Thursday, May 13, 2010

other people's love stories

I often feel like I just keep playing a weird part in other people's love stories, over, and over again. I'm that girl the hero thinks he's in love with, and then he meets someone else, or he realizes he's still in love with that other girl he thought he wasn't in love with anymore. Or I'm the quirky friend urging the heroine to follow her heart or stay careful or chase her dreams. Except in this rom-com, the quirky female friend doesn't fall in love with the awkward male friend. Not yet at least.

And likely someday I'll have a love story of my own, where I get to play the heroine and I get to share romantic adventures with the hero. And those who's parts I've played in their love stories? They will be the strange characters in my love story, the boys who didn't love me enough or who lost my love, the boys I fell for but who weren't meant to stick around. They will be Sally's Joe, or Prince Humperdink (ha!) or Kathleen Kelly's Frank Navasky. Some of them will be Franks, the dutiful boys who would have stayed with me had I not let them go, but more of them are Joe's.

But for now I'll be Parker Posey or Judy Greer or (worse) James Marsden before 27 Dresses.

This is the story of the boys who loved you
Who love you now and loved you then
And some were sweet, some were cold and snuffed you
And some just laid around in bed.

Some had crumbled you straight to your knees
Did it cruel, did it tenderly
Some had crawled their way into your heart
To rend your ventricles apart
This is the story of the boys who loved you
This is the story of your red right ankle.

But wait, why does my story have to revolve around love and romance and relationships? Who said that the only story worth telling is about a man and a woman falling in love? Ok, everyone says that, it's all over our culture, everywhere you turn around. But do I have to buy that, hook, line, and sinker? Why should I write my story around someone else? What kind of a frail human actually holds that kind of power in my life, that I would want to write my story around him? Why should I believe that my biggest desire, my greatest source of fulfillment is in falling in love?

The first few paragraphs of this blog are sadly easier for me to feel and believe at times, but despite all the confusion I feel, I really do believe that the above paragraph is more true. That I have a life to live, and purpose to pursue and it's happening NOW, whether I'm single, engaged, married, a mother, a daughter, a student, a psychologist, a sister, whoever I am, I am me and I have so much to give and offer to those around me. I'm just as much me now as I would be me if I were married or with a Ph.D. in my hand. Why do we keep believing that single people are just married people who haven't found their "better half" yet? Why do I swallow these lies again and again?

Sometimes, I'm freed from those lies. I spent most of this semester remarkably happy to be single, loving my life and my relationships, and not even really desiring to be in a relationship, because having a dude around would just mess up all the good things I've got going on, and he's got to be really worth it for me to mess my life up for him. I wish I felt that happy and content this consistently now, but lately it still comes in moments and waves. It comes in moments when I'm surrounded by my family that loves me, when they wrap themselves around me with love and support. And it comes in quiet moments, when I sit on my bed and type and contemplate these things and when I stretch back onto my pillow and pray and remember that I have all that I need, that my Father doesn't withhold any good gifts from me, and that this is good. That it's good to be me, a student, a counselor, a friend, a sister, and I don't need to be anyone else right now. It's good. And those boys that loved me or who didn't love me? Well, it's good for them to be themselves, they're not some pawns in mine or anyone else's story, they're valuable humans created by God, just as I am. If I'm just a character in someone else's story, it's not a silly human fable, it's a divine story, a sacred story.

Besides, Parker Freakin' Posey is pretty freakin' fabulous.


tahni candelaria holm said...

all those words about society are so true. there is a lot of wisdom in this post. girl, you fine.

Cara said...

Hey Crackers, I read this last night before I went to bed. Remember - you are the center of Someone's love story. And it happens to be the most beautiful story ever written. Everything else we experience is secondary. That being said, I do look forward to your smaller story here on earth that reflects the larger love story.