Choose Love In All Its Unfiltered Ways.
When choosing love, choose someone who gets you.
Don’t let yourself be chosen by someone who wants you to be someone or something else. And don’t choose someone because you want them to be someone or something else either. The sea is wide and full of fish, and you, my dear, are free to recast your net.
Don’t spend your life trying to change someone, being molded by someone who wants you to be different.
Forever is a long time.
Life is long, god-willing, and love… love can be hard. It won’t be how you imagined it but, if you choose right, it will be better.
When I thought of love, before I knew love, I always imagined my lover and I in a variety of fairly benign situations.
Sitting at the breakfast table, reading the newspaper and eating fruit salad, drinking good coffee as we commented on the events of the world.
Going to dinner with other fancy and interesting couples, laughing and touching hands, wine glasses bright and the others remarking on our wit and affection as they drove home.
Weekends spent in bed and breakfasts, ducking in and out of little shops, walking barefoot along rocky coasts, waking up in tumbled sheets with perfectly flushed faces, hair slept on perfectly and always remembering to take my makeup off.
Sex was always tangled and sweaty and passionate, Brad Pitt in Legends of the Fall meets Angelina Jolie in Original Sin.
As it turns out, my version of love was highly filtered by Disney movies and romance novels.
Stock images and tampon commercials.
Love isn’t so easily shown, or categorized. It’s worse and it’s better and it’s more intimate and less romantic, and the things you thought you wanted in a lover suddenly seem somehow less; not bad, just not quite as full.
Because love is poop.
Love is waking up in the middle of the night, in the grips of food poisoning, and knowing your lover won’t run out of the door, horrified at your body doing non-sexy, bodily things.
Love is not booking the bed and breakfast, because you both like to explore, and the stress of the unknown excites you.
Love is realizing that this person, this perfect match, is the only one whom you want to do everything with: the firsts, the lasts, the agains. You celebrate their morning smile and mourn their pain as if it were your own.
Your heart cracks open countless times, so full to bursting that each time you think, this is it, I can’t feel any more deeply.
But you do.
Because love is always more.
Love is discovering the pieces of each other over days, weeks, years, and learning how to put them into the puzzle that becomes You, Together, where before it was You, Apart.
The puzzle won’t be easy, but it will be beautiful, full of vibrant colors and outrageous shapes and sometimes, oftentimes, you will have to work from each other’s piles to move forward, unmaking pieces, retracing steps, undoing old patterns. It will take your entire life to complete, if you’re lucky.
I hope you’re lucky.
Love is being team mates first, friends second, and lovers as often as possible.
Because sometimes it will be difficult to remember you’re on the same team. An argument will happen, and it will seem important that you get your point across, that you win. Love is remembering that arguing this way, where one of you loses, means that your team may not win, in the long run.
Love is putting the team first.
Love is encouraging organic growth, from your team, your partner, yourself. If your partner is a wild rose, you cannot expect them to grow into an oak tree.
Appreciate the rose’s beauty. Find where you can help it be stronger, heartier, where you can encourage it.
But don’t ever try to change its nature.
Let your love bloom freely, nurturing it as if it were the most precious seed you ever planted; because it is. Let it grow wild and free, untamed and beautiful, and don’t ever take it for granted.
Love will sustain you. It will give you roots, and it will set you free on its wings. It will be more than you hoped for, and nothing like you dreamed.
Choose your love, and spend your life, together, wild and free.
You deserve it.