You don’t know me… And I don’t know you… Not exactly.
But it’s what I do know about you that makes me wish these things.
I know if you just knew me, both of our lonely existences would be gone. I just have this feeling, this aching in my chest, that you could be the one for me.
I’ve been wrong before. God knows how incredibly wrong I’ve been.
I can’t help but think about all these stories I’ve heard. Not love at first sight… but this gentle urging, this small confidence, that this was it. This person is the one.
I let that keep hope alive.
Hope. That one day, the both of us will overcome the apparent social awkwardness of our personalities… and say hello to one another in a crowded room.
That would only be the beginning.
The next time, we might carry on a short dialogue at a mutual friend’s party.
And the next, sit down in a quiet place with a cup of coffee.
Just thinking of these small steps makes me smile with an inner joy I haven’t felt in so long a time.
Maybe after you know me, you’d admire those traits of mine that so many others find intimidating.
My intelligence and wit would be a comfort to a man as smart as yourself.
My odd sense of humor would make you laugh easily.
My honest opinions would intrigue you and challenge you to think differently.
And my gentle teasing would disarm you in a willing vulnerability.
Then I could find solace in knowing I’m not smarter than the person sitting across from me.
That your gentle voice could sing me to sleep over the phone, or in person when the time is right.
I could be excited to listen to your dreams, or just to listen to you ramble.
And feel comfortable enough to exist in silence, not feeling the necessity to fill the gaps in conversation.
All of this I can now only wish.
One day things will change. I know it’ll happen.
And then I will never have to wish or want for anything again.
I am inspired by the little things.
The way a child’s eyes light up as they catch the first glimpse of their parent after an absence, or how lonely a mere moment can be whether in solitude or in company.
I am inspired by music.
That in our voices alone lies the potential to create sound beyond any instrument man can fathom, or that we can perceive one combination of notes as sounding ‘unpleasant’ and another combination as sounding ‘pleasant’.
I am inspired by nature.
How a worm will relentlessly work it’s way through an apple, or how the leaves on a tree will hold on with all their might before plummeting to their death in a pile of others killed in action by something that can’t be seen.
I am inspired by irony.
How you only get stuck behind the person with 10,000 coupons to scan in the check-out line when you are in a gigantic hurry, or how happiness makes us cry just as much as sadness.
I am inspired by failure.
The reason I cry every time I watch the music video for Garth Brooks’ “Standing Outside the Fire”, or how I get so motivated to do something when someone tells me it’s not possible.
I am inspired by tragedy.
How the most honest and open-hearted feelings can be exposed in the wake of adversity, or to experience the restoration process after a prolonged downward spiral.
I am inspired by hate.
To learn the way the individual mind takes information and twists it into their own understanding, forever branding the truth with falsehood; or examining the fight against our human nature to immediately criticize those around us.
I am inspired by love.
Witnessing the difference in the way a person looks at someone they deeply love versus the way they look at everyone else, or seeing an old man still continue to open the car door for his wife.
What inspires you?
Valentines Day… Single’s Awareness Day… Whatever you want to call it. It’s coming up, in case you haven’t noticed.
Every year, no matter how hard I try, I get sucked into the greeting card section like a fat kid to the smell of brownies cooking in the oven. I can’t stay away. Why? First of all, I love greeting cards. Second, I love cheesiness. Third, I always imagine buying this card for my future someone or imagine it’s being said to me in order to make myself feel better.
It feels so good to read them and yet so depressing at the same time. The idea that the other people in the aisle are thinking the same thing I am about them… “I wonder who she has to love? Look at how happy she is.” makes me get a tad gushy and turn on the faucet of romanticism I keep carefully tucked away in my brain. Before I know it, it’s flooded every rational thought I’ve ever had and all I can feel is bitter and angry because it’s better than feeling isolated on such a day as this.
I stopped beating myself up about not having a valentine probably back in high school. That was when I made my first rebellious move on V-Day. I made a gigantic heart and colored it black, with scratched inky letters that spelled ‘ANTI’ (emo much?). But there’s still that little twinge of loneliness that tugs at your heartstrings when you see a couple holding hands, whispering sweet nothings. (What does that phrase even mean? If you’re saying something sweet, it can’t very well be nothing too can it?)
