Be careful what you wish because sometimes you get it. While shagging recently, a guy asked me to be his girlfriend. No matter that I had met him two hours earlier. It was not the moment to explain to him that I wanted a lover for life and not a boyfriend. But it’s heartening to know that the universe is listening to me.
Another desire I’ve had is to have an eventful life or ”une vie mouvementée”. I’m pretty sure that Victor Hugo used this phrase in one of my favorite books “Le Dernier Jour d’un condamné “ which recounts the last days of a man condemned to be guillotined. There I go again not thinking!
Nonetheless, it is true that I’ve always had the knack of choosing the difficult path over the easy one. The road less travelled has always appealed to me. Upstate boys held no candle to exotic international guy who I married. My daughters attended the Lycée Français de New York to be sure they became bilingual in French. I always seem to be pushing myself towards another goal – a new career path, perfecting my Italian, mastering that yoga posture or dance move in hip hop, ballet or Horton. Nowhere is this spirit more evident than in my views on love.
During my divorce, a time when I felt like I was losing everything – my name, my financial security, my home, my very concept of family – a dear friend offered the advice to worry less about what I was getting and more on what I was giving. How providential that I listened! The crux of this theory is to focus on what you have control over. We can control what and to whom we give but not what we get in return. Sounds simple right?
Somehow since that conversation, I have managed to adopt a very broad view of love. I love many things – people, language, movement, food, travel, books to name a few. I give myself entirely – unconditionally – to these pursuits without the expectation of a return. As a result, I always feel like I have love in my life because I do. I’ve put it there and no one can take it away. I can always dance, speak French/Italian, read – pursue what I love. No one or nothing, not even an eventual lack of money, can take those things away from me if I am resourceful.
The same principle can apply to people. We always have the option to give love to someone. And why should it hurt so much if it is not returned as haven’t we already gotten something in return? Don’t we feel alive and vibrant with our offering through both the agony and the ecstasy of love? The concept of unrequited love is romantic for a good reason as it provides inspiration. Great works of art have been created from the lack and loss of love whose source is our intense feeling.
My fervent hope is to love many people in many different ways as this represents for me the ultimate vie mouvementée. Rather than complain how negatively eventful my life is at the moment, I can make it eventful with love. In my analysis taking ownership of how you feel about having love in your life is immensely empowering. Expressing the confidence to others of your ability to love freely might be the very thing that makes it possible to receive love in return. You might never know unless you try.