I've spent years trying to help leave you with tips and tools on how NOT to give up or give in. After all, it's the individuals who push beyond their fears that come out successful or at least fulfilled at the other end. Well, I mean all of that. When you dream, you dream big, you dream far, you envision the impossible and then you use your own heart and mind to get you there. No one else's. Not even Mom. I tell you this so that you don't make the mistake of hedging all your bets on another human being's actions.
Yes, and here in lies the rub as they say. That outside factor and influence. We put so much importance on the views and opinions of others that we turn over the very power and essence of who we are. Love is a powerful thing and it is fine when we come across those individuals who inspire us, who motivate us - who is Mom trying to kid here - who excite us and get us hot and bothered under the collar! (wow, if you only knew what that line meant to your Mom!)
Anyway, as you know Mom is a loving creature. Goodness, so loving that if love were currency, I'd have my own Mint and sadly I'd always be broke. I love every human being - within reason. Then there are those chosen few - oh those chosen few - who pretty much could write their own ticket on receiving love from dear daft, loving LOVE in all it's splendor in the grass, Mom. Oh how I can love thee, since the super geek mom doesn't count the ways, for she believes in infinity and beyond.
You all know how I love, I shower you with it every day. In fact you three are probably the only people on earth who understand Mom's brand of love. To love unconditionally, completely, without need to define it is such a rare thing for some people and while you've grown up surrounded by my Love Train on steroids mere mortals either drown in it or run the other way. Yeah, I get that a lot.
You've seen me in my major relationship mode and you've seen me hand over my heart a couple of times AND you've seen me vulnerable and afraid once I've turned over the very core of all that is Mom over to another human being. The older I got the more I had hoped to be able to protect my heart by being "practical", "realistic". Self help books on how to find a mutual love or a love that could last a lifetime haven't a clue! We are all so unique and have our own issues that really, to try and change so that we can't be hurt is just a waste of energy. No matter how old Mom gets, and you know there have been few and far between as to the number of souls I have come to give of my love, time and devotion to, I find myself always at the edge of that cliff- to commit to giving in to the feelings or not.
Why Mom is an "all or nothing" kind of woman, I have no idea. But I am and so, I have accepted that I would rather have my heart broken AFTER I'd given my all than not be myself, pretend to be an ice queen simply because I was too afraid to show my love and vulnerability to another soul who inspired me, motivated me, and yes, ignited passion in me. This is where the older, more responsible mature Mom is now finding her footing. The mature Mom part of me is snatching the young ridiculously in love young foolish Mom off that cliff and basically doing a Cher/Nicolas Cage move and giving her a serious smack across the face. "SNAP OUT OF IT!"
Your Mom is not a quitter but when the feelings begin to change, when the gut is telling you, "Danger Will Robinson! Danger! Danger!" Then Mom should extricate herself from her emotions, take some huge New York City block steps backwards. Love always feels good: in the beginning. It is truly like oxygen to a dying soul. Everything seems possible when a person ignites your mind and body. But all those feelings could be explained away scientifically. I take solace in that. I'm not losing my mind on purpose, my body is reacting to circumstances based on my experiences and my likes and dislikes.
What of these other souls? Well, I've come to see that they are as human and as fragile as we are and to place them on some pedestal because they have lifted us out of some everyday realm into a world of wonder and excitement isn't fair to them either. Also there are those who don't enjoy being pursued and once they see that you have them in their cross hairs they run faster than a gazelle bolting from Mufassa's view. (Lion King, look it up people)(yes I'm using hunting analogies because some of us more aggressive types simply see it as a challenge to get our love interests to reciprocate IN KIND.)
When is love ever right? Oh there will be times that things are going so well that you feel you are the main character in a fairy tale. Where you feel you personify the Prince Charming or the Warrior Princess (your Mom doesn't do scullery maids or damsels in distress). You can have days of perfection between two people and out of the blue you are gazing at them when they aren't aware and you're picking china patterns in your head. In Mom's case I'm already seeing trips to exotic lands and going on wild adventures like a pair of superheroes. (Don't judge, I grew up believing love was just like in Casablanca, still my favorite film of all time or even Gone With The Wind, where the men took on such a strong role of leading men who knew and had command of their environments at all times, Alpha male with strong and gentle sides saved only for their love interests. And the women? Oh the women were magnificent, not apologizing for their femininity but actually basking in it, all the while being fully capable of leading an army into war, more fierce than any general could be) Yes, Mom wanted to be Lara Croft and Scarlett O'Hara, at the same time!
