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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Love. Chapter 1: Love is a choice.

**if you want to get down to the point of this post, skip to "Chapter 1."

Preface

I've had this blog post in my head for a week or two now. I don't know why I'm deciding to write it now, at 1 am on a wednesday night/thursday morning after musing on it and almost writing it several times before this. I wasn't going to write it at all actually. I have been thinking about cutting down on my blogging/facebooking/tweeting/youtubing/gmailing/etc etc in general. These are hard habits to break, but the point is to stay connected and...I agree with Christopher's sentiment on this week's podcast final thought....I'd rather be connected to 5 of you one on one, in your presence, even on the phone, than find out through fb what 1,000 people are up to. And it bothers me that I feel more connected to my close friends that are scattered in AZ, UT, OR, CA, NY, WI, IL, IA, TX, WA, PA, etc through the internet than in real life (I'm sorry if I forgot someone...shout it out!) And I just finished my album and part of me just wants to take a step back and spend a little more time seeing, hearing, absorbing, pondering, sampling, changing, learning, stretching, loving and living life and the world around me. I want to fill myself back up with life and love, let it incubate for a time and then put it down on paper. I've spent so much time on the output in the last few months, it's time for a re-charge. So my diary entries may become less public, which probably won't bother you, because how many of you really want to read a novel about what I'm thinking? And I will try to spend my time connecting in other ways with real people...where are they to be found? I don't know, but I want to find them...so I will.


I went on a run tonight...I needed to get out some angst I'd been feeling. I ran this morning, about 3 miles and with tonight that makes 5. Sometimes I wonder if this uneasiness I'm feeling in my soul really has to do with the desire I put out there to lose another 25 pounds...it's really just a manifestation of the image of what I want that I put out into the universe...it's answering me with an unfulfilled heart, so I will run my pain away and drop that extra weight. I've figured it out. Genius. Anyway, Coldplay accompanied me on this run under a full moon (or almost full.) The X&Y album brought me back to a different time...to a scar that I have done my best to and continually try to heal, but sometimes still find bleeding. This song--What if I got it wrong, and no poem or song, could put right what I got wrong, or make you feel I belong. What if you should decide, that you don't want me there by your side. That you don't want me there in your life.--played first...my very fear that came true. And I'm fine now that it did. But, I don't want to believe it will always come true...so I toughened up and ran harder. And then this one. I don't care what you say about this song...how it's over played, over covered, not that good, cliche, not your favorite....it will probably always be one of my favorite songs because it means something personal to me, and I might've cried a little when I saw it live (on the 3rd row my friends!!!) Because it means sadness and loss and eventual redemption. And it takes me back to that frigid day in November when he unloaded all of his angst about life and other girls and life again on me and I took it and held his hand and told him it would be okay, and when he was done he told me again that it wasn't going to work and that I should go, and he put his coat on me, kissed my forehead and let me walk away. At least he cared that I wasn't cold, and though he loved me, he didn't choose me, and it wasn't enough. So I walked home in an over-sized winter coat with literal tears streaming down my face because this time, for the first time in a year, he chose not to walk by my side, and I listened to "Fix You" through my headphones on repeat (I'm sure this was a really sad and mostly pathetic sight to see) and then spent 3 days in the bathtub with this song on repeat...Chris Martin, you understood my pain and couldn't have put it more plainly. And finally years later I'm living that hope that I held onto lights will guide you home, and ignite your bones and I will try to fix you. Though nobody did come to fix me, mend my heart, fill that void, take his place except for extremely loving family and friends and a loving Heavenly Father, all of which I could not live without...with their help and on my own, I fixed myself. Sometimes life brings you back there though...not to a place where you're not over that person...those feelings are long gone...but just not over what happened to you and the fear of it happening to you again. So I spoke with my loving big brother on the phone, took a bath with essential oils this time instead of the usual gardenia bubbles, cozied up in my bath robe (cause who really likes to wear real clothes), put on my hot pink socks (ow ow!) that I got at the BYU Creamery--3 for $1--to snuggle my feet...yes...I just said that...sometimes you need a good snuggle, and enjoyed a fat free yoplait raspberry cheesecake yogurt. It's all about the small things. (yoplait made into my last blog post, what is this?) So I am relaxed and ready to spill my mind on the topic of discussion for today: love.

Disclaimer: These are only my unadulterated thoughts from my own misguided and limited experiences. Take them with a grain of salt if you must, or take them to heart. This is mainly for you single people out there. If you're in a healthy, happy, committed relationship and preferably marriage relationship...you can disregard this entire post. But I hope you do read it and you tell me what you think, because I'd rather this be a discussion. And since you have reached this phenomenon of a situation, if you disagree with me, you are automatically right and I wrong....though I may still use my discretion to determine that. Here we go.

