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A(n Unfinished) Love Song

I’ve never been great at writing songs. I’ve tried my hand at it a few times. Some of my worst were attempts at writing songs about love. Or at least, my limited experience of it.

There are millions of songs about love. Have you noticed that? Songs about good love, bad love, crazy love, desperate love, obsessive love, and—my personal favorite—unrequited love.

The point of writing a song about love, I presume, is to capture an emotion in a few simple lyrics that will resonate with listeners everywhere. And in these millions of songs, there are a lot of bad philosophies. A lot of bad advice. A lot of bad attitudes.

Now, granted, I don’t know a whole lot about love. I do know it’s more than butterflies. It’s more than chemistry. It’s more than how someone makes you feel. It’s more than looking into someone’s eyes and getting chills.

And yet, those things are a part of romantic love. I just think that at the end of the day, if all I’m looking for is a thrill, well…what happens when the thrill is gone? Or I feel it for someone new?

So it’s gotta be something deeper and longer lasting. I admit, I haven’t quite figured this all out. I don’t mean to be a scientist about this, trying to define and dissect something so complex. It’s just, at this point in my life, I wonder: will I know Love when it finds me? Or will I be too busy looking for what I think Love is to recognize it?

I have few theories about Love. One is that it has to be fearless. Another is that it has to be selfless. And wouldn’t you know it, those are two of the hardest things for me to be. Thankfully, God is working on me!! And thankfully, I have relinquished my standards of perfection. So, I know I’m going to mess up, but that’s okay. I think it’s one of those things that you have to practice in order to get better. And I spent so much of my life holding back out of fear.

I’m still scared. And confused. I think I always assumed that by this point in my life, I would have figured this kind of stuff out. And I’m surprised at how baffled I still am over guy/girl relations. Of course, part of my problem is that I overthink everything. But it just seems to come more naturally and easily to some people, and I can’t figure that out.

Love is a mystery to me…how two people can come together, and decide to share their lives with each other. The give and take. The letting down of barriers and being Real. It’s all so foreign to me.

In fact, the only part of Love I’m familiar with is the pining away part. THAT I know very well. I know how to love from afar. (If such a thing is even possible.) I know what it’s like to feel the crush-rush of emotions—euphoria, and disappointment.

And I worry: what if all my years of watching chick flicks have warped me? It’s only in recent years that it has occurred to me that the guys in chick flicks don’t exist in reality. For the most part. I’m not saying guys can’t be romantic. I’m saying, those guys always seem to say the right thing. They don’t give up very easily. And besides all that, the whole courtship is condensed into a couple of hours. Movies leave out all the moments when nothing exciting or romantic happened. You don’t get to see all the nights the girl stayed up till 3 in the morning, trying to figure things out. You don’t see her obsessing for hours, begging her best friends to help her make sense of everything. You don’t see her make mistake after mistake and beat herself up for it afterward, wondering if she screwed things up for good this time.

And you know what? I don’t think I’m meant to figure this out by myself. I don’t think it’s possible. We’re not meant to navigate life alone, anyway. But Love—well, that’s the ultimate cooperative experience. I love to hear people’s theories and experiences with love—the good and the bad. I think we should share them with each other to help us all make sense out of it.

Which is why, in the end, I keep watching movies and listening to songs about love. Even when they get it wrong. I’ve gotten it wrong before, too. Many times. Sometimes I’m tempted to give up…because love is hard sometimes. It hurts. But even I know that anything worth having in life requires work. Including Love.

So this is my unfinished song about Love…and I’m sending it out into the world.

1 comment:

Brianne said...

Poignant as always. Thanks for sharing.

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