I can’t say it’s been an easy path. That it’s been all sunny skies and rainbows and smiles and bliss. I can’t say I’ve traveled the high road a lot of the time. Or been the “bigger person”. Or remove myself from the pettiness and drama that is sometimes (ok, often times) associated with relationships and their demise. I can’t tell you I haven’t made my fair share of mistakes, including some blatant ones. At one point in time – and not even that long ago, really – I would have even gone so far as to say I’d given up. Or, as much as I can really “give up”.
Today, it’s easy to write this. Today, I am happy and fulfilled and content. But other days are darker and more menacing. Other days promise only loneliness and a cold half of the bed with no one’s arms to hold me. I don’t miss those days. Those days make my heart immensely saddened. But for as many dark days I’ve had, there have been a hundred sunny ones. And although temporarily my saddened self would disagree, I know that I will always come back full circle and see the sunshine once again.
I’ve spent a good deal of time reflecting on my past experiences lately, and I’ve noticed a constant within myself. That constant- how an ex once described in a not-so-feel-good way during the ‘break-up talk’- is that I’m “all heart”. And you know what? Hell, yeah. I’ll own that. I love to love. 100%. Yeah, it hurts like nothing else in the world when it crashes and burns, but when it’s good… ahh… it’s wonderful.
But it’s not only that. Sure, I love the idea and the feeling of falling in love. I love the butterflies in my stomach and the jittery nerves right before a first kiss. How after a while of being together, my heart skips a beat when I see a message on my phone from him and how my heart steadily beats faster the closer I get to seeing him again. And how the sound of his voice stirs something in the bottom of my heart that no one else has been able to touch. But what’s even greater than that is what comes next. The life, the reality of the thing. Like two people who have birthed a child together, I feel that true, real love is the greatest thing any two people can ever create together. It’s unique and personal, gentle and strong. It’s the thing I’ve been searching for, and my most valued… what, accomplishment? State of mind? I lack the word for it, but that’s the problem with words, isn’t it? Sometimes they don’t exist for what you’re trying to say.
A while ago, I said that love was a strange bird of prey; it soars above humanity, one wing dipped in gold, the other in tar. And to that I hold true. Even now as I write this, I am in a happy relationship, but it rings true in the way that no great love is without great risk and sometimes great pain. But my words originally spoken back then were written from a darker place, one that contained depression and sorrow and despair. They were written between tears and replays of scenarios gone wrong, between sobriety and sleep and ever changing states of mind. That’s the risk you take when you’re “all heart”. Everything feels that much more intense, that much more real. I never said I wanted to be this way, I only said I was.
Yet, I accept what I’ve been given. More to that, I’ve learned to embrace it. I used to think it was a detrimental character flaw, but as I grow and become more in tune to the authentic me, I’ve learned it’s anything but detrimental. It’s a gift. It’s what has led me to travel alone and seek out new relationships and take risks and learn from them- whether they’ve paid off or not. It’s what has taught me to reach out to the people I otherwise may not have, and to listen and be inspired by their stories. It’s what has taught me to love and let go when it’s needed. And more importantly, it’s taught me when it’s worth hanging on.
My words back then were laced with blackness. Today they shine with the colour of the universe. Same words, but a different perspective. Isn’t that what happiness is at the end of it all anyway?
If love is a strange bird of prey, then let me be the air on which it’s wings glide. For love cannot exist without a heart to hold it. I believe in forever. I believe in risk. But above all else, I believe in love.