Friday, November 20, 2015

The Extraordinary

About a year ago, I bought a book while out on a shopping excursion with my friend Jennifer. The book was called Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You and it was blank, full of opportunities to write the things I did. At the very front of the book was a page encouraging me to begin a running list of all the things that scared me. 

For some reason, before I even realized what I was doing or thinking, the very first thing I wrote on that page was

Falling in love again

The item, though I never added it to my official list later on, was surrounded by unwritten questions. Would it ever happen? Could it ever happen? When would it happen? And how? 

After Rick died, plenty of people said things such as, "Well, you're still young" or "And you're cute" as though to put to rest any fears I might have in regards to love. And while youth and cuteness (?) may have been on my side...no matter your age or your appearance, it takes a lot to let go of an old life and then hold your beaten, broken, fragile heart out to someone when there's no way to be quite sure yet and say, "Here - please be careful with this."

So while my unspoken questions swirling around that fear of loving again may have seemed irrelevant to those who were so sure I wouldn't be alone for long, I was still afraid. Because something poignant and precious and discouraging was lying like a heavy little stone inside my heart: At this point, I'm not an ordinary woman...so an ordinary love would never do.

I think in a way, that worried me.

Time marched on and sparks ignited in my heart when I absolutely least expected them.  Falling in love held a brand new meaning...because...

I wasn't just falling in love again with a man. It was so much more than that. Somehow, that man was helping me fall in love again with life.  

In some ways, I felt that I was living life for the first time, pure joy practically shooting out of my pores. Living life the way I always wanted to live it was like dragging myself through a desert parched and desperately thirsty, and finally diving headfirst into clear, cold water, gulping it down as I immersed myself in it. AWESOME.

I found myself at a baseball game, ecstatic.
I painted my living room, a grin plastered on my face the whole time.

All because I fell in love with a man who gives me reasons to fall in love with life. 

Every day occurrences are...fun. Memorable. Sweet. Comfortable. Special.


I sit in my living room on any given night, beaming with contentment and gratitude. I smile when I hear the sound of his key in the lock.

I feel a daily effortless communication with him. A high five, a playful fist pump, a hug, a kiss, a wave, a look, a squeeze of the hand...all so different, but all the same: a wordless connection. And that's fitting...because honestly, though I try, I can't seem to find the right words to explain that all of this life-love-connection stuff feels more serious the second time around. 

After the life I've lived, every single tiny thing has beautiful meaning. I never take for granted the look in his eyes when he greets me, the sound of his voice when he tells me a story or when I make him laugh, the feel of his touch...different at every time of day, the taste of his goodbye kisses (and all his great food!), and the scent of his sweatshirt while I'm wearing it. I go to bed every night feeling like the luckiest woman on earth...a cliche I actually really mean. My appreciation barometer is different than most people's. It's like a sense all its own and it's heightened now. 

It's not that I'm lovesick. I'm not sick at all. I've never been better! I'm finally at peace.

2 comments:

  1. Arielle, it is so beautiful to read this. From where you have come from, it gives me faith that I can slowly but surely crawl out of the grieving space I have found myself in of recent. Inspired by you, I actually started a blog to help process my story too. I can only hope that in time I come to a place of peace and contentment, and that I too will find a kind of love again that takes your breath away. Thank you so much for sharing your story so openly and for being exactly who you are with no apologies xx

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for reading. And thank you for your kind comment!

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