About Love

I’ve been trying to write this post the last few days and it hasn’t been going very well. It’s been stressing me out a little bit. Just kind of always in the back of my mind, nagging at me.

I realized something tonight. Or re-realized it, because I’ve realized it before. It’s that I always feel like I have to be perfect. I’m really hard on myself. I think that’s pretty common. But I have always been that way, as far as I can remember.

And I talked about this in my first post, but it really shows up in my writing.

It used to be that writing was a very expressive endeavor for me. A way to kind of get my feelings out and it was like I sort of felt heard and maybe even a little validated. I have always been a very emotional writer. I would get into a really emotional place and then just start writing and the words would flow and I just felt like it was coming from my heart and not my brain and I loved that.

It hasn’t been that way for a while.

Now it’s like every word is scrutinized. Or, like I am being tasked with the responsibility of saving the world with my writing. And it’s overwhelming. And paralyzing.

One thing I have noticed over the last year or so that I hate is the feeling like I have to convince people of things they don’t agree with.

I hate that.

Seriously.

But it always feels that way, especially with my writing.

Not only is it really stressful, but it also really stifles my emotions and my ability to create and express. So instead of something beautiful and emotive coming out, it really feels kind of sterile to me. I don’t know if that’s the right word. Corporate. Technical. 

It just doesn’t feel authentic or real.

I feel like I have to do all this research and find all the evidence and then present it perfectly so people will listen and be swayed or that I will have done a good enough job to be relieved of the burden of saving the world.

Or whatever.

And I know in my mind that this isn’t true. I know I don’t need to convince anyone of anything.

Except, it’s complicated, isn’t it?

I mean, if 2020 taught us anything it’s that as much as we want to just let people do whatever they want to do with their lives, other people’s actions have great impact on us, one way or the other. And actions come from someone’s beliefs. So in that way it is kind of important to be able to convince. Or it seems that way.

I don’t really know what I want to say here today. My new post is about gardening and the life-altering revelation that I had about it like nine years ago. It’s really an incredibly beautiful thing, and a very beautiful story to me.

But again, it has felt very forced and analytical and I just needed to have a break where I wrote something different. Something just about me and how I am feeling or what I want or something more personal and emotional and authentic and maybe vulnerable.

I do think vulnerability is so important. And I have struggled with it a lot over the years.

Anyway, let’s crack on, shall we?

That’s one of my favorite British-isms. Crack on. I have always had a thing for British things. I’m not sure entirely why, but the whole country and culture just feels so….magical to me? I don’t know if magical is the right word, but it’s the one that comes to mind. And I don’t mean magical so much because of Harry Potter. Though I do love Harry Potter. But it just feels so transportive, like it’s an ancient place from another universe or time where magical things can happen.

I don’t know if that makes sense. Or why it feels that way. I can’t find the words to explain it very well.

But that’s not really what I want to focus on I guess. I’m just trying to go with whatever comes to mind.

So let’s see, what do I want to talk about?

I guess the thing I always want to talk about is love. Like romance. I’m a romantic. Always have been. I know I’m different from most guys. I have wondered over the last few years if more guys are like me in that way than I realize, but I do know that I feel very different from most men I know.

I love love.

I love romantic movies and tv shows. I love romantic books. I love talking about and hearing about love stories. I find myself re-watching old tv shows I’ve seen a thousand times before and skipping to the romantic parts. And by romantic parts I mean the relationship building parts. The conversations between characters. The stolen glances. The sacrifices that prove the love. The emotional moments of breakthrough when one finally puts their heart on the line.

I love Taylor Swift songs. But not the new stuff that’s all poppy and sophisticated (I mean I like some of it) but her old stuff. Her sappy stuff. Her naive stuff. Her sweet stuff. Like Love Story and Mine and I’m Only Me When I’m With You. You know, the stuff that was written with preteen girls in mind.

I love that stuff!

I can’t get enough of it.

I’ve always been that way. I don’t know why exactly. I wouldn’t want it any other way, but I have wondered why I’m so different in that way, or why others aren’t more like me.

I look around and I see other people complaining about their relationships or their partners, or I see people spending so much of their time and energy on other things besides their relationships and I have always been baffled by that.

I don’t mean for this to be judgmental at all, I just don’t know why anyone would want to spend their time doing anything else. Like, what else is as fulfilling or joyful as deep and vulnerable connection with someone who you’ve given your whole heart to and they have given you theirs?

As I’ve gotten older I’ve come to understand it’s complicated. Or life is complicated. Or as Taylor says, “Life makes love look hard.”

But I do think that what if people spent the kind of passion and energy developing their relationships as they do developing their careers? How would things be different? How would marriages be different?

I get it, you have to provide a living and all of that. But I’m just saying. Love, like life, is what we make it. And we make it what it is by the energy we put into it.

But the thing is, as much as I love love and it’s the most important thing to me, (like genuinely I don’t have to force myself to focus on it or think about it or want to work on a relationship, I just naturally want that) I also have struggled so much with social anxiety to the point where I have had a really hard time meeting people.

Like I’m 37 and I’ve never officially had a girlfriend.

That’s kind of embarrassing to admit. And it’s not like I haven’t dated. I just haven’t ever dated anyone seriously enough to consider them my girlfriend or that would have considered me their boyfriend.

So I know that most people will just say that I’m being naive and I don’t know what it’s like and real relationships are just hard and messy and you sort of fall out of the excitement and then it’s just about commitment and work and all of that.

And I get it. Life tends to be messier and clumsier and more painful than we wish it would be or certainly than tv and movies make it out to be.

And so maybe I am naive.

But I don’t care.

I still believe in love. In the kind of love that I dream of. The kind where two people truly build a life around their relationship instead of trying to fit their relationship around their separate lives. Where both people are romantics who genuinely love love and it’s not a chore for them. Who are willing to live in extremely different ways from the rest of the world so that they can build the kind of relationship they want.

That’s how I feel. I’m willing to live a completely different lifestyle so I can put the focus on that most important thing to me: my love.

Where I give her all of me. And she gives me all of her.

And we light each other up.

I believe that exists. And I’ll do what it takes to make it. To create it.

I just need to find the right person to create it with.

And so I keep looking.

And praying for her.

Every day.

And I try to keep my hopes up that she’s out there.

Sometimes it gets hard.

And heavy.

But I have to keep going.

And keep hoping.

That there might be a girl out there who feels the same way I do…

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