Learning (How to Love You)
A few mornings ago, I was brushing a cat. A grouchy, meowing, cat with exceptionally definitive feelings about personal space. No matter how loud and aggravated he was, though, his grouse transformed to grin, with every brush stoke. I'd figured out the feline. Days later, the grouch is gone and our relationship is calm, if not cuddly. If only people were so uncomplicated.
Sometimes, calming someone down is as simple as a massage, or scratching the top of their head, and in that way I suppose we are all animals. Tumultuous mornings, I long for 4AM dream-cuddles and 9AM morning kisses. That is our curse: We feel and we fall and we fail so, when we put the claws away, the things that aren't physical are harder to hold onto.
Maybe we are always learning how to love each other. It isn't enough to put on Big Girl Shoes and paint our arms in suave and someone else's confidence. I think, in love, we're allowed to come with scars, in place of baggage. Or baggage to cover up the scars. I thought it would be enough to do things "right" but, when foregoing the rulebook, we are forced to accept that we cannot fit our happiness into the fairytale cookie cutters that made ten-year-old Glass Slipper Cookies. Sometimes the prince rises, disfigured, and the princess gets burned.
Maybe the trick really is to breathe through the discomfort. To count to ten, frontwards, backwards: To accept the imperfection.
I think we're all afraid that, if we hang on tight enough, we will become our parents, hemming and hawing over the things we're afraid to say. I don't want to get lost in an impenetrable silence. But I think our generation has gotten too stuck on the past: On things that they can hold on to. So much happens on someone else's screen that, maybe, we just want to be able to reach out and touch something real. To know that any of the things we were promised as children, or read in our favorite novels, can come into fruition.
February is my least favorite month of the year. This is a newer realization, as I've fit my perceptions into someone else's uncomfortable calendar. Too many Nora Ephron movies, and my chest tightens as I think about the month before me, uncomfortable thread through my heartstrings, a reminder that February has broken me before. I don't foresee this year being much different, although I've chosen to squint through the things I don't want to see and hope for better, in this new passive-transitional chapter of my life.
Last month was a reflection of years past...and it's funny because I don't think I ever expected to feel the way I do now. I certainly never expected the kinds of sadness this year sprung at me. Or the way we try to justify those feelings away. I'm guessing no one really does. I think I spend a lot of blog posts talking about myself--and thereby blaming myself for things well beyond my power. I hope these broad generalizations mean something to someone else. That maybe they'll do some good, somewhere. For that, I'll leave you with a parting thought: Learning to love is a two-way street. You can wait a lifetime for love to be returned...but that sounds like a waste of a lifetime to me.
This is Me:
My name's Melissa. I'm the girl with her hands in her journal. Married to my best friend and planning a lifetime of adventure!