No love is wasted. I’ve heard people say things like “I wasted 5 years of my life with him.” I’ve probably said the same kind of thing, but as I look back now, I realize no love is a waste of time. Some of it was hard love, but none of it was a waste of time.
I used to be the kind of person that never gave up on love- right up to the minute I was done. I obsessed, I cried, I became a textbook psycho and then suddenly with a blink of the eye, I would be done. Moving on. Rarely, when love ends is it mutual or graceful. When the anger ensues, it’s usually about rejection, not love. No one wants to be tossed aside, even if they’re done too. I fell in love a lot and I got my heart broken a lot. I suppose I broke a few too. But, I always believed in love. I still do.
Ten years ago, I took Nick & his friend Erin to the Carnelian Room in San Francisco for their 18th birthdays. Erin was Nick’s first love but they had already broken each other’s hearts, made up and become friends again. Erin asked me that night who my one true love was. She guessed it was Jon, Nick’s dad, but I told her no, it was someone else. In retrospect, I think she was at least partially right. I know I truly loved a few people and he was one of them. I realized it the minute he was gone.
Now, they are almost all gone. My first love and my last and a few in between. Gone. It’s hard to be mad at dead people. Suddenly all is forgiven and much is understood. The puzzle pieces fall into place with this enormous bright light of understanding. Destiny looking backwards.
Lately, I have been studying love from afar. I started to notice how some men and women my age and older are still willing to take risks with their hearts in the name of love. I think, some people don’t want to be alone but some are true romantics. Maybe they aren’t comfortable with themselves and the solitude that forces one to analyze the past to understand the present. I don’t mind being alone and can’t imagine falling in love at this age- but stranger things have happened so I never say never.
I have a few friends that have been lucky enough to stay in love with the same person for decades. I say lucky, but I’m sure at times it’s work. I admire them though. I admire their willingness to share life and their ability to include someone else in their thoughts at all times. They call themselves “we.” I’m not sure I could be that unselfish now. I’ll always call myself me.
While I have been studying love, I’ve learned that not all love lasts forever but that doesn’t mean it was not real. I wish we could just look at any love as a success and say things like- wow, that was a great 10 years, and now we are done so best of luck on your next venture into the love world. But, that isn’t how we do it. We get hurt, angry and hold on to people that want to leave until our fingernails are ripping out. We are mean, say horrible things to each other and some of us really go off the deep end and physically hurt one another. Some people love so hard, they would rather see you dead than with someone else. We should learn to move on before it becomes sick love.
I see now, until it becomes sick, it’s almost always a success. Sometimes we outgrow one another and though it’s hard, we have to move on. Broken hearts mend, and we change directions. Right turns, left turns it’s all a journey. We’re here such a short time we should never think of loving someone as a waste of time or years tossed away. With the exception of love ending in murder or suicide, it should never be considered anything but a success.
I’m glad I fell in love as many times as I did. I learned something every single time- even if I didn’t realize it until now.