part 1: Childhood and Love

When I was younger, I was in love with the idea of love.

I loved playing with my Barbies and creating love scenes. There was always a love triangle where two of my Barbies fought over a man.  

I loved romantic comedies. 

Mad Love.
Romeo and Juliet with Leonardo Dicaprio.
Serendipity – where the only way for two people to find each other is through a dollar bill with her phone number scribbled across it.  
Fate brings them together. 

And yet I wasn’t one to be boy crazy. I stayed clear of girls who spent all their time talking about boys or flirting with them.

Instead I dreamt of the boy I would meet. I didn’t picture our wedding. I never thought about wedding dresses or bridesmaids.  But I thought about meeting my person. And now I have him, I still question everything.

I don’t think I understand what love is, which may sound ridiculous.  I think I’ve wrapped a big, idealistic blanket of perfection around it.

Love is something that comes only once in a lifetime.
There’s only one true love for each person.
Love is magical.
Love doesn’t take work. It should feel easy if it’s right.
Love is affection.

I’m a sucker for love stories where older couples find each other again after a lifetime of being apart. They might have married someone else and lived a completely different life.  In some series of events, they reconnect. The love is as strong as ever. It makes me believe in one love. A magical kind of love that spans a lifetime even when apart.

part 2: Love is hurtful.

I grew up admiring two relationships:

1. My Auntie Carolyn and Uncle Bill.
2. My Uncle Kel and Aunt Lyd.

My Auntie Carolyn and Uncle Bill were very affectionate with each other. He would pinch and grab her bum. She would sit in his lap. They kissed.

This was very unusual to me.

I don’t know if I’ve ever seen my parents kiss. Like an actual kiss, not a peck. I’ve never seen affection like that in my parents.

My Uncle Kel and Aunt Lyd – I loved their love story. She had been married to a not so nice guy (was the story). Auntie Lyd and Uncle Kel would secretly meet up to see each other.  They married and had two kids of their own.

And both relationships ended.

My Auntie Carolyn died.
My Auntie Lyd too. 

And I saw what happened.

20+ years later, I think my Uncle Bill is still struggling. He once told us how he looks up at the stars at night and talks to Auntie Carolyn. It’s devastating to me. He lost his one love.

Uncle Kel remarried. He still wears his wedding ring from Aunt Lyd.

Love can destroy people.
It can leave them lost and hollow.
There’s drinking,
and other marriages
to fill the void.
Families fall apart.

I think I need to mend my relationship with love.

I don’t love myself.  I say the most hurtful and mean things to myself.
I’m afraid to love others.  I’m afraid of how I’ll feel when they are gone.  
It feels safer to keep a distance.  If something bad happens, I’ve tried to prepare myself for it.  

I’ll be fine without them.
I’m in control of that.

part 3: Mending my Relationship with Love

I think I idealized the relationships around me. I saw what adolescent me wanted to see.

With my Auntie Carolyn and Uncle Bill, I bet they had their share of fights. I bet it wasn’t all rainbows. Auntie Lyd and Uncle Kel, I have no idea what their relationship was like either.

I don’t think I understood what love was.  I think I wrapped a big, idealistic blanket of perfection around it.

Love is something that comes only once in a lifetime.
There’s only one true love for each person.
Love is magical.
Love doesn’t take work. It should feel easy if it’s right.
Love is affection.

I decided to do a 30 day love project.  I read articles and books about love. I watched videos and talks on the subject.  And where was I at the end of 30 days? Humbled and relieved.

There are different kinds of love:
the love we feel for our children,
the love we feel for a partner,
the love we feel for our parents, family, friends…
and there is no shortage.

Everyone is worthy of love.
It’s not reserved just for the deserving or for a select lucky few.
It’s something to nurture. It’s something to appreciate.
It’s something to share with others.

Love always felt like something I needed to find. 
It was something outside of myself.
Coveted and precious.

What a realization that it actually starts with me.  It’s already in me.

my love story is starting again.