“…then she stopped thinking…only feeling.”

I thought it was a feeling.  I thought it felt like love.  But what did I know about love?  The feeling I had been so unfamiliar, completely raw and bittersweet, so I thought it was felt like love…based on what other people described it as feeling like.  I really believed that I loved him; however, I sit here now wondering if I only thought that what I felt for him was love.  Seven years of thinking I loved him when all it may have been was 2,557 days of misinterpreted thoughts?  Oi Vey!  Tell me, how would that make you feel?  

How do you know, I mean really know, that it’s a feeling and not just a thought?  How do you know…that you’re in love?  How do you know that the feeling that you feel is L.O.V.E. and not only a concept that you think about enough to make yourself feel some thing misconceived as love?  How do you know?  How do you really know?

As I shared in my last post, I took myself to see Blue Valentine on Saturday, which is a movie that I definitely recommend.    You can read the ‘professional’ reviews for yourself, but just go.  That’s my review/ recommendation.  Don’t just take other’s input as your own, see it for yourself.  Whether you’re in a relationship; have ever been in a relationship; desire to one day be in a relationship; and/or find yourself curious as to what this whole relationship thing is really about (like me)… go see Blue Valentine.  And may I add that I highly recommend seeing it by yourself- whether you do that type of thing or not.  Give it a try.  Take yourself to this movie; and if you do, then I’ll even be generous and lend you my boyfriend, Ryan Gosling, to be your date.  You just have to return him afterwards.

I cannot stop thinking about this movie, and not only due to my beloved Ryan and his should-be-nominated Oscar performance as Dean.  I, myself, is one whom may not be in a relationship at this time (besides Ryan, of course), but has been in a relationship (once upon a time); some days has the desire to be in a relationship; and always questions what it’s really like to be in a relationship.  Case in point, last night I found myself completely distracted by the PDA couple sitting in front of me on the bus and I wondered, What’s their relationship like?  And why do they have to keep kissing?  Anyways…this movie really struck a chord with me and some of the lines- which I share below- are on my mind two days later.

Seriously though, go see this movie.  Or put it on your Netflix queue now so you don’t forget.  And yes, you can make the correct assumption that I will be purchasing this DVD as soon as it comes out.

 “I just got a feeling about her.  You know when a song comes on and you just gotta dance.” (Dean, Blue Valentine)

The song cries out, Listen to your heartHis eyes appear to say, I want to make you feel beautiful.  Your heartbeats seem to instruct, Don’t stop believingBut when it comes to feelings, potential relationships, and, especially, true love, how do you distinguish real feelings from those you hope to be real? 

So I’m neither talking about love at first sight nor soulmates necessarily here, which may very well fall under the overarching idea of feelings, but I don’t want to begin an argument about whether or not those concepts exist.  Instead of talking about that gut instinct that the object of your affection likes you too.  Those darlin’ little butterflies that flutter around in your stomach at the mere thought of him/her.  And even going ‘weak in the knees’, which this girl may or may not have happened to her about a month ago. 

You hear people say it all the time, “It just feels so right.”  Sometimes ‘that feeling’ only lasts a few weeks; and other times it’s gone the next morning along with the One Night Stand, only to be replaced by another ‘feeling’ , (another girl) the next night at the bar.  But what about ‘that feeling’ that doesn’t disappear when one sobers up the next afternoon?  What about ‘that feeling’ that leads to a proposal…a wedding… a 25th anniversary?  What does that feeling feel like?  All I can tell you, and myself as well, is to Embrace the butterflies.  For they are the true  indication that something, or, more appropriately here, someone, is important to you.

We’re all guilty of asking others to tell us what our feelings mean.  Like they should just know exactly how we feel.  Sure you’re confused.  Nervous.  Looking for reassurance that you’re not crazy.  You want someone to tell you what to do.  Anyone.  But here’s the thing:  No one can know how you feel.  No one except Y.O.U. 

“I feel like men are more romantic than women. When we get married we marry, like, one girl, ’cause we’re resistant the whole way until we meet one girl and we think I’d be an idiot if I didn’t marry this girl she’s so great.” (Dean)

I love boys.  I really do.  And one of the main reasons I love them is finding out how guys feel about girls…well, sometimes.  Okay, let me reinstate that and say that I love hearing about how boys feel about the girls they like; and I especially love hearing about the girls they’re in love with.  It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise given my little tipsy fetish of hearing love stories at bars; though my true admiration comes from hearing about the girls my guy friends find themselves in like/love with.

