Day 19: Life is Not a Movie
Today feels like a good day to pick up my 30-Day Blogging Challenge where I last left it. I promise I’m going to finish this thing one of these days, you guys!!!
Okay, so here is today’s question…
What is something about you that people would be surprised to learn?
I think something about me that people would be surprised to learn is that I don’t think I was ever in love with Mr. E.
For those of you who have no clue who Mr. E is…WHAT?!? I’m clutching my proverbial pearls in shock. And I urge you to get caught up on my blog AND perhaps even snag yourself a copy of my latest book I’ve Never Been to Vegas but My Luggage Has, which documents our long-suffering, on again-off again relationship (or lack thereof) in detail.
For the rest of you guys, who have been following my blog/books for any amount of time…you’re probably incredibly surprised to learn that I didn’t, in fact, love the guy I’ve proclaimed to love many times across many forums for many years. You probably think I’m full of it or in denial or off my rocker all together. But allow me to explain.
My eight year entanglement with Mr. E finally came to an end back in September…a story I have alluded to in my blog but haven’t gone into detail about as of yet. I’m still debating whether I want to go into detail about it here on the blog or just wait for my next book. It was a very messy, complicated ending…one that stretched across several months. And it wasn’t until I was sitting face to face with him on that final day, looking him in the eye, that it dawned on me that I didn’t feel the sadness one should feel about parting ways with someone they were deeply in love with. And believe me, I thought for a LONG time that I was deeply in love with him, that he was The One, that I would never love anyone the way that I loved him.
But here’s the thing.
It’s impossible to fall in love with a brick wall. It’s impossible to fall in love with someone with the depth of the shallow end of a kiddie pool…someone who you bounce off of instead of falling deeper into them. It’s impossible to fall in love with someone who is devoid of the ability or desire to give that same love in return. And I don’t say these things to slam him or down him or shade him or even be negative at all. It took me a LONG time to open my eyes and see him for who he is…and isn’t…but when the scales were finally removed from my eyes, boy, were they removed! That day in September, sitting across from him on the couch in my lovely little apartment and attempting to share my life with him, I finally took a long look in his eyes and saw that they were as vacant as the promises he had been making me for eight years. I saw his beautiful exterior and realized that much like a cardboard cutout, there was nothing behind it. Like the mock “proposal” he had staged in NYC a few years before, he was like this great big beautifully-wrapped package that you opened in excitement only to discover that it was empty.
You can’t love empty, because there’s nothing there to love. Nothing there for your love to stick to. Nothing there to love you back. Arms holding you and lips kissing you mean nothing if the heart isn’t attached.
And don’t get me wrong – I’m no victim here. I don’t blame Mr. E for his limitations. He is who he is and he never pretended to be anything else. I am to blame for my choice to actively keep him in my life for eight years. I’ve always wanted life and love to be like a movie…and in my quest to make my life and my love life like a movie, I literally cast Mr. E in a role he never auditioned for. I picked the perfect person for the part, too…someone who showed up and read his lines with gusto, but then exited stage left without looking back. Someone who was GREAT at creating big, shiny, Hollywood moments but not so great at the small, simple, ordinary moments. Someone who performed his part to perfection so long as we were on a rooftop in NYC or basking in the bright lights of the Vegas strip but barely phoned in his lines when we struck the set and real life kicked in. That’s who I chose to act out the idea of what I thought “love” should look like for eight years. But here is what I’ve learned: Just because you paint it red and call it love doesn’t mean it is.
I used to want flashy love…shiny love. Now I know that’s the stuff of glitter, not gold. Give me steadfast and wholehearted instead.
No, I don’t think I was ever in love with Mr. E. I wish him the best and I pray for him regularly and I have no hard, angry feelings toward him…but I wasn’t in love with him. You can’t be “in” anything with someone who works so diligently to keep you OUT. And life isn’t meant to be like a movie. I realize that now. Life is life…and it’s quieter and more unassuming and subtle and ordinary than a movie. But in many ways, it’s so much more beautiful than any over-the-top chick flick could ever dare to be. I think when we expect and push and force life to be like a movie, we miss out on the rich, complex, endlessly surprising and completely unscripted wonder of our lives. Our real lives. Where the real joy and real magic happens.
I never thought I’d say I long for ordinary love…but that’s what puts stars in my eyes these days. The idea of someone to keep holding tight to my hand long after the credits roll and the screen fades to black.
I can’t wait for that kind of love.
I want to hear from you, ladies! Have you, like me, ever been guilty of trying to make life — or love — like a movie? What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?
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