I Still Believe In Love

by Susan Pogorzelski on October 18, 2009 · 9 comments

All my life I’ve been a dreamer
Dreaming dreams that always broke in two…
But I still believe in love
And I love believing…

Lea Salonga, “I Still Believe In Love”

bycattycamehomeflickr

An open letter…

I won’t be the one you think you’ve been looking for all this time. In fact, it might take us awhile to find each other, figure that out.

It will probably surprise us both.

We might not meet in a coffee shop, sitting tables apart, catching each others’ eye as we sip our lattes and tea, the heat from the cups warming our souls as we try to focus on the work on our laptops. We might glance up, get a refill, order a snack before returning to where we left off. We’ll be lost in our own thoughts, barely aware of the other until we shut down our computers, pack our bags, and briefly look back to see if we’ve left anything behind.

You might not meet me on the train as I travel to meet friends new and old in another city, or on a plane to another state, another country. We might share a polite smile of greeting as you take the seat across the aisle, but then you’ll pull your iPod from your coat pocket and watch the blur of colors as the scenery passes by the window, and I’ll settle back with a book or a journal and pen and be equally lost in thought and daydreams. We might interrupt each other for conversation — asking you where you’re going, asking me what I’m reading. But we’ll reach our stops, we’ll gather our things, smile at our brief connection with another person, and then continue to our destinations.

We might not find each other in a bookstore as we wander the same aisles. Our eyes will skim title after title, pulling out books that catch our eye before reading the inside excerpt or the first few pages to see what it really is all about, what lies beneath the cover, inside. We might stop in the same section, glance at the books we’re each holding — a range of literature and fiction, tech guides and science studies, history and philosophy — but we’ll put the book back on the shelf, thinking it’s not what we’re looking for, and continue on in our search.

No, our story may not be made up of the Hollywood first-glance, the chance meeting, the love-at-first-sight encounter, but when it happens, it will be ours just the same. I’ll make you laugh, and you’ll make me smile; I’ll banter or debate, and you’ll challenge me, matching wit against wit. I’ll be the trust you’ve been searching for, and you’ll be the shoulder I’ve been waiting to learn to lean on.

I’ll let down my guard, and you’ll let me in.

We’ll discover the world together as we discover each other. You’ll bring out the adventurous side of me, the spontaneous side I’ve often kept buried. I’ll learn to take risks, and I’ll be willing to take that risk with you. We’ll encourage each other as we chase our dreams; we’ll celebrate when we succeed and hold on when we fail. And though we might sometimes find ourselves apart, we’ll also find ourselves looking for ways to get back to each other.

It won’t be perfect. I’m stubborn and sometimes too independent and reluctant to let down that guard.

But I’ll surprise you.

I’ll surprise myself.

And I can promise you there will be a night where I burn dinner or take the wrong road and get us lost or say something incredibly stupid that has you scratching your head and holding back a laugh.

But there will be laughter. And honesty. And trust. And love.

I can promise you that there will always be that.

I won’t be the one you’ve been looking for all this time, not the one you expected. But when we find each other…

When that day comes when we realize we’ve found each other, we’ll know that maybe we were wrong to be looking for anyone else.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Harl Delos October 18, 2009

Susan, you seem to think that there is “a” person out there that you can find. A lot of people think that, and then when they find that “one” person, find that they’ve hit the motherlode: there are lots of others out there who are also perfect.

It’s not a search for someone else. It’s a search for yourself. When you find out who you are, then it easier for you to find someone to be happy with, and easier for them to find you.

Shel Silverstein wrote/illustrated a book called “The Missing Piece”. A circle, absent a wedge, (would that be a Pac-Man?) goes rolling down the road, thump, thump, thump, looking for his missing piece, and singing his song. Every so often, he would stop and look at the butterflies.

He kept finding pieces, but they would be too shallow, and fall out of his hole, or too thick, and not fit in his hole. Finally, he meets a perfect piece. No more thump, thump, thump, and he could roll very fast, but no more stopping to see butterflies, and he couldn’t sing because his mouth was full.

What Shel was pointing out was that “You don’t want someone who completes you.” You want someone who makes you better, not perfect, and someone you can do the same for in return. There are a lot of thump, thump, thumps in a marriage, and better marriages don’t necessarily have fewer thumps, and don’t necessarily roll along smoother and faster. What better marriages have are more butterflies and more singing.

Even identical twins come into this world one at a time, and we die the same way. It can be a lonely existance. If you find someone who helps you ease the loneliness, that’s phenomenal – but you have to remember that it’s temporary. One of you is going to die before the other.

