I still give my husband crap whenever he drops the ball on Valentine’s Day. Is it a holiday invented by retailers throughout North America? Yes. Do I still want to see flowers and chocolates waiting for me downstairs? Absolutely! But this year is different. This year, I’m not just cooking up heart-shaped chocolate chip cookies for when hubby gets home. This year, love takes on a whole new meaning; this year, I’m a mom.
As we get older, we learn quickly that blood isn’t always thicker than water and that every single time we love, it feels different. There are the loves that fade in and out; those that pop in quickly but last a lifetime; and inevitably, the ones you just didn’t see coming. There’s the passionate love you share with your partner. Or maybe it’s a simple sort of love that swells in silence, a feeling of belonging in a life shared with your better half. There’s the protective kind of love you have for your pet, and the adoring love you have for your mentor, and a million other types of love that will make grand entrances and subtle exits over for the course of a lifetime, but nothing – and I mean nothing – is as fulfilling as the unconditional love shared between a parent and their child.
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One of my favourite movies is “Out of Africa” where a tragically married Meryl Streep (Karen) falls in love with Robert Redford (Denys), a free spirit who is unwilling to settle down, until (spoiler alert) he decides, at the very end, to make his way back to her only to crash his plane en route – devastating! Regardless, one of the best lines in the movie comes near the end of the film, when Redford’s character says, “You ruined it for me you know?”, and Meryl answers: “What?” to which he replies with a defeated look in his eye, “Being alone.” I know, I know… and your point is? I’m getting there, read on.
Serenity in solitude
After a lovely chat with a friend of mine earlier today, it became suddenly clear how my perspective on solitude and singledom has changed. After five years of being in a committed relationship, I no longer crave downtime. I don’t need time alone to gather my thoughts, and, given the chance, I would always choose to have my husband at home, than away traveling for work, or out with the guys. As the words came out of my mouth, I found myself shaking my head, wondering when the freedom seeking Sagittarius had swapped her bow and arrow for a broom and dustpan? Who am I? I suddenly realized that I’m no longer just a woman, a writer, a traveler, a runner, a friend, a lover, etc. In addition to being all these other things, that I always was, now, I’m also someones wife . Gulp!
What’s in a word?
Recently, I revisited a quote from the movie Eat, Pray Love that made me stop and take the time to really reflect. In the movie, Julia Roberts, who plays Liz Gilbert (author of the book upon whom this story is truly based), struggles to find a word that represents who she is. The friends she’s made in Italy try to find words to represents themselves and the cities they’ve visited – London is “stuffy”, New York is “ambition” or “soot”, and Rome is “sex” – but all Liz can think of to define herself, is “writer”, which her companions point out, isn’t who she is, but what she does for a living. At the end of the book, after a satisfying journey of learning to let go of a nasty divorce and love herself again so she can start to love somebody else, Liz decides that her word is, in fact Attraversiamo, an Italian word meaning let’s cross over.
Gilbert’s journey throughout the movie helps bring her back to who she used to be by helping her to cross over to her old self; someone who was happy; someone who had the capability to give love and receive it; someone inspired who had the ability to inspire others, through actions and words – in her case, words written in the form of a book. The word Attraversiamo for Gilbert, was the perfect reflection of who she was at that particular moment in time. Continue reading ““Maybe you’re a woman in search of a word.” [Eat Pray Love]”