I am a middle school English teacher by day and writer by night. A Canadian citizen who somehow ended up settling in El Paso, Texas, trading snow storms for sand storms. It is a physical desert as well as a dating desert. Although I do like it here, my reach for the stars fantasy is to one day live somewhere that I can hear the lapping of waves, and feel the sand slipping through my toes. Read More
It hit me today when I was driving home from work. I want to be in love.
What an unexpected revelation. Today was just like any other school day for me. A Monday. Up at 6:10am (too early for me), outside on duty to make sure the kids survive to see another day of classes, and a full day of teaching and grading. Then suddenly the thought settled on me, like sunlight warming my skin. I want to be in love.
How odd that weeks after the Valentine’s Day craze, when I could have cared less about being in love, that suddenly there is something in me….that is ready. I had not seen any hand holding couples, or watched previews from movies like “The Vow”. Without warning, this feeling snuck up and tapped me on the shoulder. Remember when you felt me? I’m that ping of excitement when you hear his voice. That connection when you talk to him on the phone for hours, and never run out of things to say. I want to be in love.
Yes, I have gone out on several dates since my break up this last fall. Several of those men were interested in spending more time with me. Yet, I just wasn’t feeling that desire. You know, to really put myself out there. To make that concentrated and deliberate effort to try to get to know someone. My attempts were halfhearted at best. I was going through the motions. Thoughts of sunset walks were replaced with preparations for radio interviews. Notions of romantic dinners were overthrown by the desire to work on my next novel.
So why now?
Recently I have been reminiscing about the time when I was so in love with one man that I felt as if I couldn’t live without him. When the moment came where I was forced to cut off all contact, (long, complicated story) I was skeptical that the type of connection I felt with him could even be replaced.
Part of me still wants to look him up, and see where he is now. The other part, the part holding onto my dignity for dear life, recognizes that I am not that hard to find, if he missed me.
So, I think I want to be in love. Don’t misunderstand me. I am not just looking for just any relationship, but that one that fits me like my go to, favorite pair of jeans.
They say that love usually sneaks up on you when you least expect it. So I guess this is where I turn away, and pretend I don’t see it coming.
It is that time of year again. The stores are pimping out their chocolate hearts, the florists are promising that the right bouquet will keep you out of the doghouse, and the ultimate romantic comedy, “The Vow” hit the theaters the weekend before the “big day”. This movie is even more romantic, if possible, than PS. I Love You, because no one dies. (I hope. I haven’t seen it yet!)
Here I am on the eve of the biggest day of the year that ‘celebrates love’, and I am single. I expected to feel differently. Some years I have had boyfriends who lavished me with thoughtful gifts and took me out on meaningful dates. Some years I struggled through Valentine’s wondering if I was as into the relationship as the man was. Some years I had just started to see someone new, and the pressure of the holiday made the blossoming relationship feel awkward. (Do you get them something? Is it too much? Not enough?) And this year, like some years, I am single. Completely and totally without a Valentine. I expected to feel differently.
In no way do I feel like I need to go and buy myself a box of chocolates in order to console myself about my “condition”. Nor do I feel the urge to hunker down under my favorite blanket and rent romantic comedies, while lamenting over my single status. The only thing I am currently lamenting is the toothache I have had for 3 days, but that is emotionally pain free.
Is it weird that I am breathing a sigh of relief that I did not have to fight the crowds at the malls, Walgreens Drug Store, or the ultimate Valentine’s Day hub for ‘reasonably priced gifts’, Walmart? In fact, I used the money I would have spent on a gift for a boyfriend to take one of my dear friends to get a manicure and pedicure with me this last weekend!
There are a few men that I am currently speaking to online that seemed to want to secure me as a Valentine this year. I didn’t take any up on their offers; instead offering to meet later on this week, after Valentine’s Day is a memory, and all the chocolates and goodies are 50 percent off on clearance. Working at a middle school I have witnessed first-hand, that crazy last ditch effort to have a Valentine. Any Valentine. Doesn’t that prove you are desirable? Loveable? Worthy?
I expected to feel some kind of a longing for love, but instead I feel peace and contentment. I feel loved and worthy already…by my family, friends, and my God. Deep down there is that knowledge that when the right person comes along, I can celebrate that love, no matter what day of the year it is. For all of you that are single too, that is my wish for you this Valentine’s Day. For all my attached and married friends- I hope that your time of celebrating is special.
Much love to you all!
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