A friend of mine* posted this about love and it got me thinking.
Then my dad posted this about love and it got me writing.
About love. And the one I love. You know the one. He has a beard. And he and I tend to play it pretty close to the chest when it comes to our relationship, for reasons of our own. And I like that about us. I have nothing against bold declarations of love or public displays of affection....as long as they aren't annoying or in my face. And either way, it's not for us.
As a principle, I am all for love. It's all you need, it's the one thing that there's just too little of, she loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah. But, for me, love is private. It's between me and my loved ones. And a lot of times I find it easier to express with actions and items than with words.
For example, when The Boy's mother got sick, it shook me to my core. I couldn't believe this woman that I loved so much, that had done so much for me, could be in danger. Could be anything other than a permanent pillar of strength and encouragement for her family**. So, instead of letting her know how much she meant to me and how much I loved her, I cooked three lasagnes, cleaned their upstairs, organized their freezer and scrubbed their bathroom.
I've done the same thing with my mother, my friends and The Boy. And, lucky for me, they accept these tidings for what they are, but sometimes I wonder if my life wouldn't be a little easier and better if I learned how to express my love and gratitude for the people in my life. If I even got brave enough to do it in front of other people. It sounds so easy and basic, but it's a pretty terrifying concept for me to grasp.
It would be easy, I think, to over/psycho/whatever analyze this tendency, but I think it's pretty simple.
Growing up, I had a very clear image of who I would be when I grew up. All through high school and college I kept waiting to turn into this magical woman that I believed I should be. She would be independent, have excellent hair, and be confidently nonchalant about pretty much everything.
And, this was a crucial bit: she would never look back. I had this idea that in order to build my own life I had to detach completely from my old life. Teenage dissatisfaction led me to believe that there was nothing worth keeping in myself or my surroundings so I waited until I was able to discard them and myself.
But of course that's impossible. And as someone who is engaged to her high school sweetheart, best friends with her high school and college friends, and is very close to her family, I should know that better than anyone. But I think part of me feels as though I've failed somehow by continually looking back. As though to tell everyone that I can't wait to build a future with The Boy, who is so much a part of my past, will somehow make them think less of me.
But I'm realizing more and more that the only people whose opinions matter never would. And that sharing the past with them is a gift I've been given, so I should be grateful for it. So I may never be that girl that freely and happily makes out with her boyfriend on a train (and I never want to be because that bitch was annoying as shit) but I can be that silly girl that admits on a silly blog that she is very, very lucky for all the people that have been, are and will be in her life. And especially the one who isn't a person at all.
*Two things about this friend: 1) her blog is hilarious and you should read it for posts usually very unlike that one and 2) she is moving to LA to become a writer which is sad but also awesome because she will write a sitcom that I can star on and everything will be awesome for everyone. And yes, I am blatantly hitching my star to her wagon. Wouldn't you?
**Of course she remained a pillar of strength and encouragement to her family because that's what she does and it was a little silly of me to think that something as minor as a debilitating illness would affect that.