Monday, June 25, 2012

Love, Again - Always... Or, Remember the Tin Man

When I was a kid, my parents didn't have cable TV.  We had five channels, which means I grew up watching a lot of sitcoms, news programs (20/20 was my favorite) and soap operas (with my grandma).  Once a year, certain movies or shows were shown on prime time, and it was like a national holiday.  One of my sisters would make popcorn and we would all cram into my mom's room (that's where the TV was kept).  Among my favorites were It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, Grease, and The Wizard of Oz.

The Wizard of Oz is a movie that is burned into my brain.  I know the entire story, have lines memorized and  I can sing along with the movie.  I loved Judy Garland as Dorothy and always got a kick out of the Scarecrow, the Tin-Man and the Cowardly Lion.  The Lion has always been my favorite (if you read last week's blog, you'll understand why) but recently, I've been paying a little more attention to the Tin Man and I realize - I am more Tin Man than I thought.

I have been walking a long, yellow brick road, waiting most of my life to fall in love.  I have wanted to love someone and start my life with that person and while I have tried over and over it seems like I never quite get there.  I've waxed poetic on the subject of love to the point that I feel like there is nothing left to say about it, but there are so many more things to say - the most important being this:

Love was there all along.

All the time that I've waited to find love, I've been surrounded by it.  All the times I said and wrote and felt afraid to fall in love, I already was.  I've been in love my entire life and I didn't even realize it.  Just like the Tin Man thought he needed a heart to be able to love, I thought I needed to be someone's someone in order to do so.  The reality is that I always had love because I am love.  We all are.  

I've thought about my capacity to love a great deal since F. and I broke up in April.  Recently, I wrote that I am completely unafraid to love, but I would have never felt so free had I not loved F.  I loved him and I didn't even care whether or not he loved me back.  I loved him good or bad, right or wrong, as we were breaking up and even afterward.  I can admit this freely because when we truly love someone, there is nothing to be afraid or ashamed of - and when it's right, I will share my love again.

I met someone at the beginning of June who, by all accounts, is a pretty cool guy.  We had an instant connection and conversation flowed easily between us.  I took everything in stride - he may move out of state very soon, so I didn't allow myself to jump ahead as I normally do.  Instead, he was the one who had us married and divorced in his head before the week was up.  After just a few dates, he had freaked out that we were moving too fast... which was funny to me because I was just taking things moment by moment.

He handled things really badly - blowing me off, being a jerk and when he tried to let me down easy, I beat him to the punch.  After I told him I wasn't really interested, he still tried to give me the "I can't do this, I'm not ready" speech.  I didn't even flinch.  I simply patted him on the arm and walked away.  When I was recounting the events to my friend P., she brought up a good point: it isn't enough to have easy conversations and a good connection.  There has to be a mutual willingness to grow something and be unafraid.  Anyone who is afraid of my love - or love in general - isn't worth my time.  Someone who isn't ready to love with the same openness that I am isn't my person.  Someone who freaks out after a few dates isn't worth much more thought than a mention in a blog post.

Two years ago, however, I would have been devastated.  I would have wondered what is wrong with me and felt really badly about myself.  A year ago I would have pretended not to care but it would have eaten me up inside.  This time around, I simply walked away.  I'm not any stronger or wiser than I was two years ago - I was wise all along.  I was brave all along.  I've always had the ability to love - I foolishly convinced myself that I didn't.

I won't make that mistake again.

Next time: All My Rowdy Friends Have Settled Down 

1 comment:

  1. You have just come to realize those things were always there and that makes a huge difference. I suppose that comes with time but you should be proud that you are willing to share the love you have and the right guy for you will be so lucky to have you. Whatever happens, you know that your life is beautiful and full and if you find a person to share that with great. If not you will keep going with your awesomeness