Sunday, May 17, 2015

What love looks like

I've been hesitant to write much about my relationship publicly God knows I write about it everywhere else, extensively. If you're my friend, or my hairdresser, or some random person who approaches me and asks what's new in my life, chances are you've heard about it. I've never been one of those people who is good at keeping secrets, or loving people quietly. I'm a writer, which means its kind of my job to take every feeling and analyze it. So why haven't I written much about my current relationship? Maybe because a part of me still fears what people will say. By not writing publicly about it, it still feels small and private, like I can protect it. Like anything I write that's super personal, it's scary to let it out and let other people think what they will about it. But I'm also trying this new thing where I stop living out of fear and start living from a place of love, and truth. So, that being said, I wrote a little something on love...

Love looks different now then it did a few months ago.
It looks different then it did 4 weeks ago and it looks very different then it did in January and in just a few short weeks it will look different again.
Did I mention I'm not a girl who likes change? Did I mention that every time love changes ever so slightly I slip into this place of freaking out and thinking everything is ending?
I know a lot of people who could probably write this post better than I could, people who have been in relationships longer than I have, people who understand how love changes better than I do.
But I'm not called to write about other people's stories. The only story about change and love and God I know how to write is my own. And it is my own story that I am deeply, profoundly grateful for.
For a while love looked like sitting on the couches. After meals, before his PWE or after mine, in the stolen moment we carved out in the evenings.
Love looked like card games (or more accurately, one card game played numerous times) and country music
Love looked like long drives down back roads with Starbucks in one hand and his hand in the other.
Love was awkward, learning new things, feeling so happy I couldn't contain it and ended up with a pile of girls huddled together in the dorm bathroom late at night wanting to hear how it all went.
And then he left, and love looked different. And my inability to lean into change left me wondering if there was any way I could do this.
Because they say long distance is hard, but I thought they meant for other people. I thought a few months apart couldn't be that bad. I clearly underestimated how all this change pushed at me within the span of a few days would cause me to spend hours curled up in the fetal position feeling rather hopeless and wishing the summer would just end already so I could return to being surrounded by spirituality, my friends and my 'easier' relationship. I quickly learned that, among other things, long distance is hard.
Love began to look like text messages with spelling mistakes and phone calls that lasted for hours every Tuesday night.
Love was the hours I stayed up praying when he was wrestling with the tough questions, and the times he texted me continuously when I was having a rough moment and crying in a closet somewhere.
Love became "I can do this without you but I'm realizing I don't want to."
Love looks different now than it did during the long college days. And in a few weeks, when he comes back, it will look different again. And once school starts again in September we will enter yet another season where love looks a little different.
And there are moments when all this change is enough to make me curl up in a ball convinced there is absolutely no way I can do this. Someone picked the wrong girl. I never signed up for this hard.
But it's the this hard that is changing the way I look at love. The this hard is making me grateful for the lingering days of less hard we had. It's making me look forward to the future so much more. And the this hard, it is totally and completely worth it.
Because love looks different now, but that doesn't mean it's not there. At least that's what I'm learning.
Learning to love is a crazy journey, one I'm honored to be on. And maybe its just me but I want to be learning to love for a really long time.

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