I was startled when Ryan Gosling’s character spoke these words in the movie.  “I feel like men are more romantic than women…” he said and I immediately wondered where he could possibly be going, and in a matter of seconds I knew:  “… until we meet one girl and we think I’d be an idiot if I didn’t marry this girl she’s so great.”  So is that how guys think?  I know it’s a line from a movie, but in all seriousness, is that how it works? 

When you’re a girl in your twenties- and from my perspective, more so if you’re a single girl in your twenties- you tend to believe that guys think with their penis.  Or, better yet, that they just don’t think at all.  Again, this is totally a generalization.  But take it from this girl, based on her own experience and witnessing others’, we have absolutely no clue what goes on in a guy’s mind when it’s a guy you like.  I stress this because, here I am, The Queen of Intuition, but I will openly admit that when it comes to a guy that I like- no matter how much or how little- I never have any idea how he feels about me unless he tells me how he feels.  I can honestly analyze every other situation, reassuring people how the other feels about them, but when it comes to my own (dare I call it a) personal life…nothing.  I know nothing.  So that, my friends, is why I believe that all you can do is be honest.  Be honest with yourself and with him/her about what you’re thinking and what you’re feeling.  And if they don’t feel the same, at least you know you put yourself out there.   

“How do you trust your feelings when they can just disappear like that?” (Cindy, Blue Valentine)

I am always baffled by people who can go from one relationship to another.  How someone can really, truly love someone and then feel exactly the same way about someone else a few weeks, even days, later?  Don’t even waste your time trying to explain it to me.  I won’t believe you.  But this is also me, the girl who hung onto to a mere belief (that she thought felt a lot like love) for far too long…so what do I know anyways?

They say, whoever ‘they’ are, “Tis better to have loved and loved than to never had loved at all.”  Okay, apparently ‘they’ was a ‘he’ and this he was Alfred Lord Tennyson.  Now I could let my broken heart talk here and dispute this theory, but even it knows that he speaks the truth.  Even though a broken heart is a possible outcome, the risk is always worth the reward.  Love is always worth any risk.  Your scars may hold you back for while, but when you’re ready…really ready…you’ll find it again.  Or it will find you.  Always trust that it will show up when you’re ready for it. 

But what about when you have love?  How do you know that it isn’t going to leave?  The truth is…you don’t know.  Though if you feel strongly about what you have, then all you can do is give everything you can and trust that if it’s meant to be, it will be.  And if it doesn’t last forever, then at least you know you went down swinging. 

 “Yes, I do trust.  I trust myself.”  (Cindy)

The secret is this: My mind has been spinning in circles.  My heart has been hurting as I’ve written this post.  I won’t indulge you with the reasons why, but will say that they’ve caused me to do too much thinking and consequently too much feeling.  But I’m doing my best to ignore the thinking; actually trying to stop the thinking altogether.  And instead, I’m focusing more on what I”m feeling.  Because as the line above says, “Yes, I do trust.  I trust myself.”

It has taken me a long time to feel this way, and I have about an entire year’s worth of blog posts as evidence.  But some of the thoughts that have run around in my mind have been there before- in many different shapes, sizes, and forms.  They’ve laughed at me.  They’ve haunted me.  They’ve kept me up at night; and they’ve awoken me with panic attacks some mornings.

But tonight is much different.  Tonight I am composed of more grace and compassion than I ever thought imaginable for this particular matter.  I remember those late nights and early mornings and smile in recognition of how far I’ve come since then.  How much more power I have over my thoughts.  How I can understand the feelings that I am indeed feeling.

I have no more answers than I did before, but I have much more trust in myself.  I trust that I will continue to handle such situations, whatever they may be, with composure, acceptance, and gratitude.  I’ll let myself think less and feel more.  I will trust my feelings and let them be my guide.   

I may have never loved him, but I feel like I did.  He may have never loved me back, but again I feel like he did.  But that was then and all I have is now.  All I can do right now is let myself move away from all of the doubts; the questions; and the pain.  Right now I just have to let myself trust again, and trust myself that when I’m ready…really, really ready… the feeling will guide me again.  I trust that it will.

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