My job is about love. It’s my job, my hobby, my source of shoe funds and the never-ending opportunity to make champagne toasts with strangers – everything I do (get it??) celebrates the love that you have for each other and your chosen people have for you. Recently I watched a TED talk about a woman who has a problem with the way we talk about love. She suggests that ‘falling in love’ suggests we have little choice or control in love and that if we continue to think of it in this way then we can do nothing but fall subject to its whims and demands.
She suggests that if we ‘step into love’ that we gain control, perspective and choice in the relationship that we are part of. That love becomes a collaborative work of art where the people involved construct and create a vision, a shared goal and relationship based on – yep you guessed it – a collaborative idea.
The reconstruction and reimagining of the idea of love is brilliant. And there is no doubt that the words we choose have a huge impact on the way we think about and interact with the world. There is only one small problem with this re-visioning of romantic love and that is that it requires equal buy in, equal effort and commitment from all parties involved.
Too often in our single lives, my still single life, our experiences of love are far from a collaborative effort. A lifetime of wrong choices, unrequited life, painful breakups, heart breaking lusting and sometimes a faintly bridled veil of contempt taint our experiences of love. Before you met the one, before you got here, to this point of messaging a perfect stranger to tie you together forever, our experiences of love are rarely collaborative, fair or equal.
This hangover of emotions from past love is never truly forgotten. (Unless you are those sickening people who married your first loves – for you the hangover is non existent and just for that, the rest of us hate you just a little bit.) When we are lucky enough to find that human that makes the previous pains ache less, dull slightly and push far away into our subconscious depths, we do fall. We fall uncontrollably and completely out of control in love with these beautiful strangers. Sometimes even when we don’t want to, sometimes it’s a slow burn, sometimes it hits your chest and you feel like you can’t breathe at all and sometimes the other person doesn’t even know about it. But here is where it gets good, that kind of love is short.
I believe we fall, uncontrollably, maddeningly, in love. But it’s a choice to stay there. We may fall into romantic love, but we step into true love. That active choice of collaboration and the building of a life is the love we look for, is the love we spend our lives putting ourselves on reality television for, dancing with drunken boys on dance floors across the globe for and trolling hours swiping left and right just for the faint chance of a love we choose and that chooses us back with equal force.
That’s when we marry them. When we step so far into love that the mud is seeping over the top and into your rubber boots. When that human has squished your heart like a bug and hurt you like no other and the thought of running still hasn’t crossed your mind. That’s when the art begins and the real adventures starts. When you get there, make sure you give me a call. There’s nothing that feeds the soul more than watching two people, boots filled with mud, start that adventure together.
Thanks for the TED Talk Rhonda Lee, I loved it. For those interested check out Mandy Len Catron below.
And just because I think this woman is the bomb, check her out too. It’s her fault I can do this job at all. Before her love was only meant for beauty queens.