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Friday, November 22, 2013

The Checklist

Recently I received another well-intentioned friend sharing his opinion on the amount of sacrifice this journey to be with who I love has cost. I have heard it from many friends, well-intentioned or not. While I would not allow it to alter the course of following my heart, I was hurt and a little angry. I took a few minutes silently by this friend offering his opinion and jotted out a note on my phone. It appears below (with minor changes for clarification, grammatics, and spelling, though it still may not be perfect) Years ago you may have asked me what I wanted in a significant other and I may have given you a list. My list today is far simpler than it was before. I hope I have learned far more about valuing love as love and not as a checklist. The text from that day follows:
"I never asked for a knight in shining armor, never to marry rich, never for a model. All I asked was for a chance at love. Not "like," not content, not worthwhile, but love. 
 Love isn't about a fancy wedding or an amazing honeymoon. It isn't just about flowers or notes, or kisses at the end of the night.
It's also about shoulders, and tissues; all life throws at you. It is about risks.....and rewards. And sometimes, to others, the rewards may not look worth the risk.
On my journey to be with the man I love I have been ever so surprised at how cynical we are. Sure, everyone loves a fairytale ending but only in the movies. In real life you pick up the slipper and throw it in the trash or mock the girl for not paying attention, you look at the dragon guarding the castle and think, nah, not for this girl. If that damn girl can't bother waking up to praise me while I slay the dragon, its not worth it. What if this spell doesn't make her perfect? What if she needs to take long naps daily? Nope, not for me. Too much time, too much effort.
Nah, in real life we like watching movies about struggles, we devour books about hopeless love in vampire fantasies. But, should our friends or loved ones find someone imperfect or a situation requiring sacrifice, we pounce. We call it stupid, or blinded, or impossible. Maybe its deep seeded jealousy, or pain, or laziness. Who knows? But we love to see love fail in real life. We love to say I told you so. We love to not believe in love that isn't simple or easy. I used to be that cynic. Today I choose love. I love to believe in love. I love the look, the laughter, and the struggle of love.
I am not the man I was 18 months ago. I've learned that love should be celebrated and encouraged. I've learned that love is already hard enough between two people. It doesn't need more obstacles. It isn't a diamond in the rough needing pressure to make it look more beautiful.
I've learned that shiny armor is merely sign that they aren't ready to go to battle. They aren't ready to fight for love. Keep your shining armor away, I'll take the man battle-worn. I'll take the man beaten and bruised and willing for more. I'll take the man imperfect who understands the beauty in that."

1 comment:

Trev said...

You wrote that on your phone? Dang.

I really like it. It's clever and quite profound. Very true, I think. We are indeed cynical, and even those of us (er--me) who even have yet to take open themselves up to love still soak up that cultural cynicism.