A Love Story

You know. I’ve been thinking about love a little bit lately. Love looks different than I thought it would. I mean, parts of it look the way I imagined. But, there’s more. There’s so much more.

I think, when we are young, we are so filled with this dreamy image of what love is going to look like. The IDEA of it. It’s all about the idea of it. Our expectations are so … skewed in one way. I don’t think we realize, or even take the time to consider, what love actually is … and we end up overlooking all the tiny, little ways that love exists. It isn’t just one thing. It was never meant to be ONE thing. It doesn’t show up in just one way either. It’s a million different things that make up the stories of our lives. If we aren’t careful, we just might completely disregard some of our greatest love stories. 

I have a group of friends from college that I love with all of my heart. I truly cherish their friendship. We don’t see each other very often, but when we do … magic. It feels like … coming home. It feels an awful lot like love.

When we were in the early years of our friendships, we might have thought, “oh, we’ll be friends forever”, without realizing what that would mean … the effort it would take. It all felt so simple. We’d meet the men of our dreams, ride off into the sunset, have a lot of babies, push our strollers around the neighborhood together AND wear our heels to the office. We weren’t idealistic at all. 😉

But, somewhere into that sunset, you start to realize that marriage and babies and life is hard as shit … that your best friends don’t live as close as you thought they would … and that heels aren’t that comfortable anyway.

We still all get together once a year. We CHOOSE it. We pause all of the other obligations that we all have and we choose to be there, together. We get to be ourselves. Just ourselves. No more is ever required. Bring all your shit or leave it all behind … whatever you need. Just be there. We laugh, we cry, we dance, we drink a lot of coffee and a llllooootttt of wine. We fill our cups back up (yes, figuratively and metaphorically). 

Somewhere along the way, through all the years and the winding roads, I looked around at these women … these women who I’ve been walking through life with for OVER half of our lives, through ALL of our adult years … and I thought, “oh, shit!” THIS is the love story. This is it. This is IT.

We love our husbands and our families and our babies. I like my marriage. I’m grateful for it. I like my husband. A lot. He’s my love story. But, he’s not my only love story. That’s not the only kind of love story that exists for me. And, I’m realizing that this is something I want to make sure my kids know –  romantic love isn’t all there is. There is more. Don’t make it your whole world. Don’t make it your identity. 

Also – show up. You have to show up. Love grows where you show up. Set boundaries. Not everyone gets all of you. Not just anyone should get the best of you.

After our girls weekend this past September, my friend (Mary) sent me an @influencersinthewild video. It showed two women on the beach. One was very carefully, and with very close attention to detail, fixing the other’s thong swimsuit. We laughed and then she said, “I love you enough to fix your thong.” 

And then another friend (Megan) sent a meme (memes are life giving, aren’t they?!) that said, “Normalize telling your friends that you love them. Tell them a lot. Make it weird.”

And, just yes. Yes. This is a love story too. It’s a damn beautiful one! One that I’m beyond thankful for. Beyond.

So, here’s to the love stories that define us …

To the love stories …

To really good friendships,

To holding your momma’s hand in her hospital room as she recovers from surgery,

To sipping coffee quietly with your grandma in the early light of dawn,

To holding your baby girl while she cries because she doesn’t want to grow up,

To softly kissing your furry baby’s head right before she crosses the rainbow bridge,

To the place on your husband’s chest where your head fits perfectly and where you feel the absolute safest in the whole wide world,

To sitting at the dinner table with your besties for seven straight hours,

To all of our yards blooming full of lilies in honor of one of our babies that wasn’t meant for a long earthly life,

To my dad’s hugs,

To long walks and talks with my son,

You guys, these are the stories of our lives.

These are THE love stories.

We are living them.

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