Chapter 1: Love is a choice.

You're about to think that I'm completely unromantic, but I will attempt to prove you wrong. I took a class in college (I think it was the one on the proclamation on the family, but I'm not sure) and the professor said something that just ignited a giant light bulb in my brain. He was talking about the idea of soul mates and how our generation is caught up with the idea that there is one person out there who is destined to be our soul mate and we must find them or else we'll never be happy and when we do find them our souls collide like magnets and we can't live or breathe without that person and we're completely compelled to love them because of this cloud of incredible love that we're floating on...we can't see the ground and everything about them makes us go wild and it's almost toxic how in love we are and we just can't help how we feel and it's not our fault...they're our soul mate and it's destiny.

I think I just puked a little in my mouth....not really, but I don't like this idea very much at all. He said, "You think this is extremely romantic. You think the idea of finding your soul mate and the way it'll make you feel is the most beautiful, awesome, romantic thing there ever was. But, it isn't romantic at all. You say 'I love you' because the cosmos aligned and the world delivered up a fantasy that you've carried around with you your whole life and you say you are compelled to love them by this fact, though what you're really saying is 'I love this high that I'm on right now.' How unromantic is that? I love you because I have to? And wouldn't it be just as easy to end up saying, 'I've fallen out of love with you because those feelings just aren't there anymore?' Isn't it a billion times more romantic to say, 'I love you because I choose to?' Because I have a choice in the matter? There are 6 billion other people in the world and I choose to love you. I'm aware that I could fall in love with at least a handful of people if put in the right circumstance, but who I want is you. I choose to love all of you...the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful, the annoying, the you that doesn't quite live up to my fantasy, but the you that I respect and adore, the you that is young and beautiful, the you that has wrinkles and a sagging belly, the you that makes mistakes, the you that doesn't always live up to my expectations, the you that causes me pain, the you that immediately tells me you're sorry, the you that leaves chunks of toothpaste in the sink, the you that zones out of our conversation when I really just want you to listen, the you that will never quite make enough money to satisfy my worldly desires, but the you that chooses me over anything else, the you that makes me want to be better than I already am, the you that isn't afraid to hold some of the burden I'm carrying, the you that will lift me up when I'm not sure how to go on, the you that enables me to reach higher and shoot for my dreams, the you that chooses to love me back and all of my idiosyncrasies. We're in love because we choose to be...on good days and on bad days. We are soul mates and we became soul mates, but not because we were compelled to be, but because we chose each other as our soul mates. And our love isn't selfish and solely based on the way it makes us feel or how incredibly hot I think he/she is, but on respect and admiration and a healthy view of what it means to take care of another person's needs over your own (read this book)....and how hot we are for each other :)" --joking aside, I don't remember what he actually said in this lecture, at least not verbatim, but this is, in my words, what he said and what I learned.

It makes a lot more sense how someone could let you go now, doesn't it? But, I thought he/she was my soul mate...I thought we were perfect...I thought they were everything I'd ever need...we felt the same way...we were so compatible...there was so much passion and love...I'm not sure how I can live without them...we finished each other's sentences...we wanted the same things...we talked about getting married....... Maybe all of that is true, but what it comes down to is they didn't choose you. And right then and there despite all of the heartache you feel you should ask yourself this very question and determine to see this situation differently---"Do I really want to be with someone who didn't choose me back? Do I really want to be with someone who doesn't love me back? Do I really want to be with someone who is okay with letting me walk away?" Sure, it hurts...you have a scar...I have a few, it's okay. But, stop yourself from being hung up over someone and the idea of being with someone who made a conscious choice to not have you in their life. It's sad, it's depressing, but it's true and you deserve more than that.

I'm not saying this person is a bad person, I don't know them, I can't determine that. Maybe they did the right thing. They know they can't love you the way you deserve to be loved. They know they can't be real with you. They know there is something more out there for them. And there is something more out there for you.

Final thought:
Despite my realist views on love, I am a deeply passionate person and I do believe in being in love. But I also believe in choosing to love someone, not just be "in love" with someone. It's that kind of love that holds you through bad times and helps you remember to put that person first. It's not a one time choice, it's a choice you make everyday...like when your hot secretary comes on to you or on the days when you let yourself wonder if there is something more. You won't always feel on cloud 9 so you have to build a reservoir to sustain you when those flighty love feelings wear off. There is something much deeper and much more beautiful beneath the surface and that's the kind of love that I want. And I believe I can find it, despite the fact that it baffles my mind how two people find each other and choose to love one another. Because I do believe it's a choice as I've stated 100x previous, so how do you find someone that will choose you back? I don't know...but for all of you out there who have found it, I commend you and hope that you don't waste any of your precious time and energy not recognizing what a beautiful phenomenon it is. I hope you cherish it and work for it and love every bitter and sweet moment of it.

