Where do we first learn about love? Is it our mother’s warm embrace, our father’s soothing words telling you to, “try again”, as you attempt to gain balance on your bicycle, is it your best friend faithfully saving you a seat on the bus each morning, or is it the look in your dog’s eye as he patiently awaits for you to grace him with table scraps. Lessons in love take place throughout various stages in our life, and moreover each and every lesson of said love will later dictate how we expect to be loved and the love we give in return.
While it’s easy to learn about love while basking in it, how do we learn about love in the absence of it, and more importantly how do we teach someone to love us?
My eyelids grew heavy as I continued to push the gas pedal and accelerate down the barely lit interstate. I teetered between 65 and 70 miles, hoping the slight increase in speed would get us there just a little bit faster. I kept glancing over at the digital clock on the dashboard, blankly gazing at the dim blue lights which created a slight glow that flickered off of my exposed brown skin. Every so often I would turn to my right just to watch his chest rise and fall, rise and fall. Oh how I wish I could be sleeping..
While the drive was just shy of three hours, part of me begged for it to be longer, while the other half just wanted to get off of the interstate and sleep. I kept repeating in my mind, he’s so lucky I love him..
Departing my apartment in Lincoln, Nebraska at 3:30 am to get to the Kansas City Airport was quite frankly the last thing I wanted to do on a cold December morning, but anything for him.
As we inched closer and closer to the airport, and eventually switched driving, I drifted into a deep sleep recalling the evening before we left; discussing holiday plans and how much we’d miss one another. In my mind, I wasn’t quite sure if I’d truly be able to survive a whole week without him (dramatic, I know)
“Babe”, he gently rocked my left leg, “we’re here”. I coyly grazed my fingers through my hair as my eyes adjusted to the vast amount of lighting at the airport. We continued to his terminal and I could feel my heart starting to drop. Ever since I was little, I hated “goodbyes”, but especially at airports.
The chill of the December breeze made the exchange of goodbyes outside of the car short. I watched him walk into the airport, and I slowly pulled away from terminal. The further I got the more the tears started to come.
I love him.
For years, I thought I had love all figured out. I thought I knew precisely what it was and how to it would be given to me. Yet, such isn’t the case at all and very well may never be.
Love caught me by surprise and in it’s unexpected nature, I wasn’t quite sure of how I wanted to be loved and moreover, how I could teach someone to love me. How could I make myself open, vulnerable, and trusting enough to be loved in the way that I wanted?
I told that brief story, because in that odd moment of emotions, it made sense to me. Love doesn’t always come in a fairy tale like form, sometimes it’s in that moment you only want them to be happy. And that’s how I knew. I’d drive hours, spend days away, and do anything and everything I could to ensure his happiness. And as of recently, that’s been my definition of love; to what limit are you willing to go to ensure their happiness, comfort, safety, peace, etc. While it sounds like you’re doing a whole lot of giving.. If the love is true, all of it will be returned to you, and then some.