It is an interesting concept, eternal love. Some think it is a fantasy made up by love-hungry girls who dream of being rescued by their prince while they ride off into the sunset. Others believe it is a silly notion manufactured by someone who cannot or will not accept the reality. What reality? The one where people meet, explore the attraction and passion they have between them, until the flame simmers and you settle into a normal life. A life filled with responsibility, hard work, disappointment, exhilaration and every now and then, flashes of the love you used to feel for the person you look at now.
Maybe he has put on some weight and no longer bothers to trim his nose hairs, or perhaps forgets to pick up the milk, or doesn’t quite make it to the soccer game on time. After a while, we notice all the imperfections and annoying habits of the person we once idolized and simply put, could not live without. Now, all you want is some peace and quiet to read an unrealistic romance novel of a man who doesn’t exist, in a place you will never see, in a time that has long since passed. We are strange creatures, but we are still human.
My brother and I chat about this from time to time. I am a hopeless romantic who is not certain that everyone has their perfect match, for that is not everyone’s road to travel, but certain that I have a perfect match out there somewhere that I haven’t met yet. He chuckles as he explains that my impression of love is antiquated and unrealistic. I would like to tell you that he does this with some finesse, some delicacy or encouragement to soften the blow, but that is not his style and I love him for it. However, much to his disappointment, I could not disagree with his opinion more about what love was, is or should become. I grew up hearing fairytales and dreaming of my prince on his white horse, but perhaps my prince is different. Maybe he doesn’t ride a white horse and maybe I rescue him just as much as he rescues me. Perhaps, the idea of what love is supposed to be is confused with the beauty of what love actually is. It is one of life’s great journeys, or mysteries, depending on how you look at it, but either way, love exists in different shapes and sizes. I have always been certain that the love I would find would be special to fit me… to fit us.
In many ways, love is what we, as individuals, choose to believe it is and choose to make of it. There is no right or wrong in loving someone deeply, although the actions of this love may be in question if not executed kindly and with the respect it deserves. Sometimes we love when no reciprocation is present. Perhaps we are loved by someone who holds no place in our heart, at least not in the way they wish it to. No two people love the same way; it is a puzzle being constructed on the fly by two people who have never built a puzzle with pieces quite like this before. Sometimes, they fit together perfectly, while others experience the longing to walk away. It is all a mystery if I am being completely honest with myself.
I have had the pleasure of witnessing the beauty of an imperfect union blossom unrecognizably into an alarmingly beautiful depiction of what is possible in the world, what is possible between two people and most exciting, what was thought to be improbable between them. I have also witnessed the disintegration of love on many levels. Shards of glass currently littering your world once started out as love in the moonlight. The progression from one to the other was not instantaneous. It is usually slow and painful and more often than not, unnoticed because our eyes are now closed.
I do not have the answers to one of life’s greatest mysteries. There is no secret recipe or anecdote for the broken heart. Deconstruction and healing takes place in many ways over different spans of time. Occasionally, the healing does not take place at all. What I do know is, with dislike, there is like. Darkness can be broken up by the light, and with hate there is love. How and why we choose to reconstruct, is a mystery, but it is a choice. Fill your world with happiness using whatever color you like, but fill it.