The novel I’m working on is about many things. The memoir I’ve written is too, as I hope all my books will be. But one of the themes I can’t seem to shake comes from the part of life that makes me feel the most joy and the most success.
You’ve probably heard me say that I think the best thing about being human is our ability to change. I love that we dream of better things – a better us, a more passionate life, a happier world for our children. I love those stories about people in dire situations who still can’t seem to shake the desire for a better life that’s so real to them and so undeniable that it’s much more determination than dream. So that’s my favorite thing about being human. But my favorite thing that we can do is love.
I believe the best gift you can give another person is to choose them. That’s why I love romantic comedies. I am gripped by the concept that one person can hold another person’s heart so completely and without rational explanation. To be chosen by another human above every other person in the room that night, above every other phone call they receive in a day, every other thing they have to accomplish that week, every other person in the world – that is an amazing thing. And when it first happens it’s exciting and full of feeling and it completely takes you over. That’s what we see in the movies usually – the first part, the longing, the long walk toward each other, and finally an embrace to seal the deal.
But after that is when the gift really comes in. Because this choosing of another person above all others only remains a gift if you continue to give it. And that’s the most inspiring love of all. It’s textured with layers of living together and working it out and fighting all that works to separate you.
We tend to look for our completion in another person. And when love first begins it squelches loneliness and heartache and feelings of inadequacy without even trying. But after a while it can’t quite try hard enough because no person can actually complete us.
At the same time, if you think about that longing in your own life, and if you have someone who’s committed to endure it beside you, don’t you think it’s worth the attempt to try and stifle theirs? I choose you, I see you, I’m yours. It sounds good in a romantic comedy, because it feels so good in life. Good at the beginning, even better in the middle and beyond.
It’s something I’ve been thinking about – the decision to turn our longing into a gift and to keep giving it. And lately I’m wondering if the same thought can be applied to friendship, to parenthood, and even to the way we treat a stranger. I think it’s already been said – Do unto others and all that. But it never hurts to reword, and to remember.
I stole this photo from facebook.
It’s my good friends in love.
~Captured By Tree Photography