Earlier this evening I was talking with a good friend about love. “Love is dead,” she said. And she thought that I might agree. I was initially shocked that she would think that I would believe that love is dead, that she believes me to be that cynical and down on life. As I told her, while I was not sure that I, personally, would ever find love, or that I was meant to, it is my belief in love–in all it’s forms, not merely romantic love–that sustains me and gives me hope for humanity. As long as there is love, there is hope.
However, this is not exactly what she meant. She was speaking philosophically, when she said that love is dead. She didn’t mean that love no longer exists, or that there is no love, but rather that this romantic, somewhat antiquated notion of love, the kind of love that you only read about in fairy tales, has died.
And when she told me that her thinking that I would agree with her “love is dead” theory was not that she believed me cynical and against the notion of love, but that she recognized that we both view “those types of couples” (you know who I’m talking about) in a similar “I’m happy for you, but do you have to gush all over me?” kind of way. This I agreed with.
She went on to say that, indeed, in the last few years she’s noticed a change in me. I seem lighter, happier somehow. I nearly laughed when she said it, but I paused to think about it. Yes, I have been happier. Though, rather than accept it, I thought about why that might be.
In my mind’s eye, I perused the short 25 years I’ve had on this earth…I was so angry in high school. So, down on everything. I’m not going to go into detail here about the myriad reasons–in addition to normal teen angst– as to why, but I wasn’t just angry, and cynical, and yes, even bitter, I had a very “dark” outlook on life. This continued on and followed me a bit into college, though it wasn’t nearly as strong.
Yes, I’ve changed. I’ve grown. We all do. But it was something more, because yes, I am happy. I’m happy. I’m single. And I spend most of my time alone. And yes, I’m happy. These were things that I could never utter in the same breath. I thought happiness came with a lover, with a plethora of friends, with material riches (although, had you asked me, I would have responded in the negative). I have none of these things and yet…and yet.
And then it hit me. Really hit me, you know? Somewhere, somehow, I had learned something. I learned to not worry if things didn’t go my way, if my life wasn’t turning out to be the perfect cookie-cutter that society enforces upon us, if I didn’t have all the things that they tell me I need to feel complete and whole. I used to spout all this rhetoric about being anarchist and against societal norms. I used to be militant about my sexuality, emphasizing my difference from the oppressive “breeders”, as I used to call them. I used to do and say a lot of things, when in reality I was just angry that I wasn’t like Them. And what made me angrier is that I knew that I couldn’t be like Them. Ever. If I was anything, I was stubborn and I went my own way, even if I didn’t really want to. I also knew that any attempt to conform would only emphasize the fact that I wasn’t like Them. Haven’t They told me, since I was little, that I was “weird”, that I didn’t fit in? It only made sense to me when I realized the ways in which I was different, because then I could finally see what They had known all along. But I was only slightly liberated, because I still desperately longed to belong. And I buried that longing deep within me, so that even I didn’t know it was there.
It was this evening’s conversation with my friend and the revelations brought to me through another friend’s blog that brought me to this realization. On this friend’s blog, I read about her feelings of isolation and fear at being who she is and knowing that that could bring her loneliness. Reading this, I was reminded of my former self, the one who sleeps within, the inner demon who told me I would never reach the point that I am at now–Happiness, Peace Within Myself.
And I was tempted to reach out to this friend, take her by the hand, and tell her that’s it’s going to be alright…but I can’t because I don’t know that to be true. And because I arrived at this point through my own path, in my own time. I have this tendency to want to make things the way I think that they should be, or re-create my own experience in the experience of others. What is good for the goose, is not necessarily good for the gander. My experience is my own, and others have theirs.
What was most responsible, I believe, for the “change” or metamorphosis, if you will, in me is my increasing belief that the Gods have my back. Goddess is watching over me. She stands beside me with her hand gently on my back. She glides her fingers through my hair, gently consoling when I feel sad. She laughs when I rejoice and She mourns my losses with me. I choose to let myself feel joy, because I have faith in the good things to come, even if they aren’t here with me in the present. I have come this far by faith; and by faith alone I stand.
I don’t let myself worry about why I don’t have a partner, or kids, or a big house, because I know that if I’m meant to have these things, I shall. Years ago, I never once imagined that I would want to be a teacher. That was something I would do only if my dream job of actress/writer didn’t pan out. Yet the only thing I write these days is my blog, and that very seldom. I know that I can write and someday I may do so. But I’m happy in my path now. My vocation is Educator. The moment I realized that, I knew that I found my purpose. When I moved back to Chicago, I knew that I found my home. The metamorphosis that has occurred in my life, is the process of learning who I am and what I want, and having the faith to walk my path no matter what the costs.
But my journey is not over yet. The major difference being in my past and present selves is the wisdom that comes with the knowledge that the journey never ends, and instead of being filled with fear or trepidation at this fact, I am bursting with the joy of knowing that my life is only just beginning.