With the world gathering beneath tinsel, families making holiday plans, lovers finding creative ways to express their affections, I can’t help but see the universe singing along filled with holiday cheers and fears. Yet, with all the fa-la-la, I also can’t help but feel a little lost. The constant festivities have me thinking about things, traditions, ideals about love. Working in the fashion industry and swimming among the super, secret, surprise sales, I also can’t help be a little disconnected, a little torn, and whole lotta confused.
I’m a giver, and I’m a rebel. I show emotion, and I keep it to myself. I like to do things for the people I love and care about, but I hate feeling like giving is an obligation. So, just as I didn’t feel pressured to cook an elaborate meal to feed our gluttonous appetites for Thanksgiving, I feel no pressure to buy meaningless gifts for a commercialized Christmas. I miss the Christmas cheer, but at the same time I’m free from the bondage of it.
Just as conflicted I am about the holidays, I’m just as conflicted about finding room in my heart for a new relationship in my life. I’ve lately met a wonderful man, my Bello, and he is delightful, and handsome and has many of the qualities I’ve always found attractive in a man. He keeps me smiling so much my face actually hurts. We seem to be kindred spirits and click in many, many, many ways. I like it. I like the whole romance phase. I like the butterflies, the expectation, the whole getting-to-know-you period. I’m not in a hurry, taking my time and letting things bloom in the sunshine as they’re meant. But, there’s also this small ache in my heart for the relationships of my past. The world keeps telling me I have to let them go so I can make room for something new. But, isn’t there room for everyone? Just as I continue to love my children as I enter a new relationship, I believe there’s room for both – the loves of my past and the loves of my future.
I suppose I’m struggling with the concept of ‘unloving’. I don’t think it’s possible, not when the love is real. I’m beginning to think that you NEVER stop loving. While you may stop being in an active relationship, you never stopping loving what you really, deeply, truly loved. These loves of our past helped mold us into who we are today. They’re part of our history, part of our experiences, part of our who we were – so how can we disconnect completely from that? My soldier died nearly 25 years ago, yet I still love him today. My love for him never prevented me from loving others and it doesn’t mean I love those in my life today any less. The pain of losing him made it hard for me to open my heart for a long time, but it didn’t stop me. I did open my heart. I did love. Wow, I mean… I loved deeply. I fell hard. I lived, I loved, I had an adventure. While that relationship didn’t work out, it doesn’t mean the love we had wasn’t real, and now that I’ve moved on to another relationship, it doesn’t mean the love is gone. It’s still there, and I believe it will always be there, because I don’t understand how to stop loving. I can stop being in their life, stop being connected, but I can’t make my heart stop the love. I can deny it, but I can’t stop.
Just as I see the holidays with a different pair of eyes, I’m learning more and more about love, and have discovered the concepts I’ve always accepted are like an artificial Christmas tree. Just as beautiful, but when the season is over you can pack the artificial tree away and bring it out year after year, but the real thing… the real thing, was a living thing and the scent of it never leaves you, even when the decorations are put away and the tree is gone from your life. All you have to do is close your eyes and you can still smell it. The life of it lingers in your heart, in your memory, and in your soul. The loves of the past… though gone, still linger, because my heart has plenty of room for all the loves I hope to experience in this life. I’m excited about this new spark, and I hope it burns true as the one’s before it, and yet even brighter.
Till next time,
~Tinsel Tinker, Love Inn Keeper