El Romance

love
Delaying Goodbyes: At the airport with a former lover waiting for a flight from Rochester, NY to San Diego, CA (Photography credit: KWB, 2015).
I’ve spent a good portion of my life navigating the philosophical paradox of fate and free will. How much control do we have? Is there such a thing as fate? I was raised in an extremely religious environment, yet even in my early years I always understood religious teachings as stories that were representative of the human experience – nothing more. That’s not to say that I don’t have spiritual beliefs, I do, they just don’t necessarily resemble the pre-packaged systems that we’re either born into, read about, or study. There is not a day that passes by in which I don’t revel in my insignificance. Think about this: You’re a breathing being on a planet that is part of one of millions of galaxies in an ever-expanding universe. If that’s not magical, if that’s not miraculous, if  that’s not divine, if that’s not mind-blowing, if that doesn’t make you feel small, I don’t know what is – I don’t know what will. Now I won’t delve into musings about meaning, purpose, creativity, and power. To do so would be misleading given the title of this post.  Let’s get to it; I’m here to talk about romantic love.

 Twenty-six. Semi-nomadic. At a cross-roads. 

What is love?  I once had a professor who specialized in the study of mystical traditions around the world. Throughout the course of the semester, he’d remind us, “It’s easier to attempt to define mysticism than it is to attempt to define love.” In recent years, a combination of romantic relationships and heartbreak has led me to explore love in an expansive manner, outside of the norm in an attempt to define romance for myself – I think we all have to define it for ourselves. What is romance? The thought of finding a forever someone, getting married, purchasing property together, having children, etc., etc. has never held much appeal to me. I’ve always been more concerned with my independence, with physical beauty, with travel, with excellent performance in all I partake in, with having strong friendships – Romance has never taken precedence.

Him: “So, I’ll be in Maryland for at least the next year and a half.”

Me: “Looks like I’ll be moving to Maryland.

Conversations with a former lover

1
Baltimore, Maryland
I’ve been in love – head over heals, I’ll follow you around the world, you are everything I’ve always desired, this is meant-to-be in love. Twice. Yet both times, once the relationship settled into a stage of familiarity, I became restless and wondered if there was “more”. Was that all love was supposed to be? Let me clarify – they were both great individuals, it had nothing to do with their lack, but rather with my own internal demons and shortcomings. My life is driven by passion and intensity. I seek for all aspects of my life to feel like a grand adventure. Is it possible to sustain passionate love in the long-term {See Mating in Captivity by Esther Perel}?

As I move towards a fully nomadic lifestyle, I’m trying to find as much clarity as possible in all aspects of my life.  Do I want a partner in crime? Do I want an open relationship? Do I want to commit to someone who is more “settled” while I travel often? Do I want to be involved in a long-term, long-distance relationship? As I continue to define what it is that I desire, I’ll remain open. In the words of Mary Oliver, “Keep some room in  your heart for the unimaginable.” 


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