Sometimes I wait as if it’s definitely coming, as if it’s not a matter of if but when, as if every single person is promised another person at one point another and all they have to do is wait for the moment when they arrive. As if, by a certain age, there will be no question that there will be this other person, my other person, the person I choose for my life and who chooses me for theirs.
What has made me think that this is a guarantee? That this will happen at some point or another? That this is coming for me without a doubt? Because so many others have achieved it, because at a certain age most people you see have wedding rings, because all the stories say so? Because it happened to my parents and it’s happening to my friends and it seems to be happening to everyone all around me all the time?
There are moments when I feel certain that if you live life in the best way you can, that if you follow the deepest and truest part of yourself and try to do as much good as possible, that if you make decisions that feel right in your bones, that the energy around you will be all swirling, radiant light. That positivity draws positive things, that I deserve it and you deserve it and every human on this earth deserves it, the chance to love and be loved to the fullest capacity. There are moments when I am certain this is true.
There are also days when I feel like the chances of finding another person — any other person — who you want to choose for your life and who wants to choose you for theirs is so miraculous and serendipitous that I look at people who have it and I want to shake them out of their lovestruck stupor and ask them how they did it. How did they find each other? How did they know? How did they walk around the world and happen to bump into a person who made them feel so good that they decided to give the most unbelievable gift a person can give — the rest of their time on earth — to them?
Maybe it’s a matter of time rather than person, that you’re ready at a certain point to make a choice and the person you’re with at that moment is who you decide to take a stab at lifetime happiness with. No one is perfect, and no one will ever fill your multi-tiered list of characteristics (if there is a tall, goofy, adventurous, bearded, Spanish-speaking ski mountaineer out there who loves IPAs, dogs, philosophy, and waking up for sunrise, please feel free to give me a call), so maybe at some point you look at the person you’re with and decide to make it work.
I don’t believe that there is only one person for everyone but I do believe that some are better for us than others, and that we owe it to ourselves not to settle, not to pick whoever’s around when our biological clock starts ticking.
Because love is not as simple as yes/no, as pass/fail, as there/not there. It seems so often in stories and when we are younger we are told that you meet someone, you fall in love, and you get married, and it is as simple as that. But there are so many different levels of love, so many different ways it can look and feel. Sometimes you love someone but not enough to give them the rest of your life. Sometimes someone loves you but not enough to do whatever it takes. Sometimes people choose each other for their lives at this level of love and wish they hadn’t.
There is a different kind of love, though, I think, I have to believe, that is bigger. That is the kind where it is simple, where any answer but yes is unthinkable. Where the adverse circumstances or bad timing don’t matter because the relationship does. There is a big kind of love that becomes your whole world, that changes the way everything looks, that makes you feel full and bright and electric. I have to believe that it exists, even if sometimes I am afraid it doesn’t.
Because I don’t want to just choose the person I happen to be with when I’m a certain age. I want the big kind of love. The kind of love that makes me feel the way I feel when the rising sun turns the tops of the mountains purple, that makes me feel the way I feel when live music becomes the entire space I exist in, the way I feel when I put my whole self into doing something for someone else, the way I feel when I’ve climbed hard for hours and I’m finally at the top and can see in all directions. The sprawling, lasting love that fills all the spaces.