. You’re losing yourself and it’s the scariest thing you’ve ever experienced.

If you’re lucky a hand reaches down and pulls you to shore, to the destination you’ve only dreamt of reaching.

Sometimes the person you jumped in after just watches you struggle to breathe until you finally are able to fling yourself back onto dry land, but not unchanged.

There is no way of knowing how the water will feel unless you jump. You can’t ever learn to swim without taking the risk. All you can do is close your eyes, reach out your hand, and hope for the best.

Time

I came across a quote today that hit me really hard: “It’s scary that one day we’re going to have to live without our mother or father or brother or husband or wife. Or that one day we’re going to have to walk this earth without our best friend by our side, or them without us. Appreciate your loved ones while you can, because none of us are going to be here forever.” I think sometimes we get so wrapped up in the day to day nonsense that we forget the big picture. You might be frustrated with your spouse today because they are nagging you for leaving a bunch of dirty dishes in the sink. You might be annoyed by your sibling because they made a rude joke about you at a family party. You might be angry with your parents for giving you unsolicited advice. But at the end of the day we need to stop and think about how lucky we are to still have those people in our lives. We aren’t guaranteed a single minute. Any day now you or someone you love could be diagnosed with a terminal illness, a natural disaster could strike, or some other horrible accident could occur, and do you want to be looking back regretting all the time you wasted complaining and avoiding the ones you loved?

I remember many times throughout my marriage when I would be lying in bed or sitting in the passenger seat of the car and I would look at my husband and realize that we had a limited amount of time together. When you are truly, madly, deeply in love it is scary to think that there will come a day when that side of the bed or seat in the car will be empty; when you won’t be able to run into your loved one’s arms when you need comforting. Anything less than eternity isn’t long enough when you’re with the love of your life. I would constantly do the math, “Well if we are 24 and if we live to 100 that would give us 76 more years together.” And after doing that math I would recognize the slim chance of us both making it to 100 and I would feel a rush of sadness and I would squeeze his hand. I want to be the happy person celebrating a 50th or 75th anniversary; I don’t want to waste a single minute!

So many people are afraid to let go of their youth. They are partying well into their 20s or even 30s, refusing to settle down, determined to get in as much “action” as possible, but what they don’t realize is that one day they may be lying in bed next to someone they love counting the years they might have left together, and that number will just keep getting smaller and smaller as time goes on. The longer you wait to appreciate the people you have in your life the less special memories you will be able to make together. Don’t wait until 10 years from now to realize how much you care about someone that could be gone tomorrow. Grab their arm and hold them tight, and forget about the dirty dishes and the bad jokes and the silly advice.

xo

Find Yourself (Again)

Sometimes life can be so hectic that we forget who we are. We’re so busy in our lives working, caring for our families, going to school, taking care of a home, and trying to make relationships work, we don’t have time to sit down and do the things we enjoy. Before I got married and started a family I loved to spend my Sunday mornings sitting in Starbucks with a New York Times, a scone, and a latte. Obviously once you start a family those little pleasures disappear. Not to say that there aren’t new joys to fill your day, because there are, but it’s just not realistic to think that you can quietly relax in a chair at Starbucks when you have a toddler running around screaming. And honestly, at the end of the day, I usually don’t even have the energy to read or think, even on a “day off.”

I was just going through my Facebook intending to clean it up and edit my favorite music, interests, etc. since I haven’t done so in, oh, 2-3 years. But instead of finding things I wanted to change, I found that I still have all of the same interests that I had 3 years ago. I still like the same music, I still love yoga, meditation, baking, and football, and I still like the same books and newspapers. However, I can’t remember the last time I meditated or sat down to read a newspaper; who has time for that? That’s when I realized I had lost myself in my busy life. I think it is so important to take time for yourself once in a while to regain yourself; I read that all the time in parenting magazines. It is essential to a healthy relationship to do things you enjoy and stay connected with the people in your life outside of your family so that you can appreciate what you have while still being happy. Unfortunately I can’t say that I have done a great job maintaining a healthy relationship, and perhaps it’s partly because we both forgot who we are, and we both prevent each other from being ourselves. That spells disaster in any language.

I need to make it my goal to find balance in my life, and if you feel like you are losing yourself too, then maybe you should give it a try too. If anyone finds any way that works I’d love to hear it!

Defining Love

Love is a term that will never be completely captured by a definition. According to the dictionary, love is, “A profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.” I don’t think it’s that simple. Love is not simply an affection or a tender emotion; it is an obsession, a state of mind, a yearning to constantly please someone. So many people are so quick to say, “I love you,” because they don’t quite understand what love is. Someone who cheats on their spouse is not in love; perhaps they have lust for their spouse, but they do not truly love them. When one is in love one would do anything to protect that person whom they love. They would never hurt that person, and they certainly would never want someone else. This concept is impossible to understand unless you have been in love. I’m not certain we ever fall out of love completely; there will always be that ache in your heart when you hear their name.

I believe Shakespeare teaches some of the most important lessons of love. In Act III Scene I of The Tempest he says, “Hear my soul speak. Of the very instant that I saw you, Did my heart fly at your service.” A person in love would do anything for the person whom they love. Act I Scene I of A Midsummer Night’s Dream states, “Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.” Love is truly blind. When you are in love you do not see that person’s flaws as others do. You do not only fall in love with their good traits, but also their imperfections. Finally, Hamlet says in Act II Scene II, “Doubt that the stars are fire, Doubt that the sun doth move his aides, Doubt truth to be a liar, But never doubt I love.” Love is knowing. One does not think one is in love, one IS in love, until death do you part. Love is forever, be it a curse or a gift.

