“I crave a love so deep, the ocean would be jealous.”
Cliché, overused, and lost in meaning and sentiment, this social media crazed quote by Pablo Neruda is still, in fact, what I desire.
When it comes to love, I have always wanted to find it, know it, and live in it.
I have vivid memories of my childhood. One in particular stands out, and it is one I have been reminded of by my father to this day.
Papá and I were at a family celebration. As we sat at the circular banquet table, him across from me, I took hold of a tiny purple material flower that adorned the party favors and wrapped its skinny metal green stem around my left ring finger. With an exaggerated New York accent and tender, childish tone, I said, “Look Daddy, I’m getting married!” and brought my hand to my heart.
I don’t remember his exact words. But I remember his face and eyes—bright and endearing. I remember his acknowledgement. Papá desired me to one day find my príncipe, and he absolutely believed I would.
Indeed, I did get married. I did not marry my “prince” though. I married a man whom I barely knew. We made a child together and chose to bring that child into this world together. We chose to perfect something that was “broken” from the start.
Divorced now, many years later, I still desire that deep affection. My forever person.
On and off, I have sought out that partner. I have gone on countless dates. There have been frogs and there have been potentials. There have been a few months of engaging courtship. There have been disappointments. There has been pain. There has been hope…and hopelessness.
What there had never been was gratitude, an understanding that love comes in all types of sizes and ways, and at different times.
I have found deep love. I have felt my heart skip that beat. I have been with that person where nothing and no one else mattered.
There was M. We were 16. He was not only my significant other, he was my best friend. I admired his intelligence, and he, my zeal. We experienced so much enjoyment in one another’s presence. We were love.
There was R. He treated me like majesty. I felt unapologetically myself with him. We shared joy. We shared afflictions. His presence, his radiating energy, filled my entire being with solace. We were love.
There was D. He was the light when I needed it most. He made me believe I was worthy of love again. It felt like our souls knew one another in another life. When his eyes met mine, and mine his, it’s as if our minds and hearts knew exactly what they were telling one another. No words were needed. We were love.
There was M. We understood one another—two peas in a pod they call it. He was charming. He wined and dined me. There was copious laughter. We sang together. We danced together. When our bodies touched, it was magic. We were love.
My path of love has not been linear. But I have experienced it, in all of its twists and turns. To the right, there was the person I needed. To the left, there was the kind of love I needed.
And in between, there was me. I am the love I have needed all along.
My journey to love is finding peace and acceptance with what was, has been, and will be. Love has been a lesson in patience. Love has been looking into my own eyes in the mirror and lighting up. Love has been self-compassion. Love has been repeating, “You are love. You are loving. You are lovable. I love you.” Love has been finding pleasure in and with myself. Love has been silence and stillness. Love has been wrapping my arms around myself tightly.
“Take a lover who looks at you like maybe you are magic.” ~ (not) Frida Kahlo
I certainly will. I already have. I have found a love who looks at me like I am magic. That love is me.
My journey is not over. Wherever it takes me, and with whomever, there will always be me—the greatest lover of all.