Have you noticed that someone who is passionate about something, whether it be bicycling, photography, gardening, music, or whatever, is often quite interesting to talk to, fun to be with? Passionate people are people who know themselves well. Boring people have no idea what they’re about.

But how many hours a week does the average couple spend talking? Some pollsters say it’s less than one hour. You’re still going to spend a lot more time with yourself than with “your other half.” Stop looking for someone else, Susan, and look for yourself. When you’re comfortable in your own skin the first 167 hours a week, that one other hour a week that you might spend with a life partner will come easy. Wonderful potential people will spring up out of the woodwork.

And when you find the one that you were meant to be, remember that my offer to adopt you still stands. I think when you find yourself, you’ll be surprised and pleased with your discovery.

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Positively Present October 19, 2009

Wow, this is beautifully written. Love it! Harl’s comment is awesome as well… Love “The Missing Piece”!

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Elisa October 20, 2009

That’s distressingly heartbreaking that an average couple only spends an hour or two talking to each other a week. HEARTBREAKING!

We all have these pre-conceived notions of how “it’s” supposed to happen. It’s supposed to be like a scene out of a movie or a sitcom or something like that but that’s never how it actually plays out. For me, I fully anticipate someone falling for me because I am such a dork that it’s endearing. I’ll probably trip over/fall down/do something else klutzy that will cinch it.

I think I kinda understand what you are saying…and I agree so much. Every way that we THINK it’s supposed to happen it probably won’t. But the great part is that even though the movie ending seems great on paper (well…on screen I guess!) the REAL thing will be 300% more because it will be better than we ever could have imagined.

In the meantime, dating and flirting and whatnot is definitely fun, but why put all of yourself into something that isn’t worth it. No one would ask you to do that with your career/living situation/etc. Why do we expect it in relationships?

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Susan Pogorzelski - admin October 21, 2009

Harl: I love your comment and appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts and insight. Truthfully, I love the idea of finding someone who helps me to grow, challenges me, who loves my inconsistencies, who loves me as is. It’s being able to grow, be better and not to remain stagnant, that is important. I don’t want a perfect love — I’m not sure that exists — but I do want someone with whom I can communicate and share a part of ourselves and connect, spend time with. A few weeks ago, I was writing a draft post about being independent and how much I enjoyed that, how I wasn’t even sure I wanted to be in a relationship. I had just started to learn to like myself, love myself again this past year, after all, so could I even function in a relationship?

I completely agree that you have to love you, that no one can do that for you, and that love (and life) isn’t perfect and calculated. Truly, that wasn’t what I meant to express here. Rather, that it’s pretty unpredictable, that you never know, but that something incredibly profound still exists. And that maybe I’m capable of it.

I love Shel Silverstein book — I actually saw it in a bookstore in college and bought it for myself as a reminder. What you say there is so true as well — I like to think that I know myself well enough that if I ever stop smelling the flowers and pausing to watch the butterflies again, then that’s the moment when I lose myself again.

That finding myself is still a journey I’m on — I don’t think there’s ever a point where it’s finished, but I still do hope that there are those with whom I can share that journey.

Thanks for this comment, Harl — a bit of realism was what I needed to hear (though I may be stubborn in my thinking!). Always a friend. :)

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Susan Pogorzelski - admin October 21, 2009

Dani: I think everyone who has essentially “lost themselves” needs to read “The Missing Piece,” I love that Harl brought it up! If only we all would smell flowers and watch butterflies and paint rainbows. Too sugary? Maybe. But I like my cup of life that way ;) Thanks for commenting!

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Susan Pogorzelski - admin October 21, 2009

Elisa: That’s exactly what I was saying, in some way. That it’s unpredictable, that you never, ever know when someone will come into your life and change it up for the better. And it probably won’t be in the span of one hour and eighty minutes. ;)

I’ve seen that with the friends I’ve met, the family who have come back around, and I’m sure it will be the same with love. As I wrote to Harl above, I agree that no one can make you feel complete (other than yourself), but I do believe that people can help you grow and become a better person.

I have a whole lot more to say on the subject in light of your own recent post and will take those comments your way this evening. Thanks, Elisa — I love your input, as always.

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Akirah October 21, 2009

Aww. This gave me chills. I love love. And I’m glad you still believe in it. I know you’ll find someone great…and that person will encourage you to be better than you already are…if that’s even possible! I met my love while dancing at a club. Never thought those things happen, but it can.

Anything can happen!

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