“What’s the point?”
…I hear myself say in response to a friend who calls me on it. I have known this friend for only three weeks, but she seems to understand my defenses, and challenges my words.
The question she asked me was, “why don’t you pursue it?”
My automatic response was, “What’s the point?” And in that moment, I actually believed there was none.
All experiences, whether perceived good or bad, painful or joyful create the mosaic of who we are. I’ve written about friendships on the road, all which ultimately lead to goodbyes. Just a part of all of it and the general culture of a traveler.
Generally we feel purpose in our travels, connecting with the amazing people who’s paths cross our own, each experience leading to learning, growing, creating and loving. As humans, we thrive on these connections, and they make what we do, make sense. And for the most part, Miro and I have shared experiences, which is pretty amazing.
What about love?
I notice that life on the road has some distinct differences than those living a location-stationary lives. But first, yes, I am a single mom, in my 40’s. I suppose that has a set of ‘ideas’ surrounding that life situation by itself. But I want to side step my ‘single-ness’ and my over ’40ness’ and for a moment and talk about life as a nomad, my life as a traveler within the context of love.
Life as a traveler
Our circle of friends are not constant, and our connections with friends and family whom have been in our lives for a number of years are reduced to digital appointments, via email or skype. It’s very different than connecting with my friends the way I used to, playfully challenging each other as we share what’s happening in our lives, as we pour another glass of wine. Those are some of the moments I miss, that can’t be duplicated over skype or emails. However, in our travels, I can honestly say, I’ve had similar experiences with strangers, or friends we’ve known only a short time, and I do absolutely cherish the moments.
Let’s get back to the original question, what about love?
I love my son.
Of course, I love my son to pieces.
I love humanity.
I love life.
I love almost every experience we have and am so grateful for whatever life offers us.
But, what about that other kind of love?
Love, defined by The Merriam-Webster dictionary online: (1): strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties (2): attraction based on sexual desire, affection and tenderness felt by lovers (3): affection based on admiration, benevolence or common interests..
Not sure that’s how I would have described the feeling of love, but we all know what it is, when we are in it. But I do notice, there is nothing in the definition about a proper time frame. There is nothing in the definition about how you find love. And there is nothing in the definition about what it means to each one of us.
Yes, no doubt, I am human. My last long term relationship ended in 2006. Pathetic, right? That’s not implying I haven’t dated a few men along the way, even a couple for several months, but the last significant relationship was over five years ago!
I have to say, living a stationary life, a more conventional life, as a single woman, it is definitely a bit easier to date. It’s a bit easier to establish a relationship with a permanent address. It’s a bit easier to nurture, gage and grow a new relationship. It’s a bit easier to take my time. It’s a bit easier to arrange a babysitter and go out on a ‘date’. And in general, it’s a bit easier because there’s the belief that if this one doesn’t work, some one else may come along and there’s all the time in the world to see how the next one might go.
But not when you are traveling.
Not when you are living on the road.
I am not talking about sex here.
I am talking about love.
We tend to think of love being expressed as relationships, so I wonder why in all of my experiences, relationships are temporary.
Relationships ARE temporary for the most part, even the long term ones eventually come to an end. Even the ones that are long – long – long term, even the ones that end with death, do, indeed come to an end, therefore, they are temporary.
However, what I described above about being single and living a traditional-stationary-life, also offers a state of temporary love expressed through relationships that from the most part, do come to an end. Only it feels different because in the traditional-stationary-life, one doesn’t have the perception of time constraints causing it not to feel temporary from the start. Interesting.
But does love have to be long term or permanent in order for it to be real?
Where did I get the idea that love needed to promise me a future?
And where the hell did I get the idea that love wasn’t worth pursuing unless it was ‘long-term’?
As I look at these questions, I ask myself, doesn’t this challenge everything I’ve been practicing in regards to living in the ‘moment’?
So I get back to the original question ‘what about love?’
Yes, I value love.
Yes, I desire love in my life. Love coming in and love going out. I love, I send out love, I am compassionate and I send out compassion to all. Especially in wake of the recent earth changes, I have lots of love & support going out to my global brothers and sisters. But love coming in? It’s there, I know it, but not that kind of romantic love we are really talking about here, anyway.
Is this love?
But what happens when I meet a man, who in a matter of one glance, I wonder if he’s the one? My face becomes flush and I see in his eyes all possibilities even before I know his name. I am drawn to this man, and cannot deny how I feel when he walks into the room. I cannot deny the feelings I have when he looks at me, when he speaks to me and when we share time together chatting about our travels, sharing snippets of our lives.
And I smile and it feels good.
My friend asks me, “why don’t you pursue it?”
And I reply with a teen-age-worthy smile that clearly didn’t match the rational behind my words,
“what’s the point?”
And then, he was gone.
The point was, it became a missed opportunity. I choose that. That was my auto-response mechanism at work, the very same one, I’m giving attention to now as I write this post.
This was a missed opportunity, that somehow my thoughts got the better of me. My rational mind that believed that love, or the possibility of love was measured or weighed by it’s potential longevity and since I could not foresee any lasting possibility, it was an opportunity missed.
I believe love is the essence of who we are. Sometimes in this crazy world, we meet someone else who reflects back perfectly who we are as an expression of that love.