#NOLA Is Our Heart

valdayHappy Valentine’s Day!

requiem for love

Love is so fleeting and fickle and must be nurtured. It is like the flower: without sunlight and warmth and water and fertile soil it will wither and die. And that is what happened to mine.

Blame it on my ambition, my drive to get to a place where the last 20 years of my career will be smooth. But at what cost? What if I don’t live past 50, or 60, then what? Why is it I am unable to roll with fate, to trust that things will simply fall into place? No, that is not how I was raised – study hard so you will be a success. Sacrifice will lead to riches and not necessarily of the monetary kind. Apply yourself because you are smart and you always want something to fall back on. I guess those that were guiding me never thought that I would amount to becoming a “kept” woman: one that would marry a husband that had a great career, have children, live in the house with the white picket fence, and on and on. But isn’t that just a fantasy anyway?

The quest for self-education took me away from love. This quest, coupled with working full time, left me nothing else in the tank to nurture love. School was stressful, shortening an already miniscule fuse in my psyche which before labeled me feisty, but now just labels me on the edge. I am patient, I can see the eventual payoff: patience is a virtue that one cultivates with time. I didn’t have the patience to do this at an earlier point in my life, so it is happening now. And once I commit, I follow through, so this is my path, my shackles for a little while longer. I cannot, nor should not have expected anyone to go down this path with me, it is a grueling one to navigate.

So in the days that compressed together and are now a blurry memory, that love set wing. Another came along, another who gave water, gave light, and gave warmth to my love and the wings set flight. I was blind, content within the false sense of commitment of love that in reality slipped through my fingers. And in the space of a few weeks it was gone. I guess you didn’t have it in you – it is way too difficult to put in the work needed to salvage what we had instead of fleeing to the fresh, new, exciting and unknown. I was in denial, anxious with the mundane tasks of the path I chose, and now there is a vast emptiness which no amount of tasks I take on can fill. There is no one there to share, no one there to hold my hand and say its going to be OK, no one to put their arm around me and fill me with the pleasure that only the touch of a loved one can bestow.

A tequila fueled conversation with a dear friend has given me new insight. In vino veritas was the beacon towards my enlightenment. I had been so hurt, so betrayed, so angry, my heart broken and could not see clearly until our discourse. And that is what good friends are for, to shine the light on our faults, on our hurt and help us find another way to move forward. After our conversation, I came to the realization that I have loved and lost, but I have known love. And in the comfort of that knowledge, I am secure, because I know there are many who never know true love. This will be what gets me through this day.

So on Valentine’s, bring close to you the one that you love, nurture that love by feeding it and caressing it and placing it in the sunlight like the flower, making sure the vulnerable petals of love feels safe and secure. Because it may not be there tomorrow.