So what can one do?
If you read my blogs regularly, which I know you don’t, you’d know that this year I made a covenant to not ask for anything in the subject of intimate relationships (Christianly intimate for what it’s worth 😉 ). Let me tell you, I’ve never been so tested about the subject until I promised not to ask. So V-Day is an automatic no-go when it comes to swooning and drowning and all that nonsense.
I’ve never put too much emphasis on this day anyhow, considering how ridiculously commercialized it’s become. It’s still a nice thing though.
The truth is… This year I don’t feel depressed about it. I don’t feel like I have to make a big deal and go out of my way to be bitter or obnoxious to those who have someone. I don’t want people to tell me that it’ll be me next year.
Instead, I feel peace about it. I’m looking forward to the 99¢ box of chocolates (5 to be exact) my mom buys me every year. I’m even looking forward to seeing couples be happy in their coupledom. How grown-up of me, eh?
I think it’s because I’ve finally started to understand where I truly am when it comes to the subject of love. I know I’ve never felt it on this earth and wouldn’t know the extent until I’m there… but I do know the steadfast love that Christ bestows upon me. This past year or so has taught me so much about God’s love. You hear that everywhere, about how God is love and he will love you no matter what… I think we’ve heard it so much that we become desensitized to it. Have we forgotten what it’s like to truly be loved?
I haven’t. In fact, I feel it more now than ever. It’s his love that’s changed my attitude about V-Day and all it’s affiliates this year. I don’t know when his love will be extended through someone here on earth… If ever. It would be great to have that, but I know it’s not what’s most important in life.
So if you’re out there, single for another year like me, I encourage you to not wallow in self-pity and enjoy being single while you can. Don’t be bitter towards a love you don’t fully understand, instead make it a point to discover what love really is. Beyond a day out of the year that makes you feel like crap, beyond a friend who makes it a point to exclaim his/her excitement for their established coupledom. Beyond that empty tug at your heartstrings.
Look beyond and soon enough you’ll find the love you’ve always wanted.
You were sitting next to me at our wedding reception.
The band was playing, people tapped their feet and joyfully conversed.
You leaned towards me and smiled.
“I feel like dancing.” I whispered.
“Me too.” a smirk in return. “You ready?”
Seriously? my expression asked.
Of course. Your eyes sparkled in confirmation.
Rising to your feet, you offered me a strong hand.
“We aren’t allowed, are we?” I said nervously.
“We didn’t plan it. We can’t control what we haven’t planned.” you teased, raising an eyebrow.
Strong hands pulled me into awaiting arms.
You led me calmly to the center of the room.
Suddenly you broke out into a tap dance, a silly grin crawling across your face.
I followed with meringue, swinging hips and puckering lips.
The Twist. The Sprinkler. The Copy Machine.
Every white man’s dance was covered.
People started watching and laughing. Shock grew into hilarity.
The wedding party joined in.
The crowd joined in.
Dancing. Some call it foolishness.
Life. Some take it too seriously.
How can there be life without dancing?
How can there be seriousness without foolishness?
We didn’t plan it.
We can’t control what we haven’t planned.
The thunderous whistle bellows, Splintering disregard into piercing awareness.
Bitter wind licks at my brow, Washing strands of hair across my face in quiet ripples.
You turn to me and smile.
Not of happiness or contentment. Not of a teasing manner.
A melancholy smile. A smile of remembrance.
Your smile fades slowly as you grasp my hands between yours.
Your eyes say it all. You don’t have to say it.
You glance down at our clenched hands and whisper softly,
“This isn’t goodbye. This isn’t goodbye.”
Distractions bustle about us. In the steam, the cars, the people.
The quickened rhythm of haste matches the pounding of our hearts.
And yet, Only you are before me. Your presence an extension of mine.
Your eyes are liquid with dithering resolve.
Returning your gaze sends pangs of yearning to my very core.
Your eyes say it all. You don’t have to say it.
The train utters a final, foreboding wail, Tearing asunder our being.
Your embrace lingers long after you relinquish apprehension, vanishing into haze.
“This isn’t goodbye. This isn’t goodbye.”
I often recall my days of learning
Only one thing was on my mind.
