Monday, May 22, 2017

Live for Love

I want to posit something to all the boys and girls, women and men out there. I want you to consider that perhaps existence has been presented to you in one particular way, and because of this, your subconscious and conscious life's goal has been to meet a manufactured set of criteria. But you already knew that. You just forgot. I forgot too.

I can't say for sure, but I can guess that I started to forget after I reached the age of being capable of baring a child. I was fifteen and playing the coveted role of Zaneeta Shinn in my school's production of the classic The Music Man. My dance partner and I, the featured "cute couple" in the show, spent night after night learning the most menial of steps, flirting but not flirting. 

He was popular, handsome, and ended up with his face on the hall wall for eternity after being named our equivalent to "Prom King," but since Prom was sin, we had to make it seem more prestigious. I knew where I stood and how he felt about me as soon as we took hands at our first dance rehearsal, and he told me my hands felt like grandma hands. 

We are animals after all. 

If I'd realized what was happening (had I been like five years younger) I'd have laughed it off as a "this guy," moment, but I was fifteen. I didn't want to have grandma hands because no one would love me. No one would love me if I had grandma hands! 

I felt that way too when my friends treated me like a freak for things like...eating tuna salad for lunch. Who will love me if I don't exclusively eat chicken fingers!?!?! When they laughed at me in fourth grade because I started getting boobs. WHO WILL LOVE ME IF I HAVE BOOBS?!?!?!?!

Shame. It's a shame. How terrified I was of not being loved, lovable. For what else was I supposed to live? But for love?

This is the message we get every day. That love is this thing to which we should aspire, that it is shiny, and plastic, and precious, and pretty. Just like America.

Except America isn't pretty. America is violence and horror, greed and rape. Her beauty is in her age, the monuments to her natural history. We the people package beauty and sell it like the ancient forests we decimate for parking lots without a second thought. 

So too is life. It isn't romance and happily ever after. It isn't good and bad. It's mostly ugly.

There can never be joy without pain. There can never be love without loss. There can never be life without death.

It isn't a game. And it isn't for sale. And you are unique out of every single person in the world. Shiny and pretty and perfect doesn't exist.

But you do. And imagine, just for a moment, that the love you seek is inside of you. All of it. The love you ache for at night. It's inside of you. And it is a well.

Live for that love.

"and you will have the suffrage of the world." Ralph Waldo Emerson.