I've seen each of you in love and I was so afraid that you'd gotten this from me and I am so overjoyed that you are so much better at gauging your heart-o-meter than I am. There has been heart break but our late night moments of truth have not been as painful or fearful as I had thought they would be. You have all acquired the much needed ability to see when things are not as they seem and when you have to cut your losses and move on, without seeing that dream of romantic bliss be realized. You are all so much more stronger than me.
I can count on one hand AND STILL HAVE digits to spare on the number of times I'd handed my heart to another human being - given up control of a better part of me, as an offering of my love for that soul. Well, you've seen it trampled on a couple of times and you've seen it appear at first to be a really great match: until. There has always come a time where in the course of my relationships decisions on how to move forward needed to be made. After all there were two souls trying to make their lives work. Then the really hard work about love took place. Compromise, sacrifice, commitment. Words that can drive the strongest of wills to drink and go mad. What's an overly imaginative, closet romantic, to do? QUIT.
Yes, quit. After years of thinking that I (MAJOR EMPHASIS ON THAT WORD - I) had to ratchet up some serious bonus notches so that the other person would have NO OPTION but to fall as madly in love with me as I with them I have come to realize that if I had put just HALF of all that love back into myself I'd see that my love interest was really not the one and I've had spared myself some serious heartache. There is nothing more lonely than wanting to be noticed by someone who is sitting right across from you and they don't. You don't ever want to know what that feels like. So, rather than pine away wishing someone gave you more, you should quit. Take care of your heart, your mind and everything else you were just too willing to give the lucky individual, for anyone would be blessed to be loved by any one of you - and me for that matter should acknowledge it gladly, and seriously save yourselves. Save yourselves for the ones that look at you as if you've made their day and the ones who want to meet you in the middle under that waterfall.
So yes, quit. "Get the hell out of Dodge" (City, look IT up people.) Everyone is worth loving and I'm sure the love interest is a great person but you must put you first and if you are made to feel invisible so soon after Cupid's stupid arrow hits then, please, bust his ass for me if you ever find him because that little Cherub has always rubbed me the wrong way - damned instigator! Quit trying to make a fairy tale out of an instant. Appreciate the small memory that seemed effortless. DO NOT PASS GO, do not collect bad feelings or land into months of emotional jail. Some will never see what they could have had. Some don't deserve it and some were only meant to boost your spirit and give you a memory for a moment and nothing more.
So love. Don't create parameters for it, that's no fun. AND DO give it all you've got and if over time, sometimes all it takes is a switch from one day to the next to see the truth, accept the truth. Any soul would be blessed in having you love them if I do say so myself. Don't settle and don't waste time on people not sure or ready to receive. There are too many songs of unrequited love and well, if you see Mom in her Bridget Jones impersonation, singing Melissa Manchester - well, then you know. Break out the Kleenex, give me your shoulder and make me laugh and feel better, just like you always have done. Ok, having all of you calling those people assholes for being blind doesn't hurt. But they aren't and once I'm over the disappointment I can be back on solid ground again, seeing them better for who they are: great spirits that moved me and I appreciate that about them. After all someone really would have to be absolutely amazing and fabulous to turn your absolutely amazing and fabulous Mom's head, right!
Sometimes quitting isn't so bad you see. In fact it's downright freeing. FREE. I'm so blessed to know this and glad I can share it with all of you. See, now I feel better. DOn't you?
Loving you always in my insane all encompassing Mom way,
Carmen M. Colon is a mother, an engineer, an education and childrens advocate, an author and a workshop facilitator on the topics of leadership, womens empowerment, career advancement and now on parenting. She is writing a series of "Dear Kids" letters to her three sons on a series of topics and issues.
Her website is http://carmenmcolon.info
Her books can be found online: http://amazon.com/author/carmencolon
Mother to three amazing self sufficient civic minded sons. Devin Christopher, 24, Fashion Designer, college student in NYC and youngest athletic director ever hired at a major sports complex in NYC. Antonio Fernandez, 20, choreographer, dancer, model, college student in NYC, has already performed with Cyndi Lauper at the Beacon Theatre and simply ready for his close-up. Taylor Aidan, almost 18 (at this release), HS Senior in NYC, amazing singer who is studying to be the next greatest sign language interpreter the world's ever known. (DISCLAIMER: Ok, mom wrote that.)