As I was on facebook today my little status box asked “how are you feeling Melissa?” so, since I’m so infrequently asked this question, I began to think of what Id really like to say, how I really feel, whats really “on my mind”. It’s a week before Valentine’s Day 2013, and so I am reflecting on V-days of the past. When I was in my 20’s I was a hopeless romantic or so Id like to believe. And maybe perhaps into the beginning of my 30’s. Now that I’m approaching my 5th 29th birthday anniversary, I have grown cynical. I don’t believe in that whole true love, happy ending, forever and ever anymore. Is there really one person for me? Have I already met that one person and perhaps set them free to see if they would return to me… so the old proverb goes. Will my best years be ahead of me? Does life really start at this age and only get better? I’m still talking about love, mind you. I have always said that I am content if my children are the true loves of my life and if I never fall in love again, it will be too soon. I dread the idea of walking into every store, including but not limited to, drug stores (which are the worst let me tell you), department stores, restaurants, pretty much anywhere you go during this time- because it is filled to the brim with heart-shaped everythings, chocolates, balloons, bears, cards that sing, cards that are bigger than you, gift baskets full of I love you, your my everything….ok you get the picture by now. I am not lonely or bitter. Dont get me wrong, My heart has not shrunk and hardened due to the years upon years of break ups and make ups and break ups and break ups again. Somewhere, somehow, I still feel like there may just be another round left in me to try again and fall fall fall until I am completely swept up all over again into that persons arms. However, there is a part of me, which is probably my heart more so than my mind, screaming DO NOT DO IT AGAIN. Dont do IT ever again. So with LOVE on my mind and the holiday approaching, I asked my teenage daughter the old quote that everyone ponders at one point or another…”Is it better to have loved and lost then to never have loved at all?” And So, after much girl talk with the expert she is on love and my past experiences, I came to the conclusion that YES, I’m glad for the loves that I have fallen for. I’m glad that I experienced the happiness of being caught up in another and feeling so alive in love that any drug you could alter your emotions with, could not replicate that same feel good feeling. I’m also glad that I was introduced to new parts of me that I didn’t know existed such as, the very mean, and sometimes vindictive part of me. I once had a relationship that could bring the very best out of me AND the very worst part of me. Those years were a time when I think I learned the most about myself. And that’s when I came up with the whole ‘Penguin” theory.
Penguins are very remarkable birds but very close to mammals. Penguins mate for life. One Penguin goes off in search of another Penguin and out of hundreds of thousands of other Penguins, that specific Penguin chooses ONE. Once that Penguin chooses its ONE other Penguin, it does leave it, nor forsake it. It doesn’t cheat on it. It doesn’t say, its fishing season, were gonna break up so I can go off and play with my drinking penguin buddies and Ill see you in a few months after I’m over being hung over, I havent ate a good meal because Penguin bar food gets old, and fishing is getting boring. Nope, Penguins don’t say that. They stay together, forever. FOR EVER EVER? YES. For EVER EVER. And if by some chance one of the Penguins get sick and die, guess what the other penguin does? It never ever ever remarries, or mates again. It mourns the loss of its original choice penguin and it stays a widower, till the day it dies. Very romantic right? Ok, so back to reason I went off subject and started talking about the penguin theory. I always had this idea that I would meet my penguin. And we would fall in love, we would build our family and home together. And we would be together, no matter what, until the unfortunate day one of us is gone. And by gone I don’t mean ‘gon fishin’. I became such a romantic with this thought that I literally started collecting Penguins, and putting penguins on my facebook and putting penguins on my blog, and buying penguin t shirts- true story, I really bought a two penguin in love T-shirt. So, moving on, I was so infatuated with the idea of thinking about being with “MY” penguin for the rest of my life that I had sworn off the idea that perhaps I may end up alone. Perhaps, I didn’t have a penguin. Perhaps I already met my penguin but thought the grass was greener saying and set them free.
So now here I am. MId 30’s. And about to celebrate yet another Valentines Day with my family, one penguin short. Believe it or not, I am content with this. I may not be super excited. I may not be counting the minutes till February 14th, 2013. But I am content. And I am very comfortable with ME. It didn’t happen over night, and it took a few years of rummaging through my past relationship failures and heartaches. I had to work it out like an alcoholic works the 12 steps of recovery and dig deep to figure out where I have been, where I am going, where I want to go, and yes, I do feel sort of like I was visited by the ghost of past, present, and future penguins. I am comfortable now. I have accomplished successfully and completed the handbook to ME and MY mind, body and spirit. And I am ok if in 5 or 10 or 20 years I am sitting beside my beautiful children, watching my grandchildren play, and that’s the only love from now until then that I will have. I am grateful that I got to experience heartache. I am grateful that I got to experience falling in love so hard that it hurt. And I am grateful that the good LORD has allowed me to find peace and serenity on Valentines Day, even though I’m blogging about it and it may sound a tad like a rant. I’m content. I’m appreciative of what love I do have in my life. I’m happy for my friends who have found true love. I am happy when my daughter gets roses on Valentines day, for the first time. I’m happy to pay for the flowers my son will give to his Valentine, also, for the first time.
In closing, I have learned that life is short. There are no guarantees. And you don’t always get second chances. So the next time I allow my cynicism to subside a little and allow myself to look directly back into the other persons eyes who are staring straight into me, I am going to be present in the moment, and enjoy it. I am going to enjoy the fall and brace for the landing. And I am going to be grateful for another chance to start another journey again, with a new penguin.
Thank you for allowing me to vent what was on my mind, this week, before Valentines day. I hope you all enjoy your day of Love with the person that means the most to you.