This morning I woke up thinking about falling in love. I'm not sure if it was the end notes of a dream or the cozy feeling of coming off three nights spent alone with Beloved and no little angel, but I woke up with that feeling in my throat of the first time someone says, "I think I love you."
A few minutes ago, I read Schmutzie's post on happiness, and I thought about waking up to thinking about love. My husband and I ran into a college kid on our recent trip, and the kid asked if we were married. "Almost twelve years," I said. And this kid, who up to this point had been bragging about getting 98 percent in a class without ever having cracked the book's spine and getting laid the night before glanced over with utter sincerity and said, "That's cool. That really makes me happy, that you guys have been together so long."
Well, son, I'm glad I restored your faith in humanity. Because let me tell you, being in love -- long-term love -- is awesome. It usually feels a little different than the falling-in-love, though, and that's a tough one to swallow. Falling in love lasts, what, a few months at best? Being in love -- now that's a different story. That can last forever.
There are ways to tap into that first-few-months feeling, though. I spent years thinking about that feeling while I was single and realized part of falling in love is getting to know a new person, but if I'm honest with myself, part of falling in love is finding a new audience for your tired old stories, a new person to feel new around. Part of falling in love is feeling interesting again.
Part of falling in love is falling in love with yourself.
Maybe that's part of why artists and performers and writers are so crazy about our work. Creating something new is like getting to tell your stories again, maybe even stories you just learned yesterday, stories you didn't even know you knew. Or maybe they are old stories but nobody yet has received them quite the way you were hoping for.
Falling in love, I think, has little to do with falling in love in the conventional sense.
Falling in love, I think, is being able to tap into the part of you that finds yourself still interesting after all these years.
Turn it up. Relax into it. Happy Thanksgiving.