I’ve never been in love. I’ve thought I’ve been in love a couple of times in my life, but in retrospect, I have to admit I was disillusioned. I should also add that my observations of my peers in love have been less than what I imagined too. So many times, I look at those around me, and I wonder why they allow themselves to be chained down, to be controlled by someone else. I’ve always imagined love as ultimate freedom, much like God has shown us. I mean, if I were to truly love someone, I’d place their happiness over my own, even to the extent of causing my own suffering. That’s what’s really missing in the modern day notion of Love. There is this idea that loving someone else is for personal gratification. A person will marry for money, or because they, themselves, need someone. It’s the same thing. Sometimes relationships based on this sort of thing work, in the sense that they last, but is it successful? If a relationship is based on “I need you,” the idea of putting the other person first is lost. Mutual self-interest is a powerful thing in the economic world, but it has no place in Love. Love is about companionship, servitude, and trust. When I truly fall in love, I expect there to be a sense of belonging, and not of chains. I joke with my friends sometimes about not dating because I don’t want to go to jail and since the experiences are so similar, to avoid one is to avoid the other. If and when I fall in love, there will be a sense of freedom. Like letting a bird fly free, and yet it chooses to stay around because it enjoys your company. That’s what love is. Love is a choice. I will choose who I fall in love with. It may stem from an attraction I can’t help, but the woman who holds my love will do so out of a choice I make. And she will be able to choose whether or not she loves me. That’s what makes love so special. If we were to relegate love to something that depends on a series of random events, wouldn’t that be taking something away from it?
It wasn’t until recently I began to appreciate a little mystery in life. Until now, my life has been like the child who can’t wait to open presents on Christmas, and pushing to open them early, instead of savoring the wait. How many times have I been told “It’s not the destination, but the journey that important,” and yet it never sank in. The need to know was too great; patience was relegated to the bottom of my priorities. Never did I think that my full appreciation of the thing I was waiting for would be the trade for instant gratification. I guess that’s what it really comes down too. Instant gratification that is somewhat fulfilling versus prolonged gratification that’s totally satisfying. In retrospect it’s easy to see that the latter is more efficient, and better. Why enter an endless cycle of events that always frustrate when there is something totally rewarding available? Once again, it comes down to patience. And a developed appreciation for a good mystery.
I have this bad habit where I really like buying blank notebooks. There’s something about holding a totally blank notebook that gives hope about the future. It’s a blank slate; its purpose has yet to be determined. Perhaps it will hold the sketches of the next great artist, or the thoughts of the next great philosopher. Perhaps it will hold the mathematical equations that will explain the world around us in a way that will deepen our understanding of it more that anything else in the past. Perhaps it will be used to write the rough draft of the next best selling novel, or a history that will preserve and important part of our past. Whatever it will hold, there’s no doubt of one thing: the potential represented by its plain white pages is great. Unfortunately, just having a blank notebook doesn’t guarantee its use. In my stack of office supplies, I have several of them, just sitting there, waiting to be used. I bought them in hopes that I could do something that would perhaps meet that potential they have. At first, they sat on my desk, staring at me, pleading for use. Occasionally, I would take one, and open it up, meaning to start to write something, anything. I would sit at my desk with the notebook in front of me, open to that first page. I had a mason jar of freshly sharpened pencils beside it to aid me in my quest. And the notebook sat there, and the pencils sat there, and nothing happened. Eventually I would get up, and replace the notebook in it’s unused position. One day, I got tired of the stares, and relegated the notebooks, pencils, and other creative tools to the closet. Perhaps I’ve purchased in vain? Perhaps I’ve not anything to offer the world? I refuse to accept that. I have a purpose, and those notebooks will be used.