We hear these clichés all the time - love finds us when we least expect it, love will come to us when we're ready, we have to love ourselves before anyone else can love us...and whaddaya know?
I fell in love when I least expected it...when I was ready...and not until I began to love myself.
This isn't love the way I thought love was going to be. This is love, in the most complex sense of the word; it's complete love. This is the kind of love that has taught me to be compassionate and forgiving and to seek compassion and forgiveness. It's the kind of love that is rooted in laughter and friendship and when we are infuriated with each other it's the kind of love that brings us back when we want to run. It's selfless and selfish and human and beautiful and deep. It's the kind of love that has seen us at our worst and has made us grow to bring out our best.
Yeah, it's that kind of love.
Please note that no where in that description did I use words like easy, perfect or seamless. I've always sorta known that relationships take work but this shit is hard. Commitment and love are a no-brainer, but thinking of another person, considering his feelings, building a life together, allowing him to be human and constantly reminding myself that he is allowed to have his own feelings is so much more consuming than I anticipated, not to mention the little day-to-day hard stuff: who is going to do the dishes? The dog had an accident. The toilet is leaking. We're out of tortillas? Why didn't you buy any? Well, why didn't you buy any?
Interestingly enough, love is easy. Liking him all the time is the hard part (rest assured, dear reader, that I am fully aware of the fact that he doesn't like me all the time either). Love reminds me to stick around when I want to throw my hands up and be done with the whole thing. Love reminds me of the silly inside jokes and how good his kisses feel. Love reminds me that even when I don't like him, I love him. Love reminds me that I am worthy of being loved, and that loving someone with my whole being is everlasting.....even when I don't like him because we're arguing, for the 1,000th time, about unplugging the blow dryer and remembering to close the bedroom window.
It's enough to make a person batshit crazy.
There is, however, that moment at the end of a long day. We're in bed, watching re-runs of M*A*S*H on Netflix, and his hand is rubbing my back in a familiar way, in a way that only love knows. Familiarity and security are what I spent so many years longing for, and I savor them.
This isn't a romantic comedy. Our problems aren't solved in 24 minutes with a laugh track. We don't share our most touching moments with an audience and to that end, I won't be chronicling our relationship through this blog. I haven't written in over a year and recently, when talking with my comadre, she said "you have to finish. You have to end the blog." She was right. While my journey isn't finished, this chapter has come to a close...but that doesn't mean I'm finished blogging. On the contrary, I've just begun spreading my wings as a writer. Follow me over to my new blog, dear reader. Let's see where we end up next.