Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Love Stinks, In the Best Possible Way

I've had a problem coming up with a hook for this blog. What can I possibly say that people want to hear, or haven't already heard a million times, in a million different ways? How can I make my blog interesting...creative...relevant?

My first idea? Dating as a single mom. Specifically internet dating as a single mom, which seems to be one of the few ways people like me with limited time and child care can meet other (sometimes) viable heterosexuals, except at church, or unless we live in hippie communes. I'm not knocking church. I love church. I even love a lot of the people I meet at church, but the idea of going there to look for a mate has always rubbed me the wrong way. I heard a pastor say that if you go to church to find God, it's likely that you'll find the other things you might not even have known you were looking for (i.e. community, friendship, a life partner). While that's very encouraging, I'm just gonna be honest and say that what I got out of that was church + God = mate. My over-simplified understanding of that formula has been making me uncomfortable ever since, so as a reaction, I go to church specifically not to find a mate. I don't think I've done a wedding ring check since the day I heard that sermon. I'm also not knocking communes. The idea of living sparingly, off the land, in community with others who share the fruits of our labors and barter for services that we each provide according to our individual talents is actually pretty appealing. Then I think how much I like shaving and wearing bras. And people who bathe, regularly. Maybe there are communes where people do those things, but...*shrug* I'm skeptical.

Eventually, I threw the dating blog idea out. I think they're only interesting to people who don't have to live the daily agony of dating. For the ones in the trenches, reading about other people's relationship hijinks can be like fingernails on a chalkboard. Maybe that's just me, but I still think that most singletons would stand with me when I say dating is a necessary evil that we do in order to get to where we want to be, which is in committed relationships. No one really wants to date forever, for it's own sake, unless they're lying to sound evolved. I'm not evolved. So, I've wracked my brain for a hook and finally accepted that I don't have one. This blog is really nothing more than random, neuronal firings that I occassionally have the energy to put in written form.

Today's firing, while not specifically about dating, is about love. In my 20's, I pretty much avoided it. I've always had lots of people that I care about, but most I kept at arm's length. Romantic love proved elusive, for reasons only my therapist seems to know. It's probably because I've always known on some level that I'm a no-take-backs kind of lover. Try though I might, if I let you into my heart, digging you back out again comes at great personal cost. I'm sure it's that way for everybody, but this is my blog, so it sounds like I'm the first person who's ever loved, I realize that. My point is that for most people, it's a worthwhile risk. For me, it's taken a while to believe that. Instead I pretty much chose a sterile existence--never risk, never lose.

Somewhere in there, though, I got all brave and decided to live the adventure. It has been a mess! You can't believe the mistakes I've made and the starts and misfires I've had. But, in many ways the messes haven't been all bad. I have loved some pretty incredible people, most of whom I still enjoy relationships with to this day. I hope that I'm a composite of all the amazing people who've poured into my life. I've loved true, I've loved hard, I've loved hopelessly, and most recently, since I became a parent, I've learned truly to love selflessly. It's been great, but I haven't known a moment's peace since. Instead of being comfortably insulated the way I used to be, I'm exhilarated, broke, nervous, joyful, heart-broken, concerned, over-worked, sleep-deprived, careful, celebratory, protective, wary, drunk, infatuated and covered in snot. All because I'm hoplessly intertwined in the lives of people who are living lives as risky as I have decided to live. It's a total cluster and I love every second of it. Mostly. ;)

Hope you're living and loving every second of your adventure, today, too.

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