I realized that this post is going to be really long. And since I have so many thoughts swirling, I will have to break this up into segments so I can fully say what I want to say. So much for cutting down on blogging.

Tune in for the next chapter: Are you in love with me, or the idea of me?

7 comments:

Dale said...

I've typed several different comments, but none of them seem right so I keep deleting them, so let's see if I can finally express my thoughts.

After reading this quickly, I'd say I feel the same way as you. I've been in a couple of relationships in which I convinced myself that everything was perfect.

I've learned that the term "love is blind" is pretty true because of our choices. Either myself or others choose to ignore "red flags" in a relationship because of the happiness realized while caring for someone and, conversely, being cared about by that same person. It's the idea of the relationship that brings the magic, not the relationship itself.

A funny memory from my mission: An old Maori man told me that I should marry the first girl I see after walking off the plane when I got home. I didn't and still don't believe in that philosophy, but what I learn from that is two people can make any relationship work.

Every relationship requires some level of work/effort from both parties to maintain it. Even those relationships involving people who are "soul mates."

Hope this makes sense. I'm late for meeting so I don't know if this is even applicable. If not, don't approve it :)

Sierra said...

This blog post is perfect.
I am obsessed with Fix You, despite what others exclaim. It makes me cry every time I hear it.
I needed to read this--especially at this exact moment. Thank you. You just gave me a "light bulb." It sucks that sometimes I still miss "him." But he didn't want me. And that's his loss.
This guy didn't want you--and that is most definitely his loss. You are so inspirational and talented, Catherine!

Mego said...

Gosh Cath....good timing. I actually had a to wait a couple days to read this post because I saw the title and knew I wasn't ready for it yet. But tonight, my roommate had a long talk with me about a similar issue I'm dealing with, and maybe not willing to let go of yet, and I totally feel you!!
I think a lot of the problem is when we feel validation from someone we let them fill the void that we should be filling ourselves....the right way. I'm struggling with letting myself know that I'm still an awesome person, even if THAT person doesn't love me back, because I know that Heavenly Father loves me, and I love myself, and my family and friends and roommates and even THAT person, love me. However - that doesn't mean we have to be together. And just because he didn't choose me back doesn't make me or him any less awesome, it just makes THIS not right at this moment. I guess it's just easier to pick up his phone calls when I'm feeling lonely than putting myself out there to open up the potential for new people to enter my life......

Sorry about the long comment, I actually wrote a blog about this a couple days ago, but have been too chicken to post it, thanks for helping me voice my feelings! (as incoherent as they probably are ;)

JackieE said...

This was great Catherine. I bet it felt good to write that. I think you are dead on. I remember back to the dating game and my time there and wondering if I would EVER get married, because that is the ultimate goal right? hahaha!

ANYWAY, I felt rejected a few times and wondered why they didn't choose me, but now looking back, I'm SO glad that those didn't work out because I now have something infinitely better! As sad as I was about those relationships not working, I am THAT much happier now that they didn't!

I don't really know how to explain it very well, but when you do choose the one and they choose you, all of the stuff that leads up to that point will make a lot more sense or at least you will be glad you were still available to find that person.

I totally feel you though and remember thinking much the same things before I chose Brian! Hang in there girl, it's going to be just perfect. Enjoy the ride in the mean time!

I love you TONS and miss you ridiculously much!

Esther and Brian VanGorder said...

Cath: You rock my world. I think you've got it all right. I know you do. Thanks for that article. I think I needed it.

Michael & Siri Alemany said...

Loved this blog post Catherine. And coming from someone who is married, I absolutely agree with you. Being "obsessed" and "in love" isn't the same as really truly loving someone. There will always be ups and downs in any relationship, and what I learned from my own dating life was that you find "the one" (if we can even use such a term) simply by seeing that he/she will stick by you in the down times. Thanks for the post, seriously loved it!

D.B. Woolston said...

There is so much in this post that I love, Catherine. I think that when single people are unhappy, it is often because of this misconception--that a relationship just ended, and he/she thought they were the one. Now, how can I possibly date anyone else?

As I guy, I see this issue from a slightly different perspective. As a guy generally determines who he dates (and when he breaks up [at least half the time]), he looks at the situation with a emotional heart, tempered by logic. For me, it is the exposure of that logic to the girl that gets me in trouble. It is hard for me to view relationships rationally and not let it seep into my expressed feelings, which usually aren't all that romantic.

That wasn't 100% on topic with your post, but I leave it here for what it is worth. Thank you. The end.