The other day at Starbucks I had an unexpected conversation with a stranger. Afterward, I wanted to run home and tell my partner all about the beautiful, older woman who had just finished a meeting with her husband’s younger side dish. I had the same urgent feeling of wanting to share earlier this month, when the moon was a peculiar shade of bright yellow, hanging over a purple mountain. “You’ve got to come see this,” I wanted to say to someone. Of course, there was no one there. Instead, I walked up the gravel road to return to my empty hotel room and another chapter that needed finishing.
I was born independent, or so the story goes, but that’s not really the whole truth. I’m 90% water and earth and 10% fire and steel, (give or take a few points in either direction depending on the circumstances), but it’s the 10% that keeps me single. The same fiery passions and beliefs that initially draw certain people also tend to bring about the end.
That 10% has also saved my life, not once, but several times over. Fire and steel gave me a spine and lent me bravery when needed. They allowed me to stand strong and survive crises. They’ve given me clarity and truth when winds and waves left things muddy. For these reasons — and simply because I like this part of myself — I refuse to devalue it, especially in the name of something I feel so passionately about: Love.
I believe love should be fearless. It should be able to withstand scrutiny and hold its own in a debate. It should have more answers than questions and more courage than cowardice. Love, to me, should be a deeply felt conviction — something worth standing up and fighting for no matter what the opposition is or how strong in numbers. Love should seek to loosen restraints, not create them. It should actively nurture all that it promises — it should be fiercely loyal, encouraging, and honest. Love should seek, above all, to be genuinely happy in the long-term. Sweeping things under the rug or ignoring the elephants in the room can only ever be a temporary convenience, and when the pile grows high or the room gets crowded, there’s little space left for love — instead, there are resentments over things not said when they should have been said, and open wounds that have grown past the point of healing.
I believe in love so strongly that I refuse to settle for less than what I believe it could be if I met my match — someone who believes with as much conviction as I do in the sanctity of love, its power and courage, and its ability to raise people up to the highest plane possible.
After my recent experience with fake love, I learned that I’d rather be alone with my ideals than together with someone whose “I love you” (at least towards me) meant as much to her as “I’m hungry, pass the potatoes.” I don’t want to be in someone’s life as a convenience, a stopgap, or an in-between lover. What I want — and am ready for — is the real thing.
I want marriage, traditional or not, with all the bells and whistles — the tough times, the great times, the waves and rifts, and the romance. I want the mingled laundry, cosigned holiday cards, daily routines and occasional surprises of a loving partnership. I want to be someone’s cheerleader and have them be mine. I want to look at the same person every day and feel like I understand and love them just a little bit more than I did the day before. I want to share all of me with someone and know that they love me enough to do the same.