“Life offers you a thousand chances… all you have to do is take one.”
– Frances Mayes, Under the Tuscan Sun
This is easier said than done… Especially for those of us who have been hurt, who have hoped, who have waited in vain… Those who have hurt others, who have been denied, who hold on to regret. It’s so hard to move on.
Why do we keep holding on? Because it’s better to be alone than to be open to the possibility of hurting? Has the pain become addicting? Are we forever caught in that vicious cycle of longing for something that can never be ours? After all, as long as what we want is out of reach, it never really has the power to make us bleed.
This is my answer: I hold on because holding on is “safe”. When we are perpetually running after someone or waiting for something, we never have to do anything different. Actually, we stay where it is safe because it gives us an excuse to never really do anything. Period.
But at the end of the day, that’s what it is – an excuse.
Sometimes, I think, we make excuses to not be happy. We make excuses to not be with someone. We makes excuses to stay exactly where we are… even if it makes us miserable.
I was watching this movie the other day (Beauty and the Briefcase) and the long and short of it is this: she kept a list of all the characteristics she was looking for in her “Magic Man” and eventually fell in love with someone who scored a 0 out of 10. At this point, you might be asking yourself why I even bothered to introduce this bit of information. Wait, I’m getting to that.
Very recently, I realized that I have been holding on to the idea of being with this guy because I REALLY wanted him to be my boyfriend. So there was that hope that one day, he will be more concerned about me (because he’s not)… That one day, he will look for me (because he doesn’t)… That one day, he will offer to bring me home (to my house, because he hasn’t). I had boxed myself in. And my box wasn’t a checklist of what I wanted in a guy… My box WAS a guy!
Find me. Bring me home.
I’ll tell you a truth that I’ve never told anyone before… I wanted to fall in love with him in the worst possible way. But I couldn’t. Because I couldn’t find reasons to (cue Breathe’s “How Can I Fall”).
No matter how old I get, the romantic in me never really fades away. It’s still the little things that count for so much.
…Like holding hands
…Like good conversation
…Like comfortable silence
…Like just hanging out
…Like receiving love letters or notes
…Like laughing together
…Like talking about everything and nothing
…Like being brought home after a date
…Like spending time together (sometimes doing nothing)
Time. Someone once said that the greatest gift you can give someone is your time. I SO AGREE. But that is a different story and will be told at a different time.
But for now, I will tell you this: I always say I want it all – the grand passion of a great love. At the end of the day, what makes the passion grand and what makes the love great are all the little things. And it’s the little things that I’ve been missing.
* * *
If there are things I want to tell you, it’s these:
Let yourself be happy.
Take a chance
Fall in love – REALLY fall in love – again.
Give someone a chance to love you.
Yes, I’m talking about you.