Friendship, love, always and forever, and never

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Friendship and love……there are acquaintances, the people who fill your life in numbers who by the nature of human connectivity you care about, but who haven’t really touched your life. Then there are friends, those you love and care about, whose lives are intertwined with your own, maybe at work, maybe after work. Then your best friends, your sisters and brothers by other mothers, the ones you cannot imagine your life without. Of all people I know there isn’t one person for everyone….tons of people come in and out of our lives on a romantic level. I just think some people are more in search of finding the one to stick with, the one who won’t give up on them, the one who will be there in good times and bad. I prefer to rely on friends and family for constancy, and not wrap my life around romance as I have in the past. It doesn’t mean I won’t eventually love someone again, but I’m incredibly happy just sharing my passion and joie de vie without any plan of permanent attachment, no confinement, no boundaries to say what I can and cannot do with my life.

My spirit is finally free, I’m finally happy and feeling fulfilled as a solo human, albeit sharing my time with fun and interesting people. I cannot imagine saying “love me forever?” to anyone ever again, like I did when I was so desperately needy, so in need of external validation. I can only imagine if someone asked me “Love me forever?” I would have to reply something like…”No one can promise that. I can only promise to love you here and now. Tomorrow is beyond our locus of control.”

I’m a PITA, I know. There’s probably nothing worse than wanting someone who wants to be wanted and wants back but won’t take it any further. Someone who gives so much except her heart and soul. Pieces of my heart and soul are engaged in my romantic friendships, but I keep most of my love and soul intact for myself. I think where I am today is so much healthier than where I was, so I have no desire to change. I’m in a terribly unselfish place where I’m giving all of myself to my students and my kids and I don’t want to have to give myself elsewhere; not because I don’t have the capacity, but because I need to be selfish somewhere and create my own emotional balance.

The world has unpleasant things to say about people like me. Society wants to judge me for my refusal to choose between long-term relationship and celibacy. I’m safe. I’m careful. I’m loving and I’m generous. But I’m keeping my heart and soul to myself and I’m happy where I am…..still learning about myself, my needs, and adjusting to my new career and the emotional toll it takes on me. My time is devoted to the kids I gave birth to and the other ten close to my heart. Training is still my next priority after those two things, and leaves little left for anyone or anything else.

So what is the never? There is no never. I cannot put a boundary on any of this anymore than I want to be caged, confined or bound myself. Love could come along and slap me silly and make me reconsider everything I just wrote, make me laugh out loud at my silly attempts at protecting myself from real deep feelings. But I can say today, as I sit home with strep and my wonderful children, one of whom is also sick, that this is all I can handle and all I am looking for. The eternal romantic always in search of the one is in search no more. I have thirteen people who need my love – me, A, M and my 10 classroom children. And they love me back….just as I am today.

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