Thursday in poetry class in the midst of a second helping of Shakespearean sonnets, my professor caught all of us off-guard by asking a question that seems better suited for the entries of this lover of love's blog than for a class about English lyric poetry:
"What makes love so difficult?"
Though most of you may expect my hand to have shot instantly into the air (after all, I am a self-proclaimed love guru), I was actually sitting in shocked silence, forced to think about what I like least about love- the fact that more often than not it doesn't work out.
One of the best answers was given by my favorite hipster in the class- with skinny jeans to boot. He raised his hand with a smirk and said, "Love is difficult because it's two different people with two different thoughts about what's going on."
Impressive. In fact, it was exactly the opinion my brain was starting to formulate.
Professor David Hamilton liked the answer, too. He said, "Yes, love is about two people trying to become one, but they'll always be two people."
So this is the part where I argue on behalf of love and fill the post with rainbows and unicorns, right?
Just because I believe in love doesn't mean I think it's easy. And it also doesn't mean that I'm not wildly afraid of it. In fact, wild love lover that I am, I may actually be worse at it since I have such huge expectations.
Because the whole point of love is to be with someone you find incredibly awesome and snuggly and smart without smothering away their awesome snuggly smartness. It's letting someone exist happily as an independent soul, while at the same time existing alongside you.
But it's like the more someone becomes a part of your heart, the more you have to be sure of what they feel for you, and suddenly you're fighting every single day about whether or not he really still cares or if she wouldn't rather he lose ten pounds and look more like Brad Pitt.
Love is two people trying to understand each other, even though who we are is bound to change over the course of months and years and decades.
And so how does it ever work?
Well sometimes people find each other who are strong enough as individuals that they can work together to create a happy union. Who can use open communication to make sure that they don't wake up one day and have no idea what the person on the other side of the bed is thinking.
So since Thursday's class, I've been thinking a lot about who I want to be when I'm in love. Obviously, it'd be nice to be the type of girlfriend who my guy couldn't stop thinking about and thanked his lucky stars for every single day, but mostly I just want to be the type of girlfriend who is steady enough to earn trust. Who is aware enough of her actions to avoid the dips and twists of a typical unhealthy roller coaster romance.
Who trusts the strength of the relationship enough not to have to suffocate her man into continued assurances that he does, in fact, still love her.
I've been riding the 'self-love' train a bit too often lately, but I think it all has been building up to this. Self-love is a means to forming a relationship with yourself that prepares you for a relationship with another. It protects you from a case of the crazies, in which you get your mind so twisted up with over-analysis that you lose track of how to be happy.
I don't think I should continue to let myself be afraid of love, or, more specifically, to be afraid of how love will affect who I am as an individual.
Because, in the end, it's not my job to figure it all out.
Yes, love is two different people with two different opinions trying to make things work. Two people. Not just one.
And if you find the right teammate, maybe it isn't so difficult after all.
(We all knew I'd end with a rainbow, right?)
Today's thought of the day from Bob Marley:
“You may not be her first, her last, or her only.
She loved before and she may love again.
But if she loves you now, what else matters?
She’s not perfect, you aren’t either,
and the two of you may never be perfect together
but if she can make you laugh, cause you to think twice,
and admit to being human and making mistakes,
hold onto her and give her the most you can.
She may not be thinking about you
every second of the day, but she will give you a part of
her that she knows you can break her heart.
So don’t hurt her, don’t change her, don’t analyze
and don’t expect more than she can give.
Smile when she makes you happy,
let her know when she makes you mad,
and miss her when she's not there."
Peace, love and unending potential,