After a crazy week of fighting fires at work I went up north this weekend to witness a close friend’s wedding. She was nervous, the groom was happy and proud, and it was nice. Weddings are, and should be, about the bride and groom – so I tried to be helpful and then afterwards, just got the hell out of the way. It was pretty much a family only affair – I videotaped the ceremony (I have past experience as a wedding videographer) and then hung out with some of her cousins and aunts. This is her second marriage – like me, she had been married a long time and then got divorced. She has a small son, and her new husband is the only father he’s ever known. After the ceremony, I got a ride back and slept in her empty house.
There is something about an empty, not-yours, sort of house. There is something to witnessing love in a new stage in life, when the partners are no longer innocents in love, when they are good people that were hurt and moved on, because that is the way life goes. It was sweet, and for me–because I am no longer in my twenties–more poignant and more special than watching twenty-something people commit to something they really know nothing about. Not that it can’t work out – some people know their own hearts at a young age, some people find partners that grow on the same path as they do. But I am selfish, and more interested in seeing how people cope with betrayal, with disappointment, with age and understanding that not all dreams will come to be. What do you choose when you cannot have everything?
Not that I have been unhappy–exactly the opposite. It was was fun to drive a couple of hours by myself, alone on the road. I listened to the radio, sang along, had the best time – being alone. I have no boyfriend, I have no love–but that is a poor way to put it, because all I mean is that I am not in love with anyone. And it’s fine. Because obsession and infatuation is not something I’m particularly interested in, and I am connected to many people I truly care about.
I don’t actually worry about finding love, and I really don’t worry about being alone. I love meeting new people and listening to their stories. I love learning from people–anyone who can teach me something is someone I want to know (that’s a lot of people, btw. :)). But when it comes to emotion, to the heart of the matter, I want to see what happens when the infatuation cools off. I find it funny that all the songs on popular radio are about romantic love, as though that is the only thing that matters, that you can’t be happy without it. And sure, I would love to feel that again. But what I am looking for, eventually, is someone I can live with, be with, as I am–with all my flaws. I want a partner in crime and adventure – well, if I’m honest, I want a partner that can build something with me. Because at the end of the day, whether you’re with someone or not, it is yourself you have to look at in the mirror, and your baseline happiness will probably be whatever it was before you partnered up.
I love my friends deeply, and often it is because they see the potential in me that I cannot see. And likewise, the people I care about–the ones I am closest to, the number of which I can count and contain on my two hands–are the ones I see the light and the greatness in. For me, that is also what I am interested in as a partner–someone I can build something of worth with, and someone I can have fun going through life with. But in a way, it’s not a goal in and of itself. It will happen when it’s time, and right now I have so many good things and interesting things that I don’t need to worry about being bored. It feels a little illegal to be so happy and unattached.
Because I love life. I love being alive. I love the silence when I am alone, I love the small, quiet breathing of my children when they are here and asleep. I love their questions when they are awake and I love a pot of tea with a good book. I love the challenge of my work and reading technology magazines of what could be. I love falling asleep and dreaming, because I don’t know what will happen in my dreams, and I love taking an unfamiliar road to see where it leads. Because in all of this, I will be okay. And if something bad happens, I will figure it out or deal with it. And if something magical and glowing happens, I will revel in it.
Because I have love. Perhaps not the red kind at this junction, but I have the purple kind, and the green kind, and the pink and white and the yellow–and really, I have a pretty good collection of love. That last card will come, but I’m not worried when.