I’d somehow ignored it,
How His insight I had undermined.
It all started with a thought.
A thought that seemed harmless, unassuming.
Nothing was the matter here,
Until the thought kept on looming.
Is it true that in the sight of God
I could ever get over you?
That I would go on with my life
That you would leave from my view?
I never thought it possible,
It was Him I would second guess.
I had you in my sights,
I would never digress.
And then the day came for you to leave.
But not physically, you see.
The day came when I would move on,
Thoughts of you would no longer proceed.
Looking back at the beginning,
At my impressions on the matter,
It seemed I would go insane.
It seemed my life would shatter.
But my life continued living,
My heart hadn’t stopped beating.
My eyes only filled with tears,
Peace overflowed my being.
He was there when I was stubborn,
Lacking any sense of right or wrong.
He sat and waited for the day
That I would realize it was to Him I belonged.
So I stepped back into the promise,
His promise of life and love.
From here on out, I promised,
No one would ever be above.
When I was feeling lonely,
He was singing me to sleep.
When I was found discouraged,
It was His love that lifted me.
The days came and went,
His presence never left me
And deep within my heart,
I could feel His presence direct me.
My promise hadn’t been broken,
And never had I thought of changing.
Until the day I spoke to you
Only it was His reflection I was engaging.
I felt that old familiar twinge,
Of feelings that I’d tried hard to ignore.
Could it be that I had found yet another
that above Him I might explore?
I searched frantically within myself,
I wouldn’t ignore His guidance again.
But He reassured me silently,
You were of no threat to me and Him.
With you I can feel Him,
And with Him I can consider that you,
Never having known of my thoughts,
Had a special direction from Him too.
What once was separate,
Is now overcome.
Never has a promise been broken
Between the three who became one.
I received one of the best compliments this weekend at the TN District Ladies Conference in Pigeon Forge, TN. (more blogging about it sometime this week)
My friends mother is a pastor’s wife about an hour away from where I live and she saw me praise singing on stage throughout the conference. My friend told me later that her mom said to her one day, “She is so beautiful… Does she know how beautiful she is?”
I’ve had compliments in this fashion before, and my response to this particular dialogue was, “For the most part.” followed by a quick chuckle. But I’ve been continuing to think about it since I heard it.
First off, Do I really know how beautiful I am? The quick answer is no.
Compared to how I used to perceive myself, I’d say I know most of my own beauty, but in retrospect I see that I don’t always feel that others see the beauty inside of me and I often don’t expect them to. I guess I’ve settled for accepting the cruelty of the world and not trying to change how they think, just what I think.
Should I even attempt such a feat? Compliments like this one make me want to at least try.
It hit me just how meaningful this compliment was as I was driving down the road today… With the sudden urge to sing an old nineties pop song. “She’s So High” was a huge hit in my preteen years… and I sang it today with a special fervency to the tag, (I switched it to a girl’s perspective however) and also feeling the weight of the words as realism in my own life.
“She stops to speak to me, I freeze immediately… ‘Cause what she says sounds so unreal. ‘Cause somehow I can’t believe that anything should happen. I know where I belong and nothing’s gonna happen…”
Then I stopped and asked myself: Why should I feel that way? Shouldn’t one feel that they deserve the object of their affection? It was then that I came upon a nice little thought. Each party should feel this way. That’s not saying that neither should have the luxury of confidence in their own being, but more in saying that in relationships it’s important to feel that state of awe for the person.
So I dwelled quite hesitantly in the thought of someone singing those same words about me in their head. I felt flattered and slightly unworthy…and in eventually I felt a complete awe in return for the person who would ever feel that way about me.
In short… That compliment has brought me into a new awakening of how beautiful I really am and what it means to fully comprehend one’s beauty.
And just as a side note: The story I’m writing (“Beauty”) deals with the very same thing. I didn’t quite realize it until a few minutes ago that what I’ve been getting across to the main character in my story is exactly the thoughts I deal with within myself… and somehow subconsciously I’ve written them into words for myself. And on top of that the main character and her eventual love interest have the same complex for each other as in the lyrics of “She’s So High”… Wooo. That’s a mind-blower I’m going to have to think more on. I’ll get back to you on that one. =)