Valentine’s Day is a day of the year that, whether I like it or not, I end up spending a lot of time thinking about romantic love. Historically, it’s been a day that ranges from joyful and sexy, to performative and shallow, to lonely with deep wells of longing.
I’ve been single for most of the past 4 years, and there’s been some heartbreak and hard lessons around love, intimacy, boundaries, and personal needs. There have been lovers who live close to my heart, and experiences that helped teach my body what feels like a yes and what feels like a no. There has been an expansion into my sensuality and sexuality that has helped me access a potent and creative fire within myself. There have been platonic friendships that came into my life that have given me the kind of love I could only imagine in my most vulnerable dreams. There’s also been a deeper commitment to the relationship with myself, and it has been hard and complex and beautiful all at once. It’s a wild ride to really reckon with the ways I’ve participated in both my happiness and my pain, and the wounds that went years without tending. To take responsibility for my pleasure, my sense of worth, my needs, and nurturing outside of partnership has been both humbling and empowering. There’s still lots to explore, lots of fear, lots of growth to stretch into.
My life does not look the way I had imagined that it would at this stage – the husband and kids in a house with a wrap-around porch. There are days I grieve that deeply, days I feel lonely and in longing, days I’m grateful for the freedom and openness I have, days I’m afraid no one will want me as I grow older, and days I trust that I am right where I should be at this very moment in time. I do know that love will continue to come into my life in ways that I cannot yet come close to imagining, and it brings be so much joy and hope to know that in my heart.
Either way, I hope the love story I have with myself is one for the ages, and will continue to revel in the joy of taking up the whole bed.