Call me crazy or obsessed, but I call it love.

Sources:

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/love

http://www.nosweatshakespeare.com/quotes/shakespeare-love-quotes.htm

Playas Gon’ Play

There are a few quotes that pop into my mind when I think about the concept of cheating: “Cheaters cheat for a reason,” and “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

As for the first quote, “Cheaters cheat for a reason,” is that a justifiable claim?  Perhaps in some cases it could be.  For example, if you feel that you are trapped in a loveless marriage, especially if horrible issues such as abuse are involved, that is a decent reason to seek love elsewhere.  On the other hand, what is keeping you married to someone you don’t want to be with?  If you are constantly fighting and miserable, then divorce would seem preferable to me.  If the issue is simply a less-than-remarkable sex life, however, it might seem easier to seek excitement elsewhere in addition to your marriage rather than as a replacement.  Regardless of how you feel about your significant other, regardless of how they have treated you or what has happened between you, I feel that every single person in this world deserves the dignity of a divorce over deceit.  Call me old-fashioned, but I would rather have my significant other leave me than find out they are living a double life behind my back.  It’s far more insulting to find out you have been tricked into believing someone loves you than to just be told it’s not going to work out.

The second quote, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me,” is one that I hold near and dear to my heart.  I have been in countless situations where I have caught someone in a lie, and then given them multiple chances to redeem themselves.  That is what I call the Eternal Optimist Syndrome; it is so much easier to continue falling for the same line than to admit that someone will never be honest to you and things will never work out between you.  It’s like 3Lw said in the 90’s, “The playas gon’ play, them haters gonna hate, them callers gonna call, them ballers gonna ball.”  All kidding aside, I think it’s fair to say that cheaters are going to continue to cheat, especially if they are already repeat offendors.  I don’t quite understand it, but it seems that some people are just perpetual liars; perhaps because it always gets easier to lie/cheat the second time.  I’m all for second chances, but third, fourth, and fifth chances, not so much.

I don’t think I will ever understand the purpose of cheating.  To me, if I wanted to be with someone, whether it be for companionship or just sexual interest, I would want to completely be with that person.  Relationships are exhausting; why would I ever want to balance more than one at the same time?  If I wanted to seek thrills I would become a police officer in a bad city or a government assassin; much more exciting.

Hidden Lies

They say you can’t have a healthy relationship without trust and honesty, but how far does that go?  Obviously, lying is never a good idea; that’s one thing we know for sure.  What’s unclear is where we draw the line between lying and just keeping things from people.  We all have people in our lives that we just don’t talk to about certain things.  For example, you might not discuss politics with your boss or religion with your mother in law, and there is nothing wrong with that.  But when it comes to significant others, is it okay to just avoid certain topics, or is it necessary to be in agreeance on all topics no matter how controversial?  If you differ in your taste in music or personal style, I’m not sure it’s worth voicing your opinion when it will just start a fight.  However, there should be a line drawn there as well.  If you hold a cause near and dear to your heart, such as vegetarianism or gay rights, your unwavering passion for that cause could make or break a relationship.  A truly healthy relationship is between two people who respect each other’s views.  Of course, each situation is unique.  Perhaps some relationships just are worth fighting for.

Where’s My Fairytale?

Love is like a tricky pair of goggles that make it really difficult to ever be happy.  When you first meet someone you examine him for both good and bad qualities, deciding whether or not he’s someone you’re interested in.  When you begin to fall in love you are blinded from all of his flaws and think he is the most perfect person in the world, regardless of how big his nose is or how obnoxiously he chews his food.  Down the road if things go sour and you break up, all of a sudden all you see is his flaws, which is absolutely baffling when not long before that you thought this person was perfect.  Then as time goes on and you remain single and lonely, you think about when your relationship was fresh and new and the two of you were happy, and you disregard whatever reasons you broke up in the first place, which were probably valid reasons for the two of you to not be together.  This is when you make the mistake of getting back together, with your eternal optimism telling you, “It will be different this time!”  No matter how many friends, co-workers, and family members tell you you’re crazy and try to remind you why it didn’t work out in the first place, you won’t hear any of it; you only care about filling that void, and this person is someone you’re comfortable with.  Of course, 9 times out of 10, it’s not different.  People are who they are, and generally they don’t change drastically.  Though the original getting back together and making up is exciting, inevitably you will soon end up back in the same old mess of a relationship you were in before you broke up.  The positive traits that you remembered so fondly while you were broken up don’t come close to outweighing the problems that led to the break-up in the first place.  If going through a break-up once was hard, doing it a second time isn’t any better.  And if that wasn’t bad enough, you’ve got everyone around you laughing in your face saying, “I told you so!”

Of course, I’m not a raging pessimist that doesn’t believe in love.  I’m a woman, I thrive on it.  We all want that fairytale life where you meet the man/woman of your dreams, fall deeply in love, and live happily ever after.  Unfortunately, the vast majority of us will either spend our lives searching for our ‘soulmate’ or fighting as hard as we can to make a less-than-perfect relationship work (which at times can feel like trying to cram a square peg into a round hole).  Thanks to my eternal optimism, I just know happiness will find us all sooner or later.