Wednesday, October 10, 2007

How do we escape consumption?

I laugh when my friend Kelly says she'd like to find a boyfriend who doesn't suck her will to live. It's only funny because it's true - I know what she means. I have strange phases of love, regardless of whether or not my love is a man, a job, a hobby, a piece of writing. I become so enchanted with my love that I literally wear myself out. Then I fall over in exhaustion, and inevitable sadness and disappointment, only to repeat the process once I feel stronger again.

Today I felt a little bit better when I read that even Mother Teresa struggled with this idea when she said that "what we need is to love without getting tired." And she won the Nobel Peace Prize. If someone up for sainthood is having trouble figuring this out, then why am I so hard on myself for having difficulty with love?

The consideration of how to love without wearing out is something I catch myself thinking about very often as of late. I'll be walking along in my neighborhood or in the park or to meet friends, and all of a sudden I'll find myself thinking that I'm not ready again for love, of anything. I'm not ready again to be consumed by it. And then I remember how intoxicating and magical it can be.

I do love my job, though I manage to keep it in check. I think about how I can improve all the time. I stop in to competitors to check around. I mull over how what I'm learning will fit into my life down the road, into the big picture.

I love my neighborhood and my apartment, despite the fact that I'm spending so much on rent. It is a cozy, comfortable haven for me. It's quiet and beautiful, while also being filled with conveniences that make every day life easier.

I love my friends and family, though I am careful to take time for myself when I can because I know of my inability to turn down going out and having fun. Luckily my huge impending loan payments are making me mindful of how I spend my money, and more importantly how I save it.

The piece that still alludes me, that still has me wincing when I think of it, is starting another romantic relationship. Sometimes I think it's past disappointments or failures that have me running scared. And sometimes I think it's that all-too-memorable pain that my relationships have caused. Though these are only excuses, and not reasons. What really has me scared is that I really love my life, and my independence, and my ability to dream unencumbered by responsibility to someone else. I can go anywhere, doing anything, spend time with anyone, or completely alone if that's what I need. The question becomes not whether I can love without growing tired; it's can I learn how to love without losing who I am now that I've become a person I am really happy to be.

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