look closely: past observations coming full circle

The other day I stumbled across something I’d written almost 3 years ago. Generally when I look back at old things that I have written I chuckle a bit and think, “What on earth were you thinking?!”

But this was different.
This I read and learned from.

It was a lesson I’d learned once, but had allowed myself to forget a bit. It was a lesson well worth re-visiting.
——–

Doubt though the stars are fire

Doubt that the sun doth move

Doubt truth to be a liar

But never doubt I love

-William Shakespeare’s Hamlet

Hamlet wrote these words to Ophelia and every time I hear them something stirs inside of me. I am, what I describe as, a romantic realist. Bit of an oxymoron that. I have scoffed at cheesy love stories and could never believe in something quite so superficial as “love at first sight,” but when I see a love that is true and passionate it moves me. For a time, I saw myself as a cynic with secret romantic tendencies, but then it occurred to me that I am a 25 year old woman who has had only one serious relationship. I have a few passionate affairs worth mentioning, but they were all too short lived to be described as more than this. My greatest romances were fallacies created from templates of the men I have read about. I romanticized them to be far more interesting (and far more interested in me) than they truly were. A part of me believed that this, in truth, stemmed not from an inability to hold a man’s attention, but from an insistence to never settle. The verdict is still out on whether or not I was right…and whether or not it matters. I do not want the love I see in movies in television. I want something real and honest. I want to feel valued, and if I find you to be lacking in this department I move on. Quite quickly. When you think about the abundance of romance in our modern world it is no wonder that so many men and women are skeptical. The human mind has written about love from the beginning. I believe we got this basis from God, and whether you believe in Him or not, you have to admit that the story of Jesus (the true story and not the one fabricated to fit a human ideal) is the epitome of love. To care so passionately for someone that you leap to your death that they might live. Romeo and Juliet (not truly the best example of love, but one of the most often referenced) could not stand to be apart and killed themselves to escape a world “without” their love, Darcy and Elizabeth were at odds only to realize their differences made them a perfect pair, Charming searched his entire kingdom to find the mysterious woman, with the odd sense in footwear, who bewitched his heart in one night. These are the stories we were raised on. This is the beautiful ideal of love that we were initially given. Do you ever just sit and wonder when that changed? When we thought it best to run off with the first man or woman who slightly swayed our hearts and then later ended up broken and bruised because of it? Why do we ever think that settling is alright? The one time in our lives when we are called to be totally selfish (and at the same time selfless) is when it comes to love because otherwise we are doing an injustice to ourselves and to our “lovers.” Love is never a game. It is one of the most beautiful gifts we have been given. I, for one, am determined to remember this.

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