I post photos and little updates here and there. I exchange hundreds of short messages a day, things that run through my mind, but I haven't been throwing my voice out to the wind in a long, long time. I suppose this is where I express some aspiration to blog more or write more, but only time will tell if I actually keep up. What I'm really hoping is that I will write about one topic at a time and then my life will become clearer to whoever cares to read.
In the spirit of Valentine's Day, the topic is love.
My last love ended. Three years, nine months, some odd days that I am sure I can calculate if I really care to. It ended in a parking lot. It ended in tears, and in the months that followed, it seemed like it ended a long time ago. The reasons were many. I picked a couple, simple reasons to articulate to new friends and dates. I've never articulated them in public, well online public, and it's simultaneously hard and simple to explain: we weren't compatible. Isn't that how all love stories end? That moment that builds on a hundred moments when the fissures become clear, and the separation is inevitable. We tried our hardest. We loved each other. For that, I will always be grateful.
Sometimes, I get someone who says "You couldn't tell? You didn't know? It took you four years to figure out you weren't compatible with someone?" This question assumes that I knew myself. And maybe it took me four years to figure myself out.
I have no bitterness. No regrets. Valentine's Day wasn't a big red letter day this year, but it prompted me to read that Steinbeck letter on love again. (Steinbeck on Love).
"There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you -- of kindness and consideration and respect -- not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn't know you had."
The first time I read the letter, the quote that stuck out was to be patient and nothing good gets away. At this particular juncture in my life (this has nothing to do with the last boyfriend), that quote ^ really gets to me. I have been single for almost a year now, and as I open the door back up to love, I understand that some people will use love for self-importance and that I might fall in that trap too if I'm not cognizant of the difference.
Moving forward with hope.