Why do we need to believe in love? The romantic kind? When we have so many other kinds of love in our lives?
Maybe it’s because the moment you give up on finding that one special someone who gets you, and believes in you, and encourages you… the one person you trust every day, day after day for the years to come… maybe because the day we give up on finding that person…
We stop living.
You don’t give up overnight. You don’t wake up one day and say, Fuck it, I hate you all, I give up. You don’t walk into the mall one day and buy all the sweatpants, and throw out all your lingerie.
You don’t stop making eye contact on purpose.
It’s one step at a time…
Steps met with “No.”
I believe the universe gives us not only what we need, but what we’re asking for. This can be good or bad. The Secret be damned, you can wish for happiness all you want, but your heart or soul or whatever it is inside you that determines next steps… it wants what it wants. Sometimes what it wants is unpleasant. Growth opportunities. Lessons. Teaching moments.
I say this because I don’t believe “men suck,” or that I can’t find love because I’m too fat or too old or too whatever. I don’t believe I’ve been dealt a bad hand.
I believe my experiences have been a mix of those I wanted and those I was given, whether I knew I needed them or not.
I believe in the taste of sweat on skin, on a Midtown rooftop with a sailor one hot night during Fleet Week. I also believe in breaking up with someone for the third time. I believe in being pushed up against the office door, your boss’s hand running up your patent leather boot. I also believe in asking your boyfriend to split the cost of an abortion with you.
Are my memories all painful? No… I don’t think so…
I have also caused a lot of pain. It was never intentional, but I have walked away many, many, many times.
I can’t blame men. A girlfriend once told me, on her four hundredth beer, This isn’t about the guy. This is you. And a couple years later a coworker repeated her question, asking, Is this that moment when you realize the common denominator here is you?
I believe the universe gives us what we are asking for. And it’s probably true, although I never would have admitted it at the time, that I was asking for a reason to walk away.
Because the courage of independence in a woman’s heart is unmatched. The strength that comes from knowing you are alone, but you are fine? No one can touch you, after you know that.
But what happens when you realize that you need to be touched?
What happens when the ultimate courage – the best lesson – the teaching moment – is to learn vulnerability?
I used to tell myself love stories, but the story always ended with a breakup. So those stories became my reality, year after year.
Now my stories are different. It’s no longer “And then she walked away.”
Now the story is, “And this is what made her stay.”