Yesterday, I went to see the Soul Train 40th Anniversary Concert with a few friends at Pritzker Pavillion. While picnicking, we noticed an older couple slow dancing to the live music. It was adorable. There is always a "I want that" factor when you see an older couple holding hands, but this was that last little bridge in my "I will be hopeful about love" Jenga.
There is something so beautiful to see people lose themselves in a moment together. To be able to do that after decades together is uplifting. In the words of Drake: I wanna witness love, but I've never seen it close.
There was a time when this couple was just beginning. They weren't just born in each other arms. They had to date, break up and start over again with someone new. They had to decide what they wanted from life, start a career and figure themselves out. They were given a set of choices just like we all are. Where were they in their 20s and how did they get to where they are now in their 60s?
I've seen so many relationships snip an iceberg and sink. I could count on one hand the amount of couples I admire and still have fingers left over. I've been heartbroken. I've been optimistic and then found myself smacked in the face by reality. It's hard to continuously pull yourself up off the cutting room floor and try to start a new story.
In every couple, there are two people and this relationship that they have created. I don't believe in "true love" or "soul mates." Instead, there is this "we" that two people grow and tend to on a daily basis. It's something separate from yourself and I think that's part of what makes it so amazing.
When TDH and I broke up, I told him that I wanted to be the greatest love of someone's life. He told me that I could never know that I was. I don't believe that's true. We all deserve to find that euphoric happiness. It won't be every day. You will have your setbacks. But if it's there, it's there. He couldn't tell me that I even could be.
When we broke up, I realized I had another opportunity to find it.
It's not that TDH and I couldn't have had that. Our relationship was blissful. It's that you need to be with someone that allows the two of you to get lost in that moment together. When I got back from the concert last night, I had to look deeply into my eyes in the mirror and say "you deserve to be with someone who isn't going to hold back."
When I picture myself falling in love, I have two mental images. One is slow dancing in a dimly lit room with wooden floors to Otis Redding on vinyl. The other is holding someone's hand and running as fast as I can off a cliff. I've always assumed it was into a body of water, but I've never pictured it that far. It's heart-pumping, terrifying and trusting the unknown, but it's private, intimate and I'm not alone.
When you think about what it feels like to fall in love, what do you imagine?