As little girls we begin our forever quest to Find Love. We go to bed dreaming of Prince Charming waking us up with His Kiss and taking us away to Happily Ever After. Brainwashed by fairy tales and romantic comedies throughout our rose-tinted adolescence, we find ourselves infatuated with the Idea of Love. Our Imagination fools us to believe that each guy could be “The One” that we’ve been waiting for…to rescue us. We wish on birthday candles and (all possibly) shooting stars that this is the year that he’ll find us. We hope, pray, and never stop believing that Love Will Find Us.
And then we grow up…and reality sets in. We find ourselves faced with frustration, disappointment, and the inevitable (first) heartbreak. We soon curse that Boys are Jerks and Love is Stupid. We swear to Never Fall in Love Again. And for some of us, and I say ‘us’ for a reason, we stop believing that love exists- or at least for ourselves.
You are never the same after that First Heartbreak…but as they say, The Show Must Go On. But how? How do you pick yourself back up after (literally) falling so low? Again, I’m neither an expert on L.O.V.E. nor relationships, but I definitely have broken heart experience. So when I sat with two new friends yesterday- on Valentine’s Day of all days- I couldn’t contain myself from sharing my philosophy: Live Your Life with No Regrets. I told them to go out and Live Carefree. Say Whatever You Want to Say. Do Whatever You Want to Do. Do Not Hold Yourself Back.
While both agreed, each also brought up those ‘exes’ that still appear to be holding them back. Something that I knew a little too well. So yes, I understand, maybe too much. I’ve been there, done that. I am dedicated to accepting all aspects of my life in order to never wear those old pair of ‘whoa is me’ shoes again. While I’m glad that phase of my life is over, I have the utmost appreciation for having had that experience…which is something I never imagined myself feeling. Since I cannot say it better myself, I’ll let this quote explain my ration here:
“Every instance of heartbreak can teach us powerful lessons about creating the kind of love we really want.” (Martha Beck)
Last night I walked through the streets of downtown Chicago with a completely clear head. In fact, I kept walking- passing bus stops- so that I could continue my moment of serenity. Somewhere along Michigan Avenue I found myself with this thought: Maybe I was never in love with Casey? Maybe I was always in love with the idea of love, and he was the one I projected it onto? Maybe…maybe not. I know I loved him and cared a lot about him, and I know that because to this day I still want the very best for him…even though I cannot be the one making him happy. To me, that’s what true love is about. When you love someone you just want them to be happy, even if it means making you a little bit sad. Okay, ponder that if you choose to…
Today, at the lovely age of 27, I find myself (finally) content with Who I Am. I’ve become quite comfortable Saying Anything I Want to Say and Doing Whatever I Want to Do.
No longer to I go to bed to Dream about Love and the Crush of the Moment. I don’t find myself Hoping to be Saved by a Knight in Shining Armor. And it’s fair to say that I’ve stopped believing that Happily Ever After looks just like it does in the movies.
And to be honest, I may be a little too oblivious to this whole love thing these days. Maybe that’s what my old patched-up heart needs to work on because I don’t want to miss love if it chooses to come around again.